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Confirm: Osama Bin Ladend Dead

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 | Author: Mark Shields | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

(CNN) — Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil, is dead, officials said — almost 10 years after the attacks that killed about 3,000 people.

The founder and leader of al Qaeda was killed by U.S. forces Sunday in a mansion in Abbottabad, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

In an address to the nation Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama called bin Laden’s death “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.”

Up-to-the-minute updates on bin Laden | President’s statement

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan,” Obama said. “A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”

How U.S. forces conducted the mission | Video Video

A congressional source familiar with the operation confirmed that bin Laden was shot in the head.

A U.S. official told CNN that bin Laden was buried at sea. The official said his body was handled in the Islamic tradition, but did not elaborate.

Half a world away, the scene outside the White House was one of pure jubilation.
Where bin Laden was killed
Mansion where bin Laden died on fire
Obama: Osama bin Laden killed
New Yorkers celebrate bin Laden death

Hundreds reveled through the night, chanting “USA! USA!” Others chanted “Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!” in reference to the demise of bin Laden. Many also spontaneously sang the national anthem.

Americans hit streets to celebrate | Video Video

In New York, a cheering crowd gathered at ground zero — the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood. Strains of “God Bless America” could be heard intermittently trickling through the crowd.

One former New York firefighter — forced to retire due to lung ailments suffered as a result of the dust from ground zero — said he was there to let the 343 firefighters who died in the attacks know “they didn’t die in vain.”

“It’s a war that I feel we just won,” he said. “I’m down here to let them know that justice has been served.”

Bob Gibson, a retired New York police officer, said the news of bin Laden’s death gave him a sense of “closure.”

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror

“I never thought this night would come, that we would capture or kill bin Laden,” he said. “And thank the Lord he has been eliminated.”

The news also brought some relief to family members of those killed on 9/11.

“This is important news for us, and for the world,” Gordon Felt, president of Families of Flight 93, said in a statement. “It cannot ease our pain, or bring back our loved ones. It does bring a measure of comfort that the mastermind of the September 11th tragedy and the face of global terror can no longer spread his evil.”

Bin Laden had been “hiding in plain sight”

Bin Laden eluded capture for years, once reportedly slipping out of a training camp in Afghanistan just hours before a barrage of U.S. cruise missiles destroyed it.

He had been implicated in a series of deadly, high-profile attacks that had grown in their intensity and success during the 1990s. They included a deadly firefight with U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 in August 1998, and an attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors in October 2000.

In his speech, Obama reiterated that the United States is not fighting Islam.

iReport: Send us your reactions

“I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims,” Obama said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, released a statement Monday morning welcoming the death of bin Laden.
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* Osama bin Laden
* Terrorism
* Al Qaeda

“As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide,” the statement said.

While the death of bin Laden “is a significant victory,” the war on terrorism is not over, said Frances Fragos Townsend, former Homeland Security advisor to President George W. Bush.

U.S. leaders react to the news

“We’ve been fighting these fractured cells. We’ve seen the U.S. government, military and intelligence officials deployed around the world,” Townsend said. “By no means are these other cells nearly as dangerous as he is, but we will continue to have to fight in chaotic places.”

U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world were placed on high alert following the announcement of bin Laden’s death, a senior U.S. official said, and the U.S. State Department issued a “worldwide caution” for Americans.

U.S. issues travel warnings

The travel alert warned of the “enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan.” Some fear al Qaeda supporters may try to retaliate against U.S. citizens or U.S. institutions.

But for now, many Americans were soaking up the historic moment.

“It’s what the world needed,” said Dustin Swensson, who recently served in Iraq and joined the revelers outside the White House. “(I’ll) always remember where I was when the towers went down, and I’m always going to remember where I am now.”


Switched On: Honeycomb or the highway

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 | Author: Mark Shields | Filed under: Gadgets | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

During the holiday season of 2009 when netbooks were the hot commodity, Apple lost share in the PC market. It had nothing to compete with the sunken prices and shrunken sizes of those miniature laptops. PC vendors such as ASUS and Acer, on the other hand, did well in the netbook segment, as they could call on their expertise in building inexpensive Windows notebooks.

After the iPad’s introduction, though, the tablets were turned. While many PC vendors loathed the low profitability of netbooks, they were now faced with competing with their own products. With the exception of HP, which shelled out billions of dollars for webOS, the iPad set PC vendors scrambling to choose which operating system might best compete. Is it Windows, the devil they know, or Android, where they have far less experience than competitors from the smartphone market?

Switched On has already taken on the role that Windows might play in future tablets, but what about Honeycomb? In contrast to the original version of Android, which was in the works prior to the introduction of the iPhone, Honeycomb arrived a year after the iPad. Android licensees, particularly smartphone vendors, surely beseeched Google for a tablet-optimized version of their preferred mobile OS. But Google may also be a victim of the iPad’s jujitsu.

For while entering the tablet market helps the viability of Android and keeps competitive pressure on Apple, Google itself has relatively little to gain from a strong presence in the tablet market even if it can gain such a foothold. It’s becoming clear that much of tablet usage is in the home and growth is coming at the expense of notebooks, where Google already has dominant market share in search. Unlike in smartphones, where Android was able to ride the wave of carrier preference to become a force to be reckoned with in the U.S., there’s a far more tenuous tie between the tablet and cellular service. And while we are starting to see more big names such as Acer, Sony and Samsung follow Motorola down the Honeycomb path, we’re also seeing companies opt out in order to hit price points that are farther afield from where Apple is playing.

Of course, there is the argument that Android tablets also cause competitive pain for Google’s search competitor Microsoft. But Microsoft is well on its way to an expanded presence in another computing setting that represents a better opportunity for Android: the automobile. More than a decade after the disappointing debut of the AutoPC, Microsoft has created a winning partnership with Ford on Sync. And at the IFA Press Conference in Alicante, Ford announced that it is expanding Sync to Europe. Clearly that opens a driver’s side door for Android to power competitive systems. And if Android won’t step in, car companies have another option in MeeGo, which is being developed in a dashboard-centric version.

Car companies are notoriously slow in integrating new technologies, but the vehicle is a platform where Apple has chosen to go with behind the curve with third-party connections rather than address the opportunity head-on, so Google can play to the kind of distribution that made Android a smartphone powerhouse. More importantly, cars are probably the second-most powerful devices behind the smartphone for connecting sellers to buyers in the physical world.

And that is simply core to Google’s revenue stream. The company has demonstrated that it realizes this with its work on driving directions in its navigation app and has tried to seed the market with car docks for products like Nexus One and Droid smartphones. Like Microsoft, Google is doing some great work in voice recognition that is showing up on Android handsets. Sync has shown, though, how intelligent in-vehicle multimedia control can nicely complement smartphones. For Google, an integrated offering for the imminently connected car is a more important long-term priority than the relative homebody that is the slate.