Tuesday, December 28, 2010

WHILE AMERICA WAS SLEEPING I fixed a 'news breakfast' for you -- ready each weekday morning at 6am Eastern to satisfy your media craving [feature permalink here]. These must-reads will kick start your day!

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 27: Heavy equipment clears snow from the tarmac around jetliners at Terminal 4 following a major blizzard at John F. Kennedy International Airport December 27, 2010 in the Queens borough of New York City. A massive snowstorm crippled much of the Northeastern United States leaving up to a foot of snow for New York City and New England and left millions of holiday travelers stuck at airports and train stations around the eastern seaboard.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

East Digs Out: "Airports and railroads limped back to life, but thousands were still stranded. Roads remained glazed and city streets choked with snow. Subways and buses ran sporadically. Power was still out for thousands. Business was bad, and there were grim tales of people snowbound for hours in cars, buses and trains." (NY Times)

LaGuardia, JFK Back flying, but Mass Transit Still a Mess (NY Daily News)

Praising Vick, Obama Again Steps Outside Lines: "The president lauds the Philadelphia Eagles for giving the resurgent quarterback a second chance at the NFL after his release from prison." (WaPo)

2012 Obama Campaign to Be Run From Chicago: "Never in modern history has a U.S. president attempted to win reelection with a campaign operation based beyond the Potomac. But that's what President Barack Obama is apparently proposing to do. It's a daring move that strategists hope will enable him to recapture some of his 2008 magic." (Politico)

Lawmakers Find Ways to Short-Circuit Earmarks Ban: "No one was more critical than Representative Mark Steven Kirk when President Obama and the Democratic majority in the Congress sought passage last year of a $787 billion spending bill intended to stimulate the economy. And during his campaign for the Illinois Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama, Mr. Kirk, a Republican, boasted of his vote against 'Speaker Pelosi’s trillion-dollar stimulus plan.'  Though Mr. Kirk and other Republicans thundered against pork-barrel spending and lawmakers’ practice of designating money for special projects through earmarks, they have not shied from using a less-well-known process called lettermarking to try to direct money to projects in their home districts." (NY Times)

Obama to Pick His Top Economist Upon Returning from His Hawaiian Vacation: "Will he tap the business world with a figure such as Roger Altman, an investment banker and Clinton administration alumnus who might carry too much baggage from his association with Wall Street? Will he turn to academia instead, calling on a scholar such Yale President Richard Levin? Or will he go with deeply experienced insiders such as deficit hawk Gene Sperling at the Treasury Department or Jason Furman, the council's deputy director?" (AP)


As Ireland Flails, Europe Lurches Across the Rubicon: "Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy's pact at Deauville set off a chain of events that ultimately has led the leaders of the 16-nation euro zone to stumble into an even closer union." (WSJ)

Global Markets Fall: "World markets tumbled on Monday as fears grew that China’s attempt to control inflation could hit the tentative economic recovery in the West.  Soaring oil prices, which hit a 26-month high, also unsettled investors, with losses seen from Shanghai to Wall Street." (Daily Telegraph)

Production Recovery Brightens Japan Outlook: "Japan's industrial output rose for the first time in six months in November and is expected to gain more in the near future, the government said Tuesday, soothing concerns that ongoing deflationary pressures will lead to a sharp economic slowdown. But household spending fell unexpectedly and the unemployment rate stayed unchanged in the month, suggesting the better output was due to external factors and domestic demand remains weak." (WSJ)

Weather Puts a Chill on After-Christmas Shopping: "Many would-be shoppers stayed tucked in at home during what is typically one of the biggest sales times of the year, while some retailers postponed opening or kept stores closed on Sunday and Monday." (USA Today)


Iraq Wants the U.S. to Leave on Time: "Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ruled out the presence of any U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of 2011, saying his new government and the country's security forces were capable of confronting any remaining threats to Iraq's security, sovereignty and unity." (WSJ)

Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan Kill 25: "Missiles presumably fired by U.S. drones on Monday incinerated three trucks thought to be ferrying fighters and weapons from Pakistan's tribal borderlands to Afghanistan. The strikes killed 25 suspected militants and injured four, Pakistani intelligence officials said. A campaign of American drone strikes against militants in the tribal areas has dramatically accelerated this year, targeting members of groups including the Taliban, an offshoot organization known as the Haqqani network, and Al Qaeda." (LA Times)

Iran Hangs 'Israeli Spy': "The Teheran Prosecutor's Office said that a man accused of spying for Israel was executed in Teheran's Evin Prison early Tuesday morning, official Iranian news agency IRNA reported. In and out of prison for decades, Ali Akbar Siadati was arrested in 2008 while trying to escape Iran with his wife, according to IRNA." (JPost)

White House Slams Khodorkovsky Verdict: "The Obama administration said it was 'deeply concerned' about a Russian court's decision to convict former oil mogul Mikhail Khodorkovsky for a second time after a trial marred by legal irregularities and allegations of political interference by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."

Media, Entertainment

Amidala's Twofer: "Natalie Portman and choreographer Benjamin Millepied are engaged and expecting their first child, her reps confirm to PEOPLE exclusively. " (People)

Elton John's Christmas Present: "Sir Elton John and David Furnish have become parents to son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, the couple tells UsMagazine.com exclusively. The baby boy, who was born Dec. 25 in California via a surrogate, weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces." (Us Magazine)