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--Barry Asmus

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Monday, May 2, 2011

World News

Osama Bin Laden
(Yes, I'm perfectly aware that he isn't a country.  But he is the single biggest news item today.)
  • Old news at this point, but Osama Bin Laden was killed in a a gun battle with US forces in his three-story resort fortress 35 miles north of Islamabad.  One of his adult sons, two other men, and an unidentified woman were also killed in the fight.
  • The reaction of the Islamic to the news of Bin Laden's death has been mixed.  The Palestinian Authority has called his death "good for the cause of peace", Hamas is calling it "the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior," and Human Rights Watch is saying "Bin Laden Is just a bad memory.  The Region has moved way beyond that, with massive broad-based upheavals that are game-changers."  These may be taken as typical of the responses:  "yay!", "boo!", or "so what?"
  • Osama Bin Laden was been buried at sea[1] at 2 AM EST.  Reports from the US Department of Defense are that "The deceased's body was washed and then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. a military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was place on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body eased into the sea,"
  • Secretary of State Clinton took the opportunity of Osama Bin Laden's death to declare to the Taliban that "you cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us but you can make the choice to abandon al Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process."
  • The Taliban has announced the start of its spring offensive by warning civilians to stay away from public gatherings, military bases, government buildings and convoys, and stating that it will target foreign troops, Afghan security forces, and Afghan officials.
  • Japan's parliament has passed a 4 trillion yen (that's about $49 billion) emergency budget to help fund reconstruction and support businesses.
North Korea
United States
[1]  I guess that sounds better than "the US military tossed Bin Laden's body overboard".

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