Category: News

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 CIA director defends agency against criticism


Sun Jan 10, 1:33 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – CIA Director Leon Panetta, in an article published Sunday, revealed that a Jordanian doctor who killed seven agency operatives was about to be searched before he blew himself up at a US military base in Afghanistan.

“This was not a question of trusting a potential intelligence asset, even one who had provided information that we could verify independently. It is never that simple, and no one ignored the hazards,” Panetta wrote in The Washington Post.

“The individual was about to be searched by our security officers — a distance away from other intelligence personnel — when he set off his explosives.”

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Portugal MPs approve gay marriage

by Anne Le Coz, AFP

Fri Jan 8, 3:21 pm ET

LISBON (AFP) – Portugal’s parliament Friday approved plans to legalise gay marriage, less than three decades after revoking the country’s ban on homosexuality, but rejected proposals to allow same sex couples to adopt.

The bill passed with limited public controversy in what has traditionally been one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries.

After less than three hours’ debate, Friday’s parliamentary vote went mainly along party lines, with the left-wing majority backing the measure proposed by Prime Minister Jose Socrates and the right-wing opposition voting against.

VP Biden’s Mother, Jean, Has Died

Vice President Biden’s Mother, Jean, Dies at 92

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Jean Biden, who raised her son Vice President Joe Biden to believe in what he called ”America’s creed … everyone is your equal,” died Friday after falling seriously ill in recent days. She was 92.

In a statement, the vice president said she died in Wilmington surrounded by her family and loved ones. She had suffered a broken hip in a fall in March 2009.

”Together with my father, her husband of 61 years who passed away in 2002, we learned the dignity of hard work and that you are defined by your sense of honor,” he said in the statement. ”Her strength, which was immeasurable, will live on in all of us.”

Joe Biden Jr. was first elected to the Senate in 1972, shortly before his 30th birthday. His mother helped out by organizing coffee klatches — part of a family effort that also included Biden’s father, sister and brothers.

Blessed Be. May the Goddess guide her on her journey to the Summerlands. May her family and friends find Peace.

Blessed be

Afternoon Edition

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From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US sheds 85,000 jobs, highlighting sluggish recovery

by Rob Lever, AFP

1 hr 33 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US economy lost 85,000 jobs in December while the unemployment rate held at 10.0 percent, the government said Friday in a report highlighting a slow and painful recovery from recession.

The Labor Department report on nonfarm payrolls was a disappointment to those hoping for job growth, which is critical to economic recovery.

The figure was far worse than the consensus expectation for no change in overall employment levels, and came amid a wide array of predictions ranging from steep losses to modest gains.

Yup.  Green Shoots.

Geithner and Summers must go.

And Geithner should be prosecuted as the THIEF he is.

Afternoon Edition

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From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 In blow to Obama, top Senate ally announces retirement

by Olivier Knox, AFP

Wed Jan 6, 4:16 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies were off to a rocky election-year start Wednesday, with high-profile retirements endangering their fragile Senate majority — and his agenda.

Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, announced he would not seek re-election in November, depriving Obama of a steadfast, powerful ally and 35-year veteran of Washington.

“This is my moment to step aside,” Dodd told reporters outside his Connecticut home, acknowledging a series of troubles had left him in “the toughest political shape of my career.”

Yawn.  So two days ago.  But it is my home state so I hope you’ll indulge me.

And if not, fuck you anyway.

Afternoon Edition

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From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Activist boat ‘sliced in two’ by Japanese whalers

by Amy Coopes, AFP

Wed Jan 6, 8:38 am ET

SYDNEY (AFP) – A space-age powerboat sent to harass Japanese whalers was rammed and sliced in two in its very first clash on Wednesday, activists said, dramatically escalating hostilities in icy Antarctic seas.

The futuristic Ady Gil trimaran, which holds the round-the-world speed record for a powered vessel and was enlisted by activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for this whaling season, received “catastrophic damage” and was sinking, they said.

All six crew, who earlier hurled stink bombs at the whalers to disrupt their annual hunt, were rescued unharmed by Sea Shepherd’s Bob Barker ship.

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Science

1 Namibia’s landmark trees dying from climate change

by Brigitte Weidlich, AFP

Tue Jan 5, 11:01 pm ET

WINDHOEK (AFP) – An old man gently touches the trunk of the huge quiver tree with a worried look on his wrinkled face, as he points at several dead branches lying on Namibia’s rugged terrain.

