CNN Washington AM Note
March 18th, 2013
05:27 AM ET
1 year ago

CNN Washington AM Note

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: Plane crashes into Indiana neighborhood, kills 2

A corporate jet, sheared in half - it's nose poking through the front window of a shattered home. Such was the scene in a South Bend, Indiana, neighborhood Sunday when a Hawker Beechcraft 390 slammed into a row of single-story homes, damaging three. Two of the four people aboard the plane died on impact. The other two were injured, as was one person on the ground, Assistant Fire Chief John Corthier said late Sunday.

NYT: Ruled a Threat to Family, but Allowed to Keep Guns

Early last year, after a series of frightening encounters with her former husband, Stephanie Holten went to court in Spokane, Wash., to obtain a temporary order for protection. Her former husband, Corey Holten, threatened to put a gun in her mouth and pull the trigger, she wrote in her petition. He also said he would “put a cap” in her if her new boyfriend “gets near my kids.” In neat block letters she wrote, “ He owns guns, I am scared.” The judge’s order prohibited Mr. Holten from going within two blocks of his former wife’s home and imposed a number of other restrictions. What it did not require him to do was surrender his guns.

CNN: Two teens found guilty in Steubenville rape case

Two high school football players were convicted Sunday in an Ohio rape case that gained worldwide attention through, and then focused on, social media. In a trial that divided the football-crazed Rust Belt town of Steubenville, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty of raping a drunk 16-year-old girl.

NY Daily News: Lupica: Morbid find suggests murder-obsessed gunman Adam Lanza plotted Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook massacre for years

It has been three months since the killings in Newtown, since 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy HookElementary School less than two weeks before Christmas. And as bad as the story was, and will always be, it is even worse than we originally knew because now we discover that this was slaughter by spreadsheet. It has been reported previously that law enforcement found research about previous mass murderers at the Newtown, Conn., home the shooter, video gamer Adam Lanza, shared with his mother, the first victim of Dec. 14. It was more than that, and worse than that. What investigators found was a chilling spreadsheet 7 feet long and 4 feet wide that required a special printer, a document that contained Lanza’s obsessive, extensive research — in nine-point font — about mass murders of the past, and even attempted murders. But it wasn’t just a spreadsheet. It was a score sheet.

ABC: Adult HIV Patients 'Functionally Cured' Before Mississippi Baby - What These 'Cures' Mean

On the heels of the supposed first "functional cure" for HIV in a baby born in Mississippi, French researchers reported Friday that they'd studied 14 adult patients who'd experienced a similar remission from the virus. The patients in the French study had been off HIV medications for up to 10 years.

Bloomberg: California Fracking Fight Has $25 Billion Taxes at Stake

California’s reputation for environmental protection may be jeopardized by the lure of a $25 billion tax windfall that depends on how the state permits oil companies to take advantage of vast deposits lying two miles beneath its golden hills. The Monterey Shale formation running through the center of the state may hold 15.4 billion barrels of oil - equivalent to five years of U.S. petroleum imports, according to a state report. Releasing it requires drillers to smash the rock by forcing millions of gallons of water and chemicals underground, a technique known as fracking.

Boston Globe: Research giants win on federal funding

Harvard, MIT, and a coalition of other powerhouse research institutions have thwarted a reform proposal by the Obama administration to slash the amount of government research money each school receives for overhead costs. The result is that about $10 billion a year, roughly a quarter of the nation’s university research budget, will continue to be channeled into such things as administrative salaries and building depreciation instead of directly into scientific studies. Critics say the system lacks accountability, unfairly rewards the biggest schools, and is an ineffective use of taxpayer research dollars in an era of fiscal austerity.

WHITE HOUSE:

CNN: Obama to announce Perez as labor secretary nominee

President Barack Obama on Monday will announce Thomas E. Perez, U.S. assistant attorney general heading the Justice Department's civil rights division, as his nominee for the next secretary of the Department of Labor, according to a White House official. A former federal prosecutor and an official in his home state of Maryland, Perez was sworn into his current post in October 2009. CNN's Jessica Yellin reported earlier this month that Obama would name Perez to the Cabinet position.

