Sunday, June 21, 2009

Unemployment, Health Care, Protests, and a Luau

A quick look-around of the news sites today gives me this:

On Iran: "Iranian state TV is reporting that the daughter of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani -- a senior cleric and an architect of the 1979 Islamic Revolution -- has been arrested along with four other relatives."

On Iraq: "The death toll from an attack near the Iraqui city of Kirkuk - the deadliest in Iraq for more than a year - has risen to at least 72, security officials say. About 200 people were injured in the truck bombing, which flattened dozens of mud-brick houses."

In Afghanistan: "Two U.S. soldiers were killed and six others wounded Sunday in a rocket attack inside a heavily fortified compound in Afghanistan, the military said."

On Health Care: "As Republicans stepped up attacks on Obama's ambitious health care plan, members of both parties were staggered by early cost estimates of $1 trillion or more for proposals that still left millions of people without health insurance."

On Inspector General Gerald Walpin: "Mr. Gerald Walpin was/is an Inspector General of the United States that from all outside appearances was initially fired by President Obama for doing his job, and by all accounts, apparently illegally to boot."

North Korea: "A U.S. Navy destroyer is tailing a North Korean ship suspected of carrying illicit weapons toward Myanmar in what could be the first test of new U.N. sanctions against the North over its recent nuclear test, a leading TV network said Sunday."

Palau: "The Obama administration's drive to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has hit a new snag: At least some of the 13 detainees accepted for resettlement by the island nation of Palau don't want to go there."

On unemployment figures: "The unemployment picture in all but two US states deteriorated in May as the jobless rate in more than a quarter of them exceeded 10 percent."

In Washington: President Obama, a son of Hawaii, is re-branding the annual White House picnic for members of Congress and their families the "Congressional Luau." The popular South Lawn cook-out takes place this Thursday night, according to an invitation that was emailed to Hill staffers Saturday. The Congressional Luau will feature food, drink and entertainment," reads the invite. "Attire is Casual."

and "The White House hosted a cookout Friday afternoon, featuring chicken grilled with chef Bobby Flay's barbecue sauce. Flay joined Obama and other celebrities to promote fatherhood on the Friday before Father's Day. When the president appeared at the cookout in the mid-afternoon, he got some tips from Bobby Flay before sprinkling some seasoning on rib eye steaks."


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