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Author: BobR    Date: 05/28/2010 12:13:25

The big stories for today are the "top kill" attempt on the Gulf oil geyser, and the House voting to repeal DADT. Considering those stories are consuming all of the news cycles out there, I can't think of anything I could add that hasn't already been said. So instead, I'll take a step outside our borders and look at a few stories that are getting pushed aside.

The biggest story (and most concerning) is the escalation of tensions between North and South Korea. N. Korea has nullified all agreements with S. Korea that are designed to prevent an escalation of war along the DMZ between the countries. Obviously, some sort of retaliation is in order, but the question is what can S. Korea do?
The heightened security at the DMZ is prompted by North Korea's statements today. North Korea has declared "null and void" all agreements reached between North and South Korea to insure against escalation of hostilities here along the 150-mile long DMZ and in the disputed waters of the West or Yellow Sea.

The language of the North Korean announcement seems unequivocal.

The command of the Korean People’s Army, says this is a response to “the reckless moves” of South Korean “maniacs, sycophants, and quislings.” South Korea’s defense ministry last week released a report charging that a North Korean submarine had fired the torpedo that sank a South Korean navy ship, killing 46 sailors. And South Korea is now pushing for more economic sanctions against the North.

Wow - and this coming from the maniac in charge of N. Korea. I suspect this will not end well.

In other violent news, Jamaica is trying to take back Kingston from a drug lord. The battle in the nation's capital has resulted in at least 30 deaths. The confrontation sounds like all-out war:
Hundreds of security forces punched into some of Kingston's roughest neighborhoods Tuesday as the manhunt for alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke dragged on amid a spiraling body count and fears that the crisis could have a broader economic impact.

Officials said at least 30 people, including 26 civilians, have been killed since masked gunmen, thought to be Coke loyalists, launched coordinated attacks against police stations. Heavily armed security forces fought back, raiding a fortified section of Tivoli Gardens where the 41-year-old Coke is thought to be in hiding.

Perhaps they learned the lessons of Mexico and decided to shut this down before they got too strongly entrenched... or perhaps they were simply responding to a U.S. extradition request.

Nearby in the Gulf, Haiti is still struggling to recover from that massive earthquake a few months back. The coordination of funding and repairs seems to be lacking, though, as companies forge ahead with rebuilding efforts with the hope of getting paid for it in the future:
More than four months after Haiti's lethal earthquake, the international commission overseeing the recovery is still mulling how to spend the $9.9 billion pledged to the nation. But U.S. contractors are diving in, making high-stakes bets that reconstruction deals will eventually bring a windfall.

Companies have spent millions moving personnel and machinery to the shattered island since the Jan. 12 earthquake. Others have started on projects despite having no formal agreements to be compensated for the work. And all are lining up political allies as they elbow for a spot at the front of the line.

This seems like a good thing for the people of Haiti, but as the article notes, the problem is that these companies have the wherewithal to do this now, while smaller local companies that should get the contracts are having to sit on the sidelines, waiting for the money first.

Finally, England has scrapped a national ID card program that sounds suspiciously like something that would be promoted by nationalists here in the U.S. You would think the Christians would look at this as one of those "end times" things, but then - they don't have that same fervor elsewhere like they do here. What I don't understand is the need for a national ID card when a passport serves the same purpose. It seems unnecessary.

Anyway - that's it for today. Have a great Memorial Day weekend, and spend a few moments remembering why we have this holiday in the first place.

51 comments (Latest Comment: 05/28/2010 20:24:56 by Mondobubba)
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