The Guardian: Israel to ask Obama to use air strikes in case of Syrian missile transfer

Israel will use President Obama's visit on Wednesday to try to persuade the US to carry out air strikes on Syria if there is evidence that Syrian missiles are to be handed over to Hezbollah in Lebanon, or at least to give full support to Israeli military action to prevent the transfer. On this week's trip to Israel and the West Bank, Obama will also come under Israeli pressure to lower the US threshold for military action against Iran, while the US president will try for an Israeli commitment to a peace process with the Palestinians. Neither side is likely to be successful, leaving Syria as the most promising arena for agreement.

WATCH: VIDEO – Athena Jones reports from the White House on President Obama's upcoming trip to Israel.

Jerusalem Post: 'Obama's agenda aimed to combat Holocaust denial' By HERB

US President Barack’s Obama’s carefully crafted Israel itinerary is aimed at combating those who deny the Holocaust and/or Jewish peoplehood, ambassador to the US Michael Oren said on Sunday. Oren, who arrived on Sunday to be part of the two-day Obama visit that begins on Wednesday afternoon, told The Jerusalem Post that the Obama team came to the Israelis with the idea of what messages they wanted the visit to convey, and then asked for suggestions about how best to get those messages across.

ALSO SEE: WaPo: For Obama, trip is a chance to repair relations with disappointed Israelis

WaPo: No-bid U.S. government contracts jump 9 percent, despite push for competition

President Obama in 2009 told federal agencies that no-bid contracts were “wasteful’’ and “inefficient.’’ Four years later, his administration spent more money on non-competitive contracts than ever before. Federal agencies awarded $115.2 billion in no-bid contracts in fiscal year 2012, an 8.9 increase from $105.8 billion from 2009, according to government data. The jump unfolded even as total contract spending decreased by about 5 percent. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon were top recipients of sole-source contracts.

National Journal: Are There Lessons For the United States in Ireland's Post-Crash Economy?

When Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny meets with President Obama in Washington next week, they should find plenty to talk about. Both men are at the helm of economies that are turning around following devastating economic crises. A light seems to be emerging at the end of the tunnel for each, although it's elusive. Ireland is on track to exit from an international bailout program by the end of the year. The U.S. unemployment rate continues to tick down and the country's housing sector is finally on the up-and-up. For all their differences - chief among them Ireland's membership in the eurozone and heavy reliance on exports - the countries have shared some less-than-pleasant experiences, and could do well to share the lessons they've learned as a result, as well. Ireland and the United States followed similar path

CAPITOL HILL:

WSJ: Saturday Postal Pullback in Limbo

Congress is poised to tell the Postal Service it must continue all Saturday mail services, but the message hasn't been delivered just yet. The six-day-a-week service mandate, wrapped into a government spending bill on remaining fiscal 2013 spending, is the same one Congress has had for the past 30 years. The House has already passed the provision. The Senate is expected to follow suit as early as Tuesday.

NYT: Tax Credits or Spending? Labels, but in Congress, Fighting Words

In a low-income neighborhood in Bozeman, Mont., taxpayers helped pay for the construction of a grocery store, Town and Country Foods. They are doing the same in New Orleans, with federal dollars helping to build new groceries, including a Whole Foods, in an area still suffering after Hurricane Katrina. The Bozeman project relied on tax credits, while New Orleans is using federal grant money. To economists — and to taxpayers — that makes no real difference. “These are at some point arbitrary distinctions between taxes and spending,” said Donald Marron, the director of the TaxPolicyCenter, a nonpartisan Washington research group. But to Congress, it makes all the difference — and is something worth fighting over. As lawmakers struggle to narrow the government’s deficit, every dollar taken away from the block grant program used in New Orleans counts as a budget cut. Every dollar taken away from the Bozeman tax credit program — part of a vast array of so-called tax expenditures that cost the federal government more than $1 trillion in lost revenue every year — counts instead as a tax increase.

