CNN Washington AM Note
July 2nd, 2013
05:19 AM ET
10 months ago

CNN Washington AM Note

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: Loss of 19 firefighters in Arizona blaze 'unbearable,' governor says
They were part of an elite squad confronting wildfires on the front line, setting up barriers to stop the spreading destruction. But in their unpredictable world, it doesn't take much to turn a situation deadly. In this case, a wind shift and other factors caused a central Arizona fire, which now spans 8,400 acres, to become erratic, said Mike Reichling, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman. Though the deaths are under investigation, the inferno appears to have proved too much, even for the shelters the 19 firefighters carried as a last-ditch survival tool.
ALSO SEE: NPR: How Firefighters Cope With Profound Tragedy
AZ Central: Yarnell Hill Fire: Feds assume command from state

CNN: Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin attacked me
Jurors got to hear George Zimmerman’s story in his own words for the first time Monday as his interviews with police were played in court. The former neighborhood watch captain is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin.
ALSO SEE: Associated Press: Police questioning of Zimmerman grew more pointed
WATCH: VIDEO CNN's Anderson Cooper and a panel of legal experts discuss if the prosecution should have gone for second-degree murder.

Boston Globe: Security measures dampen mood for July Fourth party
This year’s celebration on the Esplanade, which traditionally draws about a half-million people and is the city’s largest event since the Marathon, is fraught with concerns. Some worry that no matter how much authorities beef up security, it will not be enough to stop a determined terrorist. Others call new rules banning everything from backpacks to wheeled coolers Draconian and insist they will sap the joy of lounging beside the river for the day. Last week, State Police said they will deploy hundreds of uniformed and undercover troopers, private security, federal agents, and National Guardsmen to the Esplanade on July 3 and 4. There will be new checkpoints with metal detectors, more cameras, and other surveillance.

Reuters: Documents show Milwaukee archdiocese shielded pedophile priests
Roman Catholic Church officials in Milwaukee vigorously shielded pedophile priests and protected church funds from lawsuits during a decades-long sex abuse scandal, according to hundreds of documents released on Monday.

USA Today: College default rates higher than grad rates
More than 260 colleges and universities in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have students who are more likely to default on their loans than full-time freshmen are to graduate, an analysis of federal data shows. Hundreds of thousands of students are enrolled at the 265 schools, nearly half of which are operated by for-profit colleges, a USA TODAY analysis shows. About one-third of the schools they attended were are public community colleges.

WHITE HOUSE:

CNN: Obama in Tanzania, sees Africa as next global economic success
Obama is in Africa to promote an increased partnership amid criticism the United States has, outside of military interests, focused its attention on other areas of the world. Tanzania is an important partner on security and development, and Obama sought to highlight its economic potential with China and other foreign governments paying more attention to it lately.
WATCH: CNN: President Obama will spend his last day in Africa visiting the site of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing.
ALSO SEE: NBC: Bush, Obama meeting in Africa highlights continuity in War on Terror

Politico: On Egypt, painfully familiar ground for Obama
President Barack Obama insisted Monday that he isn’t taking sides in the standoff between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and millions of protesters who’ve taken to the streets to protest his policies. But that’s not likely to be enough for many in those angry crowds, who seem firmly convinced that the White House has bolstered the Muslim Brotherhood leader, even as ordinary Egyptians — and some in his own cabinet — have grown increasingly dissatisfied with his rule.

The Guardian: Barack Obama seeks to limit EU fallout over US spying claims
Barack Obama has sought to limit the damage from the growing transatlantic espionage row after Germany and France denounced the major snooping activities of US agencies and warned of a possible delay in the launch next week of ambitious free-trade talks between Europe and the US.
ALSO SEE: CNN: All nations collect intelligence, Obama says

Detroit Free Press: Obama's Affordable Care Act could lift a financial burden off Detroit
As Detroit confronts a possible municipal bankruptcy, the forthcoming rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care law could be the city’s lucky break. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr has proposed moving younger retired city workers who do not yet qualify for Medicare out of their city-sponsored health plans and into the new federal system, which takes full effect Jan. 1. Detroit is only the second major city, following Chicago, to propose shifting the financial burden of its retiree health care obligations to the new exchanges.

CAPITOL HILL:

CNN: Brother of Colorado Sen. Mark Udall missing in Rocky Mountains
The brother of U.S. Senator Mark Udall of Colorado has gone missing after backpacking alone in the Rocky Mountains. Randy Udall, 61, went on a hike of the Wind River Range in Wyoming on June 20 and was expected back six days later. After the experienced hiker did not return, family members reported him missing, said the Sublette County Sheriff's office.

