(June 19) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - Today's Headlines - Explorer

back Side Panel

(June 19) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

Updated

1. OBAMA LAUNCHES PUSH FOR NUCLEAR WARHEAD CUTS

President Obama, on his first visit to Berlin as president, plans to call for reducing America's deployed nuclear arsenal by one-third, provided Russia makes similar cuts. The move will renew disarmament goals Obama committed to early in his first term. His speech will be delivered at the Brandenburg Gate, once a key passage through the Berlin Wall and the backdrop then-president Ronald Reagan used in 1987 when he called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." [Washington Post]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. KARZAI SUSPENDS TALKS WITH THE U.S. ON A SECURITY PACT

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is suspending talks on a security pact with the U.S., his spokesman said Wednesday. Karzai made the decision because he believes Washington is sending mixed messages on peace talks with the Taliban. The news came a day after Taliban representatives announced they were formally opening an office in Doha, Qatar, to begin — as early as Thursday — discussing preparations for talks on ending a decade of war. [Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

3. NSA CHIEF SAYS DATA-MINING PREVENTED DOZENS OF TERROR ATTACKS

National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander told members of Congress on Tuesday that the government's controversial mining of phone and international internet traffic helped foil "potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11," including a plotted attack on the New York Stock Exchange. The testimony was part of an administration push to defend the programs, which were leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden. [New York Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

4. JOURNALIST MICHAEL HASTINGS DIES IN CAR CRASH

War correspondent Michael Hastings, a Rolling Stone contributor, died Tuesday in a car accident in Los Angeles. Hastings, who was 33, won a 2010 George Polk Award for magazine reporting for his Rolling Stone cover story "The Runaway General," in which he revealed candid criticism of the Obama administration by the top U.S. general in Afghanistan at the time, Stanley McChrystal. The story has been cited as the reason for McChrystal's subsequent abrupt retirement from the military. [Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

5. CBO SAYS IMMIGRATION BILL WOULD HELP TRIM DEFICITS

The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the sweeping immigration bill under consideration in the Senate would provide a boost to the economy. The CBO estimated that the measure, which would bestow legal status on eight million immigrants living in the country illegally, would reduce federal budget deficits by $197 billion over a decade, and $700 billion in the following 10 years, thanks to increased taxes paid by newly legal residents. [Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

6. HOUSE PASSES BILL SEEKING TO LIMIT ABORTIONS

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a far-reaching bill seeking to impose a nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — when the bill's backers say a fetus can feel pain — with an exception in cases of rape or incest. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) justified the move as a response to Kermit Gosnell's recent conviction for performing illegal late-term abortions. The bill stands no chance of becoming law, however, as the Democratic Senate won't consider it, and the White House says President Obama would veto it. [USA Today]

………………………………………………………………………………

7. GOOGLE ASKS SECRETIVE COURT TO EASE GAG ORDER ON GOVERNMENT DATA REQUESTS

Google made a fresh push on Tuesday to protect its reputation from the backlash over the NSA's mining of internet data, asking the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to loosen gag orders over the agency's requests for data from tech companies. Google argued that the First Amendment of the Constitution gives it the right to speak about information it is forced to hand over to the government. [Washington Post]

………………………………………………………………………………

8. MEXICAN POLICE ARREST AMERICAN WANTED ON CHILD SEX ABUSE CHARGES

Mexican police on Tuesday arrested a former California university professor, Walter Lee Williams, who was placed on the FBI's list of most-wanted fugitives this week over allegations of child sex abuse. FBI agents have identified at least 10 alleged victims between ages 9 and 17. Most are from developing countries — Williams traveled to Indonesia, Polynesia, Thailand, Mexico, and possibly Peru. An FBI agent reported finding child pornography on Williams' computer and video camera. [CNN, Los Angeles Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

9. FLOODS FORCE CLOSURE OF LOURDES PILGRIMAGE SITE IN FRANCE

Heavy floods in southwest France forced authorities to close the Catholic pilgrimage site in Lourdes. Hundreds of people who had been hoping to visit the grotto, where a French girl had a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1858, were evacuated from local hotels as floodwaters rose. Lourdes Mayor Jean-Pierre Artiganave said the site would not reopen until the pilgrims' safety could be assured. Roughly 6 million believers, many of them ill, make the pilgrimage each year. [Star Tribune]

………………………………………………………………………………

10. HEAT BEAT SPURS TO FORCE DECISIVE GAME 7 IN NBA FINALS

The Miami Heat came from behind in a dramatic fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the NBA finals, tying the series at three wins apiece and forcing a decisive seventh game. Heat superstar LeBron James was ice cold for the first three quarters, missing nine of 12 shots as the defending champions entered the final quarter trailing by 10. Then James came alive, delivering 16 points in the fourth quarter and two in overtime, leading his team to a 103-100 win. [USA Today]

Close