Quote of the day.
“God is not necessary, but he is inevitable. He is wholly other and wholly present. Faith in him, the conversion of our human reality, both culturally and existentially, is the demand he still makes upon us.” Gabriel Vahanian, a theologian, from his 1964 book, “Wait Without Idols.” His critique of attempts to trivialize and modernize Christianity led to the so-called “death of God” movement in the 1960s. Vahanian died Thursday at the age of 85.
(New York Times)
1. Congress comes back to a face-off with angry farmers.
When Congress returns to business this week, it will be met not by the Code Pink antiwar protesters or the Tea Party supporters who often gathered near the Capitol last year. Instead, farmers will be out in force, rallying for a bill that lawmakers failed to pass before they recessed five weeks ago.
(New York Times)
2. The fall brawl begins in 10 battleground states.
Get ready for an all-out brawl in 10 too-close-to-call battleground states as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney begin a two-month sprint to Election Day.
3. A tight election may be tangled in legal battles.
The November presidential election, widely expected to rest on a final blitz of advertising and furious campaigning, may also hinge nearly as much on last-minute legal battles over when and how ballots should be cast and counted, particularly if the race remains tight in battleground states.
(New York Times)
4. Food banks run short as feds give out less.
Shoppers are not the only ones feeling the squeeze of rising food prices. Shelves are going bare in food banks and pantries as more market demand for food means the federal government is buying less produce, meat and dairy products to give to the needy.
5. Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years.
Chicago teachers began walking the picket line for the first time in 25 years Monday morning, leaving parents to scramble for alternatives for their children.
6. War-weary US is numbed to drumbeat of troop deaths.
It was another week at war in Afghanistan, another string of American casualties, and another collective shrug by a nation weary of a faraway conflict whose hallmark is its grinding inconclusiveness.
7. Sections of Taliban ready to accept U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
Some senior Taliban figures are ready to negotiate a ceasefire and might be ready to accept a long-term US military presence in Afghanistan as part of a comprehensive peace deal, according to a report to be published on Monday based on interviews with Taliban officials and negotiators.
8. Peaceful protests a big risk in Syria.
Syria’s uprising, which began 18 months ago with peaceful protests, has been overtaken by bloodshed as the country spirals deeper into civil war. Yet the nonviolent movement continues in Damascus, though sometimes in such a fleeting fashion that you might miss it if you blink.
9. Pakistan blasphemy case girl freed from jail.
A Christian girl accused of blasphemy in Pakistan has been released from jail in Rawalpindi, a prison official has said. Mushtaq Awan said the teenage girl left the prison in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near the capital, Islamabad, on Saturday afternoon.
10. Israel''s defence plans reinforced against possible Iranian counterattack.
Israel has stepped up its home front defence measures against possible retaliatory attacks amid continued speculation about an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear sites.