Quote of the day.
“I’m old, but I’m still able to do my duties.” - Pope Benedict XVI when Fidel Castro brought up their similar ages (both are 85) during their meeting in Havana.
1. House passes G.O.P. plan.
A fierce two-day debate over a Republican budget plan portrayed as either a path to prosperity or a road to ruin ended Thursday with House passage of a blueprint that would transform Medicare, cut domestic spending to levels not seen since World War II and order up a drastic overhaul of the tax code.
(New York Times)
2. If Supreme Court scraps health-care law, who wins politically?
After a rare three days of argument at the Supreme Court, President Obama’s health-care reform sits in limbo – and will stay there until June, when the court is expected to rule on its constitutionality.
(Christian Science Monitor)
3. New rules would make legal residency easier.
The Obama administration is proposing to make it easier for illegal immigrants who are family members of American citizens to apply for legal permanent residency.
4. Conservatives leading charge for same-sex marriage in Britain.
Americans watching the latest push for social change in Britain might feel as if they had stepped into an alternate political universe: Here, the Conservatives are leading the charge for same-sex marriage.
5. Clashes as Palestinians mark 'Land Day.'
Clashes have broken out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint on the outskirts of Jerusalem amid ''Land Day'' demonstrations.
6. Second Afghan insurgent group suspends peace talks.
Stalled peace efforts in Afghanistan suffered another setback on Thursday when a second insurgent faction — one that has squared off against both the American-led coalition and the Taliban — announced it was suspending formal peace negotiations with the Afghan government.
(New York Times)
7. U.S., Pakistan talking about changes in drone ops.
The Obama administration is talking with the Pakistanis about possible changes in the way the U.S. conducts air strikes against terrorists in Pakistan, including providing Pakistan advance notice of attacks, modifying the targets and changing how targets are determined.
8. Annan demands Syrian government begins ceasefire.
The UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, expects the government to implement his peace plan immediately.
9. Moment of truth approaches over Iran's nuclear program.
The most likely date and venue for the resumption of nuclear talks with Iran are April 14 in Istanbul, where the last round of negotiations collapsed over a year ago.
10. Japan will intercept North Korean rocket if necessary.
Japan says it will shoot down a North Korean rocket if necessary, as new satellite images appeared to show preparations for the launch next month.