Quote of the day.
“It used to be that if you had a fight with a Muslim, you would reconcile with the help of a sheik or a priest. But now if there is a conflict, they use the law against us.” Wafdi Saeed, whose brother Makarim was sentenced to 6 years in prison for allegedly denigrating the Prophet Muhammad, one of an increasing number of blasphemy cases in Egypt.
(New York Times)
1. CBO report gives key push to Senate immigration bill.
The sweeping immigration overhaul bill received a boost Tuesday as senators appeared to narrow their differences on border security and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that newly legal immigrants would provide more than enough new tax revenue, fees, and economic growth to offset the bill's costs.
2. House approves anti-abortion law.
The House bill that would ban abortions starting at 20 weeks, which passed Tuesday night 228 to 196, presents a clear challenge to federal law. But the White House has issued a veto threat, and the measure lacks the votes right now to pass the Senate.
3. Biden concedes W.H. gun push has faltered.
His remarks came at the first White House event since the Senate’s failed April 17 background checks vote. And all that he had to show gun control supporters by way of progress was a list of completed or mostly completed executive actions.
4. Obama considers sweeping climate plan.
The Obama administration is considering a sweeping initiative to address climate change, including the first-ever limits on carbon dioxide from power plants, the country's biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to people familiar with the discussions.
(Los Angeles Times)
5. Obama: 'lives have been saved' by NSA programs.
Trying to tamp down concerns about government over-reach, President Barack Obama on Wednesday defended U.S. Internet and phone surveillance programs as narrowly targeted efforts that have saved lives and thwarted at least 50 terror threats.
6. G-8 meeting ends with cordial stalemate on Syria.
The United States and leaders of other major industrialized nations on Tuesday papered over differences on Syria and the global economy in statements that summarized their two-day annual summit meeting at a secluded lakeside resort here.
(New York Times)
7. Brazilian politicians struggle with how to respond to another night of protests.
As demonstrations continued in Brazil for another night, President Dilma Rousseff attempted to coordinate a government response among senior officials who have been stunned by the scale of protests.
8. Climate change threatens trouble in near future, World Bank says.
The World Bank is beginning to commit billions of dollars to flood prevention, water management, and other projects to help major Asian cities avoid the expected impact of climate change, a dramatic example of how short the horizon has become to alleviate the effects of global warming.
9. Afghanistan suspends talks after U.S.-Taliban move.
Afghanistan has suspended talks with the U.S. to discuss the nature of U.S. military presence after foreign troops withdraw in 2014. A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said the decision was taken over "contradictions" in the U.S. proposal of direct talks with the Taliban.
10. Obama has plans to cut U.S. nuclear arsenal, if Russia reciprocates.
President Obama plans to use a speech in Berlin on Wednesday to outline plans for further reductions in the American nuclear arsenal if Russia agrees to pare back its weapons at the same time.
(New York Times)