Monthly Archives: March 2012

Daily News Summary Headlines 03/30/2012

Friday, Mar.30, 2012


U.S. House Republicans drew a bright line in the election-year battle over government debt, passing a budget calling for more than $5 trillion in spending cuts.

Congress was able to avert a disaster for construction jobs and a Federal Highway Administration shutdown. This week’s wrangling to get that far was only a taste of what’s to come. Before the House and the Senate can pass a long-term transportation bill, lawmakers will have to overcome differences over how much to spend, how many years to fund and how to pay for somewhere between $109 billion and $260 billion for highways, bridges and transit.

Tests by the Environmental Protection Agency of water in Dimock, Pennsylvania, found elevated levels of methane consistent with leakage from gas drilling nearby, according to scientists who reviewed the data. Results from the first 11 wells tested by the EPA found one with a methane level of 52 parts per million, which could be explosive, and at least three others above the state standard of 7 milligrams per liter, according to Ronald Bishop, a chemist at the State University of New York’s College at Oneonta. The findings raise questions about the EPA’s March 15 statement to Dimock residents that their water didn’t pose a health risk, Bishop said.

Consumer spending in the U.S. rose 0.8% in February by the most in seven months, showing the biggest part of the economy is strengthening.

European inflation slowed less than economists forecast in March as rising energy costs countered the effects of a cooling economy.

China Communications Construction Co. (1800), the nation’s biggest builder by market value, plans to more than double the assets of a unit managing toll-roads and bridges to shield earnings from swings in construction demand.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which survived the subprime mortgage crisis by making bets on a housing decline, is raising money for a new fund that will buy home-loan bonds to benefit from an improving real-estate market.

AP Top Stories

While the rest of us have to wait until June, the justices of the Supreme Court will know the likely outcome of the historic health care case by the time they go home this weekend.

Osama bin Laden fathered four children as he hid out in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks, his youngest wife told interrogators, according to a police report seen by AFP on Friday.

The Islamists whom Gaddafi worked hard to keep under lock or underground are among the key architects of a new Libya.

Scientists have identified a total of nine “super-Earths” — and there could be billions more.

Governors from three meat-producing states today defended the company that makes lean finely textured beef, which has been nicknamed “pink slime,” after a walk through the company’s plant accompanied by ABC News.

The jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery drawing Friday will reach $540 million — the largest ever in history — triggering lottery mania across the United States.

An Afghan policeman shot to death nine of his fellow officers as they slept in a village in an eastern Taliban stronghold on Friday, police said, blaming the attack on the insurgents.

Apple Inc and its main contract manufacturing Foxconn agreed to tackle violations of conditions among the 1.2 million workers assembling iPhones and iPads in a landmark decision that could change the way Western companies do business in China.

The founder of the main manufacturer of “pink slime,” the ammonia-treated beef byproduct that’s the focus of a national controversy, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups supporting Mitt Romney’s presidential ambitions, Politico reports.

A common class of pesticide is causing problems for honeybees and bumblebees, important species already in trouble, two studies suggest.

A 76-year-old diabetic Colorado man survived 10 days in the remote Nevada desert by melting snow and using skills he learned as a Boy Scout, but a friend who was with him and ventured away to get help died.

Consumer spending in February increased by the most in seven months even as income rose modestly, which could prompt analysts to scale back expectations of a sharp pull back in economic growth this quarter.

The 17 countries that use the euro are to build a $1.1 trillion financial firewall against their debt crisis – although $400 billion of that has already been used for previous bailouts.


Spain is set to unveil a further raft of austerity measures, a day after a general strike which saw clashes between police and protesters.

Canada cut C$5.2bn from its 2012-13 budget, stops production of the penny and increased the old age benefits to 67 starting in 2023.

At least 13 people have died in a riot and fire at a Honduran prison, officials say, a month after a fire in another prison killed more than 350.

A Texas judge has ruled to strip a Tea Party-aligned group of its non-profit status. The judge ruled that the group, King Street Patriots (KSP), was actually a political action committee (PAC) for engaging in anti-voter fraud efforts.


President Obama has been engaged in secret, back-channel talks with Iran in which he informed Tehran’s leaders he is completely opposed to any Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to informed Middle Eastern officials.

