Fiscal dispute — Congressional leaders on Sunday showed no signs of emerging from their corners to resolve the next step in the financial crisis, with Democrats still talking about higher taxes on the wealthy and the Senate’s top Republican suggesting that a crippling default on U.S. loans was possible unless there were significant cuts in government spending. “It’s a shame we have to use whatever leverage we have in Congress to get the president to deal with the biggest problem confronting our future, and that’s our excessive spending," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Colorado shooting — The suspect in the Colorado movie theater killings returns to court this week for a hearing that might be the closest thing to a trial the victims and their families will get to see. James Holmes, a former neuroscience graduate student, is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 by opening fire in a darkened theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora last July. Legal analysts say that evidence appears to be so strong that Holmes may well accept a plea agreement before trial.
Palestinian cash crisis — The Palestinian self-rule government is in “extreme jeopardy" because of an unprecedented financial crisis, largely because Arab countries have failed to send hundreds of millions of dollars in promised aid, the Palestinian prime minister said Sunday. The cash crunch has gradually worsened in recent years, and the Palestinian Authority now has reached the point of not being able to pay the salaries of about 150,000 government employees, Salam Fayyad told The Associated Press.
Runaway oil rig — Taking advantage of a break in the weather, salvage crews Sunday attached a tow line to a drilling rig that ran aground last week in the Gulf of Alaska. Officials said that the rig, the Kulluk, was stable and that there was no sign of environmental damage. With the line attached to a ship, the Aiviq, preparations were under way to move the rig from its spot along a rocky shoreline on Sitkalidak Island to a sheltered harbor for inspection.
Israeli fence — Israel announced Sunday that it was constructing a border fence along the length of its armistice line with Syria in the Golan Heights and was coordinating its intelligence with the United States in light of the deteriorating security situation in Syria.
Bank rules — A group of top regulators and central bankers Sunday gave banks around the world more time to meet new rules aimed at preventing financial crises, saying they wanted to avoid the possibility of damaging the economic recovery. The rules are meant to make sure banks have enough liquid assets on hand to survive the kind of market chaos that followed the collapse of Lehman Bros. in 2008.
Clinton returns — The State Department says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to work today, a little over a week after she was hospitalized with a blood clot in her head. The department on Sunday released a schedule that has Clinton meeting with assistant secretaries this morning. The most significant items on her agenda are meetings in Washington on Thursday and Friday with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Storm panel — A new commission formed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, charged with figuring out how New York should adapt in the long term to cope with worsening storms amid climate change and population growth, has recommended an extensive menu of programs: it includes turning some of the state’s industrial shoreline back into oyster beds, hardening the electric and natural gas systems, and improving the scope and availability of insurance coverage, according to a draft version obtained by The New York Times.
— From wire reports