“When I was a boy, my grandfather made my first quiver from a branch of this old tree about seventy years ago, but I fear the tree is dying — too many dead branches. Things changed over the past few years, and these trees just die,” he tells AFP.

Aaron Kairabeb works on a farm 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of Namibia’s capital Windhoek, where tourists go on scenic hikes and also view a cluster of the giant aloe trees that can live for more than 300 years.

Afternoon Edition

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From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 CIA Afghan base bomber was Qaeda triple agent: militants

by Randa Habib, AFP

Tue Jan 5, 9:26 am ET

AMMAN (AFP) – A suicide bomber who killed eight people at a CIA base in Afghanistan was an Al-Qaeda triple agent who duped Western intelligence services for months before turning on his handlers, jihadist websites boasted on Tuesday.

The Jordanian intelligence services, believing the bomber to be their double agent, brought him to eastern Afghanistan with the mission of finding Al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the websites and Western intelligence agents cited by US media said.

But instead he blew himself up at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province near the Pakistani border, killing seven CIA agents and his Jordanian handler, a top intelligence officer and member of the royal family.

Afternoon Edition

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Dubai opens world’s tallest skyscraper

by Wissam Keyrouz, AFP

2 hrs 40 mins ago

DUBAI (AFP) – The financially troubled Gulf emirate of Dubai on Monday opened the world’s tallest building, a glistening concrete, glass and steel pinnacle rising 828 metres (2,717 feet) out of the desert sands.

Blazing fireworks rippled up and down the massive structure after it was officially opened by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum.

Known during construction as Burj Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad renamed the building Burj Khalifa, in honour of United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

Afternoon Edition

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Now with 39 Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iraq attacks kill 30, provincial governor wounded

by Bassim al-Anbari, AFP

Wed Dec 30, 7:48 am ET

RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) – Blasts in central and western Iraq killed 30 people and wounded the Anbar provincial governor on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks in recent months against government targets in Iraq.

The worst violence struck the western city of Ramadi, where 23 people were killed and 30 were wounded in co-ordinated bombings, blamed on Al-Qaeda amid collusion from the security forces, at the governor’s offices in the centre of Anbar’s provincial capital.

Governor Qassim Mohammed Abid was among the wounded, while senior security officials were also killed and injured. Around 20 cars were destroyed in the blasts.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

This Sunday’s Edition is being brought to you, one more time, by TMC. Hopefully ek hornbeck has survived the Holiday in Stars Hollow and will return to the news to its regular format. It was fun. 😉

The Top News Story

No sign Detroit flight incident in larger plot: U.S.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There is no initial evidence that the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a U.S. passenger jet was involved in a larger plot, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday.

But al Qaeda involvement is a “subject of investigation” in Friday’s incident, U.S. homeland security chief Janet Napolitano said after U.S. authorities on Saturday charged Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, with attempting to blow up the plane by setting alight an explosive device attached to his body.

The suspect, who was being treated for burns at a Michigan hospital, was overpowered by passengers and crew on the Northwest Airlines plane from Amsterdam on Christmas Day with almost 300 people on board.

“Well, right now we have no indication that it is part of anything larger. But obviously the investigation continues. And we have instituted more screening and what we call mitigation measures at airports,” U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

Asked whether al Qaeda was involved in the incident, Napolitano told ABC’s “This Week” program, “That is now the subject of investigation, and it would be inappropriate for me to say and inappropriate to speculate. So we will let the FBI and the criminal justice system now do their work.”

Afternoon Edition

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From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Suicide attack at Pakistan Shiite procession kills 30

by Hasan Mansoor, AFP

Mon Dec 28, 11:43 am ET

KARACHI (AFP) – A suicide bomber on Monday targeted Pakistan’s largest procession of Shiite Muslims on their holiest day, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens more in defiance of a major security crackdown.

The blast sparked riots in Karachi, the financial capital, where angry mourners went on the rampage, throwing stones at ambulances, torching cars and shops and firing bullets into the air, sparking appeals for calm.

Pakistan had deployed tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces, fearing sectarian clashes or militant attacks on Ashura processions, when Shiites whip themselves to mourn the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein.

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