Trade and security ties between China and Iran have reached a point that their leadership is declaring the relationship to be “strategic,” a development that no doubt will further complicate relations between Washington and Beijing, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2.


Newspaper Roundup for Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012

The Hill: Senate defeats Democrat measure to kill ‘Big Oil’ tax breaks, 51-47 Vote came after Obama plea to kill tax breaks

Fox News: Catholic student group to leave Vanderbilt campus over ‘anyone allowed’ policy An atheist could run for leadership of a Christian group, a Jew for leadership of a Muslim group, etc.

Washington Examiner: Obama tapes message for Planned Parenthood, pledging support

The Hill: Dems fume over Justice Scalia’s comments during healthcare case

The Hill: White House: Ryan budget ‘fails the test’ of fairness for America

Chicago Sun-Times: Emanuel pushing $7.3 billion plan to rebuild Chicago’s infrastructure

Politico: Murkowski invites Obama to ‘milkshake’ summit to discuss ANWR drilling

Politico: Chelsea Clinton to Sandra Fluke: I can relate

Politico: Rep. Gwen Moore, a rape victim, calls violence against women Act as “American as apple pie”

Miami Herald: UN urges Chile to toughen laws after gay killing

The Hill: GOP stockpiles $21M for eventual nominee

Washington Times: Obama’s campaign cash haul trailing pace of ‘08 In 2004, Bush had raised more

Chicago Sun-Times: Judge rejects NATO protesters’ request to march through Loop

Washington Times: Feds: Crips gang ran teen prostitution ring in Northern Virginia

The Hill: Rep. Allen West calls Rep. Rush’s Trayvon hoodie stunt a security risk

Chicago Sun-Times: Vice President Biden drops in for President Obama fund-raiser

Fox News: Bin Laden lived 9 years undetected in Pakistan, fathered 4 children, wife says

Politico: W.H. vows no recess appointments

Fox News: Bank of America branch manager admits stealing $2M from customers

The Hill: Congress approves 90-day highway bill, sends to President Obama

Philadelphia Inquirer: 7 towns file suit against Pa. gas-drilling law

USA Today: Canada scraps the penny to save money

Providence Journal: URI basketball player Holton arrested again, on Fla. charge; withdraws from school

Daily News Summary Headlines 03/29/2012

Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012


Mitt Romney is drawing influential Republican backers behind his presidential bid, as rival Newt Gingrich — his long-shot campaign downsized and ambitions curbed — retrenches for a months-long fight to deny the front- runner the party’s nomination.

This year’s debate over the future of Medicare comes down to who wields the knife. Both political parties are proposing to cut the $500 billion-a-year health-care program for the elderly. They disagree as to how.

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on a bill to extend highway programs through June 30 that if passed would avert a shutdown of construction projects and the furlough of 3,500 federal government workers.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s pending ruling on the health-care law will put a rare judicial stamp of repudiation or endorsement on an incumbent president’s most prominent achievement just as he faces re-election.

The economy in the U.S. grew at a 3 percent annual rate in the last three months of 2011, the same as previously estimated, while corporate profits climbed at the slowest pace in three years, raising the risk that business investment and hiring will cool.

Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 in the week ended March 24 to 359,000, the lowest since April 2008.

Portugal’s central bank said the economy will contract more than previously forecast in 2012 and won’t grow next year as consumer spending drops and export growth eases.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was little changed at minus 34.7 in the period to March 25, close to the minus 33.7 reading two weeks earlier that was the strongest since March 2008.

The Czech central bank kept its main interest rate at a record low for a 15th meeting as risks of an extended economic recession overshadowed an inflation spike fueled by an increase in sales taxes.

Shortages were reported at U.K. filling stations as car owners filled tanks in response to the the threat of a strike by fuel-tanker drivers.

AP Top Stories

Fewer than half the leaders of the Arab world showed up at an Arab summit in Baghdad, a snub to the Iraqi government that reflects how the sectarian division between Sunnis and Shiites and the rivalry with neighboring Iran define the Middle East’s politics.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio officially threw his support behind Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Wednesday night in an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity” show.

