For the first time since the U.S. invasion there began in 2003, American troops in Iraq experienced no fatalities for the entire month of August. Officials credit this remarkable fact as the result of unilateral American action, and Iraq focusing its attack efforts on Iranian-backed Shiite militias. While this is unprecedented in the war, it may not signify the imminent arrival of a secure Iraq.
Tropical Storm Irene has been called the worst natural disaster to ever hit Vermont. Twelve thousand people remain without power thereand over 250 roads were closed, with six state highway bridges completely destroyed. The federal government has pledged $5 million to Vermont for initial rebuilding. Relief efforts are underway, and progress is already being made for the many towns and highways irreparably damaged by the storm.
Coming up, we talk to two Muslim Americans about a recent poll that says Muslim Americans are happier with this country than the rest of the population.
Yesterday the United Nations Security Council reached an agreement to release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets, to help meet humanitarian needs for civilians there. The State Department is assuring the American people that money will not fall into the wrong hands. Libyan rebels are continuing their search for Moammar Gadhafi, with the help of NATO. But what will the U.S.'s role be in Libya's transition to a democracy?
Hurricane Irene is charging toward the East Coast with Category 3 power, and meteorologists are warning people from North Carolina up to New England to prepare for the storm, and in some cases evacuate. We've been checking in all week with business owners taking precautions for their shops and homes in the face of this weather.
Hurricane Irene is gaining strength and traveling north, after pummeling the Bahamas with 115 mph winds today. The Category 3 storm is headed for North Carolina next. As residents wait for confirmation of the storm's trajectory, they are preparing their homes and businesses for the weather. Many local businesses are still waiting until later today to see what path the storm will take, before they board up completely.
Hurricane Irene has made its way through the Caribbean and is traveling to the eastern shore of the United States. In North Carolina, communities like Ocracoke Island have been evacuated. But many residents are still waiting to see whether Irene will be hitting their town.
Twenty years ago, the communist Soviet government in Russia launched a coup against then-President Mikhail Gorbachev. Their attempt to oust the Western-leaning president failed, but lead to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. just a few weeks later. How much has the former Soviet state changed in the last two decades?
The drought in the Horn of Africa has sent tens of thousands of Somalians to refugee camps in search of necessary resources. In Minneapolis, a large community of Somali-Americans are doing their best to send aid overseas. But their efforts are fraught with difficulty because of the dangerous climate in Somalia, where Islamist militants aligned with al-Qaida have control.
After hours of negotiating, NBA players and owners failed to come to an agreement over salary caps and team revenue. Those involved said the meetings were friendly, but players will remain on lockout until a settlement can be reached. While players have proposed a string of pay cuts to be enacted over the next few years, team owners say it is not enough to make the teams profitable. The Players Association and team owners will meet in two to three weeks to discuss this issue again.
Almost three months after his arrest in April, world-renowned artist and social activist Ai Weiwei was released Wednesday on bail from prison in China. Ai was arrested on charges of tax evasion during a crackdown on human rights activists, and has not commented on the government or his arrest since yesterday. He is perhaps best known for his design of the "Bird's Nest" stadium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The Supreme Court unanimously agreed yesterday to reject a lawsuit brought on by six states, New York City, and several land trusts, seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from major power plants. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that under the Clean Air Act, the case must be addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency, rather than by the courts. The Supreme Court maintains their 2007 ruling that only the EPA can dictate regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, but meanwhile Congress is trying to strip the EPA of its very ability to regulate these emissions.
California legislators passed a budget Wednesday, just hours before a midnight deadline. This year, lawmakers risked losing their paychecks if they did not produce a budget on time. Only a simple majority was needed to pass the budget, but state Democrats say it is not ideal. Gov. Jerry Brown must now face the budget and decide whether to keep it as it is or confront the issues and send the budget back for more work.
While on a tour of historic places in Boston last week, Sarah Palin related some incorrect details of Paul Revere's famous ride. Sam Jones, creative director of the Freedom Trail Foundation in Boston, says that while Palin had some of the facts correct, she wrongly attributed them to Paul Revere and misinterpreted their significance. Paul Revere wanted to protect military weaponry from the British, not household guns. While there were gun shots and bell ringing, it was not done by Revere.