The Top 10 Stories of May 21, 2012

By Duane Shank 5-21-2012

Quote of the day.
“The medals are supposed to be for acts of heroism. I don''t feel like a hero. I don''t feel like I deserve them. I witnessed civilian casualties and civilians being arrested in what I consider an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation." - Zach LaPorte, who served with the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, on returning his medals at a rally in Chicago during NATO protests.
(Chicago Tribune)

1. NAACP backs same-sex marriage as civil right.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution. It also strongly affirmed the religious freedoms of all people.
(Associated Press)

2. Health secretary addresses health care, religious freedom in graduation speech.
In an anticipated and controversial address Friday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius delivered a speech that blended inspirational messages to graduates with a discussion of public policy's tough decisions, including health care and honoring religious freedom.
(CNN Belief Blog)

3. 2,000 convicted then exonerated in 23 years.
More than 2,000 people who were falsely convicted of serious crimes have been exonerated in the United States in the past 23 years, according to a new archive compiled at two universities.
(Associated Press)

4. Obama, G-8: Recovery takes both growth and cutting.
Confronting an economic crisis that threatens them all, President Obama and leaders of other world powers on Saturday declared that their governments must both spark growth and cut the debt that has crippled the European continent and put investors worldwide on edge.
(Christian Science Monitor)

5. Focus on Afghanistan at NATO summit.
NATO leaders began a two-day summit [in Chicago] Sunday that will finalize plans to turn control of Afghanistan over to its own security forces by the middle of next year, a milestone on the way to concluding the alliance’s combat role by the end of 2014.
(Washington Post)

6. Obama confident Afghans can take security lead.
President Barack Obama says Afghanistan is on track to place the entire country''s security under the lead of Afghan forces in 2013, relegating U.S.-led NATO troops to a support role a year ahead of the planned withdrawal of all NATO forces from Afghanistan.
(Associated Press)

7. Nato summit: U.S.-Pakistan rift widens.
A rift between the US and Pakistan appears to be widening at the Nato summit in Chicago – a dangerous development that could undermine Barack Obama's hopes for an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan.

8. U.S., allies plan to secure Syrian chemical arsenal.
The Obama administration is accelerating its planning with Middle Eastern allies for a series of potentially fast-moving crises in Syria in the coming months, including the possible loss of government control over some of the country’s scattered stocks of chemical weapons.
(Washington Post)

9. Dissident from China arrives in U.S.
Mr. Chen’s departure from Beijing on Saturday, and the arduous negotiations that led up to it, appeared to reflect careful calculations in both countries that the episode was not worth jeopardizing relations.
(New York Times)

10. Al-Qaeda attack on Yemen army parade causes carnage.
More than 90 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at a military parade rehearsal in Yemen''s capital, Sanaa, defence ministry officials say.

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