Today’s Headlines

November 10, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

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Senate Hopes to Complete Second ‘Minibus’ Before Thanksgiving Recess (Kerry Young, CQ)
The Senate will revisit some of the biggest policy disagreements between Republicans and President Obama as it attempts next week to pass a second package of spending bills for the fiscal year that began six weeks ago. Republicans are expected to join Democrats in voting Thursday in favor of a procedural motion that would permit debate to begin on a second three-bill “minibus” appropriations measure (HR 2354) for fiscal 2012.  The new minibus would provide money for some of the agencies charged with implementing the 2010 health care and financial regulatory overhaul laws.

Why Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy Makes Sense (or Not) (Mallie Jane Kim, US News & World Report)

Rep. Ron Paul’s foreign policy has been both booed and cheered, vehemently supported and dismissed as crazy…Since many of Paul’s long-held economic policies—particularly on spending cuts and auditing the Federal Reserve—have come into vogue, some pundits believe foreign policy is what keeps Paul’s national presidential poll numbers in the 10 percent range. So are the 12-term congressman’s views commonsense ideas Republicans need to consider, or would they threaten U.S. security?  U.S. News spoke with two experts in the field to get their take on a few tenets of Paul’s philosophy.

Direct aid transfers are efficient way to tackle poverty – report (Emma Batha, Reuters)

Providing international aid directly to the poorest and most vulnerable people shows clear and immediate benefits, according to a report by Britain’s National Audit Office.  Over the last decade, donors working on poverty reduction have focused on supporting developing country governments to deliver public services such as health and education. But Britain’s Department for International Aid (DFID) and other donors are increasingly interested in transferring resources directly to people in need.

Cutting Food Aid Programs Dangerous to National Security (William Lambers, Blog Critics)
There is much debate in Congress on how much to cut military spending. But there is another vital area of our foreign policy at risk of budget cuts too: international food aid.Fighting hunger is not often included in talks about national security…While some members of Congress may think it prudent now to cut food aid programs to save a few dollars, think again. On the contrary, by investing now in nutrition and agriculture development, future humanitarian disasters can be averted, thereby reducing foreign assistance in the future. Nutrition for a generation of children means better educated societies, more stable societies and the chance for economic growth.

Politics/Foreign Policy

CNN To Host GOP Debate on National Security, Foreign Policy (Merrill Knox, Media Bistro)
Wolf Blitzer will moderate a Republican presidential primary debate focused on national security and foreign policy on November 22, CNN announced today.  CNN will team up with The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute for the debate, which will be held in the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. This will be the fourth debate of the season for CNN, and the second that will be moderated by Blitzer. An October 18 Tea Party-Republican debate drew 5.5 million viewers, second only to the Fox News/Google debate on September 22.

US Urges EU To Accelerate Debt-Crisis Plans (Ian Talley, Wall Street Journal)
The European Central Bank should play a “central role” in resolving the euro zone’s debt crisis and use its substantial resources to build a credible firewall against the financial catastrophe engulfing its core economies, a senior U.S. Treasury official warned Wednesday. U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard said Europe must speed up delivery of a debt-crisis plan before the situation threatens further harm to the global economy.  “The task ahead now for Europe is to accelerate elaboration and implementation of the firewall and other elements of the comprehensive plan,” Brainard said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The ECB can and should play a central role in the crisis response,” she said.  Euro zone leaders have so far failed to agree on how to build a promised EUR1 trillion stalwart that can bail out Italy and prevent contagion to the rest of Europe.

Japan PM to decide on trade pact on eve of APEC summit (Kiyoshi Takenaka, Reuters)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will decide on Friday whether Japan will join talks on a U.S.-led free trade pact that could transform the Japanese economy and challenge its political status quo.  The pact — called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — would put some of Japan’s biggest exporters on a more equal footing with some of their main competitors.  It would also radically change a hugely inefficient and heavily protected agriculture sector which is fiercely opposed to change and which has the political muscle to make any deal far from certain.