Tax and spend. According to his senior advisors, President Barack Obama plans to unveil a new initiative to cut the corporate tax rate and boost spending on nationwide infrastructure projects, all in an attempt to create jobs. The president will announce his “grand bargain” during a speech at an Amazon.com distribution facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., later today. He will propose cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, giving manufacturers a preferred rate of 25 percent. But he also wants a minimum tax on foreign earnings as a way to prevent corporate tax evasion. Although Republicans have advocated for lower corporate tax rates, they are unlikely to support what would be a massive infrastructure spending increase at a time when the nation’s budget deficit continues to grow. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner has already criticized the plan as a typical Obama tax and spend initiative.
Path to peace? Long-stalled Middle East peace talks are resuming again today in Washington as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators try to iron out the differences between their two countries. But the talks are starting off slowly—today’s meeting will focus on the scope, location, and timeframe for the talks, not on substantive issues. If things go well, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is championing the talks, hopes soon to be able to announce the first face-to-face meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanayhu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in almost three years.
Jail break. Taliban fighters attacked a Pakistani jail over night, outgunning guards and freeing more than 250 prisoners. Officials believe the attack, which included 150 fighters, was designed to free 25 “dangerous terrorists.” The militants used bombs to blow holes in the prison walls. While fighters on motorcycles went through the compound looking for specific prisoners, gunmen on the outside held the guards at bay. Even soldiers brought in to subdue the militants seemed outmatched. During the attack, the militants shouted, “God is great,” and, “Long live the Taliban.” They killed six policemen, six Shiite Muslim prisoners, and two civilians.
Emerald Isle abortion. Ireland’s head of state signed a new abortion bill into law today, allowing the procedure in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. The measure includes a provision that includes potential suicide as a risk to life, a loophole critics say will be exploited to create abortion on demand. Lawmakers approved the bill after a woman died following pregnancy complications. Pro-abortion supporters said an abortion would have saved her, but a coroner determined she died from an undiagnosed infection, not from any problem with the child.
Christians attacked. A series of bomb blasts in the Nigerian city of Kano killed 15 people on Monday. Although no one has taken responsibility for the attack, Boko Haram militants have targeted the primarily Christian area before. In recent months, the group has turned its attacks from military installations to civilian sites, including schools.
Gas explosion. A series of explosions at a Florida gas plant injured eight workers, four critically, late Monday night. The blast could be heard 10 miles away. The plant, about 30 miles northwest of Orlando, fills Blue Rhino propane tanks, most often used for backyard grilling. The facility was stocked with 53,000 20-pound tanks at the time of the blast. The nearest residential area is about a quarter-mile from the facility.