American officers shot dead in Kabul ministry


Nato said an “individual” had turned his gun on the officers but denied earlier reports he was a Westerner.

Afghan security officials said those killed were an American colonel and major. Local media reports suggest the incident followed a “verbal clash”.

Nato commander Gen John Allen said all Nato personnel were being recalled from Afghan ministries on security grounds.

A UK embassy spokesperson had earlier said all British civilians were being withdrawn from the ministries in what was hoped would be a temporary measure.

The shootings come amid five days of deadly protests over the burning of copies of the Koran by US soldiers.

The interior ministry was put in lock-down after the shootings, officials said.

The BBC’s Orla Guerin in Kabul says eight shots were reported inside the building, which should be one of the safest in the capital, and that any Afghan who carried out the attack would have had the highest clearance.

Local media reports said the gunman was an Afghan policeman but this has not been confirmed.

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Stupid’ and Oil Prices, Obama’s Forrest Gump analysis of rising gas prices.

‘The American people aren’t stupid,” thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let’s hope he’s right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell.

To wit, that a) gasoline prices are beyond his control, but b) to the extent oil and gas production is rising in America, his energy policies deserve all the credit, and c) higher prices are one more reason to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while handing even more subsidies to his friends in green energy. Where to begin?

It’s true enough that oil prices can’t be commanded from the Oval Office, so in that sense Mr. Obama’s disavowal of blame is a rare show of humility in the face of market forces. Would that he showed similar modesty in trying to command the tides of home prices, car sales (“cash for clunkers”), or the production of electric batteries.

The oil price surge has several likely sources. One is the turmoil in the Middle East, especially new fears of a supply shock from a conflict with Iran. But it’s worth recalling that Mr. Obama also blamed the last oil-price surge, in spring 2011, on the Libyan uprising. Moammar Gadhafi is now gone and Libyan oil production is coming back on stream, yet oil prices dipped only briefly below $90 a barrel and have been rising since October. Something else must be going on.

Mr. Obama yesterday blamed rising demand from the likes of Brazil and China, and there is something to that as well. But this energy demand is also not new, and if anything Chinese and Brazilian economic growth has been slowing in recent months.

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Obama: Use ‘algae’ as substitute for oil

President Obama admitted today that he does not have a “silver bullet” solution for skyrocketing gas prices, but he proposed alternative energy sources such as “a plant-like substance, algae” as a way of cutting dependence on oil by 17 percent.

“We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance, algae — you’ve got a bunch of algae out here,” Obama said at the University of Miami today. “If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing alright. Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in America.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) currently spends about $85 million on 30 research projects “to develop algal biofuels,” according to the White House, which announced that Obama is committing another $14 million to the idea.

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Don’t blame me for these gas prices.

President Obama does not “accept responsibility” for high gas prices, his spokesman indicated today, arguing that Obama has done everything he could to bring down the price of oil and blaming the high gas prices on oil price increases caused by global factors.

“The president accepts the responsibility that he identified the next president should accept, back in 2008, which is the need to develop a comprehensive energy policy,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today when asked if Obama “accept[s] responsibility” for the high price of oil and gas. “If you’re suggesting that there is responsibility for a rise in the global price of oil, it’s certainly not because of anything he hasn’t done to expand domestic oil and gas production,” Carney added.

Asked if he believes it is fair for Americans to blame the president, Carney noted that gas price hikes are “a recurrent problem.” He added that domestic oil production is at a record high right now and that Obama has opened “millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico” to drilling.

The conversation today stemmed from yesterday, when Carney was asked about the Keystone XL pipeline. He said that “the president did not turn down the Keystone pipeline,” arguing that Republicans prevented a full environmental review from taking place.

Time: Catholic Bishops Should Go to Jail If They Want to Protest Obamacare Mandates

By: Tim Graham | February 22, 2012 | 13:22

On the Time Ideas blog, Harvard administrator Erika Christakis dismissed all the “hysteria with a fever pitch” about religious liberty, insisting that if the Catholic bishops don’t like the Obama administration making them pay for contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilizations, they could do the MLK/Mandela thing and go to prison in an act of civil disobedience. That’s the way liberals say “put up or shut up.”

