Quote of the day.
“The future of Islam here in Mali rests on many things, and it is threatened. We need a stable government, a functioning democracy and an end to illiteracy so that people can actually read the Qu''ran for themselves. Our Islam needs to continue to be an Islam of tolerance or we will all be pushed towards violence." Shiekh Thiermo Thiam, head of the Sufi Tidjania sect in Mali, on the threat of extremist ideologies to a tradition of religious tolerance.
1. U.S. employers add 165k jobs; rate falls to 7.5 pct.
U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.
2. There may be millions more poor people in the U.S. than you think.
It is responsible for an estimated half-trillion dollars in federal spending every year, is hated by nearly everyone who studies it and is based on an American lifestyle older than the space program. Yet the figure known as the “poverty line” is almost certainly here to stay.
3. Biden plans fresh gun control push.
Vice President Joe Biden is planning a new gun control offensive – one he told a group of law enforcement officials he hasn’t informed President Barack Obama about yet.
4. Medicaid expansion remains in limbo as time runs short.
In the closing days of their legislative sessions, lawmakers in more than a dozen states are struggling with whether to expand Medicaid under the federal health-care law, with many of them leaning against participating in a program that is key to President Obama’s aim of extending coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans.
5. Proposal for changes in food aid sets off infighting in Congress.
A proposal by the Obama administration to overhaul the international food aid program has set off a jurisdictional fight among members of several House and Senate committees, threatening to derail the most significant change to the program since it was created nearly 60 years ago.
(New York Times)
6. President Obama agrees trade boost in Mexico visit.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto have agreed to boost trade and create jobs on both sides of the border.After talks in Mexico City, Mr. Obama said illegal immigration to the U.S. was at a historic low due to the strength of the Mexican economy.
7. U.S. drone strikes being used as alternative to Guantánamo.
The lawyer who first drew up White House policy on lethal drone strikes has accused the Obama administration of overusing them because of its reluctance to capture prisoners that would otherwise have to be sent to Guantánamo Bay.
8. Bangladesh building collapse death toll passes 500.
The death toll from the collapse of an eight-story factory building near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, has passed 500, officials say. Another 29 bodies were pulled from the rubble of the Rana Plaza building in Savar overnight, bringing the total to 507.
9. White House warned on imminent Arctic ice death spiral.
Senior U.S. government officials are to be briefed at the White House this week on the danger of an ice-free Arctic in the summer within two years.
10. Hagel confirms U.S. is considering arming Syrian rebels.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed Thursday that the Obama administration was rethinking its opposition to arming the rebels in Syria’s civil war, although he said that no decisions had been made.
(New York Times)