Last week, President Obama called on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to immediately begin transitioning to a new government, but now the Obama administration “has reconciled itself to gradual political reform in Egypt.” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. supports democratic reforms across the region but acknowledged that “some countries will move at different paces.”
The FDIC voted Monday to advance a new rule to make top executives at financial firms with at least $50 billion in assets wait at least three years to be paid half of their annual bonuses. In tackling “outsize bonuses” that “encouraged short-term risk-taking” which helped “fuel the financial crisis,” the FDIC builds on more general requirements in last year’s financial regulatory law to curtail risk.
Obama announced yesterday that the U.S. will recognize southern Sudan as an independent country in July 2011. U.S. support came the same day that officials formally announced that “98% of the votes cast in the Jan. 9 referendum supported splitting Sudan into separate countries.”
Responding to criticism over planned hearings into “homegrown Islamic terrorism,” Rep. Peter King (R-NY) says he will primarily call Muslim witnesses to testify. “I believe it will have more of an impact on the American people if they see people who are of the Muslim faith and Arab descent testifying,” King said.
The GOP-led push to permanently extend some expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act has run into some unlikely opposition in the House — conservative Tea Party members, who are signaling they will resist efforts to make the law permanent. “There need to be sunsets on the bill after that in order to have adequate accountability and oversight,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
Federal courts are facing a crisis as judges retire and are not replaced fast enough, leaving vacancies that cause increased workloads and delayed trials. The crisis is a result of Republicans’ obstruction in confirming President Obama’s judicial nominees, and the broken Senate confirmation system. “It’s a dire situation,” said Arizona chief judge.
A new Brookings Institution analysis reports that whites “continued to decline as a share of the American population in 2009, and they now represent less than half of all 3-year-olds.” Nationally, “whites accounted for 58.8 percent of all school enrollment in 2009.”
And finally: Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), an icon of the civil rights movement, has inked a deal to help write a comic book about his experiences during the 1960s campaign for equality. The book is aimed to help educate young people about the movement and inspire them to get involved. “It is not just a story of struggle; it is a story of involvement,” Lewis said in a statement posted on publisher Top Shelf’s website.
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