Insurgents ambushed a NATO coalition supply convoy in a mountainous area of western Afghanistan, sparking a three-hour firefight in which an Afghan soldier, five Afghan security guards, and 14 attackers were killed.

President Obama has spent a small fortune in recent months to build and maintain a campaign operation that is larger, more diverse and more focused on November’s general election than any of his opponents’ organizations.

U.S. authorities filed criminal charges on Wednesday against a JetBlue Airways pilot who witnesses said yelled incoherently about religion and the 2001 hijack attacks and pounded on a locked cockpit door before passengers subdued him in a midair uproar.

Authorities are racing to contain a destructive wildfire in the mountains outside of Denver before the return of hot and windy weather this weekend.

Pope Benedict and Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, both octogenarians, joked about their age in a brief meeting and then Castro popped the question: so what do you do?

The economy expanded as expected in the fourth quarter while personal income grew at a much faster pace than previously thought, which should help underpin spending this quarter. Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate.

Best Buy Co reported weaker-than-expected sales for the key holiday quarter, prompting the world’s largest electronics chain to close 50 U.S. stores and cut 400 jobs in corporate and support areas.


Scientists have produced a colossal picture of our Milky Way Galaxy, to reveal the detail of a billion stars. It is built from thousands of individual images acquired by two UK-developed telescopes operating in Hawaii and in Chile.

A general strike is under way in Spain to protest against labor reforms which the government hopes will help cut unemployment.

The main emerging economies meet in the Indian capital, Delhi, to look at ways of strengthening their position against Europe and the United States. Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa (the BRICs group) are proposing an alternative to the World Bank.

Europe’s sophisticated ATV space freighter has docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned robotic craft attached itself to the Zvezda module. The ship is delivering new supplies of fuel, food, water, air and equipment to the ISS’s astronauts.


The Selective Service System has declined Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s request to see the original copy of Barack Obama’s Selective Service registration form.

Arizona, at the forefront of last year’s effort among state legislatures to require eligibility documentation for candidates seeking office, is returning to the controversy with a proposal by Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix, requiring candidates to sign an affidavit affirming they meet the legal requirements.

WSJ’s Devlin Barrett reports the FBI is struggling to combat cyber attacks by hackers. “We’re not winning,” FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry said.


Newspaper Roundup for Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012

Politico: Justices to lawyers: Don’t make us read the law

Politico: W.H. defends solicitor general, but critics say Donald Verrilli choked Verrilli looked lost on the most important day of oral arguments

The Hill: White House has no contingency plans if health law is tossed

Palm Beach Post: Police video: George Zimmerman was in cuffs but no apparent injuries

Miami Herald: Sanford police threaten to arrest reporters who contact city employees after hours

Washington Post: Trayvon’s parents don’t believe detectives’ explanation of son confronting Zimmerman, twice

Politico: Boehner presses Obama on what he meant in hot mic remark to Medvedev

Houston Chronicle: ‘Daily Texan’ criticized for Trayvon cartoon ‘And then the big bad white man killed the handsome innocent sweet colored boy’

The Hill: Rep. Maxine Waters: ‘Stiff evidence’ of hate crime in Trayvon Martin case

Providence Journal: R.I. Guardsman was fatally struck after moving Afghan girl to safety

Washington Post: Marco Rubio endorses Mitt Romney

Washington Times: Republicans vote to subpoena Obama’s oil moratorium documents

Washington Post: Michelle Obama to appear on ‘Biggest Loser’

Houston Chronicle: Final words of executed Texas killer: ‘Go Cowboys’

Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago school system predicts big deficits; critics question cost of longer school day

Washington Times: College students protest planned smoking ban by handing out free cigarettes

Providence Journal: Another one: R.I. Senate Democratic leader: ‘I accept full responsibility’ for drunken-driving arrest

Washington Post: Limbaugh controversy simmers down Advertisers are trickling back to his program and the news media have moved on

Washington Times: Justices skeptical of health care law’s expansion of Medicaid

USA Today: Vegans bash Starbucks for beetle coloring in frappuccinos

Washington Times: Bernanke: Fed actions prevented a depression Lectures at GW a lesson in history

Philadelphia Inquirer: In Wisconsin, Romney links Santorum to ‘big labor’

Philadelphia Inquirer/AP: Judge rejects ultrasound law in Okla.

