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2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
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2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


President Obama Approves Recovery Funds For Wildifire-Stricken Colorado
2012-06-29 17:35:40 (129 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke
U.S. President Barack Obama declared Colorado a major disaster area ahead of his visit to the now fatal wildfire in Colorado Springs on Friday, freeing up federal funds for the response effort.

Fire officials said ahead of his arrival they were now making "great strides" in controlling the wildfire, which exploded out of the foothills earlier this week destroying nearly 350 homes and forcing more than 30,000 to flee.

They confirmed the first fatality in the fire, with the discovery of human remains in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, one of the most severely burnt districts. There were reports of another person missing from the same home.

The fatality – and emotional scenes on Thursday night as residents got their first official notice their homes were destroyed – cast a sombre moment on a day when fire officials were confident they now had the upper hand over a wild and unpredictable fire.

Evacuation orders were lifted on a number of areas, and normal operations resumed at the air force academy, a portion of which had been evacuated because of the wildfire.

Fire officials said they hoped to lift more evacuation orders later on Friday though residents would not be able to return permanently to neighborhoods until electricity and other services was restored.

"We made great strides yesterday. We were able to up our containment to at least 15%, and 15% is a lot," said Jerri Marr, of the U.S. Forest Service. "We feel with a lot of confidence, based on the weather, that we are going to be able to up that number by the end of the day. We are going to make a lot of progress.

(story continues below)




Some 1,100 firefighters were now working to beat back the wildfire behind containment lines. The effort got additional aerial support on Friday in the form of four more U.S. Air Force C-130s. The planes have been dropping thousands of gallons of bright orange flame retardant on the containment lines.

Some fire officials were so hopeful as to suggest the wildfire could be entirely contained within a few days. For others, however, the ordeal is just beginning.

Hundreds of residents got their first definitive confirmation on Thursday night that they had lost their homes in the wildfire. "We had seen some pictures, but the meeting, and seeing so many others in the same situation, just made it all seem real," said Rebekah Largent.

Her family was renting their apartment in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood. But she said she lost her wedding dress and the rocking chair she used to put her baby to sleep.

The White House said President Obama's visit was intended to offer some support to families in a similar predicament, as well as to thank firefighters who are struggling against record wildfires.

The funds announced on Friday will be used to help the state cope with the aftermath of the fire, and also include job and psychological counseling, the White House said.

But the visit to a battleground state just months before the elections was politically sensitive. Local television is already running blanket campaign ads. Colorado Springs, because of the air force base, is seen as a Republican stronghold.

Local officials were insistent that the security preparations for President Obama's visit, which was to include a tour of affected areas and visits with firefighters, would not distract from that progress.

"Colorado Springs does not have the assets to help with the presidential visit," Steve Cox, an adviser to the city's mayor told reporters.

He said there would be limited road blocks and no interruption in airborne fire operations because of the visit.

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian U.S. Environment Correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, reporting form Colorado Springs, Colorado, in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/29/colorado-wildfires-federal-funds-obama


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