Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal awaits fate

Top story: General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has returned to Washington and is meeting with President Barack Obama today to explain disparaging comments made about senior administration officials, including Obama himself, by the general and his senior aides in an article in Rolling Stone. McChrystal has prepared a letter of resignation but Obama has said he will not make a decision until after the meeting. The civilian press aide who set up the interview has already resigned.

"I think it's clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment, but I also want to make sure that I talk to him directly before I make that final decision," Obama said yesterday.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has described the comments, including referring to Vice President Joe Biden as "Bite me" and describing special envoy Richard Holbrooke as a "wounded animal" as a "significant mistake" on the part of McChrystal and has said that "all options are on the table" regarding the general's fate. McChrystal will meet with Gates first this morning, before a one-on-one with the president, followed by a larger meeting of senior administration officials.

CNN reports that the White House has asked the Pentagon to make a list of possible replacements for McChrystal.

Drilling ban: U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to order a new ban on offshore drilling after a U.S. district judge overturned the administration's six-month moratorium on drilling yesterday.

  • Jamaica has captured alleged drug baron Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
  • Gunmen opened fire on a town hall in Northern Mexico killing three police officers.
  • A new U.N. report predicts that Peru is soon to overtake Colombia as the world's top producer of coca.
  • Pakistan is moving forward with a deal to import gas from Iran.
  • Human rights groups report a new Kyrgyz raid on Uzbek areas of Southern Kyrgyzstan.
  • More than 2 million people have had to be evacuated after heavy flooding in Southern China.
Middle East
  • Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak criticized plans to raze Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.
  • Iraq's electricity minister resigned over a series of rolling blackouts.
  • Israel has launched a new surveillance satellite.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

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