Category: News

For Your Consideration

Gen. McChrystal says conditions in Afghanistan war are no longer deteriorating

ISTANBUL — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, whose gloomy assessment of the war last summer prompted the White House to boost troop levels, said Thursday that conditions are no longer deteriorating and predicted further improvements this year.

“I am not prepared to say that we have turned the corner,” Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal told a group of U.S. reporters during a NATO conference here. “I’m not prepared to say we are winning. I am prepared to say we are very much engaged, and I’m confident we’re going to see serious progress this year.”


Asked why he thought the situation had improved, McChrystal said he could not point to specific measurements, but rather a general sense that security was better in some areas and that the mood among Afghan leaders was more optimistic.

My favorite quote from the comments

erwinroots wrote:

Isn’t “no longer deteriorating” the same as “can’t get any worse”?

Weekend News Digest

Welcome to Sunday Weekend Edition and Open Thread. Ek hornbeck is busy with Super Bowl and America’s Cup essays, so today the news is hosted by me, TMC.

Blizzard paralyzes mid-Atlantic; two killed

Feb Blizzard, DC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A blizzard dumped two feet of snow across much of the U.S. mid-Atlantic on Saturday, paralyzing travel, leaving tens of thousands without power and creating a winter wonderland in a region not used to big snows.

Snowfall totals of 20 to 38 inches blanketed a crescent from West Virginia to southern New Jersey by early evening when the flakes stopped falling after more than 24 hours.

More than 230,000 homes lost power in the Washington area, according to The Washington Post, after the snow felled trees, brought down power lines and damaged utility poles. Pepco electric company said its workers were scrambling to restore power, but said it could be a few days before everyone was back up.

Traffic was at a virtual standstill in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas as the sun set on many deserted, unplowed streets. Up to 32 inches of snow had fallen in suburban Washington in the biggest snowfall to hit the city in decades.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Early Puppy Bowl VI Edition

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US vows to stay course as Haiti battles hunger

by Andrew Beatty, AFP

Sat Feb 6, 4:15 pm ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – The battle-stretched US military Saturday vowed to help Haiti as long as needed, as the Caribbean nation struggles to feed up to a million people left destitute by a huge quake.

Colonel Gregory Kane, the US Joint Task Force Haiti operations officer, said US involvement in the earthquake-shattered country would last as long as their presence was required.

But he said military operations could end as little as 45 days after they began in the aftermath of the January 12 quake.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Bill Clinton apologizes for slow Haiti aid effort

by Andrew Beatty

Fri Feb 5, 10:11 pm ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Former US president Bill Clinton pledged to try to get aid flowing as he was met by angry Haitians protesting the slow arrival of help since last month’s quake.

Clinton said he was sorry that the aid efforts had been so slow, adding he also wanted to understand why more than three weeks after the January 12 quake supplies were still not getting through to desperate Haitians.

“I’m sorry it’s taken this long,” Clinton said, adding he and other relief workers were working hard to ease the suffering.

Snow & Teabaggers Oh my.

Good morning everyone!!!!  It’s just after 9 AM eastern and its snowing hoots and gails, can’t give an estimate on depth other than to say the dog I’m dog sitting, Titan – and 82 pound lab,  went to the door to take his morning constitutional looked out swiveled looked at me and went back to bed.  supposedly here in the Kentucky of New Jersey (Ocean County) were expecting up to 2 feet or so; a depth we just don’t get here.

Anyway, that being said I started the coffee, kicked the dog in the butt, toasted some cinnamon raisin bread and turned on the tube.  What a waste,  CNN gave so much time to the TeaBaggers and there circle jerk I remembered why I dont watch CNN.  After Tancrado’s  comments regarding a civil literacy test and  “People who could not even spell the word ‘vote’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House,”  I mean Lord Pasta Monster who the f*&k is this nut and even more importantly who are his followers.  The FBI should be infiltrating there organizations for fear that they are traitors, terrorists, and generally nut cases.  

Then again Adolf was sent into the National Socialist Party as a spy and ended up taking over.  We all know what happened then.  The similarities are striking though.  A small cadre of loons, thugs, disaffected loosers, racists and ‘patriots’ are the core of what could become our version of the Brown Shirts.  Hell I’m just waiting on the the first lynchings.

Oh well BIO has Stevie Nicks on,  she’s still soooooo Hot.  and I’ve got cleaning to do. Shoveling can wait till we get the last 12 inches they are calling for.

Read more:…


Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Ten Americans face jail in Haiti after kidnapping charge

by M.J. Smith and Clarens Renois, AFP

Thu Feb 4, 6:40 pm ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Ten American Christians were Thursday facing a long time in police detention in quake-hit Haiti as they await trial on charges of child abduction and criminal conspiracy.

