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April 27, 2009

McClatchy Washington Bureau Newsletter

Filed under: News — hypeplug @ 3:27 pm

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Daily News Update

8:00am Monday, April 27, 2009 EDT

  • Obama fired the head of General Motors, signed a $787 billion economic stimulus package, and moved to halt home foreclosures. But he was forced to scale back his ambitions for bank intervention because of congressional opposition and credit’s still not flowing sufficiently to consumers and businesses.

  • U.S. officials Sunday declared the rapid spread of swine flu to be a public health emergency and freed up 12.5 million doses of antiviral medication to help fight the disease, which has now infected 20 people in five states. In Mexico, where the outbreak originated, nearly 90 people have died and thousands of others have become ill from swine flu in the last several weeks.

  • Undercutting assertions by former vice president Dick Cheney and other former Bush administration officials, the CIA inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the Bush administration thwart any “specific imminent attacks”.

  • An early morning U.S. raid that left two Iraqis dead was launched without Iraq’s permission, a serious violation of the rules that are supposed to govern American military conduct here, the Iraqi government said Sunday. Under an agreement signed last year between Washington and Baghdad, U.S. forces aren’t permitted to conduct combat operations without first coordinating with Iraqi security forces.

  • It was a day for generational contrasts Saturday as Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom, the two top contenders for governor in 2010, courted delegates and activists at the California Democratic Party convention.

  • Almost 100 days into his presidency, Barack Obama has solidified his support in South Florida, but there is also an energized core of opposition.

  • It’s now possible to buy a Sacramento home for less than the price of a Honda Accord. At least two dozen homes in the Sacramento region sold during the last three months for $25,000 or less, and more are coming onto the market almost daily – a record number for this decade in such a short period of time.

  • As the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina nears, cities and counties along the Gulf Coast are starting and completing hundreds of projects. Residents complain that the recovery isn’t moving fast enough, but getting the money to rebuild is time-consuming.

  • AKBadDrivers, a Twitter feed that started last month, allows drivers to write in and publicly call-out red-light runners, tail-gaters, close-parkers, cutter-offers, errant-honkers, median-swervers, hit-and-runners, cell-phone chatterers, and all other manner of annoying and dangerous drivers.

  • Bob Charters has lived most of his life with the secret knowledge that he contributed to the Vietnam War. Some 40 years later, Charters is still fighting to get recognition for the largely untold and misunderstood history of civilian pilots who flew covert CIA missions in Laos and Vietnam.

  • Tired of Democrats and Republicans? Do Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Ann Coulter and Rachel Maddow leave you cold? Well, it may be time to bring back the Whigs. You remember the Whig Party from your old U.S. history courses? They were very big in the 1830s and 1840s. Now, after 160 years in hibernation, the Whig Party is stirring.

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