NYT: A Senate Plan Alters Waiting Periods for Immigration

The nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants would have to wait a full decade for a green card but could earn citizenship just three years after that, under a provision being finalized by a bipartisan group of eight senators working to devise an overhaul of immigration law, several people with knowledge of the negotiations said. Taken together, the two waiting periods would provide the nation’s illegal immigrants with a path to United States citizenship in 13 years, matching the draft of a plan by President Obama to offer full participation in American democracy to millions who are living in fear of deportation.

The Hill: Awkward choice: Vote your conscience or for your paycheck

Senate Republicans and House Democrats will face an awkward choice as they consider budget votes next week: They can either vote for a set of policies they abhor, or they can cast a vote that could result in them missing their paychecks. Such is the conundrum created by the so-called “No Budget, No Pay” law that Congress enacted last month, which stipulates that if the House and Senate do not pass budget resolutions by April 15, members in the chamber that fails will have their pay suspended.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Isakson bill seeks money for 1979 Iran hostages

Charles Scott was hung by his wrists and beaten for three days straight. His Iranian captors struck the heels of his feet with steel cables. He spent most of his 444 days as a hostage in solitary confinement. But the torture did not cause Scott’s post-traumatic stress, the Jonesboro resident said. It came instead from how his own government let Iran get away with it and has blocked the hostages from seeking recompense since their 1981 release. A bill introduced last week by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, would allow the hostages and their families substantial compensation, and fresh public interest in the issue from the Oscar-winning film “Argo” gives the bill’s backers confidence that they can push it through.

POLITICAL:

CNN: RNC announces $10 million plan to beef up Republican outreach

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Sunday the organization will spend $10 million on hundreds of staff workers to communicate conservative principles in cities across the country. As part of its conclusion from a months-long "autopsy" of the GOP – which will be formally announced Monday – the RNC will also work to shorten the primary calendar, limit the number of debates in presidential primaries, and move up the party's convention date.

ALSO SEE: WSJ: GOP Taps Tech Allies To Narrow Digital Gap

CNN: Carson seen as fresh face among conservative leaders

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a new favorite in conservative circles, wouldn't say Sunday where he stood on the political spectrum, but said his opinions resonate with both parties. "I think basically what I've been talking about, if you distill it, it's not really right stuff or left stuff. It's logical stuff," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." Carson won conservative acclaim last month when he criticized Democratic policies on taxes and health care while giving the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama was sitting just feet away as the renowned neurosurgeon openly chided some of Obama's positions.

WATCH: VIDEO – Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson describes how his past experiences have molded his political views.

Bloomberg: Christie Hoards Cash as Rout Key to 2016 White House Bid

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is raising record cash for his re-election bid. A November landslide may help heal rifts with fellow Republicans and boost his standing as a possible candidate for president in 2016. In December, before Democrats had even rallied around a candidate, Christie had amassed almost as much as he raised in the entire 2009 primary. He has since begun an out-of-state fundraising swing, with an event last month at Facebook Inc. (FB) co- founder Mark Zuckerberg’s California home and an appearance last week in Wisconsin with Governor Scott Walker.

Politico: South Carolina Republicans vie for spot after Sanford

Round One of Mark Sanford’s comeback bid is expected to go to the disgraced ex-South Carolina governor. The real action in Tuesday’s special congressional primary in The Palmetto State is for second place — and the right to take on Sanford mano a mano in an April 2 GOP runoff. More than a dozen candidates are duking it out. And most of the fire in the fight for No. 2 is trained on Teddy Turner, son of media mogul Ted Turner.

