The Top 10 Stories of March 23, 2012

By Duane Shank 3-23-2012

Quote of the day.
"If he isn't made a saint, the Vatican is underestimating his staying power, the message of social justice. It transcends the civil war and it's a universal message." Nancy Kelsey of Detroit, speaking of Archbishop Oscar Romero, martyred 32 years ago tomorrow, whose memories still live among Salvadorans who witnessed the war, and whose message now resonates with their U.S.-born children.
(Catholic News Service)

1. Fury over Travyon Martin shooting grows as police chief steps down.
The aftershocks of Trayvon Martin's killing continued to reverberate Thursday from Sanford to South Florida, as the embattled police chief and state attorney overseeing the investigation stepped down hours after more than 1,000 Miami-Dade high school students staged a walkout to protest the lack of criminal charges in the case.
(McClatchy News)

2. Soldier faces 17 murder counts in Afghan killings.
Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of killing Afghan civilians in a shooting rampage in Kandahar province last week, will be charged with 17 counts of murder, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

3. 'Hell no, we won't glow.'
A 93-year-old anti-nuclear activist was among more than 130 protesters arrested at the corporate headquarters of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Thursday, the first day of the plant's operation after the expiration of its 40-year license.

4. U.S. inches toward goal of energy independence.
Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources.
(New York Times)

5. Water wars between countries could be just around the corner.
Water wars could be a real prospect in coming years as states struggle with the effects of climate change, growing demand for water and declining resources, the [UK]  secretary of state for energy and climate change warned on Thursday.

6. General says Afghans need big U.S. force beyond 2012.
The senior allied commander in Afghanistan suggested on Thursday that he might not advocate any further drawdown of the American force in Afghanistan going into 2013 once the so-called surge forces ordered by President Obama leave this fall.
(New York Times)

7. Syrian rebels running out of supplies.
Syrian rebels battling the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad are running out of ammunition as black market supplies dry up, neighboring countries tighten their borders and international promises of help fail to materialize
(Washington Post)

8. Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent.
The U.S. and its allies generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not yet decided to build one and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

9. International condemnation for Mali coup.
The UN Security Council has condemned a coup in the West African nation of Mali, while top officials said fallout from the conflict in Libya had increased the frustration of soldiers who toppled the president.
(Al Jazeera)

10. Tibetan self-immolations rise as China tightens grip.
Over the past year 29 Tibetans, seven of them in the last three weeks, have chosen a similarly agonizing, self-annihilating protest against Chinese policies. Of those, 22 have died.
(New York Times)

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