Dec 7, 2011

12/7/11 Exclusive: U.S. Prisoner’s Daring Taliban Escape

Today: Romney Spooked by Gingrich Surge, Assad Denies Syrian Brutality, Occupy Protesters Target Evictions
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

December 07, 2011

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an Idaho native, has been in the hands of Taliban militants since 2009, the only American soldier believed to be under their captivity—but about three months ago, he made a bold break for freedom. In exclusive interviews with The Daily Beast, Afghan insurgents describe how Bergdahl jumped from a first-floor window in the middle of the night and fled to a nearby forest, where he avoided capture for three days—only to be apprehended again and dragged back in shackles. Plus, new details on Berghdahl's life in captivity and the military's efforts to find him.


Unlike the Herman Cain or Rick Perry surges, Newt Gingrich's appears to have Mitt Romney worried. The presumptive nominee—increasingly trailing in Iowa—gave several signs that he's rebooting his campaign to combat his new rival. He told reporters he'd be stepping up his media appearances and interviews in the coming weeks, and that attacks on Gingrich are only a matter of time. "We're going to make sure that the differences in our experience and our perspective and our views on issues are well aired and people can make a choice," he said. "You can be sure I will not be quiet." Romney's supporters are also pushing for more targeted attacks on Gingrich. "They know he has to hit Newt," a campaign insider tells Politico. "The campaign thought somebody else would have done it by now. They're now of the view that none of the others will do it or none of the others are effective at doing it, so he's going to have to do it."


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is sticking to his story that the violence in his country is an armed uprising, not a protest against his rule. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Assad says most of the people who have died are his own supporters and troops. When Walters pointed to the many reports of civilians being tortured and murdered, Assad said, "To be frank with you, Barbara, I don't believe you." Despite condemnation from the Arab League and reports from the United Nations that put the civilian death toll above 4,000, the Syrian regime insists that it is besieged by foreign plotters and armed gangs.


It's certainly warmer than Zuccotti Park. Occupy Wall Street is turning its attention to home evictions, with activists marching into Brooklyn and moving a family into a foreclosed home. Several hundred people marched into East New York, the area of Brooklyn with the highest foreclosure rate last year. The crowd tore down the yellow tape on a foreclosed home that had been left vacant for three years and began cleaning so that Alfredo Carrasquillo, his wife, Tasha Glasgow, and their two children could move in. In Los Angeles, protesters gathered around a home where a family is refusing to leave despite Wells Fargo's attempts to evict them.


Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is in a Dubai hospital for a heart condition, according to his spokesman. The report prompted rumors that the head of state would resign, which the spokesman denied. A source tells Reuters that Zardari suffered a minor heart attack, but his spokesman downplayed Zardari's hospitalization, saying it was for planned medical tests and check-ups. Zardari's government has been embroiled in scandal since the release of a memo detailing a request for U.S. help against a possible military coup.

VA Man Exonerated After 27 Years
Cleared of multiple rape charges.
10 Endorsements That Still Matter
Cain, Palin, Bush have yet to get behind a candidate.
India Cancels Walmart Plans
After protests by opposition parties.
Zuckerberg Exposed in Facebook Glitch
CEO's photos leaked to public.
Alec Baldwin Booted Off Flight
Tweets that he got "reamed out" for playing Words With Friends.
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