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Posted at 9:35 AM ET, 02/24/2011

Assange to be extradited, possible government shutdown, and another 'runaway general?'

By Melissa Bell
This Dec. 1, 2010, photo provided by the University of Georgia, made from the submarine Alvin, shows a dead crab with oil residue near it on a still-damaged sea floor about 10 miles north of the BP oil rig accident. Marine biologist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia said, "We consistently saw dead fauna [animals] at all these sites. It's likely there's a fairly large area impacted," she said. (Samantha Joye/AP/University of Georgia)

People are talking:

National News: A 'fog of research' around oil spill

Despite a fleet of scientists and researchers sent to the Gulf of Mexico to study the effects of the oil spill, no central leadership and a lack of funding have marred their efforts, NPR reports:

Don Boesch, who sits on the official Oil Spill Commission that's investigating the event, says the slow start has already compromised the research effort "because we had much more limited effort to go out and actually describe the effects of the spill and track the oil when it was actually coming out of the bottom of the gulf."

International news: Assange must be extradited, judge says

From The Post's Karla Adams:

Britain will honor Sweden's request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face sex-crime allegations, a British judge ruled Thursday. Speaking to a packed courtroom in southeast London, Judge Howard Riddle said Swedish prosecutors' request that Assange be forced to return to Stockholm was valid and dismissed arguments that extradition would violate the 39-year-old Australian's human rights.

National news: Government shutdown

A possible shutdown of government services looms ever closer, as March 4 approaches and no agreement on the budget proposal has been made. Ed O'Keefe rounded up some facts and figures to see what a possible suspension of services could look like:

Six shutdowns occurred between fiscal year 1977 and fiscal year 1980, ranging from eight to 17 full days, according to the report. From fiscal 1981 to 1995, nine shutdowns occurred, lasting no longer than three full days. In fiscal 1996, the first budget impasse led to a five-day shutdown from Nov. 13-19, 1995. The second shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, stretched 21 days from Dec. 15, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1995.

See all the numbers here.

National news: Afghanistan mind games

MIchael Hastings, the reporter who brought down a general, whacks the U.S. operations in Afghanistan again:

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned -- and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

By Melissa Bell  | February 24, 2011; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Next: Petraeus orders investigation after Rolling Stone reports on alleged use of psychological operations

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