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: U.S. lawmaker questions North Korean leader's 'stability'

A top U.S. congressman expressed concern about the "stability" of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after months of provocative statements and behavior from the nuclear-armed communist state. "You have a 28-year-old leader who is trying to prove himself to the military, and the military is eager to have a saber-rattling for their own self-interest," said Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "And the combination of that is proving to be very, very deadly."

CNN: China: U.S. risks antagonizing North Korea

The United States' plans to beef up its missile defenses against North Korea are likely to inflame tensions that are running high over Pyongyang's nuclear program, China said Monday. "Bolstering missile defenses will only intensify antagonism, and it doesn't help to solve the issue," Hong Lei, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

WSJ: Prime Minister Denies Aiding Cyberattacks

China's new Premier Li Keqiang gave the highest-level denial yet to U.S. accusations that the country supports cyberattacks, an issue that in recent months has become a key sticking point in Sino-U.S. relations. Speaking to Chinese and foreign reporters Sunday in his first news conference since his formal appointment as premier Friday, Mr. Li declared hacking and cyberattacks "a world-wide problem" and reiterated Beijing's stance that the country is a victim rather than an instigator.

ALSO SEE: CNN: Cyberthreats getting worse, House intelligence officials warn

CNN: Suspect in Libya may have played Benghazi role, congressman says

The United States has "pretty good indications" that a man now held in Libya may have been involved in the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN last week that the FBI had been able to question a man identified by sources as Faraj al-Shibli. But it was still not clear what role, if any, al-Shibli may have played in the September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. A source briefed by Western intelligence officials said al-Shibli had recently returned to Libya from Pakistan.

CNN: Afghanistan's Karzai agrees to new deadline for prison handover

There's a new one-week deadline for handing over control of a U.S.-run detention center near Bagram Air Base to Afghan authorities, Afghanistan's president said Sunday. On Sunday, Hamid Karzai's office said in a statement that he had agreed to a request from U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for one week "to carry out the full handover the prison."

WaPo: Despite sanctions’ toll on Iran, U.S. sees no shift in nuclear behavior

Harsh economic sanctions have taken a serious toll on Iran’s economy, but U.S. and European officials acknowledge that the measures have not yet produced the kind of public unrest that could force Iranian leaders to change their nuclear policies. Nine months after Iran was hit with the toughest restrictions in its history, the nation’s economy appears to have settled into a slow, downward glide, hemorrhaging jobs and hard currency but appearing to be in no immediate danger of collapse, Western diplomats and analysts say.

AVIATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

CNN: U.S. senators seek to stop funding Singapore firm after American's death

A police investigation into one man's death has now become an issue between two countries. Singapore's Foreign Ministry on Sunday said it was "deeply disappointed" by the attempt of two U.S. senators to block funding to the country's state-backed Institute of Microelectronics after an American who worked there was found dead in Singapore last June. U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana recently introduced a measure to block U.S. funding to the institute until U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder certifies that the FBI had full access to all evidence related to the death of research engineer Shane Todd.

WSJ: Bribery Allegations Surfaced Against WSJ in China

The Justice Department last year opened an investigation into allegations that employees at The Wall Street Journal's China news bureau bribed Chinese officials for information for news articles. A search by the Journal's parent company found no evidence to support the claim, according to government and corporate officials familiar with the case. The U.S. government, meanwhile, is nearing the end of a broader investigation of the Journal's owner News Corp NWSA -0.95% . stemming from allegations of phone hacking and bribery at U.K. tabloids, among other issues, according to people familiar with the case.
ABC: Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to AZ Proof of Citizenship Law

Lawyers for Arizona, a state that has clashed repeatedly with the federal government on the issue of immigration, will be back at the Supreme Court on Monday defending a state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in elections. Critics of the law say that it conflicts with federal law — the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which is sometimes referred to as the Motor Voter law. It was enacted in 1993 to establish uniform procedures to vote in federal elections.