Denver Post: Colorado mental-health first-aid program wins national award

San Francisco Chronicle: Plan to merge labs for biofuel research criticized Fear that dangerous new microbes would be created

The Hill: 0-414 vote: House clobbers budget proposal based on Obama’s 2013 plan

The Hill: Ryan budget plan poised to pass House, giving GOP needed boost

Chicago Sun-Times: Ford plant will make performance Explorer

Fox News: Family: Weapons used to kill ICE agent could have been seized before they crossed into Mexico

Fox News: Snow plow driver charged in death of Vermont teacher wanted ‘to get a girl,’ police say

Fox News: Dulles airport TSA manager accused of running prostitution ring

Miami Herald: TSA officers charged with trashing South Beach hotel room, shooting gun

Daily News Summary Headlines 03/28/2012

Wednesday, Mar.28, 2012


A $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan modeled after the one written by the heads of President Barack Obama’s debt commission is headed for a U.S. House vote more than a year after the deficit panel folded.

House Republicans expect to adopt a budget resolution this week that envisions eliminating most federal debt by cutting government’s share of the economy to a level not seen since 1951, before Medicare, Medicaid, the Environmental Protection Agency and the space program. Federal spending as a proportion of gross domestic product would fall by one-third by 2050 to 16 percent from 24 percent in 2011, according to calculations by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress said they saw signs of eventual victory as the U.S. Supreme Court finished the second of three days of arguments on the health-care overhaul that cleared Congress on party lines.

Orders for U.S. durable goods rose 2.2 percent in February as demand for cars, computers and capital equipment spurred the fourth monthly gain in the last five.

Britons suffered the biggest drop in disposable income in more than three decades last year in a squeeze that may continue this year as energy prices increase. Real household disposable income fell 1.2 percent, that’s the biggest drop since 1977.

The euro gained versus the majority of its most-traded peers as European leaders signaled rising confidence that the region’s debt crisis is close to an end.

Newt Gingrich is reorganizing his presidential campaign, cutting staff and scaling back his schedule following a series of losses in Republican primary contests and a shortage of funds for his candidacy.

AP Top Stories

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger spoke out after one of the airline’s captains had a mid-air meltdown, causing a flight from New York to Las Vegas to be diverted to Amarillo, Texas. The captain, Clayton Osbon, became incoherent and the co-pilot locked him out of the cockpit. Osbon began shouting about threats from al-Qaida, Iran, Iraq and bombs aboard flight, and was subdued by several passengers, including an off-duty police officer. He was strapped down and later transported to a local medical facility.

A passenger aboard a US Airways flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Fort Myers, Fla., was arrested after attacking crew members before being wrestled to the floor.

Syria accepted a cease-fire drawn up by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan on Mar. 27, but the diplomatic breakthrough was swiftly overshadowed by intense clashes between government soldiers and rebels that sent bullets flying into Lebanon.

President Obama has pulled out front of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Florida and Ohio, a Quinnipiac University Poll out Wednesday shows, while Pennsylvania remains too close to call.

The U.S. economy is “stronger and more stable” than it was a year ago and the financial stress in Europe is easing, but many challenges remain including adding more jobs for the long-term unemployed and getting the housing market back on track, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in an ABC News interview Tuesday.

The lack of winner from Tuesday night’s drawing means the estimated jackpot will grow to an estimated $476 million for a drawing Friday, according to the official Mega Millions website.

France is in talks with the United States and Britain on a possible release of strategic oil stocks to push fuel prices lower, French ministers said

The European Union is clamping down on mobile network providers charging consumers high prices for using their phones and tablet computers abroad.


Syrian forces are detaining and torturing children in their crackdown on opposition activists, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay tells the BBC.

Hundreds of Afghan women are in jail for “moral crimes”, including running away and extra-marital sex, Human Rights Watch says.

A probe inserted into a reactor at Fukushima nuclear plant found very high radiation, which officials say will make decommissioning harder.

An assembly of 100 Egyptians given the task of writing a new constitution began its work, despite the withdrawal of liberal and secularists.


