Quote of the day.
“Arizona's elected leaders should stop wasting the public's time, money, and patience trying to pass and enforce unfair laws.” Betty Guardado, Phoenix, Ariz., secretary-treasurer of Unite Here Local 631, after a three-judge appellate panel unanimously upheld an injunction preventing the state from enforcing a part of SB 1070 that would prohibit motorists from stopping traffic to solicit day laborers.
1. GOP seeks to smooth roughest cuts.
Even as the military would bear a $43 billion cut over just seven months, the new GOP measure released Monday would give the Pentagon much-needed funding for readiness. It would also ease the pain felt by critical agencies like the FBI and the Border Patrol.
2. Republicans fear fallout of cuts to health programs.
Anxiety is rising among House Republicans about a strategy of appeasement toward fiscal hard-liners that could require them to embrace not only the sequester but also sharp new cuts to federal health and retirement programs.
3. Cabinet picks could take on climate policy.
President Obama on Monday named two people to his cabinet who will be charged with making good on his threat to use the powers of the executive branch to tackle climate change and energy policy if Congress does not act quickly.
(New York Times)
4. Bipartisan group of senators reaches deal on gun trafficking.
A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal on a bill that would make it a federal crime to buy a gun for someone who isn't legally allowed to own one.
5. Obama pushing to diversify federal judiciary amid GOP delays.
The new wave of nominations is part of an effort by Obama to cement a legacy that long outlives his presidency and makes the court system more closely resemble the changing society it governs.
6. Cardinals move toward selection of new pope.
The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church moved deliberately but inexorably on Tuesday toward the selection of a new pope after the resignation of Benedict XVI, meeting for a third time for discussions and to hear speeches — both inspirational and informational.
(New York Times)
7. Early Kenyatta lead over Odinga in Kenya election.
Kenyans are awaiting results in their country's presidential election, after millions cast their votes on Monday. With over a third of polling stations reporting, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta held an early lead over his main rival, PM Raila Odinga.
8. Saudis, IAEA, voice doubt over Tehran's intentions.
The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency charged Iran Monday with using delaying tactics to put off inspection of a key military research site — just hours after Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister told Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran’s only interest in nuclear talks is “further negotiation” to give its nuclear program more time.
(Christian Science Monitor)
9. N. Korea vows to cancel Korean War cease-fire.
North Korea vowed Tuesday to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War, citing a U.S.-led push for punishing U.N. sanctions over its recent nuclear test and ongoing U.S.-South Korean joint military drills.
10. Dozens of Syrian troops killed in Iraq ambush.
Armed men from Syria have carried out an ambush in western Iraq killing 48 unarmed Syrian soldiers and nine Iraqi guards, the Iraqi defence ministry said.