Politico: Paul Ryan to boost House Republican fundraising
Rep. Paul Ryan has committed to dramatically ramping up his fundraising appearances to help fellow House Republicans, a move that will help boost his political muscle among GOP lawmakers and bring piles of cash to the party’s election arm. Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential candidate and current chairman of the House Budget Committee, has 20 political events scheduled between now and the end of 2013, according to a Republican aide.

WXPost: Immigration deal would boost defense manufacturers
The border security plan the Senate approved last week includes unusual language mandating the purchase of specific models of helicopters and radar equipment for deployment along the U.S.-Mexican border, providing a potential windfall worth tens of millions of dollars to top defense contractors.

CNN: Former Philadelphia congressman dies in London
Former U.S. Rep. William Herbert Gray has died, according to family spokesman William Epstein. First elected in 1978, Gray went on to become the first African-American to serve as majority whip and as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He also advanced anti-apartheid legislation during his tenure in the House, which lasted until 1991.

POLITICAL:

CNN: McConnell gets an opponent, and Dems land candidate
National Democrats have landed their candidate to face off against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Kentucky's Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who many in the party consider their best hope to try and unseat McConnell in next year's midterm elections, announced Monday that she will form a campaign in the next two weeks. Starting in March, when actress and activist Ashley Judd announced that she would not challenge McConnell, Grimes came under pressure to announce her intentions one way or another, with national Democrats touting her as a top potential candidate.

Foreign Policy: GOP Hammers Obama for 'Supporting the Wrong People' in Egypt
Republicans are hammering the Obama administration for its Egypt policy. But they're hitting from different angles: some don't like what they see as administration support of an increasingly-authoritarian government in Cairo; others want to increase the amount of military aid to Egypt; while a third, fringe faction is sure that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the White House.

NYT: G.O.P. Groups Offering Cover for Lawmakers on Immigration
Mr. Rubio’s advocacy for a proposal that would allow immigrants here illegally to gain a path to citizenship has made him a pariah among some rank-and-file Republicans. But many of the most powerful and well-financed forces in the party are moving to provide cover for the Florida senator and Republicans like him who are pushing to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Their message: if we ever want to take back the White House, we have to stop devouring our own. As the party assesses its chances for the 2016 presidential campaign, many Republican strategists believe that they need as robust a primary field as possible, with more than just one or two viable potential contenders.

FOX: Republicans use 'war on coal' charge to tarnish Dems ahead of elections
Foes of President Obama's alleged "war on coal" climate plan are hoping to use the combustible issue to tarnish Democrats in the next round of elections. The political backlash started almost immediately after the president announced last week he's ordering the EPA to draft new rules to limit emissions at coal-fired power plants.

BuzzFeed: Cory Booker’s New Balancing Act
In New Jersey’s special election, a 10-week summer sprint to succeed the late Frank Lautenberg, winning won’t be Cory Booker’s problem. The mayor of this city, the state’s largest, leads the polls with more than half the Democratic vote, but as the clock ticks down to the primary in six weeks, and the general in 15, Booker is facing his own dilemma: During a year he pledged to make his most important and productive as mayor, Booker’s attention is split between City Hall and a campaign that sends him out of Newark nearly every day. Instead of focusing entirely on his last year in the city, Booker is struggling to do two unremitting jobs at once.

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: As airport stay drags on, Snowden seeks new havens
The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says it has submitted asylum requests to 19 more countries for Edward Snowden, the ex-National Security Agency computer contractor who has admitted leaking details of U.S. surveillance programs to reporters. The countries include Russia, where Snowden has been holed up at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport since June 23. The rest are scattered from South America to several European Union countries, India and China.
SEE ALSO: The Guardian: Rafael Correa not considering Snowden asylum: helping him was a 'mistake'
CNN: Cheat sheet: Catching up on Snowden and the latest NSA leaks

Yahoo: Syria, Snowden top topics for Kerry-Lavrov meeting
The Syrian crisis and National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden were hot-button topics Tuesday at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of an Asian summit in Brunei. Kerry wanted to talk to Lavrov about Russia's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, which is fighting against opposition forces armed by Western and Arab nations, and the case involving Snowden, which has strained U.S.-Russia relations.

The Guardian: Clapper under pressure despite apology for 'erroneous' statements to Congress
The US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has attempted to head off criticism that he lied to Congress over the extent of government surveillance on American citizens, with a letter to senators in which he apologized for giving "erroneous" information. Two weeks after telling NBC news that he gave the "least untruthful answer possible" at a hearing in March, Clapper wrote to the Senate intelligence committee to correct his response to a question about whether the National Security Agency "collected data on millions of Americans".

ABC: Snowden Faces Asylum Hurdles in Europe
Poland has rejected NSA leaker Edward Snowden's asylum request, while officials in Germany, Norway, Austria and Switzerland say that he cannot apply for asylum from abroad. The anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks says Snowden, who is believed to be at a transit area of a Russian airport, has asked for asylum in 21 countries including 13 in Europe.