“Let’s see what our society would look like if we all had the luxury of imposing our unfettered will,” Christakis lectured, as if that’s not what Obama is doing. “At a minimum, the Catholic bishops and employers resisting contraceptive coverage should be willing to pay for the care of all those unwanted children. Or perhaps they’d be willing to spend some time in jail in protest. At my taxpaying expense, of course.”

Florida Drivers Shelling Out Nearly $6 A Gallon At Some Gas Stations

TAMPA (CBS Tampa) — Talk about pain at the pump! Some Florida drivers are spending nearly $6 a gallon to fill up their gas tanks.

According to GasBuddy.com, motorists are shelling out $5.89 for a gallon of regular gas at a Shell station in Lake Buena Vista, topping out at $5.99 a gallon for premium. It doesn’t get better at a Suncoast Energy station in Orlando, where drivers are paying $5.79 for a gallon of regular.

“Prices over in the Disney World area are much higher than any other place in Florida,” Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, told CBS Tampa, adding that people regularly complain about gas prices in that area.

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Iran threatens pre-emptive action amid nuclear tensions

‘If we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions’

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic’s armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying Tuesday.

“Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” Mohammad Hejazi told the Fars news agency, NBC News reported.

Iran announced air defense war games to practice protecting nuclear and other sensitive sites, the latest in a series of military maneuvers viewed as a message to the West that Iran is prepared both to defend itself against an armed strike and to retaliate.

The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran’s nuclear program.

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White House seeks to deflect blame over rising gas prices

WASHINGTON | Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:51pm EST
(Reuters) – Under fire from Republicans over rising gasoline prices, the White House on Tuesday highlighted factors beyond its control for gains in global oil markets, as it sought to deflect blame over a potentially damaging election-year issue.

Gas prices, which rose 7 cents a gallon last week, could unsettle economic confidence at a time when the U.S. recovery appears to be gathering pace, hurting President Barack Obama as voters review his track record ahead of the November 6 ballot.

Obama, a Democrat, acknowledged the risk posed by higher gas prices as he welcomed congressional approval of a payroll tax cut extension. The White House later argued that it was unfair to single out the administration over prices at the pump.

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Has the economy improved

Has the economy improved since Barack Obama became the president of the United States?

Of course not.

Despite what you may be hearing in the mainstream media, the truth is that when you compare the U.S. economy on the day that Barack Obama was inaugurated to the U.S. economy today, there is really no comparison. The unemployment crisis is worse than it was then, home values have fallen, the cost of health insurance is up, the cost of gas is way up, the number of Americans living in poverty has soared and the size of our national debt has absolutely exploded. Anyone that believes that things are better than they were when Barack Obama was elected is simply being delusional. Yes, things have stabilized somewhat and our economy is not in free fall mode at this point. But don’t be fooled. This bubble of false hope will be short-lived. The problems we are seeing develop in Europe will erupt into another full-fledged global financial crisis and economic conditions in the United States will get even worse. When that happens, what possible ” economic solutions” will Barack Obama have for us? We never even came close to recovering from the last great financial crisis, and now something potentially even worse is staring us in the face. This is not a great time to have a total lack of leadership in Washington.

The following are 18 statistics that prove that the economy has not improved since Barack Obama became the president of the United States….

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Well it has been a whole month! Just weeks after 17-day Hawaii vacation Michelle hits the slopes with daughters on Aspen ski trip

With the economy on its knees, many American families have had to forgo their annual holiday just to make ends meet.

But barely a month after returning from a luxury Christmas break in Hawaii Michelle Obama is on holiday again – this time at the exclusive Colorado ski resort of Aspen.

The First Lady Michelle Obama is spending Presidents’ Day weekend in the upmarket resort with her daughters, Sasha and Malia, and was seen hitting the slopes – albeit apprehensively – on Saturday.

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