Good morning, gentlemen! Here’s what’s good feeding this Tuesday morning.
The vote on the “don’t ask don’t tell” act is still up in the air as Senators continue to debate the military’s policy of requiring gays and lesbians to keep their sexuality secret. Factions of the GOP continue to oppose the repeal, due to Democrat’s unwillingness to allow amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (which includes the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy).
The “Maine” opposition to the act’s repeal are two senators from Maine—Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins—who have been pressured by rallies since early this morning. Even Lady Gaga was reported to have joined the protesters. Collins has responded by calling for compromise:
“Now is not the time to play politics, and I again call on the majority leader to work with Republican leaders to negotiate an agreement so that the Senate can debate the defense bill this week,” Collins said.
Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is finishing off his U.S. tour by speaking at the United Nations summit today, where he’s expected to talk about tackling world poverty, hunger and disease (the summit’s sunny theme). He’s caused a hefty uproar, however, with protesters demanding that Amhadinejad be ejected first from his hotel room, then from the country. U.N. leaders have been trying to refocus the attention to anti-poverty discussion (to no avail).
Amhadinejad has been giving interviews and speaking all over New York this week, asking that the U.S. match his recent “gesture” of releasing American hiker, Sarah Shourd.
“I believe that it would not be misplaced to ask that the U.S. government should make a humanitarian gesture to release the Iranians who were illegally arrested and detained here in the United States,” he said.
Nine American service members were killed during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this morning, making 2010 the deadliest year for Operation Enduring Freedom. The Taliban has taken credit for the crash, but NATO has reported no hostile fire (which could mean the Taliban is taking credit for something they didn’t do).
According to Reuters, 2,097 foreign troops have been killed (at least) since the war began (Approximately sixty percent of them have been American).
Coral reefs from Texas to Thailand are being bleached to death by a record high-global heat stroke this year. Huge swaths have died off already, and more are expected to do so in coming months, according to computer forecasts of water temperatures.
Scientists point to climate change as the cause of the heat wave and have warned that the reefs—which house over a quarter of oceanic life—are a harbinger of more ecological disasters to come.
“I am significantly depressed by the whole situation,” said Clive Wilkinson, director of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.