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ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS




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February 23, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include: 
 
U.S.

General news

  • Supreme Court takes up affirmative action case (ABC  News)
  • Post Office closings isolate small towns and poor (MSNBC)
  • Obama to float corporate tax overhaul (Reuters)
Presidential Election
  • 25 percent of Super PAC money comes from 5 rich donors (USA Today)
  • Super PAC donors revealed: Who are the  power players in the GOP primary? (Washington Post)
  • Is Santorum too extreme for the middle? (Los Angeles Times)
  • Mitt Romney says spending cuts hurt economic growth (Huffington Post)
  • A Republican platform for American women: barefoot and pregnant? (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
WORLD
  • U.N. nuclear inspectors barred from Iran site (Reuters)
  • Obama administration opens door to aid for Syrian rebels (Fox News)
HEALTH
  • FDA to ease critical cancer drug shortage (CBS News)
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

 

U.S.
 
General news
 
Supreme Court takes up affirmative action case (ABC  News)
 
February 21, 2012 -- The Supreme Court said today it would take up another hot-button social issue – affirmative action – around the time of the next presidential election.

The court has agreed to hear a case brought by Abigail Fisher, a white student, who says she was denied admission to the University of Texas based on the color of her skin.
 
The case has been closely monitored because supporters of affirmative action fear the high court might now be willing to curtail or restrict further race conscious admissions programs at public universities. Justice Elena Kagan will not participate in the case because she dealt with the issue in her previous job as U.S. solicitor general. 
 
Post Office closings isolate small towns and poor (MSNBC)
 
February 14, 2012 -- Postal officials were blunt in December when they stood before 120 residents in Dedham, Iowa, to tell them why their town's post office has to close. The Internet, officials said, was killing the U.S. Postal Service.
 
"Well, I have no Internet," resident Judy Ankenbauer said at the meeting. Like many of Dedham's 280 residents, Ankenbauer said she still relies on the post office to buy stamps and send letters and packages.
 
Obama to float corporate tax overhaul (Reuters)
 
February 22, 2012 -- President Barack Obama made an opening offer in what could be a long negotiation with corporate America on Wednesday, putting forward his first clear plan to cut the corporate tax rate.

Though it has little chance of becoming law in an election year with Congress deeply divided on fiscal issues, Obama's plan aligns him roughly with the Republican presidential challengers and could minimize the corporate tax rate as a political issue.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/22/us-usa-tax-corporate-idUSTRE81K25N20120222
Presidential Election
 
25 percent of Super PAC money comes from 5 rich donors (USA Today)
 
February 22, 2012 -- Five wealthy people, led by Dallas industrialist Harold Simmons and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, have donated nearly $1 of every $4 flowing to the super PACs raising unlimited money in this year's presidential race, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
Those donations have helped new Republican-leaning outside groups swamp Democratic-friendly super PACs in fundraising — money that is used largely for attack ads. The large sums also have rejuvenated the underfunded campaigns of principal challengers to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the race for the Repulican nomination.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-02-21/super-pac-donors/53196658/1
 
Super PAC donors revealed: Who are the  power players in the GOP primary? (Washington Post)
 
February 21, 2012 -- Harold C. Simmons, a billionaire corporate raider from Texas, pulled out his checkbook on Jan. 13 and gave $100,000 to a super PAC backing Mitt Romney, then donated $5 million more to another PAC stacked with Romney confidants.
But 11 days later, Simmons doled out $500,000 to a super PAC devoted to Newt Gingrich, who had just trounced Romney in the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/super-pac-donors-revealed-who-are-the-power-players-in-the-gop-primary/2012/02/21/gIQAPU3BSR_story.html?hpid=z1
Is Santorum too extreme for the middle? (Los Angeles Times)
 
February 21, 2012 -- Rick Santorum is winning the hearts of conservative voters with uncompromising social views that, he says, are drawn from the same well as his fiscal and environmental policies: a reading of America's founding documents that stresses their Judeo-Christian underpinnings.

In friendly settings around the country, in hotel ballrooms and public school auditoriums, Santorum has framed the 2012 election as one for the very salvation of the country and its culture.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-santorum-views-20120222,0,3642587.story

 
Mitt Romney says spending cuts hurt economic growth (Huffington Post)
 
February 21, 2012 -- Mitt Romney stepped on his message a bit Tuesday, and on attempts to draw attention to a forthcoming tax reform plan, by saying that spending cuts can damage the economy.
 
"If you just cut -- if all you're thinking about is just cutting spending -- why as you cut spending you'll slow down the economy, so you have to at the same time create pro-growth tax policies," Romney said during a town hall meeting in Michigan.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/romney-spending-cuts_n_1292261.html
A Republican platform for American women: barefoot and pregnant? (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
 
February 20, 2012 -- Our nation's bizarre debate over contraception, prenatal tests and cancer screenings raises a question:  Are Republicans in 2012 intent on running with the platform that American women should be kept barefoot and pregnant?
 
The theme on the GOP campaign trail seems to be cementing discrimination against gays and lesbians (using the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage) while rolling back the rights and access of women to birth control and abortion.
 
WORLD
 
U.N. nuclear inspectors barred from Iran site (Reuters)
 
February 22, 2012 -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says no deal has been reached on inspecting Parchin, south of Tehran, despite "intensive efforts".
IAEA inspectors had sought to clarify the "possible military dimensions" of Iran's nuclear programme.
Iran insists it is purely for peaceful purposes, but the West suspects it is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.
The IAEA said that after two days of talks, its team was returning from Iran without a deal on a document "facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17122738
Obama administration opens door to aid for Syrian rebels (Fox News)
 
February 21, 2012 -- The Obama administration opened the door slightly Tuesday to international military assistance for Syria's rebels, with officials saying new tactics may have to be explored if President Bashar Assad continues to defy pressure to halt a brutal crackdown on dissenters.
 
In coordinated messages, the White House and State Department said they still hope for a political solution. But faced with the daily onslaught by the Assad regime against Syrian civilians, officials dropped the administration's previous strident opposition to arming anti-regime forces. It remained unclear, though, what, if any, role the U.S. might play in providing such aid.
 
HEALTH
 
 
FDA to ease critical cancer drug shortage (CBS News)
February 21, 2012 -- The federal government is stepping in to help ease the shortage of two life-saving cancer drugs, Doxil and methotrexate, regulators announced Tuesday.
The FDA said it will temporarily allow importation of a replacement drug for Doxil, a drug for ovarian and other cancers that hasn't been available for new patients for months

 

 

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