Quote of the day
"It seems that on Mother's Day, moms say, 'Let's all go to church.' But on Father's Day, dads say, 'I'm going to go play golf.'" - Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, on a new poll showing Mother’s Day is third in church attendance after Christmas and Easter.
1. Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad.
The rebellion of hundreds of thousands of Muslims against Assad that began in March 2011 has not seen Christians abandon their support for the Alawites, the Muslim sect to which Assad belongs and that has controlled Syria for decades.
2. GOP leaves debt accord in dust.
Moving right and bleeding moderate votes, Republicans narrowly won House approval Thursday of their plan to shift tens of billions from poverty programs to protect the Pentagon from automatic cuts under the August debt accords.
3. Extended jobless benefits cut in eight states.
More than 230,000 jobless Americans will lose their unemployment insurance by this weekend as reductions in the federal program that provides extended benefits to the long-term unemployed take broader effect.
4. JPMorgan discloses $2 billion in trading losses.
JPMorgan Chase, which emerged from the financial crisis as the nation’s biggest bank, disclosed on Thursday that it had lost more than $2 billion in trading, a surprising stumble that promises to escalate the debate over whether regulations need to rein in trading by banks.
(New York Times)
5. Same-sex marriage support shows pace of social change accelerating.
From the political arena to the courts, the emergence of same-sex marriage as a mainstream issue in less than a generation has upended convention, scrambled long-held assumptions and defied history.
(New York Times)
6. Occupy protesters plan to march without permits.
Occupy Chicago will join with fellow demonstrators in the large formal marches planned for next weekend's NATO summit but also plan their own protests, including one aimed at Boeing Co., organizers say.
7. Germany remains opposed to calls for economic stimulus.
French President-elect Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have each been prescribing the same salve — growth — to ease Europe’s economic ills. But the medicines vary sharply on either side of the Rhine.
8. Greek government talks in final stretch.
Greece's wrangling politicians were locked in last-ditch efforts Friday to form a coalition government, with chances of a deal appearing slim and the country's future in Europe's common currency at stake.
9. Suicide attack in Syria makes international action less likely.
Agreement on additional international action in Syria appeared more remote than ever following a massive suicide bombing on Thursday in Damascus, as foreign leaders pointed fingers of responsibility for the violence in opposite directions.
10. Palestinians press case of hunger strikers in Israeli prisons.
Dozens of Palestinians shut down the Red Cross office in this Palestinian city Thursday, while dozens more blocked the entrances to the Jerusalem offices of the European Union and the United Nations in a widening protest aimed at drawing attention to an epidemic of hunger strikes among prisoners held by Israel.