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BY SAMUEL JOSEPH
ANCHOR ALEX HOLLY
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Between Pakistani protests over U.S. drone attacks and the killing of Osama bin Laden near a Pakistani military academy, tension between the two countries is quickly rising. The latest move -- Pakistan has announced it wants to reduce American troop presence to the quote- “minimum essential level.”
Sky News says that would be disastrous.
“This would be catastrophic for the continued war against al Qaeda because, of course, Aymen al Zawahiri out at large somewhere in Pakistan and possibly some of the other potential future leaders of al Qaeda in Pakistan.”
Al Jazeera reports, despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s calls for unity-- recent events have been the most devastating strikes to diplomatic relations yet.
“Still, there is the very strong sense that president Asif Ali Zardari’s government has let Washington down on its top national security issue. This, the latest and perhaps most damaging blow to an already fragile relationship.”
And The New York Times reports, the Pakistani military is prepared to intervene in any further U.S.-led raids within its borders.
“Calling the American raid a ‘misadventure,’ General Kayani told the Pakistani reporters that another, similar, raid would be responded to swiftly...”
But the Financial Times reports- the raid and the drone attacks have been successful and Washington wants to keep up that momentum. A U.S. diplomat tells the newspaper...
“...a likely outcome of the raid on Abbottabad, the al-Qaeda leader’s hiding place, was that the US was likely to shift to using the ‘stick’ rather than carrots in its relationship with the Pakistan military, as it seeks results in fighting militancy.”
The latest drone attack by American forces reportedly killed 15 militants along Pakistan’s border.
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Transcript by Newsy****
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy
As President Obama puts the finishing touches on his State of the Union address - lawmakers and the media are busy picking out corsages.
KSWB-TV: “Tomorrow will be date night for Congress, as Republicans and Democrats will sit together for the annual speech.”
HLN: “Date night in D.C. ... Kind of like boy/girl, boy/girl, Republican/Democrat.”
It’s like prom night on Capitol Hill.
And Democratic Senator Mark Udall is the chairman of the prom committee. He’s proposing Democrats and Republicans sit together at the president’s address as a symbol of civility following the shooting rampage in Arizona earlier this month.
And lawmakers are playing along -- for the most part, anyway.
ABC: SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON: “I don't have a date.”
SEN. KENT CONRAD: “Kay, I'm available.” (LAUGHTER) (FLASH)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: “Senator Conrad, have you picked a date?”
SEN. KENT CONRAD: “I just asked Kay.” (LAUGHTER)
Fox News: SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “My new Senate Republican colleague from Illinois Mark Kirk and I will sit together. I'm bringing the popcorn and he is bringing a coke with two straws.”
By Sunday - more than 50 members of Congress had paired off. And according to a new CNN poll - most Americans like the idea - with 72 percent saying they want to see the mixed seating.
The president is set to discuss jobs, the deficit, and the GOP’s health care repeal efforts. But Politico’s Carol Lee and Glenn Thrush are among the commentators who worry - the theatrics of Congressional “date night” could trump substance.
“Still, the event offers the president the largest audience he’ll get all year, one that rivals the viewership for the Academy Awards. Obama’s first State of the Union address, last year, drew 48 million viewers...”
But in guest commentary for The Washington Post - leadership consultant Carol Kinsey Goman says you can joke about the theatrics - but there’s real potential in this idea.
“Congress is right to understand that where they sit sends a signal about their power dynamics and willingness to cooperate... I'm not saying that this symbolic seating arrangement one evening will foster actual, long-term collaboration. But I do think it's at least a scoot in the right direction.”
There IS at least one bi-PARTY-san pooper -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s planning to sit where he’s always sat. Wanna see who’s paired off so far? Check out the link in our transcript section.
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