The Top 10 Stories of September 19, 2012

By Duane Shank 9-19-2012

Quote of the day.
"We want to teach the community how to defend themselves, how to answer to police, how to be prepared, and to have confidence that they're going to have help." Leticia Ramirez, Phoenix, Ariz., on educating immigrants to respectfully stand their ground against police by remaining largely silent as the “show me your papers” provision goes into effect.
(Associated Press)

1. Teachers, students return to Chicago public schools.
Delegates for the Chicago Teachers Union voted Tuesday to call off their seven-day strike, sending some 350,000 public schools students back to class Wednesday morning and ending the daily scene of teachers dressed in red picketing their schools.
(Chicago Tribune)

2. Romney says remarks on voters help clarify position.
Mitt Romney on Tuesday fully embraced the substance of his secretly recorded comments that 47 percent of Americans are too dependent on government, saying that his views helped define the philosophical choice for voters in his campaign against President Obama.
(New York Times)

3. Pennsylvania voter ID law sent back to lower court.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday called for more hearings on whether a new Republican-backed voter-ID law can be implemented this fall without disenfranchising voters who currently lack the needed photo identification.
(Washington Post)

4. Congress finishes up truncated schedule to campaign full time.
Congress will meet for only a few final days this week to enable lawmakers to campaign full time in the battle for control of Congress, leaving much business undone until after the election.
(McClatchy/Tribune Co.)

5. A comedown for America's defense lobby.
To grasp how much the budget wars have altered the natural order of things in Washington, consider this: One of the most powerful lobbies in town, the defense industry, is feeling a bit powerless.

6. Race is on as ice melt reveals Arctic treasures.
At stake are the Arctic’s abundant supplies of oil, gas and minerals that are, thanks to climate change, becoming newly accessible along with increasingly navigable polar shipping shortcuts.
(New York Times)

7. Taliban focuses on NATO transition, not territory.
U.S. military and intelligence officials believe that Taliban commanders, driven by a combination of desperation and savvy, have started assigning more of their suicide fighters to conduct audacious attacks against prominent targets across the country, including the U.S. Embassy and well-fortified NATO bases.
(Washington Post)

8. Myanmar’s opposition leader urges end to sanctions.
Myanmar’s opposition leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, called for the lifting of American sanctions against her country on Tuesday, beginning an emotional visit to the United States that punctuated the remarkable shift in relations with Myanmar over the past year.
(New York Times)

9. Damascus suburb sees heavy fighting.
Activists said government forces were closing in on Hajar al-Aswad, a southern suburb of Damascus, and the situation for residents was desperate.

10. Security concerns end people-to-people programs.
Apart from losing valuable on-the-ground perspective of the new political realities of the Middle East, the stringent new security precautions will hamper the government’s ability to use American soft power, the quiet infusing of U.S. values into societies struggling to find new identities—and new relationships with the United States—after decades of autocracy.

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