Quote of the day.
"When everyone started carrying their own communication and telecommunications on their bodies, the boundaries between work and life collapsed." Rick Segal, president of a global ad agency, on the effect of smartphones and tablets on workers.
1. Rand Paul filibusters over U.S. drone hits.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul staged the longest talking filibuster in recent Senate memory from Wednesday into early Thursday, railing with his colleagues for more than 12 hours against what they called the danger of drone strikes to U.S. citizens on American soil.
2. Administration debates stretching 9/11 law to go after new al-Qaeda offshoots.
A new generation of al-Qaeda offshoots is forcing the Obama administration to examine whether the legal basis for its targeted killing program can be extended to militant groups with little or no connection to the organization responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
3. Senate committee starting votes on curbing guns.
President Barack Obama's prospects for winning near-universal background checks for gun purchases seemed shaky as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepared for Congress' first votes on curbing firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.
4. House G.O.P. plans a budget that retains tax increases and Medicare cuts.
House Republicans will preserve Medicare cuts that their presidential nominee loudly denounced last year and accept tax increases they sternly opposed just months ago in a new tax-and-spending blueprint that would bring the federal budget into balance by 2023.
(New York Times)
5. With positions to fill, employers wait for perfection.
American employers have a variety of job vacancies, piles of cash, and countless well-qualified candidates. But despite a slowly improving economy, many companies remain reluctant to actually hire, stringing job applicants along for weeks or months before they make a decision.
(New York Times)
6. North Korea ramps up nuclear rhetoric.
North Korea has ramped up rhetoric ahead of a U.N. vote on sanctions in response to its nuclear test. Accusing the U.S. of pushing to start a war, it vowed to exercise its right to launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack against its aggressors.
7. U.S. seeks better ties with Venezuela, but says they may not come soon.
The Obama administration is treading carefully in response to the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, extending an olive branch while warning there may not be any early improvement in relations between the two countries.
8. Afghan dynamics altering U.S. efforts to wind down war.
U.S. efforts to wind down the 12-year war are being altered by local politics and an increasingly assertive Karzai, who in recent weeks has issued orders to limit coalition airstrikes and bring under Afghan control the various unofficial militias recruited by coalition forces.
(Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times)
9. Egypt court suspends April elections.
The Cairo Administrative Court said the electoral law promulgated by President Mohammed Morsi needed to be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court.
10. Syria rebels urged to release UN peacekeepers.
Armed fighters linked to the Syrian opposition have detained about 21 U.N. peacekeepers in the increasingly volatile zone separating Israeli and Syrian troops on the Golan Heights.