Samuel ‘Joe the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher
Leaves The Republican Party
What Will John McCain Do?
Pakistani planes bomb Taleban in Swat Valley
From Times Online
May 8, 2009
Pakistani aircraft bombed Taleban positions in the Swat Valley today, hours after the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani ordered the military to “eliminate militants and terrorists.”
Helicopter gunships, fighters and troops were all involved in operations in Swat, and up to 12 militants were killed after as many as 55 were killed the previous day, Major Nasir Khan, a military spokesman in Swat, said by telephone.
Mr Gilani said in a televised address late on Thursday that militants were trying to hold the country hostage at gunpoint.
“In order to restore honour and dignity of our homeland and to protect the people, the armed forces have been called in to eliminate the militants and terrorists,” he said, setting the stage for a major offensive against Taleban fighters battling security forces in Swat.
Afghans riot over air-strike atrocity
Witnesses say deaths of 147 people in three villages came after a sustained bombardment by American aircraft. Patrick Cockburn, in Herat, reports
Friday, 8 May 2009
Shouting “Death to America” and “Death to the Government”, thousands of Afghan villagers hurled stones at police yesterday as they vented their fury at American air strikes that local officials claim killed 147 civilians.
The riot started when people from three villages struck by US bombers in the early hours of Tuesday, brought 15 newly-discovered bodies in a truck to the house of the provincial governor. As the crowd pressed forward in Farah, police opened fire, wounding four protesters. Traders in the rest of Farah city, the capital of the province of the same name where the bombing took place, closed their shops, vowing they would not reopen them until there is an investigation.
A local official Abdul Basir Khan said yesterday that he had collected the names of 147 people who had died, making it the worst such incident since the US intervened in Afghanistan started in 2001. A phone call from the governor of Farah province, Rohul Amin, in which he said that 130 people had died, was played over the loudspeaker in the Afghan parliament in Kabul, sparking demands for more control over US operations.
U.S. to Wind Down Help for Some Banks
Stress Tests Find Most Can Absorb Losses
By Binyamin Appelbaum and Neil Irwin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, May 8, 2009
The government signaled yesterday that its financial rescue efforts may have reached their high-water mark, announcing that the much-anticipated “stress tests” of 19 large banks showed that only one, GMAC, was likely to need additional taxpayer aid and that it would begin to unwind assistance for the healthiest firms.
Despite a deepening recession and projections that banks will continue to lose money, the government will require the firms to increase their combined capital by as little as $9.5 billion. The government will require the banks to further strengthen their capacity to absorb losses by adding $74.6 billion to the portion of their capital that comes from common equity. Banks are likely to raise some of that money from investors and some by converting other forms of capital.