ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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January 10, 2013 (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 reflect 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.

Congress less popular than cockroaches (Salon)

January 8, 2013--Public Policy Polling had a little bit of fun with its latest survey of how Americans view Congress, and found that Congress is less popular than a number of things that are terrible. “We decided to take a different approach and test Congress’ popularity against 26 different things. And what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and even Nickelback,” Tom Jensen of PPP writes.

The poll finds that Congress has a 9 percent favorability rating, with 85 percent of voters having a negative view of it. Among the things more popular than Congress: lice, Brussels sprouts, NFL replacement refs, colonoscopies, root canals, traffic jams, cockroaches, carnies and more:

High court to tackle Native American adoption dispute (CNN)

January 5, 2013--A custody battle involving the "best interests" of a 3-year-old Cherokee girl will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, an issue spanning the rights of adoptive parents and the desire to preserve Native American families within tribes.

The justices announced they will hear an appeal from Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who legally adopted little Veronica in 2009, shortly after the birth mother agreed to give up the child. Oral arguments in the case will likely be heard in April with a ruling by late June.

Congress lets Violence Against Women Act wither away (MSNBC)

January 2, 2013--House Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted against his own party’s leadership Tuesday night on the fiscal cliff Senate bill, and lost. According to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Cantor was working “as hard as he could” to get a vote on Hurricane Sandy relief–he lost that, too.

But Cantor won something else Tuesday night: he managed to effectively kill the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and send advocates for its reauthorization back to the drawing board.

New immigration policy aims to limit family separations (KPBS)

January 2, 2013-- Federal authorities announced a new policy Monday to help some families stay together during the immigration process.

The change addresses the fact that some undocumented immigrants who marry U.S. citizens, or have parents or children who are U.S. citizens,face a dilemma when it comes to legalizing their own status.

Disappearing Mule Deer A New Reality Throughout Western U.S. (NPR)

January 2, 2013--And I'm Audie Cornish. Scientists throughout the west are investigating a mysterious disappearance. Mule deer are vanishing. In Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, populations are half what they were in the 1970s. From Aspen Public Radio, Luke Runyon reports on some possible reasons.

LUKE RUNYON, BYLINE: When John Halandras was just a boy growing up on his family's ranch in the northwest corner of Colorado, his father would take him deer hunting. Back then, it wasn't even a challenge.

Gabrielle Giffords takes on the gun lobby (CNN)

January 8, 2013--Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly have launched what they hope will mark a new era in the battle over gun rights in America.

On the second anniversary of a mass shooting in Arizona that wounded Giffords and killed six others, the couple launched a political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions, along with a website calling for contributions to help "encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership."

Texas school can force teenager to wear locator chip: judge (Reuters)

January 8, 2013--A public school district in Texas can require students to wear locator chips when they are on school property, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday in a case raising technology-driven privacy concerns among liberal and conservative groups alike.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia said the San Antonio Northside School District had the right to expel sophomore Andrea Hernandez, 15, from a magnet school at Jay High School, because she refused to wear the device, which is required of all students.

Hillary Clinton released from hospital after treatment of blood clot (Los Angeles Times)

January 2, 2013--Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was released from a New York hospital Wednesday evening after doctors treated her for a blood clot that had formed behind her ear.

"Her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery," Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of State, said in a statement. "She's eager to get back to the office, and we will keep you updated on her schedule as it becomes clearer in the coming days."

Fiscal cliff deal sneaks in Wall Street gifts, NASCAR perks (Huffington Post)

January 2, 2013--The 11th-hour deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff preserved billions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways even as it slashed take-home pay for millions of American workers.

Tucked inside the last-minute fiscal cliff package were more than a dozen tax loopholes, many of which will benefit Wall Street financial firms and some of the nation's biggest corporations. These breaks will cost billions of dollars in the coming year, underscoring the lobbying power of corporate interests.

Al Jazeera buys Al Gore’s Current TV (CBS)

January 2, 2013--Al-Jazeera, the Pan-Arab news channel that struggled to win space on American cable television, has acquired Current TV, boosting its reach nearly ninefold to about 40 million homes. With a focus on U.S. news, it plans to rebrand the left-leaning news network that cofounder Al Gore couldn't make relevant.

