Tuesday, July 13, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 7/13

  • The Senate on Monday was poised to end its deadlock and approve a historic overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory system as two more Republicans said they expect to support the legislation.
  • President Barack Obama and his team are tantalizingly close to their first major success in plugging BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after nearly three months of confounding setbacks. Even if the capping plan that's under way works, many struggles lie ahead, however.
  • A missing Iranian nuclear scientist has taken refuge in the Pakistan embassy in Washington, Pakistani officials said Tuesday, following claims that he had been kidnapped by the CIA.
  • Alleged ex-teen terrorist Omar Khadr said Monday he rejected a U.S. deal that offered him a "Get out of Guantanamo card" in five years if he admitted to committing war crimes in Afghanistan as a 15-year-old.
  • An Israeli military investigation into Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla concluded Monday that there were "no failures, but mistakes were made."
  • Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio announced Monday that he raised a whopping $4.5 million in the past three months, blowing by the $4.3 million record-setting haul by rival Charlie Crist at the start of the race and, mostly likely, quashing chatter that the former House speaker had fallen off the map as the governor hogged the television cameras covering the Gulf Coast oil spill.
  • Rebuffed by the courts, the Obama administration is trying again to freeze new oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, this time saying such drilling poses an imminent threat of "irreparable damage to the marine, coastal, and human environment."
  • The Pentagon office in charge of looking at futuristic technology has asked industry for ideas on whether it's feasible to build a vehicle that can be driven — and flown. And a fledgling Fort Worth business, AVX Aircraft Co., says yeah, we can do that — if you give us the money to try.
  • A majority of California voters continues to give President Barack Obama passing marks, but their confidence in the direction of the country has dipped to pre-Obama levels, according to Field Poll released today. While the "wrong track" numbers are not as high as the 75 percent recorded during the final year of President George W. Bush's tenure in 2008, they are the highest of the Obama era.
  • With dozens of black-and-white government dump trucks, excavators and other heavy equipment parked on the lawn of a crumbled presidential palace, Haitian President Rene Preval on Monday declared that the country's reconstruction has begun. Housing and removing rubble remain Haiti's two biggest challenges, Preval said during the ceremony that was attended by former President Bill Clinton, who co-chairs the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission.
  • As home to pop legend Michael Jackson, Neverland Ranch housed a working locomotive, a Ferris wheel and other amusement park rides, a 10,000-volume library and a zoo. But could the opulent Santa Barbara County estate become home to California's newest state park?
  • A scene from the near future as a businessman meets a graduate of Beck University — the online university that TV host Glenn Beck founded in 2010 so people could learn the real truth they don't get in your so-called 'universities.'

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