Quote of the day.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and then the total — all of these acts — will be written in the history of this generation.” Robert F. Kennedy, died June 6, 1968 after being shot the previous evening; from a speech in Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966.
1. Obama's choices reflect change in foreign tone.
President Obama named Susan E. Rice and Samantha Power to major national security posts on Wednesday, promoting two outspoken voices for humanitarian intervention on a foreign policy team known for its deep caution in dealing with conflicts abroad.
(New York Times)
2. Rep. Raul Labrador exits bipartisan House talks on immigration.
Rep. Raul Labrador, one of Congress’s strongest conservative voices in the fight for an immigration overhaul, is walking away from bipartisan talks over disagreements on providing healthcare coverage to those in the United States illegally.
3. Looming food-stamp cuts split Democrats, anger anti-hunger groups.
Billions of dollars in funding cuts for food stamps, contained in bills moving through Congress, have split Democratic lawmakers and angered advocates for the poor, who criticize the cuts as heartless attempts to reduce the federal budget deficit.
4. Report: Seniors at financial risk.
Nearly half of the nation’s elderly population is “economically vulnerable” and would be particularly hard hit by even modest changes in the Social Security and Medicare programs being considered to slow the growth of the nation’s long-term debt.
5. NC repeals law allowing racial bias claim in death penalty challenges.
A law that allowed death-row inmates to challenge their sentences based on racial bias claims was repealed by the North Carolina legislature on Wednesday, paving the way for executions to resume in a state that has 152 people on death row.
(New York Times)
6. Obama, Xi summit could help define U.S.-China relationship for years to come.
President Obama and his new Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will retreat to the California desert this weekend for an unusual series of meetings that could help define one of the world’s most important relationships for years to come.
7. Assad's rearmed and regrouped forces sense turn of the tide.
Wednesday's scenes in the central town of Qusair, which was retaken by President Bashar al-Assad's forces after a two-week battle, certainly represent a significant defeat for the rebels, who are outgunned, divided among themselves, and still uncertain of gaining wider international support.
8. Protest group gives Turkish official a list of demands.
With a measure of calm returning to a city that for days has been a cauldron of antigovernment passions, representatives of a group that helped incite protests that have been roiling Turkey opened dialogue on Wednesday with the government.
(New York Times)
9. Egypt's gathering economic gloom leaves millions facing food shortages.
As post-revolution Egypt faces its worst financial crisis since the 1930s, food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty rates are rising.
10. North, South Korea move to end rupture in ties.
North and South Korea announced on Thursday they were planning to hold talks for the first time since February 2011, signaling attempts to repair ties that have been ruptured for months.