ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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November13, 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.

WORLD

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

U.S.

War opens inside GOP on immigration (The Hill)

November 10, 2012 -- A war has opened within the GOP over whether to embrace immigration reform in the wake of President Obama’s thumping of Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters.

Conservative hero Sean Hannity said Thursday he had evolved on immigration reform after Romney lost Hispanics by 40 percentage points to Obama, while Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said a “comprehensive approach” on the issue was “long overdue.”

Can police collect DNA before conviction? Supreme Court to hear case. (Christian Science Monitor)

November 9, 2012 -- The US Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a case examining whether the Fourth Amendment permits police to collect and analyze a person’s DNA at the time of arrest or whether they have to wait until after the suspect has been convicted to take a DNA sample.

The case raises the thorny issue of when the government is allowed to collect a DNA sample from an individual and store it in a national database.

Supreme Court appears ready to nuke the Voting Rights Act (Mother Jones)

November 9, 2012 -- A key pillar of American civil rights law is now in danger of being nullified by the Supreme Court. 

Shelby County, Alabama, is seeking to have Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the law that first guaranteed the right of blacks in the South to vote, declared unconstitutional. Section 5 forces areas of the country with a history of discrimination—mostly, but not entirely in the South—to ask the Department of Justice for its approval before making any changes to election rules. The DOJ is then supposed to ensure any changes protect Americans' voting rights. The law has a provision allowing jurisdictions to "bail out," but conservatives have repeatedly challeged the law as unconstitutional federal overreach that is no longer necessary because America has transcended its history of racial discrimination. The Supreme Court announced Friday that it would take up the case.  

CIA Director David Petraeus resigns, cites extramarital affair (NBC News)

November 9, 2012 -- CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair and "extremely poor judgment."

As first reported by NBC News, Petraeus disclosed the affair in a letter released to the CIA work force on Friday afternoon, writing: "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

Petraeus told President Barack Obama of his affair and offered his resignation during a meeting Thursday, a senior official told NBC News. 

Obama wins Florida, sweeping all battleground states (CNN)

November 9, 2012 -- President Barack Obama will narrowly win the presidential vote in Florida, CNN projected, based on updated vote totals provided by the counties to the state by Saturday’s noon deadline.

Obama won the state with 50.01% of the vote compared with 49.13% for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, according to those numbers. The incumbent's margin of victory was just shy of 74,000 votes.

George P. Bush gears up for political run in Texas (KPBS)

November 9, 2012 --  After Republican losses on Election Day, some wonder if the GOP has a critical Latino problem. Can George Bush fix that problem?

Not one of the former presidents, but George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush. His mother is a Mexican immigrant and he’s fluent in Spanish. And he’s laying the foundation for a statewide run for office.

Obama, Boehner reiterate plan to work on ‘fiscal cliff’ but offer differing ways to do so (Washington Post)

November 10, 2012 -- President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) on Saturday reiterated pledges to work together to avoid the impending “fiscal cliff” of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes. But in their weekly radio addresses, the two leaders offered radically different visions for raising revenues while cutting spending.

The president listed job creation and economic growth as his top priorities. While pledging to not raise taxes on most Americans, the president said spending cuts must be combined with “asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.”

Marijuana legalization victories could be short-lived (Reuters)

November 7, 2012 -- Votes making Colorado and Washington the first U.S. states to legalize marijuana for recreational use could be short-lived victories for pot backers because the federal government will fight them, two former U.S. drug control officials said on Wednesday.

They said the federal government could sue to block parts of the measures or send threatening letters to marijuana shops, followed up by street-level clampdowns similar to those targeting medical marijuana dispensaries the government suspects are fronts for drug traffickers.

After Sandy, communities mobilize a new kind of disaster relief (Common Dreams)

November 3, 2012 -- I’m not sure when I realized that we were in the middle of a full-blown disaster. Maybe it was when I saw the outline of a National Guard soldier hanging off the side of a hummer on a blackened strip of Rockaway Boulevard. Perhaps it was when I received a panicky email from an assemblyman’s office saying that “ppl are starving in Broad Channel.” I’m sure the comparisons to Hurricane Katrina and September 11 helped speed the realization. All I know for sure is that by Thursday, when widespread gas shortages swept New York City and out-of-staters began offering to donate bio-diesel trucks, I understood that we were organizing in the midst of a crisis.

West Nile cases still climbing as temperatures drop (NPR)

November 7, 2012 -- Summer may be long gone, but cases of West Nile virus are still popping up – making this year's outbreak the worst so far in the U.S. since 2003.

New tallies released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bring the total case count for the year to 5,054, and the death toll to 228 — more than the past four years combined.

The mosquito-borne virus has struck some states harder than others. Roughly 80 percent of cases occurred in the twelve states – Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Ohio, and Arizona. Texas has borne the brunt of the outbreak with 1,684 cases (about one third of the national total), and Dallas took its mosquito control measures at the end of the summer to the next level with city-wide spraying.

WORLD

To combat sanctions, Iran buys up gold (NPR)

November 9, 2012 -- Iran is stockpiling gold. That's the way David Cohen sees it. He's undersecretary of the Treasury, and the Treasury's point man for the banking sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Iran.

"Iran is attempting to hoard gold, both by acquiring it and by preventing the export of gold from Iran, in a somewhat desperate attempt to try and defend the value of its currency," Cohen says.

Wind farm noise does harm sleep and health, say scientists ( UK Telegraph)

November 3, 2012 -- American and British researchers compared two groups of residents in the US state of Maine. One group lived within a mile of a wind farm and the second group did not.

Both sets of people were demographically and socially similar, but the researchers found major differences in the quality of sleep the two groups enjoyed.

The findings provide the clearest evidence yet to support long-standing complaints from people living near turbines that the sound from their rotating blades disrupts sleep patterns and causes stress-related conditions.

Strong earthquake off Guatemala kills at least 48 (Reuters) 

November 8, 2012 -- A strong earthquake off the coast of Guatemala killed at least 48 people and trapped others under rubble on Wednesday, crushing homes and cars, destroying roads and forcing evacuations as far away as Mexico City.

Most of the dead were buried under debris in San Marcos state, a mountainous region near the Mexican border. Landslides triggered by the 7.4-magnitude quake blocked highways and complicated rescue efforts.