The Top 10 Stories of March 12, 2012

By Duane Shank 3-12-2012

Quote of the day.
“Part of it is being ready for cataclysm every day. I started carrying precisely to protect not just myself, but my family, and anyone around me who needs help." - Shane Gazda, a hospital maintenance engineer in North Carolina, on why he owns and carries a handgun.
(Christian Science Monitor)

1. Exodus signals Iraqi Christians' slow decline.
"Iraq’s dwindling Christians, driven from their homes by attacks and intimidation, are beginning to abandon the havens they had found in the country’s north, discouraged by unemployment and a creeping fear that the violence they had fled was catching up to them."
(New York Times)

2. Nigerian president condemns church attack.
"Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned Sunday''s bombing at a Catholic church and reaffirmed his government''s determination 'to end the spate of mindless attacks and killings.'"
(Al Jazeera)

3. Republican hopefuls make rounds in Miss., Ala.
"Mitt Romney professed his love for cheesy grits. Newt Gingrich denounced Hollywood''s portrayal of Christian values. And TV ads for Rick Santorum flooded living rooms from Birmingham, Ala., to Biloxi, Miss."
(USA Today)

4. Labor leaders plan new clout in effort for Obama.
"As the A.F.L.-C.I.O. prepares to endorse President Obama on Tuesday, labor leaders say they will mount their biggest campaign effort, with far more union members than ever before — at least 400,000, they say — knocking on voters’ doors to counter the well-endowed “super PACs” backing Republicans."
(New York Times)

5. US soldier's killing spree puts Afghanistan on a knife-edge.
"A US soldier has shot dead 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them children, in a night-time shooting spree in a village outside his base in southern Afghanistan, a rampage the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said was 'impossible to forgive.'"

6. Rogue attack sparks calls for U.S. exit from Afghanistan.
"The massacre of 16 villagers by a U.S. soldier has triggered angry calls for an immediate American exit from Afghanistan as Washington tries to negotiate a long-term presence to keep the country from sliding into chaos again."

7. Scores reported killed in two Syrian cities. 
"Dozens of people have been killed in two flashpoint cities in Syria, opposition activists say, hours after the UN special envoy to Syria met the country''s president in an effort to reach a diplomatic solution to end the violence."
(Al Jazeera)

8. U.S. and its allies consider military steps in Syria.
"The Obama administration and its allies and international partners have begun serious discussions about potential military involvement in Syria, even as they continue to press for nonviolent solutions to the carnage there."
(Washington Post)

9. Israel kills two militants in new air strikes on Gaza.
"Israeli air strikes have killed two Palestinian militants in Gaza as violence continues for a fourth day."

10. Japan marks tsunami anniversary with prayers and mourning.
"Sirens blared, trains stopped and mourners bowed their heads Sunday as Japan marked the first anniversary of a twinned disaster that killed about 19,000 and set off a nuclear emergency."
(Washington Post)

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