WaPo: High court reflects diversity of modern marriage

There’s a widow who was a pioneer of the “modern marriage” and someone who never wed. Two divorcees. There is a husband who married relatively late in life and adopted two children. Another is a prolific procreator, with enough children to field a baseball team and enough grandchildren to form a basketball league. One is in an interracial marriage, which would have been illegal in his state only 20 years before his wedding. As the Supreme Court prepares to consider the American tradition of marriage, the justices display a wide range of personal choices reflective of the modern experience.

Chicago Tribune: Sources: Ex-prosecutor in lead to become new U.S. attorney here

A former federal prosecutor who helped convict former Gov. George Ryan appears to be the favorite to succeed Patrick Fitzgerald as the next U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, sources in Washington and Chicago told the Tribune. The sources said Zachary Fardon, 46, is the leading candidate to be nominated to the federal law enforcement post in Chicago. The White House declined to comment Sunday, saying that the internal selection process was still in motion.

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

LA Times: California cities, counties find funds to hire Capitol lobbyists

Although many of California's cities and counties have been struggling financially, putting off road repairs, cutting back library hours and reducing police patrols, there is one way in which they have not held back: hiring Sacramento lobbyists. Local governments' spending on advocacy in the Capitol has surged in recent years, topping $96 million during the two-year legislative session that ended last fall — an increase of nearly 50% from a decade ago.

Burlington Free Press: Seeing Howard Dean in his unsealed records

Standing amid the towering shelves in the state’s document archive, former Gov. Howard Dean plucks a folder out of a box of records from his years in the state’s top job — one of 81 boxes sealed for the past decade under an agreement he reached with the secretary of state before he left office. He’s curious; he says he has no idea what’s in any of the boxes. “I had nothing to do with deciding, absolutely nothing,” Dean declares. “To this day, I have no idea what was in and what was out.” One of the boxes in this long-sealed collection contains 11 years of daily schedules — a box that by itself paints a picture of Dean’s evolution from accidental governor of a small state to ambitious politician determined to make his way onto the national stage.

Tampa Bay Times: Charlie Crist's boss, John Morgan, to lead medical marijuana initiative in Florida

John Morgan, a major fundraiser for President Barack Obama and the boss of former Gov. Charlie Crist, is taking the reins of a Florida medical marijuana initiative, promising to pump major money and political muscle into the popular issue. Morgan, a top Florida trial lawyer based in Orlando, said he's ready to tap a network of donors and his personal bank account to get the measure in front of voters in 2014 as a proposed constitutional amendment.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Sen. Al Franken may benefit from deep GOP divisions

As time runs short to mount a realistic challenge to Sen. Al Franken, once an inviting GOP target, Minnesota Republicans are struggling to find a new face. Far from lining up to take on a liberal DFL icon who won by 312 votes in 2008, much of the Republican old guard has begged off, or remains noncommittal. Anticipation of another shot at the former Saturday Night Live star, often a subject of derision at Republican rallies, has yielded to a sense of political snakebite after the 2012 Senate race.

Cincinnati Enquirer: Kasich agenda creating GOP rift

As he did two years ago in the battle over Senate Bill 5, Gov. John R. Kasich finds himself the target of protests, insults and legislative resistance. This time, though, it’s coming from Republicans. At stake are not only the political futures of Kasich and legislators, but the expansion of Medicaid for 600,000 Ohioans, 80 new sales taxes, a severance tax on natural gas and oil drillers, and income tax cuts for businesses and individuals. Ultimately, the schism is over what it means to be Republican. The protest of the governor’s speech by two dozen tea party members last week in Cincinnati is the latest demonstration of that schism.

INTERNATIONAL:

New York Daily News: Captain of Air France plane that crashed into Atlantic Ocean killing everyone on board was running on one hour of sleep

The pilots in charge of a packed Air France plane that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean were all dangerously tired–and the captain had just one hour of sleep. A new report reveals that Marc Debois, captain of the doomed AF447, wasn’t functioning at his finest during his June 2009 flight from Rio de Janiero in Brazil to Paris, France. According to a previously undisclosed report obtained by the French news magazine Le Point, the 58-year-old Dubois can be heard on a black box recording saying, “I didn’t sleep enough last night. One hour–it’s not enough.”

