The Top 10 Stories of May 23, 2013

By Duane Shank 5-23-2013

Quote of the day.
"Too many governments are abusing human rights in the name of immigration control — going well beyond legitimate border control measures. These measures not only affect people fleeing conflict. Millions of migrants are being driven into abusive situations, including forced labour and sexual abuse, because of anti-immigration policies which means they can be exploited with impunity." Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, on AI’s annual report showing that theworld has become an increasingly dangerous place for refugees and migrants.

1. Twister response goes ecumenical.

If the deadly Oklahoma tornado has a silver lining, it may be the ecumenical spirit driving the response and recovery efforts of local churches, local ministers say.
(Associated Baptist Press)

2. U.S. for first time acknowledges role in deaths of Americans in drone strikes.
The Obama administration confirmed for the first time on Wednesday that four Americans have died in U.S. drone strikes since 2009, but it sought to justify the killing of only one – a senior leader of al Qaida’s Yemen-based affiliate – and said nothing about the other three except to acknowledge indirectly that they’d been killed by accident. 
(McClatchy News)

3. Obama, in a shift, to limit targets of drone strikes.
President Obama plans to open a new phase in the nation’s long struggle with terrorism on Thursday by restricting the use of unmanned drone strikes that have been at the heart of his national security strategy and shifting control of them away from the C.I.A. to the military.
(New York Times)

4. Immigration vote search moves to full Senate.
Many of the almost two dozen Republicans identified as possible supporters by the Gang of Eight are demanding changes that would make the bill significantly more conservative.

5. Legal battle over contraceptive mandate intensifies.
Religiously devout business owners are waging a broad rebellion against providing their employees with contraceptive coverage, bringing dozens of lawsuits that seem certain to land the issue before the Supreme Court.
(Washington Post)

6. Though enrolling more poor students, 2-year colleges get less of federal pie.
Community colleges have received a declining share of government spending on higher education over the last decade even as their student bodies have become poorer and more heavily African-American and Latino.
(New York Times)

7. ''Barbaric attack'' in London prompts meeting on terror.
In an attack that raised new fears of terrorism in Britain, a man walking near a military barracks in south London on Wednesday was rammed by a car and then hacked to death by two knife-wielding assailants, according to witness accounts carried by British news media.
(New York Times)

8. Nuclear watchdog raises Iranian plutonium concern.
While the presidential election campaign gets underway in Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency has produced its latest quarterly report on the country''s nuclear program, which does so much to shape the backdrop to Iranian politics — and not in a good way.

9. Israel finding itself drawn into Syria’s turmoil.
For more than two years, Israeli leaders have insisted they had no intention of intervening in the civil war raging in neighboring Syria, but they vowed to stop sophisticated weapons from being transferred to Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia group, and to respond to intentional fire into their territory.
(New York Times)

10. UN and World Bank in DR Congo peace push.
The U.N. and World Bank chiefs are visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)  amid reports of fresh fighting in the country’s east which has sent thousands fleeing. Ban Ki-moon and Jim Yong-kim arrived in Kinshasa, the capital, on Wednesday, embarking on a trip largely seen as a fresh push for peace and development.
(Al Jazeera)


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