Morning Digest: Feb. 12, 2013

Sources: Sweeney leans on Oliver for his version of PLA bill

Get it done, or else.

That’s the message from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34). Politicker


Gun rights advocates say Wednesday agenda too heavy for true debate

Gun rights advocates throughout the state are calling out the state Assembly for what they believe is a stampede to pass gun legislation in the wake of the Newtown school shooting tragedy. Politicker


Latest from State Street Wire

Full-day kindergarten great, but costly, idea

TRENTON – Calling half-day kindergarten “antiquated,” Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-38) of Fair Lawn, said it’s time for all the state’s school districts to offer full-day kindergarten to keep up with growing expectations and worldwide competitiveness. State Street Wire

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Buono injured in auto accident

Democratic candidate for governor Barbara Buono suffered minor cuts to her face from an accident involving the vehicle she was riding in, officials said. NJ.Com


Economy to be focus of State of Union

President Barack Obama will focus his State of the Union address on boosting job creation and economic growth at a time of high unemployment, underscoring the degree to which the economy could threaten his ability to pursue second-term priorities such as gun control, immigration policy and climate change. Townsquare News Network


Stalled: Obama’s State of the Union housing stunt

A year ago, in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama promised to sic a task force of prosecutors on Wall Street firms, offering up some election-year red meat by targeting the bad guys who bundled toxic mortgages and sold them as solid investments during the financial crisis.Politico


N. Korea conducts nuclear test

SEOUL, Feb 12 (Reuters) – North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday, South Korea’s defence ministry said, after seismic activity measuring 4.9 magnitude was registered by the U.S. Geological Survey. Reuters


White House condemns nuclear test

The White House issued the following statement on Feb. 12, 2013 on North Korea’s announcement of a third nuclear test: Huffington Post


Guadagno launches effort to promote Shore as Valentine’s Day destination

People planning to share their love this Valentine’s Day are being asked to show a little love for the Jersey Shore — by opening their wallets. Record


Report: Menendez emails sought to aid donor’s firm

WASHINGTON  —   Emails between Sen. Robert Menendez’s office and the Homeland Security Department describe efforts by his staff in January to thwart U.S. donations of cargo-screening equipment to the government of the Dominican Republic. Donated equipment could have jeopardized a port security contract benefiting a close Menendez associate and fundraiser. Associated Press


Repairs at new Mercer courthouse $250,000 and rising

In just the span of a month the cost of repairs to the newly opened Mercer County Criminal Courthouse has totaled $250,000, and that number is expected to keep rising, county officials said. Trenton Times


Casino first to have betting by TV

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Guests at one New Jersey casino won’t even have to get out of bed in order to place a bet. Associated Press


Pope’s resignation creates his legacy

Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise announcement Monday that he was stepping down as leader of the Roman Catholic Church may prove the signature event of his eight-year pontificate. Inquirer


Slower growth of health costs eases U.S. deficit

WASHINGTON — A sharp and surprisingly persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs is helping to narrow the federal deficit, leaving budget experts trying to figure out whether the trend will last and how much the slower growth could help alleviate the country’s long-term fiscal problems. N.Y. Times


Andrew Cuomo says Iowa isn’t on his mind

Environmental advocates just rolled out a full-page ad that will debut tomorrow taking Governor Andrew Cuomo to task over New York’s stance on the controversial natural gas drilling procedure known as “fracking.” However, the ad isn’t appearing in New York. Instead, it’s taking up a page in Iowa’s largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, making it a seemingly obvious attempt to throw an early roadblock at Mr. Cuomo’s widely-expected presidential campaign in that state’s traditional “first in the nation” primary election. N.Y. Observer


Senate Dems craft bill to avert budget cuts

WASHINGTON — Top Senate Democrats have prepared a plan to slice the Pentagon’s budget by $3 billion a year in an attempt to avoid far steeper cuts that defense hawks warn would cripple the military. Associated Press


Lawmakers want N.J. issues addressed in State of the Union

WASHINGTON — Congressional lawmakers from New Jersey want President Barack Obama to address a variety of issues, including the deficit, the sluggish economy, immigration reform, climate change and gun violence, in his State of the Union address tonight. Courier-Post



Advance Death with Dignity Act

Is it suicide when a man in the latter stages of a terminal disease, and in constant pain, stops eating to make death come more quickly? Courier-Post


Pope acknowledges human frailty

Pope Benedict XVI’sabdication of the papacy — unheard of since the 15th century — is unbelievably modern in its logic. No man has shed the pontiff’s robes for nearly 600 years. By doing so, the pope could be leading the Roman Catholic Church toward a more contemporary age. Star-Ledger


Begin debate on life, death

Is it suicide when someone in the latter stages of a terminal disease and in constant pain stops eating to make death come more quickly? And should it be illegal for that person to make that decision for himself, or for a doctor to aid him in that choice? Asbury Park Press