While many U.S. mainstream media outlets spike news about the Obama eligibility investigation, Russia’s government radio is keeping the world abreast of the scandal that has caused “the biggest censorship and blackout in the history of journalism.”

Heading into the 2012 election, members of Congress probably should expect to be grilled in their various town-hall meetings on the eligibility of Barack Obama to be president.

The birthplace of the American military’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, program is now the birthplace of first known “gay” pride events – such as a planned “condom Olympics” and “queer prom” – on a U.S. military campus. Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., founded in 1819 as the first private military academy in the U.S., is in the middle of six days of events hosted by the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Question, and Allies Club, or NULGBTQA.

The Obama administration has requested $770 million in federal funds to combat the effects of global warming in developing countries, a new congressional report details, continuing its policy of using foreign aid to combat the effects of global warming in the developing world.

Carol Masheter, at age 65, says she is now the oldest woman to have reached the top of the tallest mountains in all seven continents, a feat completed in four years: Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Vinson Massif, Everest and Kosciuszko.


Newspaper Roundup for Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012

Fox News: Pro-life ‘October Baby,’ rejected by major studios, is box office hit

Washington Post: White House directs health insurance company to cover same-sex spouse of federal employee Believed to be first time such coverage has been allowed

The Hill: Rough day for Obama healthcare law: Kennedy among mandate skeptics

Washington Post: On last day of health care hearing, Supreme Court considers severability, Medicaid expansion

Politico: Coverage for sickest may hinge on court’s health care law ruling

Politico: Carville spins: Losing Obamacare case would be best for Dems Because Republicans would then “own” the resulting health care crisis

Politico: Cate Edwards: Striking down Obamacare would ‘injure the welfare of American women’

Washington Examiner: Virginia OK’s first off-shore wind turbine in Chesapeake Bay

Washington Examiner: PETA wants to name a Virginia road “Spay Today Way” State transportation bill allows Va. to sell naming rights to its roads

Miami Herald: N. Miami students protesting Trayvon case walk out of school, then ransack a drug store

Palm Beach Post: Sanford cops wanted to charge Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case But the Seminole County State Attorney’s office held off

Palm Beach Post: Elderly couple abandons home after address is posted as that of George Zimmerman

Fox News: Media Matters writer ‘sorry’ after blasting Drudge for Martin photo

Fox News: Mega Millions lottery reaches new record of $476 million

New Jersey Star-Ledger: The Octomom poses nude for Brit mag

Washington Post: Mich. militia members cleared of charges that accused them of plotting war against government

USA Today: House Dems hold panel on Trayvon Martin shooting Want review of gun laws, neighbohood watch groups, and social status of black men

Washington Times: Supreme Court justices challenge health insurance mandate

The Hill: Legal analyst Toobin: Obama healthcare reform law ‘in grave, grave trouble’

USA Today: Ex-doc dumps abortion files in Kan. recycling bin Records include names, birth dates, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and health details

Politico: EPA unveils expensive greenhouse gas standard for new coal-fired power plants Rule gives a big boost to natural gas-fired plants

Politico: Rush Limbaugh ‘king’ of radio, Clear Channel CEO says

The Hill: Lawmakers push resolution opposing UN regulation of the Internet

Washington Times: D.C. mayor eyes city full of traffic cameras Council members question merit of program’s expansion

Politico: Rep. Issa apologizes for accusing Rep. Maloney of lying about contraception hearing

Washington Times: Republicans fear Obama will sell out to Russia President denies ‘hiding the ball’

Washington Times: Thwarted theft sparks queries of vigilantism in D.C. Killing of Trayvon resonates in the city

Chicago Sun-Times: City: Mass protest on NATO’s first day would ‘drain’ police resources

Chicago Sun-Times: Illinois college students might get to sip some booze in cooking classes

Denver Post: Wildland fires southwest of Denver claim elderly couple, torch 4,500 acres Washington Post: In Israel, a battle to save the ancient Canaan dog

The Hill: Democratic mayor of Boston refuses chance to endorse Warren

USA Today: Dennis Rodman ‘broke’ and ‘extremely sick’

Houston Chronicle: Andrea Yates seeks weekly release from mental hospital to go to church She killed her five young children ten years ago

Providence Journal: Top URI basketball player suspended from team, charged with video voyeurism

Daily News Summary Headlines 03/27/2012

Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2012


President Obama said he wasn’t “hiding the ball” from U.S. voters after microphones recorded him asking Russia for patience on missile defense negotiations until after the November election.

