McChrystal Out, Petraeus In As Top U.S. Commander In Afghanistan

The most important news for Thursday, June 24th, 2010….

Barack Obama named General David Petraeus as the top military commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday after he relieved General Stanley McChrystal for disparaging comments that McChrystal and his staff had made about senior administration officials in a magazine article.

A source close to General Stanley McChrystal says that during Wednesday’s White House meeting between the general and Obama, McChrystal briefly explained the magazine article at the center of the controversy and took responsibility, then offered his resignation. Obama then reportedly accepted the resignation.

Tens of thousands of gallons more oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after a gas problem forced BP to remove a cap that was containing some of the oil.

Scientists said on Tuesday that as much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone.

The CDC is warning “everyone, including pregnant women” to avoid areas affected by the oil spill.

More than nine miles of white shoreline and beaches near Pensacola, Florida are now soaked with syrupy oil.

The U.S. federal government has shut down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Is it starting to “rain oil” in some areas of Louisiana?

Is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill going to end up being the greatest disaster in U.S. history up to this point?

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says that he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater drilling after a federal judge struck down the existing one.

Horrific flooding in Brazil has killed at least 42 people and has left at least 115,000 homeless.

A 14,000-acre wildfire continues to rage violently across the state of Arizona.

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday that Israel must not allow Gaza to become an Iranian port.

High concentrations of U.S. and Israeli forces on army and air bases in Azerbaijan have Iranian forces on war alert.

According to one new report, Israeli Air force aircraft landed during the past weekend at a military base in Saudi Arabia and unloaded large quantities of military gear.

It has been announced that the Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran will go into operation in mid-September.

An Arabic children’s choir has been racking up views all over the world with the new YouTube hit “when we die as martyrs, we will go to heaven”.

In May, sales of new homes in the United States dropped to the lowest level on record.

The median price of new homes sold in May was $200,900, down less than 1% from April but a 9.6% drop from May 2009.

In addition, figures for the prior two months were revised down sharply.

Also, existing home sales in May were far below expectations.

The sales of foreclosures and other distressed sales, which tend to push down home prices, slipped to 31 percent last month compared with 33 percent in April.

The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the final bill for the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be as high as $389 billion.

The new government is the U.K. has unveiled a spate of severe budget cuts and brutal tax increases.

George Soros says that Germany could end up causing the collapse of the Euro.

Toyota and Honda have announced that they have stopped production at some of their car assembly plants in southern China after parts suppliers were hit by more labor unrest.

Google triumphed in a nasty, three-year war with Viacom on Wednesday as a federal court ruled that Google’s YouTube subsidiary is not liable for its users’ copyright infringements.

An increasing number of U.S. cities are becoming absolutely overwhelmed by debt.

The state of California is considering a plan that would turn car license plates into ad space.

A proposed New York law would take DNA samples from all criminals.

With her confirmation hearing less than a week away, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is facing attacks from Republican critics over newly released documents that show she briefly suspended on-campus military recruitment when she was dean of Harvard Law School in 2005.

It is being reported that U.S. officials recently told a Houston newspaper that a Mexican drug cartel called the Zetas plotted to blow up Falcon dam and kill tens of thousands of Americans.

Even back in 2004, Barack Obama advocated “trading” border security for amnesty for illegal aliens.

The CIA has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Canada’s spy agency suspects that cabinet ministers in two provinces are under the control of foreign governments.

A bid to suspend California’s global warming law has qualified for the November ballot.

A team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has created nanodevices made of DNA that self-assemble and can be programmed to move and change shape on demand.

The Economist says that every genome on the planet “is now up for grabs” – including those that do not yet exist.

Children in India are being blinded and crippled by high levels of fluoride in the water.

A deadly bat disease that has killed more than 1 million bats with a mortality rate close to 100 percent continues to sweep across the United States.

Parents were outraged after young teenagers were instructed on how to perform graphic sexual acts during a Planned Parenthood sex education class at a local high school in Shenandoah, Iowa.

One elementary school in Massachusetts has adopted a condom distribution policy that begins as early as first grade.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department announced on Wednesday a new order that would extend federally guaranteed family and medical benefits to gay couples who work for private as well as federal employers.

The earliest known icons of four of Christ’s apostles have been found adorning an elaborately decorated chamber in a catacomb beneath the streets of Rome.

Lastly, according to a new poll, more than 40 percent of Americans believe that Jesus Christ will return to Earth by the year 2050.