Quote of the day.
"But more than anything, we must keep alive in the world the thirst for the Absolute. We must never allow a one-dimensional vision of the human person to prevail — a vision that reduces the person to what he produces and consumes." Pope Francis, in a meeting with the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Jain delegations that had come to the Vatican for his inauguration.
(Catholic News Service)
1. Senate passes government funding measure.
A short-term funding measure to keep the government operating beyond the end of this month cleared the Senate on Wednesday and is awaiting final passage in the House on Thursday to avert a shutdown.
2. House on track to pass budget plan with deep cuts.
A familiar budget plan to sharply cut safety-net programs for the poor and clamp down on domestic agencies performing the nuts-and-bolts programs of the government is cruising to passage in the tea party-flavored House.
3. Conservatives make moral case for reform.
Advocates of a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s immigration system are hoping to use their allies on the religious right to prod the Republican Party to embrace reform.
4. Number of hunger strikers surges at Guantánamo.
A hunger strike by detainees who have been held for years without trial at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has grown to involve at least 25 prisoners, the Defense Department disclosed Wednesday.
(New York Times)
5. Market gains pump CEO pay.
Early corporate filings detailing 2012 compensation show a growing swell of CEOs reaping $50 million or more, gains that could prove unmatched since the Internet IPO craze more than a decade ago.
6. Secret report warns of intelligence blind spots on China and Middle East.
A panel of White House advisers warned President Obama in a secret report that U.S. spy agencies were paying inadequate attention to China, the Middle East, and other national security flash points because they had become too focused on military operations and drone strikes.
7. Archbishop of Canterbury to be enthroned by a woman for first time.
At 3 p.m. amid African dancers and to the strains of Punjabi music, Justin Portal Welby will be formally enthroned as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans. The Venerable Sheila Watson, archdeacon of Canterbury, will take a central role in the ceremony, which marks the beginning of Welby's public ministry.
8. Obama urges Palestinians to return to peace talks.
President Barack Obama voiced opposition on Thursday to Israeli settlement building but pressed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to drop his demand for a freeze before Middle East peace talks can resume.
9. Calls for inquiry into Syria 'chemical weapon attack.’
Syria's government and opposition have called for an inquiry into an attack that seems to have involved chemical weapons, both sides blaming each other.
10. U.S. and Afghanistan reach deal on pullout of American special forces.
The U.S. military and the Afghan government have reached a deal on the pullout of American special operations forces and their Afghan counterparts from a strategic eastern province after complaints that they were involved in human rights abuses.