Thursday, February 18, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 2/18

  • An official investigation into a Sept. 8 ambush in Afghanistan offers a scathing assessment. Senior officers were absent, and those left behind were ineffective. The five Americans suffered their fatal wounds during more than an hour when they had no air support. A helicopter gunship only minutes away wasn't dispatched because the request hadn't come through brigade headquarters. Three unidentified officers received official reprimands.
  • Months after he postponed their first meeting in a gesture to China, President Barack Obama will sit down Thursday at the White House with the Dalai Lama. A photo of the meeting will be released, but the leaders will not be appear together in public, the White House said.
  • When U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio delivers the keynote speech Thursday to the most prestigious annual gathering of conservatives in the country, there will be no question: He has arrived. Rubio's marquee appearance in front of thousands of politicians, activists and opinion makers at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington marks yet another milestone in one of the most astonishing turnarounds in Florida politics.
  • Mortgage lenders permanently modified 116,297 home loans nationally in January, according to the U.S. Treasury. That far exceeded December's 66,465 permanent modifications and November's 31,382, the report showed. Treasury Department officials called it a sign that the Obama administration's much-criticized Making Home Affordable program is gaining traction to help ease the foreclosure crisis in regions like Sacramento.
  • Haitians injured in the January earthquake face leaving hospitals for camps that lack rehabilitation facilities. A grim outlook is shared by many international experts and quake victims, who fear what the future holds for the tens of thousands of recovering patients dependent upon what one World Health Organization official calls "the worst health care system in the world."
  • A worried Norwegian ambassador to the United States visited Charlotte on Wednesday to raise awareness of global warming. While warming in the Southeast was negligible for much of the past century, Norway is among a handful of Arctic nations witnessing rapid changes at the top of the globe.
  • Smoking pot can soothe tingling or burning pain — but you don't need to get high to find relief. Those are preliminary findings of an $8.7 million California study, the first major research conducted on the effects of marijuana in two decades. The findings, released Wednesday in a report to the Legislature, are sure to drive debate over public policy governing California's burgeoning medical marijuana market.
  • The Kansas City area landed a hefty $50 million for bus and street projects Wednesday. There will be money to fix sidewalks and streets in U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's so-called "Green Impact Zone," a 150-block area in Kansas City's urban core that's been marked by high rates of violence and poverty.
  • Irreverence was the rule, not the exception, Wednesday in the first of two giant outdoor shows Stephen Colbert is taping in Vancouver. It was a rock-star moment for the popular comedian, who has goaded Canadians over the Olympics and even spoofed the Games on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
  • Environmental groups and Northwest Arctic village residents are contesting a key federal permit needed for the state's largest mine to continue operating. The Red Dog Mine operator said it might have to suspend production later this year if the permitting dispute isn't resolved this spring. Red Dog has struggled with its water discharges ever since starting up two decades ago. The mine has routinely violated some criteria within its federal water pollution discharge permit, resulting in fines and lawsuits. The new permit would legalize the discharges that have been problematic.
  • He has cool nicknames — "The Flying Tomato" and "The Animal" ... his own private halfpipe — Project X — in Silverton Mountain in Colorado ... his own video game — "Shaun White Snowboarding" ... his own DVD — "The White Adventures" ... endorsement deals that have made him a multimillionaire. Now, snowboarder Shaun White has another Olympic gold medal.
  • As does just about everything else in life, the battle over the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter sex tape conjures in my mind an episode of the greatest television show in history, "Sanford & Son."

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think it symbolizes?