Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 10 a.m. roundup of the latest news about health care, the economy, national security, immigration and climate policy. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.
Portugal is announcing “three days of national mourning” after “torrential rain” on the island of Madeira “caused mud and water to stream down the streets in the capital city of Funchal and other towns with mud and stones,” claiming 42 lives and injuring 120.
Scientists who claimed sea level rise from global warming could not be more than 2.6 feet by 2100 — despite other estimates of up to six feet — have retracted the limit, accepting corrections from researchers who had made the higher estimates.
The American Farm Bureau urges senators that the “true measure of a member’s support for agriculture” will be found by overturning the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas pollution endangers the public welfare.
“Nato forces in southern Afghanistan bombed a civilian convoy, killing 27 people including women and children and injuring many more, Afghan officials said. The airstrike in a remote part of Oruzgan province yesterday capped a bloody week for Afghan civilians that has seen some 60 innocent people killed by Nato weapons”
“Israeli soldiers have clashed with protesters in the West Bank town of Hebron after two disputed shrines were listed as Israeli heritage sites.”
“Japan will defend its right to carry on whaling despite a threat of possible legal action led by Australia, a top government official has said. Speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Monday, Hirofumi Hirano, the Japanese cabinet secretary, said Japan’s annual hunt ‘is not an illegal act’.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that “high-profile Republicans are adopting a softer vocabulary on immigration and trying to recruit more Hispanic candidates, a response to the party’s soul-searching” concerning tactics that have alienated the Latino voting bloc.
The “often-divisive issue of immigration” didn’t make it to the shortened version of the GOP’s updated “Contract with America” that was distributed last week.
A recent report by the American Bar Assn. calls for making the immigration court system independent of the Justice Department to reduce “public skepticism” and increase respect.
Five former Treasury Secretaries are urging Congress to adopt the “Volcker Rule,” which would “bar banks that receive federal support from engaging in speculative activity unrelated to basic bank services.”
The Obama administration is proposing a change to No Child Left Behind that “would require states to adopt new academic standards to qualify for federal money from a $14 billion program that concentrates on impoverished students.”
“For the first time in almost three years, the number of homeowners falling behind on their loans is declining,” according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.