The Top 10 Stories of March 29, 2012

By Duane Shank 3-29-2012

Quote of the day.
"As the father of a 6-year-old girl, I want to make sure the planet we leave her is at least as beautiful and healthy as the one we grew up on.” - Michael E. Mann, Penn State University, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with other scientists who participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

1. Pope criticises U.S. Cuba embargo.
US trade embargo imposed on Cuba, as he ends a visit to the island. The Pope called for greater rights in Cuba, saying he wanted a society in which no-one was denied basic freedoms.

2. Court closes review of health-care law
The Supreme Court closed an extraordinary three-day review of President Obama’s health-care law Wednesday, with its conservative majority signaling that it may be on the brink of a redefinition of the federal government’s power.
(Washington Post)

3. House ready to OK GOP budget.
Republicans are ready to ram through the House an election-year, $3.5 trillion budget that showcases their deficit-cutting plan for revamping Medicare and slicing everything from food stamps to transportation while rejecting President Barack Obama''s call to raise taxes on the rich.
(Associated Press)

4. Republicans argue detention reforms coddle criminals.
Republicans in Congress mocked the Obama administration''s plans to improve conditions for immigrants held in county jails and detention facilities Wednesday, saying that a raft of reforms written by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement amounts to coddling lawbreakers.
(McClatchy News)

5. Many think Bales case reflects a military pushed to the limit.
None but the most callous would excuse such an act as Bales was formally charged with Friday. But a growing chorus of analysts sees an explanation: The peacetime-sized U.S. military, and the Army in particular, has been pushed through the combat meat grinder long enough that the unspeakable becomes the unavoidable.
(Kansas City Star/McClatchy)

6. Scientists warn of climate-change onslaught.
Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and heat waves that nations should prepare for an unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters, an international panel of climate scientists said in a new report issued Wednesday.
(Chicago Sun-Times)

7. Canada: A generation battle brews over budget.
The budget aims to place government and the economy on a sound footing for years to come. But there is a price, as generation is pitted against generation, one kind of immigrant against another, the growing, prosperous parts of the country against regions in decline.
(Toronto Globe & Mail)

8. U.S. suspends food aid to North Korea.
The US has suspended food aid to North Korea because Pyongyang has broken its promise to refrain from missile launches and cannot be trusted to deliver the aid to those who need it,
(Al Jazeera)

9. Arabs, U.N. push Syria to act on peace plan.
Arab leaders pressed President Bashar al-Assad to act quickly on a U.N.-backed peace plan he has agreed to, having dropped their demand that he leave power, as fighting between Syrian security forces and rebels killed at least 22 people on Thursday.

10. In Congo, self-defense can offer its own risk.
At the very least, relief officials say, self-defense militias have worsened an already grave humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the world’s poorest countries.
(New York Times)

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