Quote of the Day.
"This is a momentous occasion when perhaps the will of God isn''t entirely clear to many of us. So I ask you for your prayers to help the Holy Spirit be present among us, to open our hearts and our minds to what is the will of God for his people throughout the world." Cardinal Francis George of Chicago on the opening of the conclave to select a new pope.
1. Cuts give Obama path to create leaner military.
At a time when $46 billion in mandatory budget cuts are causing anxiety at the Pentagon, administration officials see one potential benefit: there may be an opening to argue for deep reductions in programs long in President Obama’s sights, and long resisted by Congress.
(New York Times)
2. Life expectancy gap complicates budget debate.
Research tying longer life expectancy to a higher income has profound implications for battles over trimming entitlement programs and raising the retirement age.
3. Rules of engagement for cyberwarfare force still hard to define.
When Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, comes to the Hill on Tuesday, he will probably be asked to describe his plans for building a military force to defend the nation against cyberattacks.
4. Harriet Tubman park to be on Maryland land she worked as a slave.
Abolitionist Harriet Tubman''s struggle to help roughly 70 slaves escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad was remembered on Saturday at the groundbreaking of a Maryland state park in her honor.
5. Has abnormal weather become the new normal?
Those drought-damaged evergreens outside? Regional climatologists say to expect more in the years ahead. And the surreal mounds of snow now hiding shrubs that barely survived summer''s heat? Get used to that, too.
(Kansas City Star/McClatchy)
6. Christian protesters decry Muslim mob''s arson spree.
Outraged Pakistani Christians took to the streets of Lahore on Sunday, protesting a rash of violence against their community over the weekend. Demonstrators denounced the burning of more than 100 homes of Christians on Saturday — a spree spurred by allegations that a Christian man made remarks against the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
(CNN Belief Blog)
7. Afghan president lashes out at U.S., straining Hagel visit.
The often-volatile U.S. relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai grew increasingly strained Sunday as Karzai accused the United States and Taliban insurgents of having a secret understanding to foment violence as a pretext to keep foreign troops in Afghanistan.
8. S. Korea, U.S. begin drills as N. Korea threatens war.
Enraged over the South''s joint military drills with the United States and recent U.N. sanctions, Pyongyang has piled threat on top of threat, including vows to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S. and to scrap the nearly 60-year-old armistice that ended the Korean War.
9. Uhuru Kenyatta hails ''democracy triumph'' in Kenya election.
After being declared winner of Monday''s poll by the slimmest of margins — 50.07 percent — Mr Kenyatta said voters had upheld "respect for the rule of law," and promised to work with opponents.
10. Egyptian police go on strike.
Police officers in more than a third of Egyptian provinces have gone on strike, including in parts of Cairo and in Port Said, the troubled northern city where more than 50 people have died in the past month in clashes between police and protesters.