The Top 10 Stories of June 21, 2013

By Duane Shank 6-21-2013

Quote of the day.
“The Catholic schools have been a pipeline to opportunity for generations. It gave people like me the chance to be successful. It provided me and my brother with an incredible environment of security. Not every school provides that.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, on a return to Blessed Sacrament School in the South Bronx, where she attended and which is now slated for closing by the Archdiocese of New York.
(New York Times)

1. 70 votes now possible for immigration deal.
The Senate Gang of Eight edged closer to supermajority support on its immigration bill with Thursday’s breakthrough agreement on border security and other measures meant to attract wavering Republican senators.

2. In surprise move, House defeats farm bill.
A broad five-year farm bill went down to a surprise defeat in the House on Thursday when Republican conservatives revolted against the legislation, arguing that it would cost too much, while Democrats defected, saying it would not spend enough on their priorities.
(Washington Post)

3. Texas poised to execute 500th prisoner as lawyers fight to save her life.
Lawyers in Texas are fighting to save the life of a female prisoner scheduled to become the 500th person to be executed by the state since the death penalty was reinstated in America in 1976.

4. After years of trying to change sexual orientations, group will disband.
On the opening night of the group’s 38th annual conference here, Exodus International announced that the organization would disband, amid growing skepticism among its top officials and board members that sexual attractions can be changed.
(New York Times)

5. Military says law barring U.S. aid to rights violators hurts training mission.
A 16-year-old law that bars American aid to foreign security forces that violate human rights is drawing unusual fire from some top military commanders who say it undermines their ability to train the troops to fight militants and drug traffickers.
(New York Times)

6. Taliban office row puts talks with U.S. on hold.
Peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban in Qatar are still on hold, with a planned meeting getting cancelled because of Afghanistan''s objections over the flag and nameplate on the Taliban''s new office in Doha.
(Al Jazeera)

7. Skeptics hit lack of transparency in Syrian chemical weapons claim.
Despite months of laboratory testing and scrutiny by top U.S. scientists, the Obama administration’s case for arming Syria’s rebels rests on unverifiable claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, according to diplomats and experts.
(Washington Post)

8. Brazil protests: president to hold emergency meeting.
Brazil''s president, Dilma Rousseff, and key ministers are to hold an emergency meeting on Friday following a night of protests that saw Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echo with percussion grenades and swirl with teargas as riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations in more than two decades.

9. Nearing one year in, Egypt’s leader is besieged by critics.
As the one-year anniversary of Mr. Morsi’s inauguration as Egypt’s first freely elected president approaches, he faces widespread discontent from a swath of society and stinging grass-roots campaigns that have undermined his ability to wield power and address the country’s most pressing problems.
(New York Times)

10. Violence against women worldwide is 'epidemic.'
More than one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, a report by the World Health Organization and other groups says.

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