The Top 10 Stories of September 4, 2012

By Duane Shank 09-04-2012

Quote of the day.
“The hazard from this storm is still very real. One need only look at the satellite imagery to see that this is a very slow tropical storm hammering communities across the Gulf Coast.” Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services for the Red Cross, on the continued threat of flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac.
(McClatchy News)

1. Dems open convention playing defense of Obama.
Democrats open their national convention Tuesday in defense of a president who carries both the power and the burden of incumbency, offering President Barack Obama as the best choice to revive the ragged U.S. economy and asking Americans to be patient with incomplete results so far.
(Associated Press)

2. Black church leaders try to inspire congregants to vote for Obama.
Two dozen of this region’s most influential black pastors sat in the cramped conference room of a suburban Baptist church last week, brainstorming how to inspire congregants still dismayed by President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage.
(Washington Post)

3. Californians debate death penalty as vote to end it nears.
Sharron Mankins, McGregor Scott and Bill Babbitt each have watched a man die inside the death chamber at San Quentin State Prison, and each has a strong view on whether voters should end California''s death penalty in November.
(Sacramento Bee/McClatchy)

4. Project aims to harness the power of waves.
About 15 years ago, this environmentally conscious state with a fir tree on its license plates began pushing the idea of making renewable energy from the ocean waves that bob and swell on the Pacific horizon. 
(New York Times)

5. With military at ‘turning point,’ Panetta avoids bold moves.
For most of the past year, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has stressed that the vast military complex over which he presides is at a “strategic turning point.” A decade of grinding guerrilla war is drawing to a close. Defense budgets are shrinking. The implication is that major changes are coming to the military.
(Washington Post)

6. Christian girl hailed as ''daughter of nation'' by senior Pakistani cleric.
The Christian girl who was allegedly framed for blasphemy by her local mullah has been hailed as a "daughter of the nation" by one of Pakistan''s most senior Islamic clerics, who also vowed to guarantee her safety if she is eventually released from prison.

7. ''Record numbers'' of refugees fleeing Syria.
The UN says more than 100,000 people fled their country in August — the highest monthly total since the uprising began.
(Al Jazeera)

8. U.S. nears deal for $1 billion in Egypt debt relief.
The Obama administration is close to a deal with Egypt''s new government for $1 billion in debt relief, a senior U.S. official said on Monday, as Washington seeks to help Cairo shore up its ailing economy in the aftermath of its pro-democracy uprising.

9. U.S. vehicle is rammed by a bomber in Pakistan.
A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a sport utility vehicle belonging to the United States Consulate in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Monday morning, Pakistani and American officials said, in one of the most brazen attacks against Americans in the country in recent years.
(New York Times

10. Quebec elections arrive with chance that separatists will govern.
Voters in Quebec head to the polls on Tuesday in an election that may see a separatist party return to power, potentially placing the French-speaking province on course for another referendum to break away from Canada.

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