From American Progress:
According to senior Bush administration officials, the U.S. is "actively considering talks with elements of the Taliban" -- "a major policy shift that would have been unthinkable a few months ago." The officials said that "the recommendation calls for the talks to be led by the Afghan central government, but with the active participation of the U.S."
"Nine of 10 American workers are losing sleep over financial worries," according to a survey released yesterday by ComPsych Corporation. In addition, thirty percent of those surveyed "reported worrying about the cost of living while 29 percent cited credit-card debt."
Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "is quietly preparing to ease 90-year-old Sen. Robert C. Byrd from his perch as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee." Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), the committee's second-ranking Democrat, would assume the chairmanship. Byrd, who suffers from health ailments, would become chairman emeritus.
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said yesterday that "the number of reports of nuclear or radioactive material stolen around the world last year was 'disturbingly high.'" "Equally troubling is the fact that much of this material is not subsequently recovered," ElBaradei said. Experts noted that if all the stolen material were lumped together, "it would not be enough to build even one nuclear device."
The Bank of England (BoE) today estimated that the global financial crisis will likely cost the world $2.8 trillion. "The instability of the global financial system in recent weeks has been the most severe in living memory," said BoE Deputy Governor John Gieve.
And finally: The "pardoned" White House turkeys: Where are they now? Many of these birds capitalized on their 15 minutes of fame and are now living the good life. Marshmallow and Yam, who were in the pardoning class of 2005, went to Disneyland. May and Flower (class of 2007) went to Disney World in Florida, "where they were flown by a United Airlines flight that was renamed 'Turkey One' for the occasion." This year’s turkeys will also be going to Disneyland, "where you will be able to visit them at Big Thunder Mountain Ranch."