The Top 10 Stories of June 21, 2012

By Duane Shank 6-21-2012

Quote of the day.
"Since then, progress has been too slow - we have not gone far enough down the road. We are now in sight of a historic agreement - the world is waiting to see if words will translate into action, as we know they must." Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary General, speaking to the Rio+20 sustainable development summit with a reference to the first Earth Summit.

1. Key Minnesota pastors opt out of marriage fight.
Two key conservative evangelical leaders in Minnesota are not endorsing the marriage amendment or directing followers to vote for it, marking the first time during debate over the measure that major faith leaders have not encouraged members to take a stand on the issue.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune

2. House panel recommends contempt vote on Eric Holder.
A congressional committee voted Wednesday to recommend that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. be held in contempt after the Obama administration, citing executive privilege for the first time, refused to turn over documents pertaining to a botched gun-trafficking operation.
(Washington Post)

3. Senate bill brings big changes to farm policy.
Briefly putting election-year politics aside, the Senate on Thursday moved toward strong approval of legislation assuring that farmers hit by bad times will be protected and that millions of others hurt by the bad economy won''t go hungry.
(Associated Press

4. C.I.A. said to aid in steering arms to Syrian opposition.
A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.
(New York Times

5. Faltering Iran talks stoke fears of new conflict.
The near-collapse of nuclear talks with Iran has ushered in what experts on Wednesday described as a dangerous new phase in the decade-long standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program.
(Washington Post

6. Egypt delays runoff result as protests loom.
Officials have postponed declaring a winner in Egypt''s disputed presidential election, sending political tensions soaring as the country awaits its first new leader in three decades. Adding to the confusion and uncertainty on Wednesday were conflicting reports about the health of Hosni Mubarak,
(Al Jazeera

7. Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law.
The U.S. policy of using drone strikes to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the second world war, a UN investigator has said.

8. U.S. weighs plan to send military aircraft to aid Yemen.
Senior U.S. commanders say deploying cargo aircraft could be key to a U.S.-backed offensive in Yemen against Al Qaeda militants. Critics warn of a backlash.
(Los Angeles Times

9. El Salvador murders drop as gang truce.
Murders in El Salvador have dropped from about 14 a day in March to five, as a truce between the country''s powerful street gangs passed 100 days. Police said that overall this year killings had fallen nearly 24 percent.

10. Ecuador set to make Assange decision.
Ecuador''s deputy foreign minister says president is considering WikiLeaks founder''s application for political asylum.

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