Posts Tagged ‘War’

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 9th:

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Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 7th:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Publicity Still

  • Sneak Peek: First Look At New Harry Potter Film – The Harry Potter trio are back to save Hogwarts from dark forces in the eagerly anticipated sixth film in the series. A year after the last Potter film, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, JK Rowling’s creation is back in British cinemas in November.
  • Fred Barnes: McCain Better Step Up ‘Homo-Bashing’ As Strategy – Pam’s House Blend: I guess the talking heads on Fox just get right to the point — the GOP is bankrupt of any ideas or actual accomplishments to run on in 2008, so the flagging McSame campaign better drag out the tired homo straw man, according to Right S
  • Andrew Sullivan: A Long Way From The Green Iguana – It’s funny to watch the partisan right out-do each other to declare Obama a cynic while Charlie Crist gets engaged to a woman at the height of McCain’s veep search.
  • Study: Military Gays Don’t Undermine Unit Cohesion – Congress should repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.
  • A Major Speech in Berlin?: Obama Refines Plans for Germany Trip – Barack Obama’s planned European tour might make a major whistlestop in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The candidate’s schedule isn’t set, but a Berlin appearance before the end of July looks likely.
  • Borat’s Alter Ego Dupes Former Mossad Agent – It’s unclear whether his Mossad retirement benefit card will be confiscated, but former spy and current political analyst Yossi Alpher is certainly feeling sheepish after being fooled by actor Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Borat.
  • Federal Investigation Launched into Obama’s MD-80 – The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that it is investigating what caused Senator Barack Obama’s plane to make an unexpected landing today in St. Louis.
  • Iraq May Set Timetable For U.S. Withdrawal – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki raised the prospect on Monday of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops as part of negotiations over a new security agreement with Washington.
  • Webb Says No To Being VP – You can officially scratch off Sen. Jim Webb’s name from the list of Barack Obama’s potential running mates.
  • ABC News: Md. Plantation Attic Holds 400 Years of Documents – For four centuries, they were the ultimate pack rats. Now a Maryland family’s massive collection of letters, maps and printed bills has surfaced in the attic of a former plantation, providing a firsthand account of life from the 1660s through World War II
  • Miami Herald Covers Media Swirl Around Crist – And Avoids The Obvious – I’m not sure how you can explore Florida governor Charlie Crist’s shameless self-promotion for McCain’s consideration as VP (after all, the long-time “bachelor” is willing to get married to pass muster) without going into the ample number of stories about

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 7th:

Ted Koppel interviews villagers in Qiejiajie, in the Chongqing province, with his interpreter, Mao Sai Feng.

  • Changes In China: Koppel Investigates – The image of Ted Koppel interviewing world leaders is so ingrained that it feels odd to see him wearing a hardhat for a nervous trip into a Chinese coal mine, or sitting in a Chongqing karaoke bar where teenage girls are hired to “entertain” male customer
  • Bush To Meet Russia’s Medvedev – US President George W. Bush on Monday holds his first face-to-face talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a chance to weigh up Vladimir Putin’s heir and tackle outstanding disputes.
  • McCain Promises To Balance Budget – Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to promise on Monday that he will balance the federal budget by the end of his first term by curbing wasteful spending and overhauling entitlement programs, including Social Security, his advisers told Politico.
  • McCain Struggles to Regain Footing – John McCain calls himself an underdog. That may be an understatement. The GOP presidential candidate trails Democrat Barack Obama in polls, organization and money while trying to succeed a deeply unpopular fellow Republican in a year that favors Democrats
  • FDA Reports More Cases Of Salmonella Illnesses – The government on Saturday increased the number of people reported being sickened in a record salmonella outbreak in which tomatoes are the leading suspect although investigators are testing other types of fresh produce.
  • UAE To Cancel Iraq’s $7 billion Debt – Dubai has forgiven the nearly $7 billion Baghdad owes it, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced Sunday.

The Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 6th:

  • Al-Maliki: Iraq Defeated Terrorism – Iraq’s prime minister said yesterday that the government has defeated terrorism in the country, a sign of growing confidence after recent crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shiite militias.
  • Nadal Dethrones Federer At Wimbledon – Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer’s five-year reign at Wimbledon on Sunday, winning a riveting, five-set marathon to claim his first title at the All England Club and signal a changing of the guard in men’s tennis.
  • Man Rips Off Hitler’s Head at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – A man tore the head off an Adolf Hitler wax figure at Madame Tussauds’ new branch in Berlin in what appeared to be a symbolic protest on the museum’s opening day Saturday, officials said.
  • Poll: Founding Fathers Would Be Disappointed In America – As Americans celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, an overwhelming majority say the 56 signers of that document would be displeased at how the country has turned out.
  • Americans Prefer Candidates Strong On Science – A new poll conducted by Scientists and Engineers for America indicates an overwhelming majority of voters prefer candidates who support research into science and technology, with emphasis on the three E’s: education, environment, and energy. Nice to know,
  • Kerry says McCain lacks judgment to be president – John Kerry Says Republican John McCain Doesn’t Have Judgment To Be President

PageOneQ: Army Sergeant Darren Manzella, profiled on 60 Minutes, has been let go under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Manzella has been twice deployed to Iraq since his enlistment in 2002. Military awards he has received during his service include the Combat Medical Badge. He also received the Barry Winchell Courage Award at the 16th Annual SLDN National Dinner in March of 2008.

“My sexual orientation certainly didn’t make a difference when I treated injuries and saved lives in the streets of Baghdad,” Manzella told SLDN. “It shouldn’t be a factor in allowing me to continue to serve.”

The 30-year-old told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl in December 2007 that despite the policy, which mandates discharge of a servicemembers who are discovered to be gay, he served openly with the blessing of his colleagues and superiors. After receiving anonymous e-mails advising him to “turn down the flame,” Manzella turned to a commanding officer for help and came out to him in the process. Ultimately, after an investigation, “no evidence of homosexuality” was found, despite video and photographs of Manzella with his partner, and he was told to return to work.

“The discharge of battle-tested, talented service members like Sergeant Manzella weakens our military in a time of war,” said SLDN Communications Director Adam Ebbin. “National security requires that Congress lift the ban on gays in the military and allow commanders to judge troops on their qualifications, not their sexuality.”

Manzella was the first active duty servicemember serving in a war zone to speak with the media. It has been estimated that over 500 individuals serve openly in the United States military despite “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” suggesting selective enforcement of, and perhaps distaste for, the policy, and an unwillingness to sacrifice needed personnel.

Yet another viral video catching on this week that gives some pretty startling figures on just how much we’re spending on the war in Iraq, and just how it could be utilized at home, if only we brought our troops home.

more about “Viral Video: The Costs Of War“, posted with vodpod

AFP: The UN atomic watchdog chief warned on Saturday that an attack on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme would turn the region into a fireball, as Tehran rejected an Israeli strike as “impossible.”Mohamed ElBaradei also warned that he would not be able to continue in his role as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general should the Islamic republic be attacked.

His stark comments came as Iran stressed yet again that it will not negotiate with world powers over its nuclear programme if it is required to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment.

“A military strike (against Iran) would in my opinion be worse than anything else … It would transform the Middle East region into a ball of fire,” ElBaradei said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television.

CNN: Five foreign troops were killed Saturday in Afghanistan, bringing the number of NATO and U.S.-led coalition troop deaths in June to 32 — more than in Iraq.

Foreign troop deaths in the Afghan war have been exceeding those in the Iraq conflict in recent weeks, according to figures compiled by CNN.

New York Times: Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Several American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military’s capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran’s nuclear program.

More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters participated in the maneuvers, which were carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and over Greece during the first week of June, American officials said.

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more about “McCain Debates Himself On Oil Drilling“, posted with vodpod

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New Yorker:

Olbermann reveres Murrow, but Murrow never called a President “Idiot-in-Chief.’’

It was nearly midnight before Keith Olbermann left the NBC News election studio on May 13th, having spent five hours on the air, co-anchoring coverage of the West Virginia Democratic primary. Olbermann had a short ride home from Rockefeller Plaza to his condominium on the Upper East Side, and he was in bed by 2 A.M. But he lay wide awake, overcome by an urge to get up and move about.

He has been given a diagnosis of Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome, also known as “restless-legs syndrome” (and also “the kicks,” “Jimmy legs,” and “jitters”), a neurological disorder that produces a prickling, itching, or crawling feeling in the legs, profoundly disturbing sleep.