NYT: Snowden Seeks Asylum in Russia, Putting Kremlin on the Spot
The Kremlin on Monday found itself confronted with a dilemma it had hoped to avoid, after an official revealed that Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States, had submitted a request to Russia for political asylum. Kim N. Shevchenko, the consul at Sheremetyevo airport, said that Mr. Snowden’s traveling companion hand-delivered Mr. Snowden’s request late Sunday evening to a Russian consulate in Terminal F of the airport, and that it had been passed to the country’s Foreign Ministry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/world/europe/snowden-applies-for-asylum-in-russia.html?hp

TRANSPORTATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

CNN: Airline complaint takes flight with Richard Branson's help
Some might call it the plain truth - others, the plane truth. Virgin Group boss Richard Branson, who once received what's widely considered the world's best complaint letter, is sharing another one with his 3 million Twitter followers. Fortunately for him, it was sent to another airline. The sarcastic open letter to LIAT Airlines first appeared in The BVI Beacon, a newspaper in the British Virgin Islands, in April, but caught Branson's attention last week.

FOX: Regulations Bleed California Farmers Dry, as Record Drought Continues
As drought conditions and extreme heat continue to plague California, farmers in the Central Valley are struggling to get enough water to feed their land - the bread basket of the Golden State. But the weather alone isn’t to blame. Fish and Wildlife regulations tightly control water resources in the state, making it impossible earlier this year for the reservoirs to capture the rain, when it fell late last fall. And because of the endangered species in the region, pumping water is also restricted, leaving farmers high and dry.

CNN: Government will review immigration petitions for same-sex couples
U.S. immigration officers will begin reviewing visa applications for same-sex spouses of American citizens, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Monday. Her statement was in response to last week’s Supreme Court decision that found a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied certain federal benefits to same-sex couples, unconstitutional.

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

Austin Statesman: 2nd overtime session begins with demonstrations, tense Senate session
The hotly debated Texas abortion bill will get a House panel hearing Tuesday, following a nationally covered special session on Monday that drew large crowds of protestors. Texas Governor Rick Perry called last week's events in the state Capitol as "unprecedented anarchy".

Chicago Tribune: Waukegan police chief resigns his post after false military claims
Waukegan's police chief resigned from his post Monday at the mayor's request after acknowledging he made false claims about his military career. He will remain with the department at a lower rank. Mayor Wayne Motley announced at Monday night's City Council meeting that he asked for and received Robert Kerkorian's resignation after a series of Tribune reports indicating the chief had made false claims about his military training and service as a Navy SEAL.

WXPost: Prince George’s hopes to bring doctors to a Zip code where there are few
There are many ways to combat poverty, but Maryland is the first state in the nation to try an approach focused solely on health care. Taking a page from tax-incentive programs that have spurred businesses in troubled corridors, the state has designated the Zip code one of five “health enterprise zones” in hopes of luring more medical resources to the community. The designation entitles the area to $1.1 million in state funding that can be used to help pay off loans for recent medical school grads, purchase discount medical equipment or provide security at clinics. Those perks are intended to be enough to lure five clinics to set up shop over the next three years and recruit 11 full-time primary-care physicians, two dentists and five nurse practitioners to staff them.

USA Today: N.J. labor law limits volunteer help for Sandy relief
A New Jersey statute now under review by state officials prohibits anyone under age 18 from coming within 30 feet of construction work. While there is an exception for helping nonprofit organizations with affordable housing, no such exception currently exists for disaster relief. The statute banning younger teens from construction work is part of the state's child labor laws and regulations. It is part of the same law that prohibits anyone under age 18 from working at a mine or quarry or using heavy machinery in various capacities, and limits employment related to alcohol. The crux of the state statute is safety, but it's all-encompassing wording has restricted how many volunteers can help with recovery after Sandy.

LA Times: Yoga in public schools is not religious instruction, judge rules
A San Diego Superior Court judge rejected a claim Monday by parents in the Encinitas elementary school system that teaching yoga in the schools is an improper attempt at religious indoctrination. The ruling by Judge John Meyer, who heard the case without a jury, means that the Encinitas Union School District can continue to teach yoga as part of a health and exercise curriculum.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: Tick tock: Deadline looms for Egypt's Morsy
One deadline came and went Tuesday for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy; another hangs over his head. Opposition protesters threatened to march on Cairo's Presidential Palace, if Morsy did not step down Tuesday. By noon, he gave no indication he would do so. But that was expected. What's unclear is what happens Wednesday. That's when a 48-hour deadline imposed by the Egypt's military expires.

