Tuesday, February 03, 2009

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - February 03, 2009

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New York Times
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-Political Lessons Taken on the Fly by Gillibrand
That smile never disappears. A Long Island congresswoman is so angry about the new senator's views on gun rights that she threatens a primary challenge next year? Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand murmurs that she really looks forward to working with her.

-On Politics: New Face of G.O.P. Brings a Brash Style
The election last week of Michael Steele to be chairman of the Republican National Committee drew considerable notice, not surprisingly: he is the first African-American to hold that position in the party's 155-year history.

-Kyrgyzstan Said to Deny Base to U.S.
MOSCOW (AP) -- Kyrgyzstan is ending U.S. use of a key airbase that supports military operations in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan's president was quoted as saying Tuesday.

-Op-Ed Columnist: Ward Three Morality
I've become increasingly concerned about the rising number of rich people who are being caught unawares by shifts in the sumptuary code. First, there were those auto executives who didn't realize that it is no longer socially acceptable to use private jets for lobbying trips to Washington. Then there was John Thain, who was humiliated because it is no longer acceptable to spend $35,000 on a commode for a Merrill Lynch washroom.

Washington Post
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-Taxes? Too Busy, Busy, Busy!
By Emily Yoffe
Like many Americans whose steady, reliable job has suddenly disappeared, Thomas Daschle cobbled together a bunch of gigs when he was laid off in 2004 by the people of South Dakota after more than two decades of representing them in Congress.

-Cracks in the Cult of Competence?
By Chris Cillizza
The twin decisions today by former Sen. Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer to remove their names from consideration for senior level posts in the Obama Administration represent the first significant test for a president who has enjoyed near-historic approval ratings to date.

-Cabinet: Stepping Down, Daschle Sends Shockwaves Through Health Policy Arena
By Ceci Connolly
Proponents of overhauling America's health care system expressed shock today that former senator Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) will not be in position to shepherd President Obama's reform agenda through Congress, saying the pressure now rests on the White House to reinvigorate the effort.

-Idiots of the Universe
On Planet Wall Street, $18 Billion in Bonuses
By Eugene Robinson
Earth to Wall Street: It's over, people. You had a terrific run, better than you deserved, but now you'd be wise to pay attention to those citizens outside, the ones with the pitchforks and the torches.

-Iraqis Anxious Over Outcome of Provincial Elections
By Ernesto LondoƱo
BAGHDAD, Feb. 3 -- Iraqi law enforcement officials in Anbar province braced Tuesday for a possible outbreak of violence as politicians cried foul over what they called rampant fraud during Saturday's provincial election.

-Ex-Detroit Mayor Released After 99-Day Jail Stay
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick emerged from jail after serving a 99-day sentence, greeted in the cold by about two dozen reporters and a handful of onlookers.

Wall Street Journal
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-Ford Chooses Lithium-Ion Battery Supplier
Ford Motor Co. selected a supplier to manufacture its lithium-ion battery for future plug-in hybrid vehicles, as the auto maker attempts to show Congress and the White House that it is serious about an electric-vehicle strategy.

-Iraq Is Obama's Mideast Pillar
As an Arab democracy, it's a model for what we would like the rest of the Arab world to become.

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-Sheriff: Michael Phelps may face pot charges
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he will charge Michael Phelps with a crime if he determines the Olympics hero smoked marijuana in Richland County.

Miami Herald
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-ECONOMY: Gas tax good for America
Reality is stark: Almost every major foreign-policy challenge we face is aggravated by our continued addiction to oil. Recent developments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa only underscore this fact. But a new president and changed economic conditions offer the chance to take a bold step toward freeing our nation from the grip of foreign petroleum.

-The leaderless GOP
Joan Walsh
Sorry, Michael Steele, but it's going to be a while before you're anything more than the figurehead frontman of a shipwrecked Republican National Committee. Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh remain the leaders of your party, and most Republicans are happy that way. A Rasmussen poll out today found that fully 55 percent of Republicans polled think their party should be "more like" Palin.

Fort Report
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-Obama To Nominate Judd Gregg For Commerce
GOP Senator Made A Deal With N.H. Gov. To Keep His Seat Out of Democratic Hands
President Barack Obama moved closer to nominating his secretary of commerce on Monday as his top choice, GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, revealed an apparent deal that would keep his seat out of Democratic hands.

-Khadafy to lead African Union
Seeks to realize vision for 'United States of Africa'
By Anita Powell
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Moammar Khadafy of Libya was elected yesterday as leader of the African Union, a position long sought by the dictator who wants to push his oil-rich nation into the international mainstream after years of isolation.

-Some call for Bush administration trials
Want ex-leader accountable on Iraq war
By Joseph Williams
Like others bundled against the cold on Inauguration Day, a few dozen people along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route were determined to catch a glimpse of President Obama. But they wanted him to see their simple, unmistakable message spelled out on black-and-white signs, adding a call-and-response chant for emphasis.

Technology Review
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-Google Earth Plumbs the Ocean Depths
The software now lets users dive miles beneath the ocean waves.
By Kate Greene
When Google Earth was introduced in 2005, it showed how fun digital mapping could be, allowing users to zoom over the planet's continents and explore their most spectacular features. However, 70 percent of the planet's surface--the proportion that is covered by ocean--has always remained off limits to Google Earth users. In an announcement today at the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco, Google has rectified the situation. The latest version of the company's mapping software, Google Earth 5.0, lets users dive deep below the surface of the sea to view ocean-floor topography. Furthermore, they can click on icons that describe aquatic ecosystems and watch, for example, videos of killer whales eating seals. "We have extended the map of the world to include the ocean parts of the world, as well as the land parts," said John Henke, Google lead for the project, in today's announcement.


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