Quote of the day.
"Unfortunately, the tendency is to thank a veteran for their service, pat them on the butt, and say: 'Go on, now.' But we all joined for the same reason; and just because you have your discharge papers doesn't mean the reason goes away, the sense of duty." - Dave Landymore, former Marine sergeant, on why he and other returned veterans are now working to revive inner-city neighborhoods.
(Christian Science Monitor)
1. Obama and Romney shun confrontation on religion.
For whatever reason, neither President Obama nor his Republican challenger is talking much about religion these days — neither about his own faith nor that of his opponent, or the social issues that motivate religious voters.
(Los Angeles Times)
2. Losing faith in Democrats' religious outreach.
Some religious leaders and scholars who backed Obama in 2008 are skeptical. They say the Democrats have, through neglect and lack of focus, squandered the substantial gains they made with religious moderates and worry it will hurt Obama in a tight race against Republican Mitt Romney.
3. Suicide bomber targets Nigeria church.
A suicide car bomber has struck near a church on the outskirts of the northern Nigeria, in the city of Bauchi, with witnesses and officials reporting at least 15 fatalities, not counting the suicide bomber, and more than 30 people injured.
4. Global economic struggles put pressure on political leaders.
Anemic job growth in the United States, a business slowdown in Asia and the ever-intensifying debt crisis in Europe are raising pressures on political leaders to take new actions to bolster the world economy.
5. Some lawmakers look for way out as defense cuts near.
On Jan. 2, national security is set to receive a heavy blow if Congress fails to intervene. That is when a 10-year, $600 billion, across-the-board spending cut is to hit the Pentagon, equal to roughly 8 percent of its current budget.
(New York Times)
6. Children of undocumented families ‘outing’ their illegal status.
Across the country, children of families who live in the United States illegally are “coming out” — marching behind banners that say “undocumented and unafraid,” staging sit-ins in federal offices, and getting arrested in the most defiant ways.
7. Keystone XL's foes plan online blackout to protest Canada bill.
Visit the Natural Resources Defense Council's website Monday and you can expect to find a black screen. More than 400 groups, including the National Wildlife Federation's Action Fund and 350.org, a leader in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, are doing the same thing.
(Los Angeles Times)
8. Political clashes and vow of appeal in verdict on Mubarak and aides.
Egypt’s military-led government said Sunday that it would appeal the weak verdicts delivered by a court on Saturday against former President Hosni Mubarak, his sons and top security officials of his government — verdicts that have intensified the polarization gripping Egypt two weeks before the runoff to decide Egypt’s first competitive presidential race.
(New York Times)
9. U.S. drone strike kills 15 in northwest Pakistan.
Rockets fired from a U.S. drone killed 15 people in northwest Pakistan on Monday, intelligence officials said, an attack likely to add to tensions between Washington and Islamabad amid a standoff over NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.
10. In Hanoi, small signs of trust.
The unlikely warming of relations between the two countries has accelerated during the past two years, because of worries on both side about China’s growing influence and military assertiveness.