The Top 10 Stories of March 19, 2012

By Duane Shank 3-19-2012

Quote of the day.
"Every time they use violence to put us down, it only increases the number of people that are empathetic to the cause. It adds fuel to the fire and draws attention to the movement.” - Ed Needham, Occupy Wall Street, as dozens of protesters were arrested when police cleared New York''s Zuccotti Park, where demonstrators had gathered for the movement''s six-month anniversary.

1. Thousands mourn Egypt's Coptic Pope Shenouda.
"Thousands of mourners have gathered at Cairo''s St. Mark''s Cathedral to pay final respects to Pope Shenouda III, the head of the Coptic Church who died on Saturday at the age of 88."
(Al Jazeera)

2. Many hope Pope Benedict will address tough issues in Cuba.
"For centuries, pilgrims have come to the Our Lady of Charity shrine with wishes for a cure for ill health, a better economy, and improved relationships. Now Cubans inside and outside the island also have a long list of wishes for Pope Benedict XVI when he visits Cuba to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of a statue of the Virgin."
(Miami Herald/McClatchy)

3. House GOP’s Ryan to unveil new budget.
"Congress is preparing to renew its bitter fight over government spending as both parties await the arrival of a new budget plan by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.)."
(Washington Post)

4. No 'spark' for Mitt Romney in Illinois.
"On primary eve Illinois remains in play, with Rick Santorum seemingly within striking distance and the former Massachusetts governor’s local supporters more nervous than they should be about Tuesday’s outcome."

5. Health-care law demonstrators reaching for broad political targets.
"When the Supreme Court holds three days of hearings on the constitutionality of the law next week, supporters and opponents will be out in full force."
(Washington Post)

6. Afghans suspect U.S. cover-up over soldier's killing spree.
"When the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, called for an investigation to determine whether a US soldier who massacred nine Afghan children and seven other civilians had acted alone, he was voicing a question on the lips of most Afghans."

7. Drones at issue as U.S. rebuilds ties to Pakistan.
"For the Obama administration, facing a faltering war effort and increasingly distrustful allies in Afghanistan, the covert C.I.A. drone strike campaign centered on North and South Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan has acquired new relevance."
(New York Times)

8.  Hawks steering debate on how to take on Iran.
"Even before President Obama declared this month that 'I have Israel’s back' in its escalating confrontation with Iran, pro-Israel figures like the evangelical Christian leader Gary L. Bauer and the conservative commentator William Kristol were pushing for more."
(New York Times)

9. Heavy fighting in Syria capital.
"A firefight has erupted in Damascus, in one of the fiercest clashes in the Syrian capital since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad''s rule began."

10. Villages razed in Sudan's South Kordofan.
"Thousands of people in the Sudanese border region of South Kordofan have fled their homes to the nearby mountains, fearing attacks by Sudanese forces that have left entire villages devastated."
(Al Jazeera)

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