Morning Briefing: September 29, 2011

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center finds that for the first time in history, there are more Hispanic children in poverty in America than white children. About 6.1 million Hispanic are poor, compared to “5 million non-Hispanic white children and 4.4 million black children.”

Today, the German parliament overwhelmingly approved an expansion in the bailout fund to aid indebted European nations like Greece. The vote was considered the key step in responding to the expanding debt crisis and is a major political victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel, but analysts still say it is a temporary fix, not a permanent solution.

Massachusetts’ 26-year-old Rezwan Ferdaus was charged yesterday with an al Qaeda-inspired plot to “kill as many people as possible” by sending a remote-controlled aircraft with explosives into the Pentagon and the US Capitol. The undercover FBI agents who caught Ferdaus said that at no point did he have sole control of explosives or guns but that he was “committed to carrying out the attacks” because he wanted to “change the world.”

The Afghan war is getting more violent, as security incidents have increased 39 percent so far this year over the comparable period of 2010, according to a new UN report. The U.S.-led coalition disputes those numbers, saying the report is “inconsistent with the data that we have collected.” Violence decreased 20 percent in July compared to July 2010, the coalition said.

GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (TX) apologized for saying that Republicans who oppose in-state tuition breaks for undocumented children “did not have a heart.” “I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate,” he said. He stood by his state’s DREAM Act though.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is about to blow past her own self-imposed deadline for deciding whether she will enter the GOP presidential race. Palin had previously said she would announce her decision by the end of September. Deadlines to enter primary races in several states are quickly approaching in October.

The Obama administration is “taking steps to extend new federal protections to a list of imperiled animals and plants.” The move comes as the administration faces a Friday deadline set by a set of legal cases to act on more than 700 pending cases of species up for Endangered Species Act protections.

In Britain, Australia, and the United States, private companies are using immigration crackdowns to turn huge profits as governments outsource the staffing of their immigration detention centers. Nearly half of detention beds in the U.S. are controlled by private companies, which have come under fire for “scathing inspection reports, lawsuits, and the documentation of widespread abuse and neglect.”

And finally: A sixth-grader who asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for campaign advice has lost his student government election. At a town hall meeting earlier this month, Zack asked Christie for “tips” on campaigning. Christie gave him some some ideas, including making colorful signs, and the 11-year-old took the governor’s advice. “Unfortunately, the results from the election didn’t go our way,” Zack’s father said.

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