Quote of the day.
“Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in her dissenting opinion on the Voting Rights Act decision by the Supreme Court.
1. BREAKING NEWS: Court overturns DOMA, declines to rule on Calif. Prop 8.
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California's gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban. … The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health, and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people.
2. G.O.P. in House leaves immigration bill in doubt.
With the Senate days away from passing the most significant immigration legislation in a generation, House Republicans say they feel no pressure to act quickly on a similar measure, leaving the fate of the bill very much in doubt despite solid bipartisan Senate support.
(New York Times)
3. On climate change, Obama bypasses Congress with ambitious plan.
President Obama delivered his most forceful push for action on global warming on Tuesday, declaring that his administration would impose tighter pollution controls on coal- and gas-fired utilities and establish strict conditions for approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
4. States promise quick action on election laws.
Across the South, Republicans are working to take advantage of a new political landscape after a divided U.S. Supreme Court freed all or part of 15 states, many of them in the old Confederacy, from having to ask Washington's permission before changing election procedures in jurisdictions with histories of discrimination.
5. Army to cut its forces by 80,000 in 5 years.
Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said Tuesday that the Army would institute the largest organizational change since World War II by eliminating combat forces from 10 bases across the United States, part of a planned reduction of 80,000 active-duty troops over the next five years.
(New York Times)
6. Obama, off to Africa, aims to reenergize U.S. role there.
President Obama will emphasize benefits of partnering with the U.S. on economic and social development, during his three-nation trip to sub-Saharan Africa. Rising disillusionment with other partners, such as China, may make that idea a slightly easier sell, experts say.
(Christian Science Monitor)
7. Labor returns to Kevin Rudd in bid to avoid election wipeout.
Labor has deposed Australia’s first female prime minister and resurrected her predecessor Kevin Rudd in a desperate bid to avoid annihilation at the upcoming election.
8. Taliban's divided tactics raise doubts over talks.
For officials watching the talks, those contradictions offer a picture of a top Taliban leadership taking advantage of two different tracks — orchestrating the fighting element even while setting up a new international diplomatic foothold in Doha. This complicates efforts to pin down the insurgents’ true goals.
(New York Times)
9. Egyptians await Morsi speech amid turmoil.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is set to address the nation amid growing calls for him to step down. Fears of a showdown in the streets between Morsi's Islamist supporters and a broad coalition of the opposition parties on Wednesday have led people to stock up on food and buy up fuel supplies.
10. Brazil Congress rejects controversial amendment.
Brazil's Congress has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that was a key grievance of protesters who took to streets across the country.