CNN: Arwa Damon's Iraq: Suffocating in a cloak of sorrow

It was an odd splash of color that jumped out from the drab gray shades of the dusty battleground in Iraq: a red shoe smaller than my hand, adorned with a pink ribbon and bow. The sickening cacophony of war - the crackle of gunfire, thud of artillery and bone-shaking tremors of air strikes - drifted into a background haze. I stood there staring at the shoe. The image remains so vivid in my mind I could paint it on a canvas from memory.

ALSO SEE: CNN Full Coverage – Iraq: 10 years on

CNN: Canadian prisoners captured after daring helicopter escape

Even by dramatic jailbreak standards, this escape was particularly brazen. Two men posing as tourists reportedly commandeered a helicopter from a Canadian tour company, ordered the pilot to fly over a detention center near Montreal, hoisted two inmates using cables or ropes into the hovering aircraft - and zipped away. All in broad daylight. All in full view of incredulous witnesses. It was a real "James Bond moment," witness Francis Emond told CNN affiliate CTV about Sunday's escape from the correctional facility in Saint -Jerome, about half-hour northwest of Montreal. But despite the movie-worthy getaway, the prisoners' freedom didn't last long. By early Monday morning, authorities arrested both inmates and two other people.

AFP: Syrian opposition meets to choose rebel PM

A Free Syrian Army fighter points his weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar alAssad in Aleppo's alAmereya district. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

Syria’s opposition coalition meets in Istanbul on Monday to select their first rebel prime minister, tasked with running daily life in large swathes of territory freed from regime control but mired in chaos and poverty. A former agriculture minister, an economist and a communications executive lead the race in a vote that could change the course of Syria’s conflict. The rebel premier’s first task would be to appoint a new government, which would be based inside Syria.

ALSO SEE: Reuters: Syria rebels seize security compound near Golan

NYT: Terror Haven in Mali Feared After French Leave

With France planning to start withdrawing its troops from Mali next month, Western and African officials are increasingly concerned that the African soldiers who will be relied on to continue the campaign against militants linked to Al Qaeda there do not have the training or equipment for the job.            The heaviest fighting so far, which has driven the militants out of the towns and cities of northeastern Mali, has been borne by French and Chadian forces, more or less alone.

Financial Times: Cypriot authorities in revised deal talks

Cyprus’ embattled president was on Sunday in talks with Brussels and political rivals to ease the terms of a planned levy on smaller deposit holders as he tried to scrape together a parliamentary majority for a €10bn bailout for the debt-laden island. President Nicos Anastasiades is still intending to raise €5.8bn from Cypriot bank accounts to help fund the bailout, an unprecedented move by the eurozone that could yet spark wider concern about the safety of bank deposits in the bloc.

ALSO SEE: CNNMoney: Rush to ATMs in Cyprus on EU bailout tax

BBC: Italy marines row: India court says envoy has no legal immunity

India's Supreme Court has said Italy's envoy does not have legal immunity, in an escalating row over Rome's refusal to return two marines charged with murdering two Indian fishermen. India's Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said the court had "lost trust" in Italy's ambassador Daniele Mancini.

Global Post: Egypt may replace police with private security companies

It seems police here have finally had enough. Earlier this month — following more than a month of clashes between security forces and protesters, in which at least two policemen died — riot police and regular officers started a near-nationwide strike to protest intolerable working conditions and what they say is their role as political pawns in the government’s fight with the opposition. Egyptians say they’ve noticed little difference with the police, whose notorious brutality spawned the uprising here two years ago, now that they’re off the streets. Their presence often provoked more violence anyway, they say. But the mutiny has also given rise to alarming calls by officials for “popular committees” — or militias — and private security companies to both legally and informally assume police duties to fill the vacuum.

