Jan 03 2011

Six In The Morning

Throwing Good Money After Bad

Demise of Iraqi water park illustrates limitations, abuse of U.S. funding program

BAGHDAD – In thespring of 2008, Gen. David H. Petraeus decided he had spent enough time gazing from his helicopter at an empty and desolate lake on the banks of the Tigris River. He ordered the lake refilled and turned into a water park for all of Baghdad to enjoy.

The military doctrine behind the project holds that cash can be as effective as bullets. Under Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq at the time, that principle gained unprecedented emphasis, and it has become a cornerstone of the war effort in Afghanistan, now under Petraeus’s command.

Remember Sarah Palin Doesn’t Believe    


How Assam’s tea is beginning to feel the strain of global warming

Lush green tea plantations, so bright they often look fluorescent, blanket the hills of Assam in northeastern India. Women plucking the leaves in black aprons with large baskets on their backs dot the gardens that contribute to India’s production of nearly a third of the world’s tea. But this picturesque industry that the British began in the early 19th-century faces a very modern problem: climate change.

Researchers and planters worry that a rise in temperatures and change in rainfall patterns are threatening the production and quality of Assam’s famous tea.

About 850 tea gardens in Assam produce 55 percent of India’s tea, but crop yields are decreasing and amid fears of a correlation with environmental change.

We’re Not Going To Play Along  

South Korea stands firm against North’s ‘adventurism’

However, the North should abandon its “military adventurism” first, he said.

Seoul would respond strongly to any threat against “an inch of our territory”, he said, but with sincerity, progress could be made.

Mr Lee’s New Year’s speech on Monday came two days after Pyongyang delivered a mixed message of openness to talks and increased military posture.

The US envoy responsible for policy toward North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, is scheduled to visit Seoul on Tuesday before going on to China and Japan.

Thank You For Not Smoking    

So long, smoke-filled tapas bars: Spain’s smoking ban begins  


Spain’s reignas the last Western European haven for smokers ended Sunday as a new law came into effect banning smoking in enclosed public places.

Those caught smoking indoors or even in some open spaces like playgrounds will now have to pay a 30 euro ($40) fine and as much as 100,000 euros ($134,000) after being caught three times. Restaurant and bar owners failing to impose the new law will pay between 60 euros ($80) and 100,000 euros for each violation.

Many Spaniards are happy about the change, given the country’s reputation for smoke-filled tapas bars.

Who Needs Public Hospitals With 50 million Uninsured  


Florida’s new governor likely to target public hospitals

Florida’s government-owned hospitals will be in the political cross hairs after Tuesday’s inauguration of Rick Scott, once leader of the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain.

The governor-elect’s transition team has recommended creation of a panel to study whether government-owned hospitals — Miami-Dade’s Jackson Health System and Broward’s two hospital districts among them — are necessary.

“This is going to be a very hot topic during the legislative session,” said Barney Bishop of Associated Industries of Florida, lobbyists for the state’s large businesses.

War hero’s tour: A soldier adjusts to fame

Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration

It was years in the making, so Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta had time to talk with his wife about the “what if” question. He’d been recommended for the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration. If chosen, his name would be in headlines. His face in the spotlight. He’d be a celebrity.

And again and again, he’d have to tell strangers the harrowing story of a deadly ambush in Afghanistan.

“He was worried,” says Giunta’s wife, Jenny. “He didn’t know how he was going able to talk to people about it. He couldn’t even talk to me. He didn’t even talk to his parents about it. How was he going to talk to the world about it? How was he going to be OK with telling his story?”


  1. TMC

    Sheesh. How about a water/sewage plant? Idiots.

Comments have been disabled.