Morning Links: Jobless Benefits Extend; Faisal Shahzad’s Weak Bomb; NYC’s Pot Crackdown


• The Senate voted 60-40 to extend emergency jobless benefits to the 2.5 million people who have been out of work for six months or more, despite Republican objections that the measure would add $34 billion to the national deficit. [WP]

• Flooding in China has killed 701 people and left 347 missing, the highest death toll since 1998. More rain is to come as tropical storm Chanthu hits China’s southern island of Hainan and Guangdong province this weekend. [NPR]

• Hillary Clinton, on a two-day trip to South Korea with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, pressed North Korea to dismantle weapons systems and announced new economic sanctions on North Korea against Pyongyang’s weapons and contraband trade. [WSJ]

• Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is now reconsidering his decision to oust Shirley Sherrod, the Georgia director of rural development for the Department of Agriculture, who was forced to resign after Andrew Breitbart released a video of her alleged racist remarks at an NAACP event. But she says she might not want her job back because of how she might be treated. [GMA]

• Faisal Shahzad’s bomb was weak, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday, because he chose cheaper (and less effective) materials to build it with, to avoid detection. [NYP]

• “No city in the world arrests more of its citizens for using pot than New York” — and though surveys have shown whites to be the biggest potheads, nine out of ten people charged with violating the law are black or Latino. [NYT]