In today’s news, the House GOP threatens Obama with a government shutdown; Newtown, CT residents discuss the fate of Sandy Hook Elementary School; India police investigate two new sexual assault cases; and a new poll shows that more Americans want gun control reform. Meanwhile, Golden Globes winners celebrate their victories, and Kate Middleton announces the due date of the royal baby.
Caitlin + Liza
Behind the Curtain: House GOP eyes default, shutdown, http://politi.co/W1zmCV
House Republicans are considering both a default and government shutdown in order to force President Obama to cut government spending by the end of March. The U.S. will default if House Republicans refuse to raise the debt limit, while a government shutdown will occur if the House GOP refuses to extend a law that currently funds government operations. GOP officials said that more than half of their members are prepared to allow a government shutdown if Obama does not agree to implement the spending cuts that he currently opposes. In addition to the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to take place in March, Speaker Boehner has called for $1 trillion in further cuts. “For too long, the pitch was, ‘we’ll deal with it next time’. No one wants to default, but we are not going to continue to give the president a limitless credit card,” conservative representative Jason Chaffetz said.
Colin Powell defends Hagel, http://politi.co/11sWMYe
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell defended the controversial nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense on Sunday. Powell touted Hagel’s “distinguished public service record” and said he believed the Senate will confirm him as Secretary of Defense. Hagel has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans on issues including Israel, Iran, and gay rights in the military. A former Republican Senator, Hagel opposed his own party on the Iraq war.
Newtown Debates School’s Fate After Shooting, nyti.ms/VFlWPT
Newtown residents met on Sunday afternoon to discuss the future of Sandy Hook Elementary School as the community recovers from December’s mass shooting. Residents who attended the meeting shared conflicting opinions as to whether the school should be reopened, renovated, turned into a shrine, or knocked down. Ideas included converting the building into a planetarium or a center for peace education. The Sandy Hook students are currently attending a reopened school in a neighboring town while their Sandy Hook Elementary remains a crime scene. All parents were in agreement that the students should remain together rather than be split into separate schools.
Mali Islamists push South, threaten France amid strikes, http://bit.ly/X7pyXp
Islamists have attacked a town in southern Mali in an act of retaliation against France’s military intervention in the country. France began a military campaign on Friday against Mali Islamist insurgents who threatened to seize the nation’s capital. In March, the Islamists had took control of areas in northern Mali, where they imposed brutal Islamic law. France’s intervention in Mali has been backed by the EU, NATO, and the United States. The UN Security Council will meet today to discuss the conflict.
Suspected Cases of Gang Rape Show Threat Facing Indian Women, http://bloom.bg/W2fVtI
Police in India are investigating two new gang-rape cases amidst nationwide debate over Indian women’s safety. Seven men have been arrested for the rape of a 29-year-old woman who was traveling alone on a bus on January 11th. One day later in Bihar, a 45-year-old mother of four was found hanging from a tree, with evidence that she was sexually assaulted by more than one person. The incidents will most likely increase pressure on Indian government to better protect women. “Until men fear the law, then these types of crime are going to continue,” said former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal.
Poll: Dissatisfaction rising in U.S. gun laws, http://bit.ly/Y5gSXH
A Gallup survey released Monday shows a rise in the percentage of Americans who are dissatisfied with America’s gun laws. 38% of survey respondents said they were dissatisfied with gun laws and wanted stricter regulations enacted, up from 25% who wanted stricter gun laws in a survey taken one year ago. Partisan disagreement was clear, with 64% of Democrats favoring stricter gun regulations as opposed to just 18% of Republicans.
Golden Globes 2013: Winners Revealed, http://bit.ly/WTS0uY
The Mysteries (and Broken Curse) of Jessica Chastain, http://bit.ly/W3RtYo
Jodie Foster Brings Globes Crowd to Tears with Public Coming Out Speech, http://bit.ly/Y4t374
Steven Spielberg Orchestrated Bill Clinton’s Surprise Golden Globes Appearance, http://bit.ly/RQynYq
Kate Middleton’s Due Date Is In July, Palace Confirms, http://huff.to/SxHr5S