Digest

Petraeus foresees heavy casualties in Afghanistan war

Monday, February 22, 2010

AFGHANISTAN WAR

Petraeus foresees heavy casualties

Predicting that the level of U.S. casualties in the fight to win control of the southern Afghan town of Marja will be "tough" to bear, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said Sunday that the assault is just the beginning of a 12-to-18-month campaign to wipe out havens for the Taliban and other Islamist militants.

"These types of efforts are hard, and they're hard all the time," Petraeus said. "I don't use words like 'optimist' or 'pessimist.' I use 'realist.' . . . We're in Afghanistan to ensure it cannot once again be a sanctuary for the kinds of attacks that were carried out on 9/11."

The flow of 30,000 new troops that President Obama recently ordered to the region is starting to produce "output," with the Marja operation the "initial salvo" in the overall campaign, the head of the U.S. Central Command said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

-- McClatchy Tribune

GREAT LAKES

EPA announces restoration plan

The Environmental Protection Agency on Sunday announced a five-year, $475 million plan to revitalize the Great Lakes, including cleaning up polluted water and beaches, restoring wetlands and fighting invasive species such as Asian carp.

Federal and state officials call the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan "historically unprecedented" in size, funding and coordination among various branches of government.

Developed by 16 federal agencies, the plan requires annual progress reports from the EPA.

-- McClatchy Tribune

Shuttle returns safely to Earth: The space shuttle Endeavour and its six crew members wrapped up a 14-day construction mission to the international space station Sunday with a precision touchdown in Florida. Double-sonic booms rang through the balmy night as the spaceship dropped beneath the sound barrier for first time since it blasted off Feb. 8. Four flights remain before NASA retires its three-ship fleet this year.

-- From news services


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