The Daily Need

Wednesday morning roundup

Photo: Flickr/onepotscreamer

Security

In an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeff Goldberg, former boogeyman Fidel Castro says that his replacement, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, should “stop slandering the Jews.” Look out for part II of Goldberg’s fascinating story about his meeting with Castro on his blog later today.

Economy

In a speech in Cleveland today, President Obama will announce the end of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, but will propose an extension of cuts for the 98 percent of Americans making below $250,000 a year for couples or $200,000 for individuals.

Culture

Hillary Clinton, General Petraeus, and interfaith leaders meeting at an emergency summit in Washington are among the authorities that have spoken out against the planned Quran burning in Florida. But The American Prospect’s Adam Serwer says that “Burn a Quran day” is a symptom of a larger problem and isn’t sure people people in uniform should be deciding what constitutes free expression.

Environment

A BP report points the finger at contractors including Transocean and Halliburton and downplays the company’s own missteps on the Deepwater Horizon. “No single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy,” the report states. “Rather, a sequence of failures involving a number of different parties led to the explosion and fire which killed 11 people and caused widespread pollution in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.”

Health

Insurance companies plan rate hikes they say are necessary to cover the cost of additional benefits called for in the new health care bill. The increases are expected to coincide with the midterm elections, when Democrats will be leaning on the landmark legislation.

 
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