Quote of the day.
“We never would have expected a Democratic president — let alone one seeking to be ‘transformative’ — to open up the Arctic Ocean for drilling.” - Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club on the Obama administration’s decision to allow Shell to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic.
(New York Times)
1. Federal government wants to give states more power to combat food stamp fraud.
Food stamp recipients are ripping off the government for millions of dollars by illegally selling their benefit cards for cash — sometimes even in the open, on eBay or Craigslist — and then asking the government for replacement cards.
2. Romney calls education ‘civil rights issue of our era’ and urges shift.
Lamenting that millions of American children receive “a third world education,” Mitt Romney on Wednesday called for poor and disabled students to be able to use federal funds to attend any public, private or online school they choose.
(New York Times)
3. NYPD: Person implicated in Etan Patz death.
A law enforcement official says a man in custody who has implicated himself in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz was picked up late Wednesday in Camden, N.J., and has been tied to the case in the past.
4. Budget cuts could cost New Orleans its only daily newspaper.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune is facing massive budget cuts, including "wholesale layoffs" and a reduction in the publishing schedule that would leave the city without a daily print newspaper.
(The Atlantic Wire)
5. Europe girds for Greek exit.
European officials are stepping up contingency planning for a possible Greek exit from the euro zone, even as Europe's leaders struggled to overcome differences on how to resolve the currency bloc's crisis at a summit meeting here.
(Wall Street Journal)
6. Iran nuclear talks extended to second, extra day.
Talks in Baghdad on Iran's nuclear programme have gone into a second day unscheduled after diplomats failed to reach agreement.
7. Eight killed in drone strike in Pakistan's tribal region.
A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at a militant hideout in Pakistan's tribal region on Thursday, killing eight people, a senior local official said.
8. Egypt's open presidential race polarizes nation.
Egypt's wide-open presidential election, which was in its second day of voting Thursday, is showing how deeply polarized the nation has become, with backers of rival Islamists and former regime figures each vowing they cannot let the other rule.
9. Syria says sanctions have cost country $4 billion.
Syria's oil minister blamed international sanctions Wednesday for shortages of cooking gas and other basic goods, saying the measures have bled $4 billion from the nation''s ailing economy.
10. Global CO2 emissions hit record in 2011 led by China.
China spurred a jump in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to their highest ever recorded level in 2011, offsetting falls in the United States and Europe, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.