Morning Briefing: November 2, 2011

Labor groups will stand behind Occupy Oakland’s city-wide general strike, with Oakland’s “public school teachers, community college instructors, city government workers” and more endorsing the marches and pickets outside banks. The Oakland police union blasted Mayor Jean Quan for beefing up police presence at strike events while allowing other city workers to participate, asking, “Is it the city’s intention to have city employees on both sides of a skirmish line?”

The National Restaurant Association gave $35,000 — a year’s salary — in severance pay to a female staffer who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment, the New York Times reports. The new information “challenges” Cain’s story of the incidents.

President Obama said he will make the final decision about whether his administration will approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would stretch from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. After White House press secretary Jay Carney said the State Department would make the decision, Obama insisted in an interview with a Nebraska TV station that the final word would be his.

Over 4 million borrowers who have faced foreclosure since the start of 2009 will get the opportunity to have their cases reviewed for potential financial harm. The review is the result of a deal struck between mortgage servicers and federal regulators in which the servicers agreed to hire independent consultants to identify and compensate borrowers who suffered financial injury.


“The Justice Department is intensifying pressure on Alabama schools to abide by federal law that states no child can be denied public education based on his or her immigration status” as the state implements its toughest-in-the-nation immigration law. In a letter to school administrators sent yesterday, the feds requested information about how the law will affect enrollment of immigrants.

A British appeals court has ruled that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden to face sex crime allegations. “I have not been charged with any crime in any country,” replied Assange. “Despite this, the European arrest warrant is so restrictive that it prevents U.K. courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today.”

Yesterday was the first day inmates could apply to have their sentences reduced under a law President Obama signed last year bringing the penalties for crack in line with powder cocaine. About 12,000 prisoners — mostly minorities — are expected to benefit, and the average inmate will get three years shaved off their sentence.

At the behest of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), the state senate impeached the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The “Arizona Democratic Party said it would file a temporary restraining order with the Maricopa County Superior Court attempting to stop the impeachment.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham, died yesterday art 92. Clinton had canceled a trip to London and Istanbul to be at her mother’s side.


And finally: More than a third of Texans say Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) White House bid is hurting the state’s image, according to a new poll from the University of Texas and The Texas Tribune. Just 19 percent say his run helps the state’s image. Meanwhile, the host of an event Perry attended last week in New Hampshire, where he gave an odd speech, said Perry wasn’t drunk.

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