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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Bloomberg Buys $12 Million in Ads Promoting Gun Violence Legislation - A new $12 million television ad campaign from Mayors Against Illegal Guns will push senators in key states to back gun control efforts, including comprehensive background checks.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the ad buy Saturday — just days after Senate Democrats touted stronger background checks while acknowledging insufficient support to restore a ban on assault-style weapons to federal gun control legislation.

“These ads bring the voices of Americans — who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks — into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence,” Bloomberg said in a statement issued by the group he co-founded in 2006.  The Washington Post has more here.


Kerry To Meet with Netanyahu and Abbas - Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman before flying to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Saturday as he seeks ways to revive long-stalled peace talks.

Kerry's back-to-back meetings will follow up on President Barack Obama's visits to Israel and the Palestinian Territories this week in which he called for fresh diplomatic efforts. has more here.
Kerry Urges Iraq to Stop Iran Arm Shipments To Syria -Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Sunday, where he pressed Iraqi leaders to help prevent Iranian military aid to Syria’s embattled regime, according to reports.
Kerry called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to halt Iranian flights which the U.S. believes are carrying military aid and fighters for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who has waged a brutal campaign against opposition forces. has more here.


Musharraf Returns To Pakistan - In his first address since returning to Pakistan from self-exile, former President Pervez Musharraf declared his intention to run for office, saying he defied risks to "save" the country.

Musharraf landed in Karachi on Sunday after more than four years in exile. He faces criminal charges, and the Taliban have vowed to unleash a "death squad" to assassinate him.
However, he said, he does not plan to flee again.
"I have put my life in danger and have come to Pakistan -- to you to be the savior of this country," he said at the airport. "I have come to save Pakistan." has more here.


Keystone XL Pipeline Gets Senate Approval - The Senate issued a symbolic, filibuster-proof endorsement of the Keystone XL pipeline Friday evening, further increasing the pressure on President Barack Obama to green-light the project despite massive resistance from his environmental base.

Seventeen Democrats joined all of the Senate’s Republicans in a 62-37 vote for Sen. John Hoeven’s budget amendment urging approval of TransCanada’s oil pipeline. has more here.


Time Running Out For Cyprus Bailout - Eight days after hashing out a bailout deal that the financial world reviled and the Cypriot Parliament unanimously rejected, the Eurogroup of finance ministers and Cyprus officials plan to meet here Sunday night with their pencils sharpened.

They face a deadline of Monday, when the European Central Bank has said that it will cut off the financing that is keeping Cyprus’s teetering banks from collapsing.  The NY Times has more here.
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