The former vice president confirmed the sale Wednesday, saying in a statement that Al-Jazeera shares Current TV's mission "to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling."

Canadian oil sands pollute nearby lakes. Report is blow to Keystone pipeline.(Christian Science Monitor)

January 8, 2013--Production at the world's third largest source of oil has polluted surrounding waters with toxic substances, according to a new study. The findings add fuel to a fiery debate over a proposed pipeline connecting Canadian oil sands with US refineries.

Lakes as far as 56 miles away from production facilities near Fort McMurray, Alberta, show unnaturally high levels of substances linked to cancer. Researchers say they are the result of roughly half a century of development at the Athabasca oil sands.

State Department made "grievous mistake" over Benghazi: Senate report (Reuters)

January 1, 2013--The State Department made a "grievous mistake" in keeping the U.S. mission in Benghazi open despite inadequate security and increasingly alarming threat assessments in the weeks before a deadly attack by militants, a Senate committee said on Monday.

A report from the Senate Homeland Security Committee on the September 11 attacks on the U.S. mission and a nearby CIA annex, in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans died, faulted intelligence agencies for not focusing tightly enough on Libyan extremists.

WORLD

Indian proposes ban on child labor (Washington Post)

August 29, 2012--India’s government has proposed a ban on the employment of children younger than 14, as it tries to push more youngsters into school and address an issue that has sullied the country’s image as an emerging economic powerhouse.

The proposed amendment to India’s existing child labor laws would impose a three-year jail term and a fine of $900 for anyone who employs children younger than 14 in any work at all or uses children younger than 18 in hazardous industries.

UN says more than 60,000 dead in Syrian civil war (U-T San Diego)

January 2, 2013--This citizen journalism image taken from video provided by Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a wounded man being pulled from the site of a Syrian government airstrike on a gas station in the eastern Damascus suburb of Mleiha, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Activists say dozens of people have been killed or wounded in an air raid on a gas station near the capital Damascus. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video) — AP

Malala's father given diplomatic role in UK(U-T San Diego)

January 2, 2013--The father of a teenage Pakistani activist shot in the head by Taliban for advocating girls' education has been given a diplomatic post in the U.K.

Malala Yousufzai has been recovering at a hospital in Birmingham, England, after she was shot in October in Pakistan. The Taliban have vowed to target her again.

Pakistan's High Commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, confirmed a BBC report Wednesday saying that Malala's father, Ziauddin, has been appointed Pakistan's education attache in Birmingham.

Protecting Native rights: idle no more  (LA Progressive)

December 30, 2012--As Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence enters her fourth week on a hunger strike outside the Canadian parliament, thousands of protesters in Los Angeles, London, Minneapolis and New York City voice their support. Spence and the protesters of the Idle No More Movement are drawing attention to deplorable conditions in Native communities and recently passed legislation C-45, which sidesteps most Canadian environmental laws.

“Flash mob” protests with traditional dancing and drumming have erupted in dozens of shopping malls across North America, marches and highway blockades by aboriginal groups from across Canada and their supporters have emerged from as far away as New Zealand and the Middle East.

Biofuels cause pollution, not as green as thought - study (Reuters)

January 7, 2013--Green schemes to fight climate change by producing more bio-fuels could actually worsen a little-known type of air pollution and cause almost 1,400 premature deaths a year in Europe by 2020, a study showed on Sunday.

The report said trees grown to produce wood fuel - seen as a cleaner alternative to oil and coal - released a chemical into the air that, when mixed with other pollutants, could also reduce farmers' crop yields.

Online comments hurt science understanding; study finds (Journal of Science)

January 3, 2013--A new obstacle to scientific literacy may be emerging, according to a paper in the journal Science by two University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.

The new study reports that not only are just 12% of Americans turning to newspaper and magazine websites for science news, but when they do they may be influenced as much by the comments at the end of the story as they are by the report itself.