First Take: Obama’s decision a risky precedent?

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WASHINGTON — When he walked out of the Rose Garden on Saturday, President Obama studiously ignored the shouted question from a reporter: What happens if Congress says no?
 
Defying expectations that a U.S. military strike was imminent, Obama stunned nearly everyone by announcing that, while he had decided that the United States should take action to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against its own people, he would seek congressional authorization before moving forward.
 
In the decades since the War Powers Act was enacted, presidents have studiously avoided setting just that precedent — the expectation or requirement that they would get Congress' OK before launching military action. The danger in doing so is that he has weakened his own presidency — what happens if he doesn't want to seek congressional authorization the next time? — and even the presidency itself.
 
That argument is part of the reason that Ronald Reagan didn't seek congressional authorization before ordering the invasion of Grenada, why George H.W. Bush didn't seek authorization before launching military action in Panama, why Bill Clinton didn't seek authorization before ordering the bombing of Kosovo.
 
After the Kosovo bombing was underway, the House of Representatives split 213-213 on whether to support it. Clinton ignored them.
 
"While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective," Obama said in his comments to the nation, with Vice President Biden by his side.
 
Obama's action is consistent with his views he expressed when he was a senator from Illinois and George W. Bush was president. And it is in line with American public opinion. In an NBC News poll released this week, nearly eight in 10 Americans said he should seek congressional authorization before striking Syria.
 
It also puts members of Congress and leaders in other nations on the spot to put up or shut up — to back military action or explain why not. "All of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote," the president said.
 
But the first risk is that, having asked for a vote, Obama will have to win it.
 
That was a hurdle that British Prime Minister David Cameron couldn't clear this week when Parliament unexpectedly rejected his proposal to join the U.S. action. ("I understand and support Barack Obama's position on #Syria," Cameron tweeted after Obama spoke.)
 
The second risk is, win or lose, Obama and future presidents may have to live with the precedent that he is setting.
 
Follow @susanpage on Twitter.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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U.N.: Syria attack timing idea ‘grotesque’

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The idea that the departure of a United Nations chemical weapons inspection team from Syria opens a window for a U.S. attack is "grotesque," the top U.N spokesman said Saturday.
 
At a news conference Saturday, spokesman Martin Nesirky said about 1,000 international and U.N. staff remain in Syria, and the United Nations is just as concerned about their welfare as it is about its team of inspectors. He also said the Syrian population would be vulnerable to harm.
 
Nesirky said Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon will be briefed further by the head of the U.N. chemical weapons team Sunday.
 
The remarks came as President Obama spoke to the nation Saturday afternoon, hours after U.N. experts — who had been collecting samples from last week's alleged chemical weapons strike outside Damascus — left the country.
 
The team traveled out of Syria via Lebanon before flying to the Dutch city of Rotterdam aboard a German government-chartered plane, the German Foreign Ministry said. An aircraft believed to have been chartered by the German government landed in Rotterdam on Saturday afternoon.
 
The chemical weapons experts were working to determine what occurred in the apparent chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, which U.S. intelligence reports say left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children. They have taken blood and urine samples from victims and soil samples from areas where chemical attacks have been reported. The samples will be tested in Europe.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged President Obama on Saturday not to rush into a decision on striking Syria.
 
"If there is evidence, it should be presented," Putin said. "If it is not presented, that means it does not exist."
 
Putin's comments come after Obama said Friday that he is considering a "limited, narrow act" as a military response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.
 
Calling it "a challenge to the world," Obama said the use of chemical weapons threatens U.S. national security and merits a response.
 
"We're not considering any open-ended commitment," the president said. "We're not considering any boots-on-the-ground approach."
 
Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke Friday, detailing the intelligence community's findings and announcing the release of a four-page report summarizing the administration's case against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
 
"I'm not asking you to take my word for it," Kerry told reporters at the State Department. "Read for yourselves the verdict reached by our intelligence community" that the government of Syria was responsible for the attack.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Mandela remains in hospital, condition unchanged

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Nelson Mandela remains hospitalized in a critical but stable condition, the office of South Africa's president said Saturday.
 
Several news organizations, including CNN and the BBC, reported that former South African president Nelson Mandela had been released from the hospital, prompting a statement from President Jacob Zuma to clarify that Mandela remained in a Pretoria hospital.
 
The update on the 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero's condition is unchanged from last week, when Zuma said Mandela showed "great resilience."
 
"Madiba is still in hospital in Pretoria, and remains in a critical but stable condition," the statement said, referring to Mandela by his clan name. "At times his condition becomes unstable, but he responds to medical interventions."
 
The 95-year-old Mandela has been in the hospital since June 8 with a recurring lung infection.
 
CNN reported "two sources close to" Mandela said he had returned to his Johannesburg home.
 
Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting to end apartheid. His chronic lung problems began during his time in Robben Island prison. When the white-minority rule ended, Mandela was elected president in the first election in which blacks were able to vote.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Obama asks Congress to OK strike on Syria

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WASHINGTON — President Obama said on Saturday that he was ready to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in retaliation for their alleged use of chemical weapons, but that he will seek the approval of Congress before carrying out any military strike.
 
Obama says congressional leaders have agreed to schedule a debate and vote when they return to session. They are scheduled to return from their summer recess on Sept. 9.
 
The president did not say whether he'd forgo a strike if Congress rejects his call to action.
 
"After careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets," Obama said. "This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope.
 
"This attack is an assault on human dignity," Obama said of the alleged Aug. 21 chemical assault the U.S. intelligence community has linked to Assad's regime. "It also presents a serious danger to our national security."
 
The remarks came amid a flurry of briefings for skeptical lawmakers by the president's national security team. Shouts from hundreds of activists outside the White House protesting against military action could be heard from the Rose Garden shortly before Obama spoke.
 
"Over the last several days, we've heard from several members of Congress who want their voices to be heard," Obama said. "I absolutely agree."
 
House Speaker John Boehner announced in a joint statement with the GOP House leadership that he expected to consider a measure that would authorize the president to carry out a military strike the week of Sept. 9.
 
"Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress," the statement said. "We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised. This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people."
 
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., welcomed Obama's decision.
 
"The president's role as commander in chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress," McConnell said.
 
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, praised Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization as "absolutely the right decision." Corker in recent weeks had been a public advocate for an authorization vote, contending that the Congress too often takes a back seat on determining critical foreign policy decisions.
 
Obama said some have advised not to seek Congress' approval, noting that the British Parliament this week rejected a similar call for action by Prime Minister David Cameron. Obama also rejected Boehner's notion that he must seek congressional authorization.
 
"While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective," Obama said. "We should have this debate. The issues are too big for business as usual."
 
The remarks came hours after United Nations experts, who had been collecting samples from last week's alleged chemical weapons strike outside Damascus, left Syria bound for the Netherlands.
 
The chemical weapons experts were working to determine what occurred in the apparent chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, which U.S. intelligence reports say left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children. They have taken blood and urine samples from victims and soil samples from areas where chemical attacks have been reported. The samples will be tested in Europe.
 
Obama attempted to put the onus on Congress, which he suggested has a moral responsibility to take action. He noted that Americans have become weary after more than a decade of war, but that something as heinous as a chemical attack could not be ignored.
 
"Here's my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?" Obama said.
 
The president had long expressed skepticism about the merits of American involvement in the civil war in Syria that has left more than 100,000 dead. But Obama stated publicly just over a year ago that movement or deployment of chemical weapons was a "red line" that must not be crossed.
 
The White House had determined earlier this summer that Assad's regime had previously used chemical weapons against rebels and civilians on a small scale, but had resisted taking action or offering any significant new military aid to the rebel groups.
 
Obama said that Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has advised him that the U.S. military's capacity to execute a strike is not time-sensitive. Five U.S. Navy destroyers equipped with land-attack cruise missiles are deployed in the eastern Mediterranean and stand ready to carry out an assault on the president's order.
 
"In the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with the information they need to understand what happened in Syria and why it has such profound implications for America's national security," Obama said. "And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote."

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Pope taps Vatican diplomat to be his top aide

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday tapped a veteran diplomat as the Vatican's No. 2 to replace the Holy See's secretary of state, who in recent years increasingly became a divisive figure in the church's hierarchy.
 
The Vatican announced that Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, an Italian a former deputy foreign minister at the Vatican, will take up the post held since 2006 by Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, starting on Oct. 15. Bertone will remain in the position until then, giving Parolin, currently serving as papal envoy to Venezuela, time to prepare for his new duties.
 
Benedict XVI, who retired as pontiff earlier this year, had relied heavily on Bertone as one of the few advisers in his inner circle. Bertone, a Genoa archbishop, had served Benedict for many years at the Vatican.
 
The Vatican noted that Bertone, 78, was retiring under a church law that requires cardinals who hold top curia posts to offer their resignations when they turn 75. Benedict had kept him in place, reportedly to the irritation of a rival faction of Vatican bureaucrats loyal to Bertone's predecessor, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
 
A scandal during the latter years of Benedict XVI's papacy involving the theft of papal documents and embarrassing revelations of alleged corruption and power plays at the Vatican was widely seen as aiming to discredit Bertone. Some speculate that the scandal contributed to Benedict's conclusion that he no longer had the mental or physical strength to guide the Roman Catholic church. He stepped down in February, the first pope in 600 years to resign.
 
Most of the documents, leaked by Benedict's butler to an Italian journalist, were of interest only to Italians, a reflection of centuries of dominance and intrigue by Italians in the Vatican. The purloined papal papers concerned relations between Italy and the Vatican and a few local scandals and personalities. The main aim of the disclosures appeared to be to discredit Bertone, who would have been expected to protect Benedict, a theologian with little apparent skill for navigating the political maneuvering around him.
 
Pope Francis will hold a special audience on Oct. 15, the Vatican said, "in order publicly to thank Cardinal Bertone for his faithful and generous service to the Holy See."
 
Parolin, when deputy foreign minister, shuttled between Rome and Hanoi in a partly successful bid to improve decades of thorny relations between the Vatican and the communist leadership of Vietnam. In 2009, Parolin told reporters in Hanoi that the Holy See and Vietnam had laid a "good basis" for eventually establishing diplomatic relations. After the Philippines, Vietnam has one of Asia's largest communities of Catholics.
 
The incoming No. 2, a native of northeast Italy, began his diplomatic career at the Vatican in 1986, and served in papal missions in Nigeria and Mexico. He was posted to Venezuela as papal nuncio in 2009.
 
In a statement, Parolin pledged that he would give Francis his "complete availability to work with him and under his guidance for the greater glory of God, the good of the holy Church and the progress and peace" so humanity might find "reasons to live and hope."

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Massive California wildfire is still ‘very active’

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A massive California wildfire that began two weeks ago is still raging, affecting firefighters, residents and tourists in the area.
 
"Despite firefighters' efforts, the remote Rim Fire burning near and in Yosemite National Park continues to be very active," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement Saturday morning. "Overnight, the fire grew nearly 6,000 acres and now has burned a total of 219,277 acres or nearly 343 square miles."
 
The fire is 35% contained, and is expected to be fully contained by Sept. 20.
 
"Inaccessible steep terrain and extreme fire behavior" have made suppression efforts difficult, the Incident Information System, which reports fire details, said in a statement. "Continued warmer and drier weather is forecasted for the next several days, which will elevate control concerns and slow burnout progress."
 
The cause is still under investigation. Yet a local fire official said during an Aug. 23 community meeting that the blaze could have been sparked by marijuana growers, according to the San Jose Mercury News. A video of that meeting is also posted on YouTube.com.
 
In that meeting, Twain Harte Fire Chief Todd McNeal said the exact cause was unknown, but it was "highly suspect that there might have been some sort of illicit grove, a marijuana-grow-type thing."
 
"We know it's human-caused," he said. "There was no lightning in the area."
 
LABOR DAY WEEKEND PLANS AFFECTED
 
Mandatory resident evacuations continue in the areas near the fire and tourism at Yosemite National Park — which has been minimally affected by the blaze — is expected to be down during this Labor Day weekend.
 
Approximately 60,246 acres of the fire are inside historic Yosemite National Park, but at some distance from its major attractions. About 8% of the park is inside the fire perimeter, according to Yosemite Park Ranger and spokeswoman Kari Cobb.
 
The park will likely have a decline in visitors who typically arrive for holiday weekend day trips, she says.
 
For this weekend's Labor Day traffic, park officials expect about 4,000 cars a day to pass through the gates, down from the normal 5,000 to 7,000 cars for a typical holiday. Some nearby mountain communities have also had a drop-off in business.
 
FIREFIGHTERS INCLUDE INMATES
 
Nearly 5,000 fire personnel are now battling the flames of the Rim Fire. Costs to contain the blaze could reach $47 million.
 
Since much of the fire is in rough, remote terrain, firefighters are using equipment such as helicopters and air tankers to attack it from above, said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
 
"It is still burning, although we are making progress at the same time," Berlant said.
 
More than 1.4 million gallons of water have been dropped, as well as more than 1.7 million gallons of fire retardant.
 
Firefighting assistance has come from 41 states and the District of Columbia. More than 500 California inmates, who have been trained to fight fires, are also working to contain the blaze, Berlant said. These are "low-level," non-violent criminals, he said.
 
The Rim Fire is the largest U.S. blaze in 2013 and the fifth-largest fire in California history, according to the Incident Information System.
 
On Saturday morning, a statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said it could grow to become the state's fourth-largest-ever fire by that evening.
 
Across California, more than 8,000 firefighters are currently battling six major wildfires.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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PLEASE, LET’S PRAY FOR AMAECHI . . . as Rivers’ political crisis continues to defy solution

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I am sure that many watchers of political events in Rivers State would not have imagined that the political crisis rocking that state could last this long, especially against the backdrop that members of the clergy, traditional rulers, civil society, opinion leaders, to mention a few, have made frantic efforts as they know how to see an end to the imbroglio.

 

More worrisome is the fact that while some sane and well meaning Nigerians are seeking an end to the crisis, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state led by Chief Felix Obuah is constantly maintaining a posture that darkens on-going reconciliation efforts, that is if any genuine one exists. The recent expulsion of 18 loyalists of the state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, including Commissioners, is a case in point.

 

This development no doubt has cast a dark shadow on the efforts of concerned Nigerians who are eager to see the return of peace to this oil and gas-rich state.

 

This sad development described in some quarters as being unprecedented in modern politics was aptly captured by the member representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency of Rivers State in the House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Hon. Dakuku Peterside, when he said: “Rivers people are peace-loving, decorous and law-abiding. Therefore, Obuah and his co-travelers are a disgrace to Rivers State. I wondered why a respected party leader like the former National Deputy Chairman of PDP, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, should even be considered for such despicable action of being expelled from the party. To me, the alleged expulsion is one of the absurdities of modern-day politics. This action of expelling Dr. Jaja and other leaders of the party in Rivers State is symptomatic of how caution is being thrown to the winds, while morality is on a steady decline. But like every responsible party member, I know this action is of no consequence as they do not have the power to do what they (Obuah-led PDP) claimed to have done. Dr. Jaja will contest the PDP party elections for the office of the Deputy National Chairman.

 

“For those ignorant of PDP Constitution, let me draw their attention to relevant sections of the PDP Constitution. According to Article 21.4 of the PDP Constitution, a member may be suspended by the Working Committee at any level but the member should not lose his or her right to contest any election. Furthermore, Article 21.6 states that ‘a decision taken against a member who has not been informed about the charges against him or her or has not been given any opportunity of defending him or herself shall be null and void.’ ”

 

Funny enough, the Inspector General of Police, Mohmamed Abubakar, recently swapped no fewer than 14 Commissioners of Police, leaving that of Rivers State – even while the National Assembly and other bodies have called for either Joseph Mbu’s transfer or removal. The only option left to those who still feel concerned about this unfortunate situation in Rivers State is to continue to pray for the safety of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the embattled Governor, as with God all things are possible.

 

•Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt and can be reached through either ezemediaconcept08@rocketmail.com or 08038199163.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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N.C. School Shooting: 1 injured after shots fired at a Winston-Salem high school; student in custody

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CBS/AP) WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Authorities say there has been a shooting at a high school in Winston-Salem, N.C. and that a student is in custody, CBS affiliate WFMY reports.
 
Winston-Salem-Forsyth County Schools spokesman Theo Helm said Friday afternoon that the shooting occurred at Carver High School, which is on the city's northeast side.
 
One person has been shot, according to Chief Barry Rountree with the Winston-Salem Police Department. He said the injured person is a student at the school and has been transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
 
One report said the shooting occurred around 2:30 p.m., slightly more than an hour before classes would have been dismissed for the day. Rountree reportedly said the shooting took place at the end of a planned fire drill.
 
According to the station, a school resource officer was able to take the student into custody without incident, police say. The school was placed on lockdown Friday afternoon.
 
Police said it is not clear whether the students involved were friends or had any sort of argument prior to the shooting.
 
The high school has an enrollment of approximately 700 students.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Rim fire makes a sleepy Sierra city a boomtown

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TUOLUMNE CITY, Calif. — Life is slow and uneventful in Tuolumne, an old mining and logging town of 1,800 residents in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It's not on the road to any tourist destinations, storefronts have sat empty for years and usually the only traffic is to the casino or the grocery store on the edge of town.
 
"People ride their horses to the bar, that's the type of town this is," said Tree Neal, who owns a tattoo parlor. "If you sneeze, three people call up and say, 'Bless you.'"
 
But sleepy Tuolumne became a boomtown this week as the Rim fire came within a few miles, sending a plume of smoke into the sky and triggering school closures and voluntary evacuations. So many firefighters streamed in that they soon outnumbered residents.
 
The unincorporated community became the site of one of two main incident command posts for one of the largest blazes in California history, a staging area for more than 2,000 firefighters who filled the town park with tents and cots and its streets with fire engines.
 
Though some residents fled as the smoke settled in and the sky glowed orange, many stayed to serve the encampment, offering free haircuts, massages and barbecued meals. A conflagration that has dampened tourism leading up to Labor Day weekend in some communities near Yosemite National Park did just the opposite in Tuolumne. What could have been bad news brought new life to the struggling town.
 
Firefighting operations had Revive Cafe, one of the few restaurants in town, operating extended hours, serving house-roasted coffee and chorizo burritos to tired, radio-toting firefighters on break from 12- or 24-hour shifts.
 
"The whole town gathered to serve the gift of hospitality," said cafe owner Mary Delgado. The blaze, she said, inspired a new menu item, the Rim fire smoothie, made with blueberries and spinach to replenish weary firefighters craving nutrients.
 
"These guys come in exhausted, with smoke all over their faces," said Delgado, who opened the cafe in a long-vacant storefront last year to bring a sorely needed gathering place to the town. "To me it was a joy just to offer them a hot plate of food and a good cup of coffee."
 
As she manned the cafe, Delgado worried about her home in the nearby town of Twain Harte, but as with many locals here, she was reassured it would be protected by the small village of firefighters that sprang up down the street. And she couldn't be happier with the boost in business they were bringing.
 
The town's park, with an inviting lawn and a gazebo, became like a living room for emergency responders. Firefighters between shifts set up tents, exercised, kicked off their boots and rolled out sleeping bags and cots for some midday shut-eye.
 
The town's tattoo parlor, next to the Logger bar, got in the spirit of hospitality, too. Tree Neal and Lisa Southern, the couple who own West Side Ink, renamed it the Rim Fire Lounge and re-purposed it as a refuge for firefighters.
 
"Otherwise we'd be sitting at home watching the mountain burn," Southern said. "We tried to make it a home away from home."
 
Its roomy interior of couches and pool tables became an air-conditioned escape for emergency responders to decompress, charge their cellphones, serve themselves from a table full of fresh fruit and snacks and be treated to massages. Hairstylists stood by offering free haircuts. Some firefighters wanted commemorative Rim fire tattoos, Neal said, but they told them to come back after the blaze was out.
 
Many in the old mining town west of Yosemite, which dates to the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century, said it needed a boost.
 
Its streets are lined with stately old churches, brightly painted frontier-style houses with picket fences and hedges, and rows of leafy trees with their trunks painted white. But longtime residents say that since logging operations declined decades ago, the town has struggled to keep a handful of businesses afloat and retain jobs and residents.
 
So when the firefighters came to town, they got a reception like nowhere else.
 
"It was a ghost town, but it felt like a real town again," said Christina Day, a cosmetology student who was born and raised in Tuolumne and spent the week giving fire personnel military-style buzz cuts.
 
By the end of the week it was hard to walk more than a few steps down the street without coming across a handwritten thank-you sign. "You kick ash," one read.
 
But as containment of the 330-square-mile Rim fire inched upward to 35%, evacuation advisories were lifted and firefighting operations in the area appeared to wane, some in Tuolumne said they were sad to see the burst of visitors go.
 
"It brought us to life," said Rose Rhodes, a 55-year-old special education teaching assistant. When she was a teenager, she and her parents moved from Modesto to Tuolumne for the slower pace of life. This week, she said, "all you could hear were the firetrucks, helicopters and planes. To have all these outsiders here pulled us all together."
 
At Revive Cafe, Delgado placed a guest book next to the cash register and tip jar. "This is the beginning of a new era," reads the inscription. Before long, the leather-bound volume filled up with praise from firefighters visiting from hundreds of miles away.
 
"Despite being completely overrun by firetrucks, the patience and heart of this town has been humbling," wrote one firefighter from Ventura County. "We really are just guys doing our jobs … Just blessed to do it in Tuolumne."
 
tony.barboza@latimes.com

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Lamar Odom arrested for DUI

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Los Angeles: Khloe Kardashian`s husband Lamar Odom has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
 
 
Odom, 33, who has been accused of cheating on his socialite wife, was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol not for speeding but rather for going too slow on 50 MPH, reported Ace Showbiz.
 
"Today at roughly 3:25 AM, our officers observed a white Mercedes SUV driving eastbound on the 101 freeway approaching Sepulveda. Our officer observed it weaving in traffic lanes at a slow speed," Sergeant Denise Joslin said.
 
"We conducted an enforcement stop. The driver continued eastbound,he came to a stop just south of the freeway and was identified as Lamar Odom. He showed objective signs of intoxication, was unable to perform field sobriety tests, and he was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to LAPD`s Van Nuys facility and he was booked there at 5:01 AM," he added.
 
The NBA star`s driving license is expected to get suspended after he refused to take chemical tests. He was held for USD 15,000 bail. Hours later the police released him.
 
A court date is set for September 27. 
 
PTI

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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