VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
POST-VACATION, OBAMA TO FACE EGYPT, SPENDING TALKS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fresh from a weeklong vacation, President Barack Obama has to confront such issues as the crisis in Egypt and federal spending before getting back out on the road to sell his economic proposals.
Obama returned Sunday night from the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard. On Thursday, the president sets out on a two-day bus trip through upstate New York and Pennsylvania to lay out ideas to help make a college education more affordable for the middle class.
Stops include the State University of New York at Buffalo and Henninger High School in Syracuse. On Friday, Obama plans to answer questions at a town hall-style event at SUNY-Binghamton before a stop at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa. He is to be joined there by Vice President Joe Biden, a native of the northeastern Pennsylvania city.
Obama has a private meeting Monday with various financial regulators to discuss ongoing efforts to strengthen the financial system, including the implementation of the Dodd-Frank law revamping the nation's financial system and the Consumer Protection Act.
Obama spoke publicly just once during his vacation, against the violence in Egypt that left scores of people dead. The White House is currently reconsidering all U.S. assistance to Egypt, and "will consider additional steps as we deem necessary," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Sunday.
Also competing for Obama's attention will be negotiations with congressional Republicans to get a new spending plan in place by the Sept. 30 end of the federal budget year or risk a government shutdown, and to increase the government's borrowing authority.
His week ahead also includes a White House recognition ceremony Tuesday for the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only NFL team to achieve a perfect season.
Many Dolphins team members are expected to attend, including fullback Larry Csonka and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.
TASK FORCE: COASTS SHOULD PREPARE FOR RISING SEAS
NEW YORK (AP) -- Coastal communities should assume floods are going to happen more frequently and realize that spending now on protective measures could save money later, according to a report issued by a presidential task force charged with developing a strategy for rebuilding areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
Most of the report's 69 recommendations focus on a simple warning: plan for future storms in an age of climate change and rising sea levels. It calls for development of a more advanced electrical grid and the creation of better planning tools and standards for storm-damaged communities.
"If we built smart, if we build resilience into communities, then we can live along the coast. We can do it in a way that saves lives and protects taxpayer investments," said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, who discussed the report Monday with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Donovan was appointed chairman of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force by President Barack Obama.
Some of the group's key recommendations are already being implemented, including the creation of new flood-protection standards for major infrastructure projects built with federal money and the promotion of a sea-level modeling tool that will help builders and engineers predict where flooding might occur in the future. It strongly opposes simply rebuilding structures as they were before they were devastated by October's historic storm.
The task force also endorsed an ongoing competition, called "Rebuild by Design," in which 10 teams of architects and engineers from around the world are exploring ways to address vulnerabilities in coastal areas.
PROSECUTOR ASKS JUDGE TO GIVE MANNING 60 YEARS
FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) -- Army Pfc. Bradley Manning should spend 60 years in prison because he betrayed the U.S. by giving classified material to WikiLeaks, a prosecutor said Monday.
The soldier's defense attorney didn't recommend a specific punishment, but suggested any prison term shouldn't exceed 25 years because the classification of some of the documents Manning leaked expires in 25 years.
Defense attorney David Coombs said Manning, who was 21 when he enlisted in 2007, had limited life and military experience. His youthful idealism contributed to his belief that he could change the way the world viewed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all future wars, by leaking the secret files, Coombs said.
"He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offenses," Coombs said. "At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference."
Manning faces up to 90 years in prison, but Capt. Joe Morrow only asked the judge to sentence him to 60. Morrow did not say during closing arguments of the court-martial why prosecutors were not seeking the maximum punishment.
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