World leaders pledged to secure all vulnerable nuclear material by 2014 and to boost security to keep the ingredients for atomic weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

Republican leaders covering much of the party’s ideological spectrum lined up behind front-runner Mitt Romney yesterday as part of an escalating effort to conclude the presidential primary battle and close ranks before the general election.

The Obama administration today will defend a requirement that Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty — the core of the president’s health care overhaul –in a Supreme Court case central to the Republican campaign to take over the White House.

Hungary’s central bank will probably refrain from cutting the European Union’s highest benchmark interest rate because of a delay in obtaining an IMF loan. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will leave the two-week deposit rate at 7 percent for a third month.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index (SPX) of property values in 20 cities fell 3.8 percent from a year earlier, matching the median forecast of 32 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News

Treasuries rose as the government was poised to sell $35 billion in two-year securities at the highest yield since July in the first of three note auctions this week.

AP Top Stories

Former UN chief Kofi Annan said Tuesday that Syria has agreed to a ceasefire plan, but some implementation details remain to be worked out.

There is growing concern among health professionals that Whip-Its — small canisters filled with nitrous oxide that can be used as a recreational drug and were reportedly used by actress Demi Moore shortly before she was rushed to the hospital in January — are making a comeback among teenagers and young adults across the country.

A strong earthquake has shaken northern Japan, but there is no risk of a tsunami.

Support for the war in Afghanistan is slipping fast, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. Sixty nine percent, think the US should no longer be fighting.

One person was killed and hundreds more evacuated from their homes in Jefferson County, Colorado as a fast-moving wildfire burned through more than four-and-a-half square miles.

After two weeks of no comments, Beef Products Inc., the maker of “lean, finely textured beef,” a product now known by the critics’ term for it, “pink slime,” came out swinging today during a news conference to announce the temporary closing of several facilities.

A woman in Taiwan killed herself by inhaling poisonous fumes while chatting with friends on Facebook and none of them alerted authorities, police said Tuesday.

Reports of suspected counterfeiting, check fraud, and check kiting were among the financial crimes that saw declines during 2011, dropping 7.5 percent from 2010. The use of checks as a form of payment has been declining in recent years. Personal check use has dropped by 12 percent among consumers between 2008 and 2010.

The U.S. economy needs to grow more quickly to bring the unemployment rate down further, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday, defending the central bank’s policy of very low interest rates.

Sudan’s military bombed an oil field in South Sudan on Tuesday, a South Sudan official said, as a dangerous flare-up in border violence appeared to scuttle plans for a presidential summit between the two countries.


The Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV channel decided not to air video material of the deadly attacks carried out by Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah.

People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner than those eating it occasionally, suggested US research looking at diet, calorie intake and body mass index.

The Afghan authorities have arrested 18 people in Kabul after foiling plans for an apparent mass suicide attack, intelligence officials say.

The highest court in the Canadian province of Ontario ruled in favor of brothels and pimping, overturning two national laws regulating the sex trade.

The US ranks fifth in the world in capital punishment, with 43 people executed last year. The figure fell slightly from 2010, when 46 people were executed.

Pope Benedict XVI urged Cubans to build an “open and renewed society” at the start of the first papal visit to the communist-run country in 14 years.

Maldives officials said Somali pirates have hijacked a cargo ship and 23 crew – the first such seizure in the island chain’s waters.


China is considering a change in its historical policy of avoiding alliances and is looking to establish military and strategic ties with other countries in an effort to counter U.S. military influence worldwide.

Washington apparently has given Iran a warning through a Russian intermediary to resolve issues over its nuclear development program through negotiations by April if it wants to avoid military strikes.


