Within just a matter of hours, peace erupted into all-out violence this weekend...a major catastrophe worsened...politics as usual continued to be "politics unusual." Here are a few of the top stories to watch this week:
Israeli Raid Complicates U.S. Ties and Push for Peace - The deadly operation on a flotilla trying to break a blockade of Gaza introduced a new strain into already tense relations between the United States and Israel. (NY Times) / Israel defends flotilla raid amid global furor - Soldiers came under attack on an aid boat, officials say. Activists say any skirmish was self-defense. (LA Times)
A video still from the Israeli raid on the Gaza supply flotilla...
IAEA: Iran has over 2 tons enriched uranium -2 bombs' worth… Iran has amassed more than two tons of enriched uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday in a report that heightened Western concerns about the country preparing to produce a nuclear weapon. (Jerusalem Post)
BP Revised Permits Before Blast: A week before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, BP asked regulators to approve permits for three successive changes to its oil well over the course of 24 hours. (Wall Street Journal) / Best hope for Gulf two months away - Two relief wells being drilled diagonally into the gushing well offer the best chance of stopping the leak. Even then, the first tries probably won't work. (SF Chronicle)
The BP oil plumes now threatens vast, fragile underwater ecosystems...
Qaeda Aide Believed Dead: Al Qaeda's third in command, who played key roles in a recently foiled terrorist plot against the U.S. and the 2001 terrorist attacks, is believed to have been killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's tribal areas, potentially dealing a significant blow to the terrorist network. (Wall Street Journal)
Sheik Sa'id al-Masri, al Qaeda's chief operating officer, was "fired"...
“Spain next in line to collapse under weight of borrowing to pay for socialism.” (Yahoo! News via Fark.com)
In the California GOP governor’s race: Poizner, trailing, slams Whitman's 'obscene' spending (LA Times)
Ranking member on Judiciary considering options to probe Sestak offer details - Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said the "factual errors" blamed by the White House "could be not getting their stories right." (The Hill)
Home Sales Set to Plummet in Markets Hit Hard by Foreclosures. (Bloomberg)
Poll: California voters favor Arizona law. (LA Times via Don Surber)