Morning Briefing: April 26, 2012

Just 10 donors have been responsible for a third of all donations to Super PACs so far this cycle, the Center for Public Integrity reports — four are billionaires and most are Republicans.

Israel’s military chief said he believes Iran will choose not to build a nuclear bomb, “an assessment that contrasted with the gloomier statements of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pointed to differences over the Iran issue at the top levels of Israeli leadership.” Lt. Gen Benny Gantz, in an interview published yesterday, also said that international sanctions are “bearing fruit.”

Rupert Murdoch admitted to a lack of oversight, but denied any direct responsibility in the British phone hacking scandal at his tabloids. Murdoch said before Parliament yesterday that the scandal had cost him “hundreds of millions” of dollars to clean up.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was convicted of war crimes today. Taylor supported “a long campaign of terror, murder, rape, sexual slavery and enlistment of child soldiers” in neighboring Sierra Leone’s civil war.


President Obama will hold his first official campaign events in Ohio and Virginia on May 5. So far, all the of the president’s speeches have have been considered “official,” though Republicans and some in the media have complained that he’s bending the definition by doing political activity during official visits.

With all of the attention that the Trayvon Martin story has received, one family in Georgia is wondering why the story of their son, Justin Patterson, who was shot and killed by a white neighbor, has not received the same kind of attention and scrutiny.

Family groups on both the right and left have come together to fight for the child tax credit, fearing Republican lawmakers will fail to preserve the full credit. Even the far-right Family Research Council “circulated a Tax Day petition that urged Congress to not only extend the credit but also expand it.”

The White House has given the CIA and the Pentagon “greater leeway to target suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen with drones, responding to worries a new haven is being established from which to mount attacks on the West.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has thrown his support to Mitt Romney, after his first choice (himself) and second choice (Newt Gingrich) did not work out. Perry recently demonstrated little confidence in Romney’s chances in November, saying he would give a “good examination” to a 2016 run.


And finally: This weekend is the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner and among the A-list movie stars and Grammy-winning musicians on the guest list is a dog. That’s right, in a move that some see as a reference to the last week’s “dog wars,” the conservative Washington Times newspaper has invited Uggie, the dog from “The Artist.”