Newspaper Roundup for Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012

Miami Herald: Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin

San Francisco Chronicle: U.S. wants faster review of DOMA gay-rights case

New York Times: Support in U.S. for Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds

Washington Times: U.S. plays down Islamist role in drafting Egypt charter Two liberal politicians quit panel in protest

USA Today: Amid controversy, ‘Bully’ will open without a rating

Washington Times: D.C. Mayor plans to raise $30 million by expanding a traffic-camera program City is “addicted to revenue,” Triple A says

Politico: Obamacae would create rich subsidies to help millions of people pay for coverage Even families earning more than $90,000 a year

Politico: Obama administration moving ahead with greenhouse gas rule for new power plants New coal-fired power plants will have to capture their carbon dioxide emissions

USA Today: Pope voices sympathy for Cubans, including prisoners

Washington Times: Black woman arrested in an anti-gay hate crime Police say anti-homosexual slurs were used during argument in restaurant

Washington Times: Metrorail hindered by culture of complacence, incompetence, lack of diversity ‘Inept get promoted, … capable get buried’

Fox News: Atheists sue Pennsylvania for declaring 2012 ‘Year of the Bible’

Providence Journal: Atheists give R.I. prayer-banner teen Ahlquist $63,000 scholarship

Washington Post: Miss Canada Universe contestant disqualified over sex change

Washington Times: Army overwhelmed by massive lots of waiting vehicles

Washington Times: Boom times lay waste — literally — to N.D. landscape Pristine prairie turns into dump site along roads

USA Today: Chocolate lovers are thinner, study says

Washington Post: ‘Rick Santorum’s nice-guy persona is turning a bit testy lately’

Fox News: Doc says heart could give Cheney another 10 years

The Hill: House conservatives to unveil budget which balances books faster

Fox News Exclusive: Internal memo shows ATF rank and file don’t trust brass

Denver Post: Fort Collins teenager leads an effort to end use of the term “retard”

Los Angeles Daily News: Singer Bobby Brown arrested in Tarzana on suspicion of DUI

Denver Post: Denver targets illegal camping; critics call it a bid to criminalize homelessness

Philadelphia Inquirer: Temple student arrested for taking photos of cops

Philadelphia Inquirer: Campaign targets abortions among African American families

Chicago Sun-Times: Gasoline prices hit record: $4.67 in Chicago; $4.51 in metro area

Politico: Fight brews over DUI technology

The Hill: General: Threat from rogue Afghan forces is going to continue

Daily News Summary Headlines 03/26/2012

Monday, Mar. 26, 2012


President Obama committed to further reduce America’s nuclear stockpile, saying his country had more nuclear weapons than it needed and that it wouldn’t compromise national security.

Congress’s rhetoric ahead of the March 31 expiration of a law funding U.S. highway and transit projects resembles the dueling that led to last July’s impasse shutting down the FAA.

The success of the Massachusetts health-care system is spurring President Obama to extol the virtues of a law Mitt Romney signed as a governor. Romney says it shouldn’t be the model for every state. About 98 percent of state residents are insured under the legislation Romney signed in 2006, a 10 percent rise from the previous three-year average. Government costs haven’t ballooned, officials say, and 63 percent of residents support the law. Yet Romney is promising to repeal the 2010 U.S. law Obama and his fellow Democrats fashioned on the Massachusetts program.

Even after the worst rout since 2010, the U.S. bond market shows the economy is unlikely to maintain its strength without help from the Federal Reserve.

The good news: China’s government will engineer a soft landing. The bad news: Even a soft landing is painful for industries that have become dependent on the world’s fastest-growing major economy as their main profit engine.

Hedge funds trailing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index for the last five months are giving up on bearish bets and buying stocks at the fastest rate in two years.

Chairman Ben Bernanke says the U.S. job market remains weak despite three months of strong hiring and that the Federal Reserve’s existing policies will help boost growth.

AP Top Stories

President Obama paused during a speech to local college students in South Korea to directly address the North Korean leaders across the DMZ, urging new dictator Kim Jong-un and his regime to pursue a different path.

“Titanic” director James Cameron dove to the Earth’s deepest point in a specially designed submarine, the National Geographic Society said, making him the first man to travel alone to the near 7-mile depth of the Marianas Trench.

Two NATO troops shot dead by an Afghan army soldier in southern Afghanistan on Monday were British nationals, the government said.

