Thursday, January 28, 2010
There are rail projects in every corner of the USA that will link to create a comprehensive system.
It is a project that will not only create jobs immediately, but, will have sustainable jobs as the network is studied and can grow to connect more and more of the country.
These are long term projects with sustainable and high paying employment.
Overview: (click here) Section 1010 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) established a special program to fund safety improvements at highway-rail grade crossings on corridors that were “designated” as high-speed intercity passenger rail corridors based on their present utility and their potential for future development. This grade crossing safety program is codified at 23 U.S.C. 104(d)(2)....
The potential for these projects reach beyond what is currently planned. There is potential for its growth depending on the demand in the country. These are sustainable jobs with longevity.
In some areas where automobiles intersect with trains there can be diversion around the rails to provide less opportunity for impact. It is a good idea to separate the two as high speed rail is a different animal than what the USA citizen is used to.
Former First Lady, Senator and current Secretary of State to retire at the end of President Obama's first term.
Yemen needs to demonstrate that it can reduce corruption, improve governance and use foreign aid effectively if relief money is to continue flowing, the secretary of State says.
January 27, 2010 | 8:55 p.m.Reporting from London - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton bluntly warned Yemen's leaders Wednesday to "take ownership" of their own long-festering problems -- corruption, internal strife and poor governance -- if they hope to overcome threats from Islamist extremists and poverty.
Clinton's comments reflected the apprehension of the Obama administration as it once again faces a dire security threat from a Muslim country whose government is marred by corruption and incompetence, like those in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"Yemen must take ownership of the challenges it faces, and of its internal affairs," Clinton said at a 20-nation gathering convened to reinvigorate international efforts to provide assistance to a country that has become a terrorist hot spot....
She was in London during the State of the Union.
By Korva Coleman
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is flying to London tonight for an international meeting about Afghanistan and Yemen. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the Afghan part of the conference had long been planned....
2:39 p.m. EST, January 26, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Nigeria on Tuesday for corruption and poor living standards that she said encourage the sort of extremism typified by the attempted bombing of an American airliner.
Speaking at a town hall meeting of State Departmrent employees, Clinton said the Nigerian government has failed for years to address the legitimate needs of its people. She said that has contributed to a growing sense of alienation, particularly among the young who are then more susceptible to extremist ideologies.
"The failure of the Nigerian leadership over many years to respond to the legitimate needs of their own young people, to have a government that promoted a meritocracy, that really understood that democracy can't just be given lip service, it has to be delivering services to the people, has meant there is a lot of alienation in that country and others," she said....
* No plans to meet Iran foreign minister, if he attends
* U.S. seeking Indonesia's help to pressure Tehran
By Andrew Quinn
LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's trip to London this week is officially focused on Afghanistan and Yemen, but she will also talk to the major powers about what to do next in the nuclear deadlock with Iran.
Clinton will also will seek to enlist more countries such as Indonesia to bring pressure on the Iranians, a senior U.S. official said.
"It is fair to say that Iran will be a fairly important element of her trip here," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Clinton's London trip includes a Wednesday meeting on assisting Yemen root out al Qaeda militancy and a Thursday conference on Afghanistan, where the United States is leading a major military build-up in the fight against Taliban insurgents.
But Iran, a regional power locked in a deepening stand-off with the rest of the world over its nuclear programme, looms in the background as a potential flashpoint....
In Great Britain where quality of life actually matters, Gordon Brown is hosting a summit on Afghanistan.
We are turning the tide against Taliban in Afghanistan, says Gordon Brown (click title to entry - thank you)
Prime minister opens international conference on Afghanistan with speech announcing creation of international fund to finance a national reconciliation programme.Thursday 28 January 2010 11.32 GMT
Gordon Brown is known to be disfavored politically in the UK, but, I sincerely doubt this is political grandstanding. He, as well as most of the European leaders, realize NATO has to succeed in Afghanistan. This summit marks a change in tone in relationship between Europe and Afghanistan.
...Brown said that the international community would back plans for insurgents to be offered "a way back into mainstream life", provided they renounced violence and cut their links with al-Qaida.
But he delivered this message to al-Qaida: "We will defeat you. Not just on the battlefield, but in the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan – and in any and every country where you seek refuge."
Brown said that more than 8,000 extra Nato troops had been committed to Afghanistan since the US president, Barack Obama, announced a surge in US forces in the country last year....
As General McCrystal pushes the Taliban from its perch, they seek normally safe targets to carry out their violence.
Gunmen in the Pakistani city of Karachi have attacked vehicles taking supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan.
The lorries had been attacked with guns and grenades on a main highway on the outskirts of Karachi, a police official told the Associated Press news agency.
Suspected militants frequently target Nato supply vehicles travelling through north-western Pakistan.
Correspondents say such attacks have been rare in the south, but Taliban influence in Karachi could be rising.
Nato supplies arrive at Karachi's port, from where they are transported to Afghanistan either via the Peshawar or the Quetta regions.
On 28 December, dozens of people were killed when a bomb targeted a Shia Muslim march in Karachi...
After the surge of troops going to Afghanistan to support NATO's efforts to reorganize, the USA will be deploying out of Afghanistan starting July 2011. I strongly feel that is the only and best path for the USA. It will provide NATO a 'stop gap' to begin a new effort and protect from further attacks to its citizens. I hope President Karzai makes the most of cleaning up his country during that time and provides venues of change for his citizens.
End of discussion on Afghanistan. Both, NATO and Afghanistan have support in their efforts to clean up the streets there, but, this can't go on forever and certainly not into the next decade.
Homeland Security needs to do its job optimally and secure the borders of the USA, which it was supposed to be doing for the past eight years. There are additional monies to this agency as well as the State Department, so what can be accomplished should be able to be accomplished.
By Amir Shah (CP) – 2 hours ago
KABUL, Afghanistan — NATO troops in a convoy killed an Afghan cleric as he was driving Thursday in Kabul, officials and witnesses said, prompting a protest outside a U.S. military base.
Police and witnesses said mosque preacher Mohammad Yunus, 36, was shot to death with his young son in the vehicle as he approached a main road from a side street.
NATO reported only that foreign forces had killed a civilian in an incident involving a convoy, saying the circumstances surrounding the death were being jointly investigated with Afghan officials.
The cleric was hit by four bullets and died on the way to the hospital, according to his son-in-law, Abdul Qadir, adding the family had taken the body to the province of Logar for burial. Yunus had two wives and 10 children, Abdul-Qadir said.
A shopkeeper who witnessed the shooting said the convoy was composed of American armoured vehicles and was travelling on the main road in the direction of Jalalabad. A gunner in the first vehicle opened fire as Yunus began to pull onto the same road, the 25-year-old shopkeeper said, identifying himself only as Aymal....
The federal opposition will urge the government to make a plea for clemency if a former Australian soldier loses his death penalty appeal in Afghanistan.
Robert William Langdon, 38, has been convicted over the killing of an Afghan security guard in May last year.
Langdon, understood to have served as a Townsville-based infantryman, was employed by the US-based contractor Four Horsemen International as a security contractor at the time.
The government is providing Langdon with consular support and will seek to intervene in the case in line with its policy on any Australian citizen convicted of a capital offence.
The opposition is backing the government's action so far but wants it to go further if Langdon's appeal fails.
"We would hope the Australian government would support a plea of clemency for Mr Langdon," foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop told ABC Television on Thursday....
Preident Obama talked about everything last night. I have four pages of notes. And what is the headline this morning?
Camera catches a narrow view of State of the Union (click title to entry - thank you)
Maryland lawmakers were pretty well-behaved during Obama speech
Camera angles and demeanor of local elected officials.
This country has got problems and this is the media's response.
I would have expected all kinds of opinion and discussions, charts and graphs and a huge headline that reads, "President Obama to roll back Don't Ask, Don't Tell." What do I get? Camera angles and demeanor.
Well, I just loved Nancy's outfit last night, didn't you? It was a pale shade of orchid and I think it was new. Did you notice how Joe had a tie to match and I think I saw that same tie on one of the Cabinet members. And then when Mitchell showed up in her purple dress, well you had to know there must have been a conspiracy. And I didn't see the Secretary of State, but, maybe the camera angles simply missed her.
Dear God, what has happened to this country? Does everyone worry about 'getting caught on film these days?' I mean for real.