Reclining exacerbates the condition, so Olbermann got out of bed, took a pill for the ailment, and, while waiting for the drug to kick in, scrolled through his BlackBerry, scanning recent messages. One arrested his attention. It was a link to the Web site Politico, which featured an interview conducted that day with President Bush. Olbermann was struck by two questions from the interview, and by Bush’s answers to them: CONTINUE READING

New Yorker:

Olbermann reveres Murrow, but Murrow never called a President “Idiot-in-Chief.’’

It was nearly midnight before Keith Olbermann left the NBC News election studio on May 13th, having spent five hours on the air, co-anchoring coverage of the West Virginia Democratic primary. Olbermann had a short ride home from Rockefeller Plaza to his condominium on the Upper East Side, and he was in bed by 2 A.M. But he lay wide awake, overcome by an urge to get up and move about.

He has been given a diagnosis of Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome, also known as “restless-legs syndrome” (and also “the kicks,” “Jimmy legs,” and “jitters”), a neurological disorder that produces a prickling, itching, or crawling feeling in the legs, profoundly disturbing sleep.

Reclining exacerbates the condition, so Olbermann got out of bed, took a pill for the ailment, and, while waiting for the drug to kick in, scrolled through his BlackBerry, scanning recent messages. One arrested his attention. It was a link to the Web site Politico, which featured an interview conducted that day with President Bush. Olbermann was struck by two questions from the interview, and by Bush’s answers to them: CONTINUE READING

New Yorker:

Olbermann reveres Murrow, but Murrow never called a President “Idiot-in-Chief.’’

It was nearly midnight before Keith Olbermann left the NBC News election studio on May 13th, having spent five hours on the air, co-anchoring coverage of the West Virginia Democratic primary. Olbermann had a short ride home from Rockefeller Plaza to his condominium on the Upper East Side, and he was in bed by 2 A.M. But he lay wide awake, overcome by an urge to get up and move about.

He has been given a diagnosis of Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome, also known as “restless-legs syndrome” (and also “the kicks,” “Jimmy legs,” and “jitters”), a neurological disorder that produces a prickling, itching, or crawling feeling in the legs, profoundly disturbing sleep.

Reclining exacerbates the condition, so Olbermann got out of bed, took a pill for the ailment, and, while waiting for the drug to kick in, scrolled through his BlackBerry, scanning recent messages. One arrested his attention. It was a link to the Web site Politico, which featured an interview conducted that day with President Bush. Olbermann was struck by two questions from the interview, and by Bush’s answers to them: CONTINUE READING

Al-Jazeera: Taliban fighters have attacked a prison in southern Afghanistan, blasting through the entrance of Kandahar’s main jail and triggering a gun battle with the police.

The Taliban fighters are reportedly trying to free their comrades from the jail.

The brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai said that hundreds of prisoners had escaped.

According to Afghan officials, fighters attacked the main prison in Kandahar on Friday with a car bomb and rockets, killing police and freeing prisoners.

Sarwar Danish, the justice minister, said a suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle at the gates of the prison.

Officials with Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said they are aware of the attack but do not yet have any details.

Qais Azimy, Al Jazeera’s correspondent, said the Taliban fighters have managed to get into the prison to free some of the men.

Afghan police are trying to stop the prisoners from escaping.

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CNN: Suspected terrorists and foreign fighters held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to challenge their detention in federal court, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

A prefabricated court complex has been erected at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to try terrorism suspects.

The decision marks another legal blow to the Bush administration’s war on terrorism policies.

The 5-4 vote reflects the divide over how much legal autonomy the U.S. military should have to prosecute about 270 prisoners, some of whom have been held for more than six years without charges. Fourteen of them are alleged to be top al Qaeda figures.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system reconciled within the framework of the law.”

Kennedy, the court’s swing vote, was supported by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, generally considered the liberal contingent.

At issue was the rights of detainees to contest their imprisonment and challenge the rules set up to try them.

art.gitmo.justice.afp.gi.jpg

CNN: Suspected terrorists and foreign fighters held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to challenge their detention in federal court, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

A prefabricated court complex has been erected at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to try terrorism suspects.

The decision marks another legal blow to the Bush administration’s war on terrorism policies.

The 5-4 vote reflects the divide over how much legal autonomy the U.S. military should have to prosecute about 270 prisoners, some of whom have been held for more than six years without charges. Fourteen of them are alleged to be top al Qaeda figures.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system reconciled within the framework of the law.”

Kennedy, the court’s swing vote, was supported by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, generally considered the liberal contingent.

At issue was the rights of detainees to contest their imprisonment and challenge the rules set up to try them.

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