A woman from Iraq who was found beaten, lying in a pool of blood in her in El Cajon, Calif., home next to a note saying “go back to your country,” has died and police are investigating her death as a possible a hate crime.

The new debt-slashing budget plan pushed by House Republicans heated up as a presidential campaign issue as the proposal’s architect, Rep. Ryan of Wisconsin, sparred with top Democrats over its political fallout and downplayed the possibility he could be tapped as a vice presidential candidate.

Another Japanese nuclear reactor was taken off line for maintenance on Monday, leaving the country with only one of its 54 reactors operational following last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Germany has backed down from its resistance to boosting Europe’s financial firewalls, after Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that she was open to temporarily boosting the eurozone’s bailout funds to $930 billion. But the move still falls short of what may be needed to protect Italy and Spain from collapse.

Two U.S. senators are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews are violating federal law, their offices announced Sunday.

DP World, the Dubai government-controlled port operator, said Monday it will reach into its cash reserves to pay back $3 billion in debt half a year early.


The US Supreme Court is to begin three days of landmark hearings on the legality of President Obama’s signature healthcare reform.

Nicolas Sarkozy plans to clamp down on militant Muslim preachers entering France, as the country’s presidential election looms.

Rick Santorum wins the Republican presidential primary in Louisiana, as he tries to close the gap on front-runner Mitt Romney.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in Cuba for radiotherapy following a recurrence of his cancer first treated last year.

Oil has been discovered in Kenya after exploratory drilling by Anglo-Irish firm Tullow Oil.

Syria’s divided opposition groups are to meet in Turkey to draw up a “national pact” to back efforts to unseat President Assad’s government.


Seeking to lead by example on the nuclear dangers posed by North Korea and Iran, President Obama said Monday he’ll pursue talks with Russia to further reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.

One of the nation’s leading legal organizations is defending an evangelical pastor who was sued over his speech by a foreign group under a law that usually is used to target torture, genocide, war crimes and summary executions.

Home-schooled students in South Carolina could play sports at their local public school under a measure advanced Wednesday by a Senate panel. An education subcommittee voted 6-3 on a bill giving homeschool students access to all extracurricular activities, including marching band, at the school they would otherwise attend.


Newspaper Roundup for Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

Washington Post: At CIA, a convert to Islam leads the terrorism hunt Principal architect of the CIA’s drone campaign

New York Times: Unborn Afghan Child Said to Be 17th Victim of Killing Spree Robert Bales charged with murder of 17th victim, an unborn baby

Arizona Republic: Arizona lawmakers push to take over federal land

The Hill: Rank and file House Dems poised to rally behind Van Hollen budget proposal

Politico: US pays $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan villager killed $11,000 for each person wounded in a shooting rampage

The Hill: Obama adviser calls Gingrich comments on Trayvon Martin case ‘reprehensible’

Politico: Rick Santorum lashes out at New York Times reporter Santorum to reporter: Quit distorting my words. It’s bull****.”

The Hill: Plouffe: GOP will regret ‘ObamaCare’ tag, says law will be upheld

Fox News: Santorum says ‘bad math’ makes Romney’s lead look bigger

Fox News: New York City-funded group teaching homeless how to invade apartments Crash course on squatting in city-owned buildings

Washington Post: Trayvon Martin’s death has put spotlight on perceptions about hoodies

USA Today: Joan Rivers, others joke about Dick Cheney heart transplant

Washington Post: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall: Big money fuels small-government fight

Politico: Rick Perry zings 2012 field at Gridiron

Politico: Rank and file House Dems poised to rally behind Van Hollen budget proposal

Washington Times: “After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama tells Medvedev Begs for breathing space on missile defense

Politico: Obama adviser: GOP primary a ‘clown show’

Washington Times: Budget gridlock imperils national defense Arms systems cuts look likely

Houston Chronicle: Korean father denied entry to U.S. to help paralyzed son

Palm Beach Post: U.S. Rep. Hastings disputes report calling him Congress’ worst offender for paying ‘family’ members

Houston Chronicle: Property owner shoots 1 suspected copper thief, second man flees

Miami Herald: Internet could lead to regime change in Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio says

USA Today: Popcorn packed with hidden health benefits

USA Today: Pork industry plan to give hogs more room comes at a cost