But the country’s Justice Minister Paul Denis insisted they should be brought before Haitian courts, instead of being returned to the United States.

“It is Haitian law that has been violated,” Justice Minister Paul Denis told AFP. “It is up to the Haitian authorities to hear and judge the case. I don’t see any reason why they should be tried in the United States.”

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Haiti death toll tops 200,000 as aid anger mounts

by Clarens Renois, AFP

Wed Feb 3, 7:39 pm ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – The death toll in the Haiti quake has swelled to 200,000, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said Wednesday as angry protests over the slow arrival of aid flared on the rubble-strewn streets.

More than three weeks after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake, Bellerive said his tiny Caribbean nation had been ravaged by “a disaster on a planetary scale” and detailed the tragic toll suffered by his people.

“There are more than 200,000 people who have been clearly identified as people who are dead,” he said in an interview with AFP, adding that another 300,000 injured had been treated, 250,000 homes had been destroyed and 30,000 businesses lost.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

44 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Haiti polls delayed amid post-quake chaos

by David Dieudonne, AFP

Tue Feb 2, 9:46 pm ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Three weeks after a massive earthquake crippled Haiti, authorities indefinitely postponed upcoming legislative elections amid lingering chaos and rising security concerns.

The move underlined the impotence of the Haitian government in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude January 12 quake that killed an estimated 170,000 people and left many official buildings, including the presidential palace, in ruins.

“The electoral council has decided to postpone the legislative elections of February 28 and March 3, 2010, to a later unspecified date,” the authorities announced on Tuesday, giving no further details.

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement is an Open Thread

Now with 35 Stories.

From Yahoo News Science

1 Iran hails successful satellite launch

by Farhad Pouladi, AFP

2 hrs 46 mins ago

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran hailed the successful launch of a home-built satellite on Wednesday amid Western concerns it is using its nuclear and space industries to develop atomic and ballistic weapons.

The Kavoshgar 3 (Explorer) rocket was carrying an “experimental capsule”, state-owned Al-Alam television reported.

State television’s website said it was carrying “live animals” — a rat, turtles and worms, the first such experiment by Iran in space technology.

2 Obama trims US space ambitions

by Jean-Louis Santini, AFP

Sun Jan 31, 12:21 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Facing budgetary constraints, President Barack Obama will scale back US space ambitions, abandoning plans to return to the moon by 2020 and confining NASA to lower orbits for years to come.

The shift will be unveiled Monday when Obama presents his 2011 budget blueprint to Congress, according to an external White House advisor.

“Constellation is dead,” the advisor told AFP on Friday, referring to a program that envisioned using Earth’s nearest neighbor as a base for manned expeditions to Mars.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

45 Top Story Final.

Phil the groundhog: six more weeks of winter

By Jon Hurdle, Reuters

Tue Feb 2, 12:08 pm ET

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Haiti ‘abduction’ children reunited with families

by David Dieudonne, AFP

1 hr 8 mins ago

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Aid workers in Haiti reunited Tuesday with their families some of the 33 children that a US missionary group tried to sneak out of the shattered country without government authorization.

Justice officials said the 10 Americans behind the alleged abductions might have to be tried in the United States because of post-quake chaos which also led the government on Tuesday to delay legislative elections indefinitely.

“The parents now are coming to the village to reclaim their children,” said Heather Paul, the CEO of SOS Children’s Villages USA, the aid group now caring for the children.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  60 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Ten US Christians may face Haiti kidnapping charges

by Mike Smith and Virginie Montet, AFP

1 hr 36 mins ago

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Ten members of a US Christian group may face charges of kidnapping minors and child-trafficking after trying to smuggle a group of children out of quake-hit Haiti, officials said Monday.

Amid growing concern over the safety of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable women and children left destitute after the January 12 quake, the case could also go to trial in the US courts.

Mazar Fortil, interim prosecutor for the main Port-au-Prince court, told AFP the group may also face a lesser charge of criminal conspiracy.

Haiti: Ripples

Conditions are improving, slowly, steadily, 3 weeks after the earthquake but we have a really long way to go. The rainy season is coming in a other month and there is a need to provide shelter and sanitation needs that must be addressed quickly.

After enduring delays in receiving urgent medical supplies and equipment, as well as continuous aftershocks that threatened already-damaged facilities, MSF staff are now treating patients inside an inflatable hospital.

Originally the plan was to keep the Inflatable Hospital open for 3 months. It was then extended to 6 months, now, the plan is to keep it open indefinitely and expand it from 100 beds to 200 beds by adding 4 more sections to the already existing 9.

Now cross posted at The Wild Wild Left

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