Morning Briefing: October 27, 2011

European leaders reached a deal this morning to address the Greek debt crisis and beef up the continent’s bailout fund in an effort to head off further crises. Banks and other investors in Greek bonds could take losses of up to 50 percent to help the country avoid default, and the European bailout fund can now loan at least a trillion dollars to other troubled countries.

Oakland’s independent police review board will investigate police conduct after a projectile lobbed into a crowd of Occupy Oakland protesters left 24-year-old veteran Scott Olsen with a fractured skull and brain swelling. Olsen is hospitalized in “serious but stable” condition.

Gun ownership is at its highest level in two decades, according to a new Gallup poll, with 47 percent of respondents reporting having a gun in their home. The number of gun-owning women and Democrats have also shot up in recent years.

At a public meeting yesterday, Democrats on the deficit-reduction super committee proposed cutting the deficit by $3 trillion using an equal mix of new revenue and spending cuts. Committee Republicans rejected the offer and responded with their own deficit reduction proposal that uses only spending cuts.

A coalition of 25 faith groups is targeting the super committee to urge lawmakers to protect safety net programs for the poor from budget cuts. The coalition — made up of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim groups — has held weekly prayer vigils, phoned politicians, and organized letter campaigns in attempts to persuade the committee’s members.

A court found Massey Energy Co. security chief Hughie Elbert Stover guilty of charges related to the investigation of the 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 miners. The first criminal case from that disaster, Stover was found guilty of “obstructing a federal criminal investigation, and lying to federal investigators” and now faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressional committee Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security is not helping Alabama to implement its harmful anti-immigrant law, HB 56. She told the House Judiciary Committee that her department is working with the Department of Justice, which is challenging the law.

In rare show of cooperation between the two diplomatic rivals, an Israeli cargo plane landed in Ankara, Turkey today to deliver disaster aid following Turkey’s major earthquake. The Turkish Foreign Ministry “emphasized Turkey’s appreciation for the Israeli assistance but reiterated that humanitarian gestures during a natural disaster would not affect strained relations.”

And finally: An old video of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain signing an ode to pizza set to tune of John Lennon’s “Imagine” resurfaced last week, but the former pizza executive didn’t know the song’s origin. “Was that a Beatles song? I forget, man. I’m trying to remember who’s the head of ‘Beki-beki-beki-beki-stan,'” Cain told people, referring to the fiction country he invented earlier this month.

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