Wednesday, March 10, 2010

News Headlines Roundup 10 Mar 2010

Patrick Kennedy vs the News Media: ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports: In a fiery speech on the floor of the House, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, lashed out at the news media for focusing on trivial issues and ignoring a Congressional debate over the war in Afghanistan.

“It’s despicable, the national press corps right now,” Kennedy bellowed.
Kennedy’s outburst came as the House debated a measure sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, that would set a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

“If anyone wants to know where the cynicism is, there's two press people in this gallery,” Kennedy yelled as he gestured up to the press gallery above the House floor. “We're talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV. We're talking about war and peace -- $3 billion, 1,000 lives -- and no press, no press.”

“You want to know why the American public is fit?” he continued. “They're fit because they're not seeing their congress do the work that they're sent to do. It's because the press, the press of the United States is not covering the most significant issue of national importance and that's the laying of lives down in the nation for the service of our country. it's despicable, the national press corps right now.”

As Kennedy spoke, the floor of the House was almost as empty as the press gallery, with only about a dozen of the 431 members of the House in attendance.

Before lambasting the press, Kennedy harshly criticized the Obama Administration’s policy in Afghanistan.

“I hear my colleagues talk about the flag of Afghanistan, as if Afghanistan is a country,” he said. “In case anybody has bothered to look at it, it's a loose collection of 121 different sovereign tribes, none of them get along with each other, and it's a mountainous terrain of rock and gravel and the notion that our soldiers are over there laying down their lives to secure ground. We ought to be after the Taliban and the terrorists, anybody who is organizing to strike in our country, I am for that.

“But I am not for organizing an organized military campaign where we're having to go in and take in these towns and subject our soldiers to unnecessary threats where we are putting our treasure and our lives and our men and women in uniform on the line unnecessarily.”






Out-of-Control Toyota Reports Multiplying: (CBS) his Toyota Prius down a southern California highway when he experienced something now familiar to many Toyota owners: his car was accelerating past his intended speed and wouldn't slow down.


That's when Sikes grabbed his phone dialed 911. (Listen to his call below left) While trying to keep the car under control and hold the phone to his ear, the Prius sped up to 94 miles per hour. Eventually the emergency dispatcher sent a California Highway Patrol car to him, and officers instructed him how to reduce his speed before they accelerated in front of him and — driving bumper-to-bumper — guided the car to a complete stop.


Just two weeks before the alarming incident, Sikes had brought his Prius into a dealership, recall notice in hand, to have a technician look under the hood, but the dealership turned him away.


Watch CBS News Videos Online



Women fliers honored 65 years after war efforts: Washington (CNN) -- Some 65 years after their service, a group of former civilian women pilots whose unheralded work was key to helping the U.S. effort in World War II are being honored Wednesday with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Fewer than 300 Women Airforce Service Pilots are still alive. About 175 of them, along with thousands of family members, have traveled to Washington for the ceremony at the Capitol.

Jane Tedeschi is one of the WASPs who will be recognized.

"I think it is wonderful. I think it really is," she told CNN, saying it's especially meaningful because "so many of us are still alive to get this honor."

The Women Airforce Service Pilots was born in 1942 to create a corps of female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home, thus freeing male military pilots to travel to the front.

"I think that this is important. It is hopefully something that people will remember," Tedeschi told CNN last week. "It is another thing to honor the women who lost their lives at that time and of course what it did to persuade people that women could do this."


Dalai Lama: China Aims to Annihilate Buddhism: (ABC) The Dalai Lama lashed out at China on Wednesday, accusing it of trying to "annihilate Buddhism" in Tibet and rebuffing all his efforts to reach a compromise over the disputed Himalayan region.

China shot back, accusing the Tibetan spiritual leader of using deceptions and lies to distort its policy in the region. The passionate back-and-forth highlighted the distrust, anger and frustration that separates the two sides and leaves little hope for success in recently resumed talks.

Beijing has demonized the Dalai Lama and accused him of wanting independence for Tibet, which China says is part of its territory. The Dalai Lama says he only wants some form of autonomy for Tibet within China that would allow Tibetan culture, language and religion to thrive.




Michael Jackson: Inside His Finances and Family: (ABC exclusive) While the Jackson family portrayed a unified front at Michael Jackson's funeral, three of his former bodyguards said Jackson did not often see his family in the two years prior to his death.

"They didn't come around much and when they did, they came unexpected. And we'd say, 'Mr. Jackson, one of your family members is at the gate [and] would like to see you,' and he'd ask, 'Do they have an appointment?'" Bill Whitfield, one his former bodyguards, said.

Whitfield said family members were not allowed in if Jackson was "being creative," but that did not stop Jackson's youngest brother, Randy, from trying to see him.






How You End Up on the U.S. No-Fly List: (AP) It starts with a tip, a scrap of intelligence, a fingerprint lifted from a suspected terrorist's home.

It ends when a person is forbidden to board an airplane — a decision that's in the hands of about six experts from the Transportation Security Administration.

The no-fly list they oversee constantly changes as hundreds of analysts churn through a steady stream of intelligence. Managing the list is a high-stakes process. Go too far in one direction and innocent travelers are inconvenienced. Go in the other direction and a terrorist might slip onto an airplane.

It could take minutes to put a name on the list. Or it could take hours, days or months.

That's because the list is only as good as U.S. intelligence and the experts who analyze it. If an intelligence lead is not shared, or if an analyst is unable to connect one piece of information to another, a terrorist could slip onto an airplane. Officials allege that's just what took place ahead of the attempted Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound jet.



"Granny D," Political Activist, Dies: (AP) Doris "Granny D" Haddock, a New Hampshire woman who walked across the country at age 89 to promote campaign finance reform and later waged a quixotic campaign for U.S. Senate, has died. She was 100.

... In 2000, Haddock walked 3,200 miles to draw attention to campaign finance reform. In 2004, at age 94, she ran for U.S. Senate against Republican Judd Gregg. The subtitle of her autobiography, written with Dennis Burke, was "You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell."

"Her age wasn't a factor in what she did," Salinger said. "She never gave up. Until the end, she advocated for public funding. She would wanted people to know that democracy and government belongs to us."



2010 Elections: Ten Races to Watch in 2010: When President Obama swept large Democratic majorities into Congress in 2008, the 2010 midterm elections looked as if they might be a snoozer.

But in the wake of Obama's declining poll numbers and the Democrats' shocking loss of the seat once held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., the 2010 midterm elections are now shaping up as a critical showdown which could fundamentally alter the balance of power in Washington and in statehouses across the country.

Although Election Day 2010 is still 8 months away, here is an update on ten statewide contests -- three for governor and seven for the U.S. Senate -- that we identified as races worth watching in December.


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