CNN: Saudi cleric to government: Clean up act 'before violence is kindled'

One of Saudi Arabia's most prominent and popular clerics has issued a stark warning to the Saudi government, saying it must take serious steps toward instituting reform, stamping out corruption and releasing political detainees "before violence is kindled." In an open letter published online over the weekend, Salman Al-Oadah described a rising tide of anger in the deeply conservative kingdom, writing that "negative feelings have been accumulating for a long time" in Saudi Arabia.

Al Jazeera: UN to debate global arms treaty

Diplomats from around the world are to gather at the United Nations for talks on an international arms trade treaty, in an effort to stop the sale of illegal conventional arms. Similar talks held last July failed, mainly due to the objections of the United States and Russia, the world's two largest arms exporters. The talks will kick off at the UN headquarters on Monday and will last two weeks.

The Telegraph: Israel to define itself as 'national state of Jewish people' – despite Arab population

The move is likely to be denounced as weakening Israel's democratic principles while triggering accusations of official discrimination against Arabs, who form around 20 per cent of the population. The legislation is being proposed under an agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Beiteinu bloc and the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, who will form part of a new governing coalition along with two Centrist parties.

The Guardian: Press regulation deal hailed by Labour after last-ditch talks

A cross-party deal for a new press regulator underpinned by statute appeared to have been reached on Mondayas Labour said it was confident reopened talks had reached a workable agreement that could be put to MPs. There is likely to be a ferocious propaganda battle about whether the prime minister has blinked, or whether he has stood his ground to protect the press from what some newspaper organisations regard as unacceptable interference.

CNN: Francis to meet Argentina's president as decades-old accusations persist

The Vatican has sought to quell controversy over Pope Francis' conduct during Argentina's so-called Dirty War, amid accusations that he could have done more to protect two Jesuit priests who were kidnapped. A meeting on the pope's agenda on Monday may be another sign that he's trying to put the past behind him. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is scheduled to meet with Francis in the afternoon.

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: Stocks: Worries over Cyprus bailout deal

Investors will look for direction this week from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the housing market to steer markets back into the green. But an emergency deal on Saturday to bailout Cyprus, the tiny European country, could throw global investors into a little bit of disarray.

Financial Times: HSBC set to cut thousands more jobs

HSBC is gearing up for thousands more job cuts, with Europe’s biggest bank by market value set to outline the next stage in its strategic overhaul at an investor day in two months’ time. “There is no fantastical new strategy out there,” said one person familiar with the bank’s planning. “But there’s still huge potential to be more efficient.”


Filed under: Washington AM Note
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    CNN, another newsflash. This sequestration (lying altar boy, the weeper, skin man from KY, the nutty canadian from TX) it all abour repealing Obamacare.
    They have been trying to knock off the shelf for years, even after the supreme court rules in its favor, that's what millions losing their jobs ro being furloughed (but not them in congress) is all about!

    March 18, 2013 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  2. king

    these repubs have been obstructing every thing this president tried to do since they took over congress in 2010, including 3 grand bargains, that would have cut the budget they yell about on a daily basis. all they shout is cut cut cut, and does care who goes down the drain, and at the same time shoveling money to wall street, and putting the whole country on the mercy of the stock market, while govenors cut assistance for the poor and weak, dampining local businesses, and our infrastructure keeps dwindling away like the sands of the desert, at the same time countries like china and india are modernizing, and wall street is investing like locus in those countries, building their economies and armies. may yah help america.

    March 18, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Bloomberg: California Fracking Fight Has $25 Billion Taxes at Stake
    --------------------
    It is unfortunate that oil companies were able to get such a strong foothold in fracking during the past decade. The profits have rolled in, and now plams are being greased. Fracking is fracking dangerous. As it currently stands, the industry is arguably unregulated, and those that are in place go unenforced. It was banned fro decades for good reason. All evidence points to more harm than good.

    March 18, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |