Six In The Morning

Obama appalled by tornado damage in Alabama

By Stephanie McCrummen, Perry Bacon Jr. and Michael E. Ruane, Updated: Saturday, April 30

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – President Obama joined thousands of storm victims across the tornado-ravaged South on Friday in making his way past splintered

houses along devastated streets, and he promised federal aid to help communities rebuild.

In the first major test of his administration in responding to a natural disaster, the president and his wife, Michelle, toured a ruined section of this city, where 39 people were killed and hundreds remained unaccounted for. They spoke with residents trying to salvage belongings in the aftermath of the week’s twisters.

“I’ve never seen devastation like this,” the president said. “We’re going to make sure you’re not forgotten.”

Taliban declares ‘spring offensive’

Afghan fighters announce a fresh assault targeting foreign troops as well as local security forces and top officials.

Last Modified: 30 Apr 2011  

The Taliban has announced the launch of a spring offensive against foreign troops in Afghanistan as well as Afghan security forces and government officials.

Saturday’s declaration comes a day after high-ranking US military officers predicted such a move from the group.

Dubbed the “Badar” offensive, the fresh onslaught “will target foreign forces, high-ranking officials of President Hamid Karzai’s government, members of the cabinet and lawmakers, as well as the heads of foreign and local companies working for the NATO-led coalition,” the Taliban said in a statement.

The statement warned Afghan citizens to stay away from public locations that could be targeted as part of Badar, “so that they will not become harmed during attacks of Mujahideen against the enemy”

Battle Pits Cocoa Speculators against Chocolate Makers

The Bittersweet Wars

By Hauke Goos and Ralf Hoppe

.Hasso Nauck lives in a world of things that look and smell beautiful. He collects antique cars and plays golf, and his workplace is filled with the scents of chocolate. As he sees it, it’s the best chocolate in the world — because he makes it. Pralines, cocoa truffles and chocolate-covered “ginger tips” are only three of the 110 items in the product line of Hachez. The traditional chocolate maker calls its product “chocolade,” a mix of the French and the German words for chocolate.

Nauck has been at the helm of Hachez, based in the northern city-state of Bremen, for the last 20 years. Although the chocolate business has always been relatively straightforward, this last year has seen some strange things happening.

Great tales of grit and wit, as told by America’s man on the street’

 Nick Miller April 30, 2011

T-Berry is sweating above his bright red bow tie as he launches into the story of the Pool Shootin’ Monkey.

Using broad gestures, exaggerated facial expressions, high-pitched character voices, beats and rhymes, the Harlem-born 62-year-old spins an obscene yarn of animals arguing, fighting and screwing in a pool hall, his eyes fixed on the crowd, offending some, delighting others.

It’s like Brer Rabbit meets Lenny Bruce, drawing on an African-American tradition that goes back through freestyle rap to jazz and all the way back to the plantations and slave ships of his ancestors.

Uganda riots reach capital as anger against Museveni grows

KAMPALA, UGANDA – Apr 30 2011  

At least two people were killed and more than 100 wounded in Kampala after soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas and beat demonstrators with sticks. Civilians fought back by blocking roads with burning tyres and pelting vehicles with rocks.

The growing unrest, sparked by rising food and fuel prices, gained fresh impetus after the brutal arrest on Thursday of top opposition leader Kizza Besigye. But President Yoweri Museveni, in firm control for a quarter of a century, has met the challenge with an aggressive show of force.