CNN: 10 dead after Taliban attack on NATO suppliers' compound in Kabul
Five suicide attackers struck a compound housing NATO suppliers in Kabul on Tuesday, detonating a truck bomb and exchanging fire with security forces, the Afghan interior ministry said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The clashes resulted in the death of four Nepali guards at the compound, an Afghan civilian and all five attackers, said ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. Five civilians were wounded, he said.

CNN: New Chinese law: Visit your parents
A new national law introduced this week requires the offspring of parents older than 60 to visit their parents "frequently" and make sure their financial and spiritual needs are met. According to Xinhua, China had about 185 million people above the age of 60 at the end of 2011. The figure is expected to surge to 221 million in 2015 and by 2050 a third of China's population will be classed as elderly.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/02/world/asia/china-elderly-law/index.html

WATCH: VIDEO CNN's David McKenzie reports on a new Chinese law to protect the elderly.

The Times of London: MPs’ pay rise unstoppable without changing the law
Emergency laws are now the only way to block a pay rise for MPs that is set to plunge Parliament into a new row with voters, David Cameron has been warned. Plans that could see MPs’ salaries top the £70,000-a-year mark will be announced next week in a move that ministers are convinced will enrage the public.

BUSINESS:

Bloomberg: Fed Voting to Bring U.S. Capital Rules in Line With Basel
U.S. banking regulators seeking to prevent another global financial meltdown are set to impose new minimums for capital amid predictions that smaller lenders will get easier terms. The Federal Reserve goes first today with a vote that could call for banks to maintain loss-absorbing capital equal to at least 7 percent of risk-weighted assets, in line with international standards agreed upon by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The global capital accord in 2010 among the 27 countries of the committee is meant to bolster regulation, supervision and risk management in the banking system to reduce the chance for a repeat of the 2008 credit crisis.

WSJ: A Revitalized Car Industry Cranks Up U.S. Exports
The U.S. auto industry, in tatters just four years ago, is emerging as an export powerhouse, driven by favorable exchange rates and labor costs in a trend experts say could drive business for many years. In a sign of the turnaround, Honda Motor Co., once a big importer of Japanese-made cars, says it expects to export more vehicles from North America—with nearly all of them coming from its U.S. factories—than it brings in from Japan by the end of 2014.

NYT: Paid via Card, Workers Feel Sting of Fees
A growing number of American workers are confronting a frustrating predicament on payday: to get their wages, they must first pay a fee. For these largely hourly workers, paper paychecks and even direct deposit have been replaced by prepaid cards issued by their employers. Employees can use these cards, which work like debit cards, at an A.T.M. to withdraw their pay. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, using the card involves a fee. These fees can take such a big bite out of paychecks that some employees end up making less than the minimum wage once the charges are taken into account, according to interviews with consumer lawyers, employees, and state and federal regulators.

Investors Business Daily: Apple iWatch Signaled, Market Size Questioned
Notoriously secretive Apple appears to have tipped its hand that it's making a smartwatch. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has applied for a trademark in Japan for "iWatch," the rumored name for the device, various news outlets reported Monday. The Apple iWatch has been rumored since last year. Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated publicly that wearable computers are an "incredibly interesting" product category, and he predicted that lots of companies will enter that market.

WSJ: Inside China's Bank-Rate Missteps
A rare peek into the actions of China's leaders in a month when a Chinese cash crunch spooked global investors shows a leadership falling short in its struggle to redirect China's economy and also faltering in its efforts to communicate its intentions to markets. The People's Bank of China instigated the cash shortages that catapulted Chinese interest rates to nosebleed highs during the past two weeks because the central bank felt it had no alternative amid what it saw as out-of-control credit growth, according to an internal document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.


Filed under: Washington AM Note
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. king

    imagine, their is a black thug following a white guy walking from his friend house to his house at night with the rain pouring down, this question is to one of you rural gun touting white guys, what will you do, would you run screaming or would you do like Trevon did, when he had a creepy white mass murderer following him to his house. i wish i had a survey to see what the percent of you guys would run screaming and not stand your ground as Trevon Martin did. i wonder if the role was reversed and Trevon was following his assailant if the country would have reacted the same way. i am just trying to open the eyes of some fare minded Americans.

    July 2, 2013 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    CNN: Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin attacked me
    --------------–
    According to statements made to police, Zimmerman was attacked by Martin. Martin was on top of him, covering his mouth and nose, smothering Zimmerman. After making those statements, police play a 911 tape for Zimmerman and ask him to identify the voice crying out for help.

    Zimmerman says that it is not his voice crying for help. He was being smothered, so how could he cry out for help. But now, Zimmerman is claiming that it is indeed his voice on the tape crying for help, while still asserting that Trayvon Martin was smothering him and he feared for his life. Yeah, right.

    July 2, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |