CNN Senior Pentagon Producer
The U.S. military does not expect any major changes for now in the way troops operate on the battlefield in Afghanistan, according to the deputy commander of U.S. troops there.
Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday that the new commander, Gen. David Petraeus, has not made any significant changes to rules of engagement that are designed to reduce civilian casualties, but has been making "small adjustments."
Petraeus is in the process of reviewing the battlefield rules, including ground combat tactics and guidelines on aerial bombing.
Recently replaced commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal installed the rules because the high number of civilians being killed as a result of raids and airstrikes had increasingly spurred the ire of the Afghan government and citizens.
CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/08/gulf.oil.disaster/story.drill.jpg caption="A federal judge issued an injunction against a government moratorium on oil drilling." width=300 height=169]
BP is about seven days ahead of schedule in drilling a relief well that could help stop the leak, according to the man in charge of the federal response to the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.
Yet Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says that doesn't mean the relief well will intercept the leaking main well any sooner than the initial August estimate.
"I'm sticking with the August [date]," he said. "I've learned in dealing with you people over the last seventy plus days that its better to under-promise and over-deliver."
BP is in the final stages of drilling one of two relief wells, Allen said. He called it "the slowest, most meticulous part."
CNN Senior National Editor
Every day people die who have made valuable contributions to society. Too often their passing receives less attention than deserved, particularly in a youth- and celebrity-obsessed culture.
This last point is important when noting the death earlier this week of Dr. Robert N. Butler at age 83 of leukemia.
If known for nothing else, it was Butler who, in 1968, coined the term "ageism." By "ageism," you might think of bias in employment, housing, public services and the like. I tend to think of depictions of older people in film, videos, television and commercials.
Tom Foreman | BIO
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Reporter's Note: The White House has unveiled a new oil spill response website. So I’m unveiling a new “not too impressed with that” letter to the president.
Dear Mr. President,
Since the beginning of your Administration your staff members have prided themselves on being all techie with a snazzy Internet presence, fancy kryptonite BlackBerries, tweets, beeps, and iPods surgically implanted in their skulls. I imagine a team meeting there gives off enough radio waves to be picked up by truckers in Portugal.
And I think all that techs-pertise has created an unfortunate tendency to respond to every crisis, eventually, with a website. And, of course, you’ve done it again with this newly unveiled site about the oil spill. Like every site you roll out over there, it looks great; nice sharp pictures, clean graphics, and a sense of a situation under control. But frankly, I think that’s part of the problem. Because making something “look good,” is quite different than making it “be good.”
I mean, anyone looking at RestoreTheGulf.gov would have no strong hint that there has been, or continue to be any actual problems with anything down there. The headlines seem to be all about the “fast reaction,” the “rehabilitated pelicans,” and Vice President Biden's visit to the sandy shores. I found precious little about your once-ballyhooed investigation into possible criminal charges against BP, or the continued and astonishing lack of a reasonably definitive number on how much oil is gushing each day, or or or…
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A weather system headed for southern Texas and northeastern Mexico is expected to become Tropical Storm Bonnie by Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said.
Currently, Tropical Depression 2 has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, the hurricane center said in its 8 a.m. ET update. To attain tropical storm status, it must have sustained winds of 39 mph. Forecasters said the system is "poorly organized" at this time.
Tropical Depression 2 is following almost the same path that Hurricane Alex did a week ago.