July 2nd, 2009
11:37 AM ET

Morning Buzz: ‘Strike of the Sword’

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/02/afghanistan.operation.sword/art.afghanistan.surge.gi.jpg caption="U.S. Marines gather for a briefing in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Wednesday."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

U.S. troops launched a major offensive in southern Afghanistan today. Operation Khanjar (which apparently means ‘strike of the sword’) includes about 4,000 Americans and 650 Afghan soldiers and targets militants in the Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and poppy-growing region.

This is the largest offensive since the Pentagon started moving additional troops into Afghanistan earlier this year and it’s the first big move on U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s watch. He took over as the allied commander last month. Nic Robertson has been following this story for awhile and will tell us more about the operation and how it’s different from previous efforts.

We heard reports earlier this morning that North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles of its east coast today. A U.S. official told CNN that the “missile firings come as no surprise.” Are you concerned about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities?

Anderson is in Los Angeles where he’ll have the latest news on the investigation into Michael Jackson’s death. We learned yesterday that the Drug Enforcement Administration will look into whether or not prescription drugs were involved. DEA agents could investigate various doctors involved with Jackson, their practices and their possible sources of medicine supply.

And are you finding it hard to keep track of the developments in the Michael Jackson story? You’re not alone. Plans seem to change by the minute about when and where Jackson might be memorialized. We’ll give you all the facts tonight.

In South Carolina, the resignation drumbeat grows louder by the day. GOP state senators continue to call for Gov. Mark Sanford to step down after admitting an extramarital affair. Sanford and his staff have repeatedly said this week that he will not resign. Do you think Sanford’s confessions cross the line into “TMI” (too much information)? The governor definitely seems to be baring it all.

And did you hear about the 14-year-old French girl who survived the plane crash in the Indian Ocean earlier this week? Her father says she could barely swim and yet somehow she managed to stay alive in rough waters for hours. Her father says she “didn’t feel a thing.” Now that’s a story. We’ll tell you more about the miracle girl tonight at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Charlotte

    I;m sure Micheal children;s real mom just is looking at the money that she will get .After all she did get 8 mil.for the children sorry to say but I feel this is true but hope Micheal mom get to keep them thank you good show

    July 2, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  2. Kelly

    My son is currently involved in "Operation Strike of the Sword"" in Southern Afghanistan, so I've been glued to the television for nearly 24 hours.

    This is one of the biggest U.S. Military operations in history.

    Just in the last few hours, the coverage of Michael Jackson is about ten times more than the coverage of what's happening in Afghanistan RIGHT NOW.

    4,000 Marines vs. one celebrity. As a Marine mom (and there are lots of us), I'm switching to NPR and the BBC for "real" news.

    July 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  3. ann

    Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, New Orleans. Just to name a few.
    Remember these? Well, please try, and then give us some IMPORTANT news from these and from the rest of the world, and move on from tabloid city circus!

    Was the plane crash in the Indian Ocean Breaking News this week?
    Hell NO!
    It happened the same week as the Michael Jackson crap.


    July 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm |

    "Khanjar", strike the sword, but in what language? Pashtun is the most common, but there are about twenty different dialects. "AVAGANA" IS THE OLD NAME FOR aFGHAN, it is a Sanskrit word. It is an ancient, exotic land with many sheep, camels and poppies, also rich in natural resources. Cyrus the Great, Alexander who seems to think he found his Prometheus cave, Ghengis Khan, are all part of Afghan's very intricate history. But in more recent times, an American from Pennsylvania, JOSIAH HARLANin mid l9th century was made a king of the Gazhni province by the local rulers.
    Hope KHANJAR is a success!

    July 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  5. Ian Campbell

    I agree with the previous post, Cindy, we all agree that Michael Jackson was legendary but this week long coverage is getting a little ridiculous.

    Between work and college, I usually only have time to tune it to the news when I download and watch the AC360 podcast. At first, like other Americans, I was intrigued to learn about the new developments in the Michael Jackson case; however, during the last week, I counted at least 3 times when Anderson said we would be getting an interview with the freed journalist in Iran , and it kept getting bumped. I get how big news worthy events can trump the littler ones–––but come on guys!! Lets get back to what the show does best––provide up to date impartial news. There are a lot more events happening in and around the world that I would love to see covered. For example, this new offensive in Afghanistan.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  6. puggles

    Cindy: this difficulty re: burial and memorial services demonstrates how dysfunctional the family is.

    Re: the young survivor of the plane crash: I am reminded of the Titanic, but at least it wasnt freezing cold water. Or a bit like the athletes in the fishing boat off Florida – what will make the difference in survival at sea?

    For Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq – and yes the US – It's the Economy, Stupid. It's economic Opportunity, but also, is there an economy to have an opportunity. Same thing for Iran. Ostensibly, Iran wants nuclear power for electricity. (Although they have oil, they do not have refining capacity. We also realize it is a change to gain another type of power, but... So call their bluff. Just like the North Koreans. We provided oil/diesel, but the internal power struggle with Kim's poor health revved up the nuclear race again. )

    So for Iran and Iraq – if not photovoltaics, encourage use of sun for thermal generated electrical power (I believe it's much "simpler".) Even better, figure out how to use those sand storms to advantage – ? polishing metals?

    July 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  7. Theresa, Des Moines

    I would appreciate you getting back to some balanced news coverage. There are only 24 hours in a day and I have no intention of spending one of them watching tabloid tv (re: Jackson stories)

    Glad to hear that you are going to be reporting about Afghanistan and Korea tonight.

    When is the interview with the Iranian-American journalist going to be aired?

    July 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Afternoon Eliza

    I hope they lay Micheal Jackson to rest soon and he can finally have some peace .I can't understand why you don't out Anderson in the studio everytime he is in L.A. of course all the girls including me are swooning over it but it must be warm on the roof the sun shining down on him .I am amazed they found that poor little girl alive from the plane crash God was watching over her amen to that .

    Thanks for the buzz
    Michelle D.

    July 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Cindy

    I think that the Jackson's need to get it together and lay poor Michael to rest. This is getting ridiculous. The man has been dead almost a week. It seems as if they are just doing this for publicity purposes. It's not that hard deciding where to bury someone or have a memorial for them. They need to get this over with so the news can go back to normal. Anderson standing on a rooftop telling us the same thing over and over about Michael is getting old.

    It's about time that the U.S. and Afghans get it together and actually mount a big attack on the Taliban. Hopefully we'll hear way more on this than about Michael tonight.

    I can't imagine what that poor little girl must have been feeling or thinking as she was clinging to wreckage and hoping that someone would come to save her. Thank God they found her! Hopefully she'll be OK. Let's see more on this also and less on Michael..PLEASE!

    This show is about news not Anderson looking good standing on top of a roof. I know the fangurls swoon over it but come on 360...give us real news and stop playing around!


    July 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm |