David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Breaking News: BP’s Latest “Fix” Hits A Snag

By: David Shepherd[dshepherd@wtwo.com]

BP’s latest effort to contain the Gulf oil spill hit a snag Wednesday when a saw became stuck as it was cutting through a pipe along the busted well, NBC News reports.

BP is working to free the saw.  If nothing more goes wrong, they will resume the cut later in the day.

BP has been plagued with problems containing the oil for over a month.  The clock is ticking.  Every day the oil continues to gush, the worse it becomes for coastal regions of the Gulf.

This latest effort, if it succeeds, will only reduce the flow, not stop it completely.  If it fails, it will continue to compound the problems for residents and tourists along the Gulf.  A permanent fix isn’t expected to be ready until August.

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June 2, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

al-Qaida Leader’s Death Severe Setback For Terror Group

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com]

The killing of al-Qaida’s “number three” leader, Mustafa al-Yazid (also known as Sheik Saeed al-Marsi) is being seen as a severe setback for the terror network, U.S. officials told NBC News Tuesday.

While it is a setback, officials say al-Yazid’s killing will likely be a short term blow as the group has multiple off-shoots continuing the fight.

Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Saban Center and a former CIA officer, told NBC News al-Qaida is rapidly inspiring new recruits who are just as eager to attack and kill Americans.

“While we’re having some success in putting pressure on them, they’re also having a great deal of success radicalizing other parts of the global Islamic jihadist movement to join them in attacking the United States,” said Riedel.

Mustafa al-Yazid’s Role in al-Qaida

al-Yazid was al-Qaida’s top commander in Afghanistan.  Running the terror group’s day-to-day operations, he played a role in financing and is described as their prime conduit to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Al-Yazid’s death leaves a large hole in the terror network.  Men who’ve held that position in the past have all been key players in al-Qaida’s command, strategy, and execution.

  • Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – Reputed mastermind of the September 11th terror attacks. [Being held at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center]
  • Mohammad Atef – Killed in U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan. [2001]
  • Abu Laith al-Libi – Killed in drone strike [Jan. 2008]
  • Abu Farraj al-Libbi – Captured and detained in Pakistan

June 2, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frm. VP Al Gore and Wife Tipper Seperate After 40 Years of Marriage

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com]

MSNBC is reporting former vice president Al Gore and his wife Tipper have announced they are splitting up after 40 years of marriage.

The Gores said it was “a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration.”

The couple said this is a private matter and they won’t make any further statements on the matter.

Al and Tipper Gore recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ft. Hood Shooting Suspect Makes First Court Apperance

The Army psychiatrist charged with gunning down 13 people at Fort Hood made his first appearance in court Tuesday.

Maj. Nidal Hasan’s attorneys were granted their request for a delay in his Article 32 hearing.  [Article 32 hearing is similar to a grand jury proceeding in civilian court]

June 2, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment