The Top 10 Stories of November 19, 2012
Quote of the day.
"This isn''t really rocket science here. You have a lot of people on the roads over Thanksgiving, so the crashes are naturally going to get worse." Allen Parrish of the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety, author of a new statistical study showing the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the year''s deadliest times for traffic accidents.
1. Obama pledges to protect vulnerable in ‘fiscal cliff’ talks.
On the same day he told congressional leaders that he would seek common ground to avert deep budget cuts scheduled to go into effect next year, President Obama met with a roster of civic and civil rights leaders and promised them that he shared their goal of protecting the nation’s middle class and more vulnerable families.
2. Back on Hill, Ryan remains a fiscal force.
While the campaign trappings and the high profile of the national campaign are behind him, Mr. Ryan now finds himself at the center of one of the biggest fiscal negotiations in a generation.
(New York Times)
3. New super PAC hopes to give cover to pro-immigration Republicans.
Prominent Republicans are launching a new super PAC they hope will help begin repairing the political damage left by years of anti-illegal-immigrant rhetoric that has dominated GOP primaries and alienated crucial Hispanic voters.
4. Green groups slam Keystone pipeline.
Hundreds of people who say they worry oil that would be carried the Keystone XL pipeline will accelerate climate change marched around the White House on Sunday, hoping to revive a movement credited with slowing down the permit process for the crude oil project.
5. U.S. President Obama hails Burma's 'remarkable journey.'
Burma is on a "remarkable journey" of reform that has much further to go, Barack Obama said as he made the first visit to the South East Asian nation by a serving U.S. president.
6. Palestinian death toll rises as Israel presses onslaught.
After a night of sustained Israeli strikes by air and sea and a morning of rocket attacks on Israel, the Health Ministry here said on Monday that the Palestinian death toll in six days of conflict had risen to 91 with 700 wounded, including 200 children, as the assault ground on unrelentingly despite efforts toward a cease-fire.
(New York Times)
7. Officials warn Gaza ceasefire not imminent.
The war in Gaza appears to be in a grim holding pattern, poised before the alternatives of a ceasefire or a ground offensive by Israeli tanks and troops.
8. U.S. opens Afghan talks on long-term troop presence after 2014.
Afghanistan and the U.S. have opened talks to keep American troops in the country after most Nato forces go home in 2014, but the thorny question of immunity for American soldiers, which in effect ended the U.S. role in Iraq last year, is likely to prove a stumbling block.
9. Syrian Islamist groups reject opposition coalition.
A group of extremist Islamist factions in Syria has rejected the country''s new opposition coalition, saying in a video statement they have formed an "Islamic state" in the embattled city of Aleppo to underline that they want nothing to do with the Western-backed bloc.
10. U.S. expands counterterrorism assistance.
Much of the new assistance is being directed toward countries in Asia and has been fueled by the Obama administration’s strategic “pivot” to the region. In Cambodia, for example, the Defense Department is training a counterterrorism battalion even though the nation has not faced a serious militant threat in nearly a decade.