Gates Dishes on Obama: Washington Post: “In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obama’s leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he had concluded the president ‘doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.’ Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was ‘skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail,’ Gates writes in ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.’”
Dennis Rodman’s North Korea Tirade: CNN: “In an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN's ‘New Day,’ Rodman reacted angrily when pressed on whether the group should have traveled there given recent events in the secretive country…Growing angry with Cuomo and jabbing his finger toward the camera for emphasis, Rodman said, ‘Kenneth Bae did one thing. ... If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why?’... ‘I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them ... they dared to do one thing, they came here.’”
Amtrak Passengers’ Polar Vortex Nightmare: New York Magazine: “Maybe getting up and into work this morning was miserable — it's a mess, everywhere, thanks to this polar vortex thing — but consider tempering your whining, because these people had a really terrible night: Some 500 people on three Amtrak trains were stuck overnight in Who Knows Where, Illinois, owing to the weather. According to the AP, the trains got stuck around 3 p.m. local time on Monday, and were not rescued until this morning, around 6 a.m. Needless to say, it was miserable.”
JPMorgan Pays for Turning Blind Eye on Madoff Scheme: New York Times: “Before Bernard L. Madoff was charged with stealing billions of dollars from his clients, and before he received a 150-year prison sentence for those crimes, JPMorgan Chase missed its chance to warn federal authorities about his Ponzi scheme… Federal prosecutors in Manhattan imposed a $1.7 billion penalty on JPMorgan for two felony violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, a record payout under that 1970 law, which requires banks to alert authorities to suspicious activity. The prosecutors, essentially accusing the nation’s biggest bank of turning a blind eye to Mr. Madoff’s fraud, will require JPMorgan to pay the $1.7 billion to his victims. The bank cannot write off the sum as a tax deduction.”
First Chemical Weapons Shipment Removed From Syria: BBC: “The first consignment of Syrian chemical weapons materials has left the country on a Danish ship. The vessel left the northern Syrian port of Latakia on Tuesday, escorted by Russian and Chinese warships. Removing the most dangerous chemicals is the first step of a UN-backed deal to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal… The hazardous cargo is due to be taken to Italy, where it will be loaded onto a US Navy ship and shipped to international waters for destruction in a specially created titanium tank on board.”
The World: U.N. Stops Counting the Dead in Syria
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