Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Sticky situations

It is a natural instinct to review one’s own situation when a friend or neighbor is hit by a crisis.

NUCLEAR-USA/So the risk of a nuclear disaster in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami prompted the United States to look inward. The upshot is that President Barack Obama is committed to nuclear power, and “it remains a part of the president’s overall energy plan,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The administration is not going to switch gears on nuclear policy while a crisis unfolds, so that type of statement is to be expected while it assesses the situation.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko saw a “very low probability” of any harmful radiation levels reaching the United States from Japan.

On the other side of the world, Saudi Arabia grew alarmed by anti-government protests in neighboring Bahrain and decided to offer some kingdom-to-kingdom support by sending 1,000 troops to militarily enforce peace.

Washington Extra – Revolutionary wrath

Revolutionaries have a tough time dealing with revolutions.

LIBYA-USA/When Muammar Gaddafi took power in Libya in 1969, he was not yet 30. Today he faces an uprising from youthful protesters who want him gone. His response: You deserve the death penalty. So far it appears about 300 have been killed in the protests.

The United States has little leverage with Libya — the countries have not been on the friendliest of terms for most of Gaddafi’s rule.

So the administration is left issuing words like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s repetition that Libya immediately stop “this unacceptable bloodshed.” Is that enough? Others are calling for sanctions to military intervention.

Arizona law galvanizes U.S. Latinos

IMMIGRATION-USA/ARIZONAThe swastika made of refried beans smeared onto the glass doors of the Arizona State Capitol this week captured the anger of Hispanics at the law authorizing local police to question anyone reasonably suspected of being in the United States illegally. The controvesial law, which critics say is a mandate for racial profiling, has galvanized the country’s largest minority that is expected to turn out in large numbers at planned rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.

Hispanics were disappointed that President Barack Obama failed to deliver on his campaign promise to overhaul the immigration system in his first year in office. The Pew Research Center says 76 percent of the estimated 11.9 million illegal immigrants in the United States are Hispanics. The Latino community sees the undocumented immigrants as contributing with their labor to the growth of the U.S. economy and deserve the right to be legal residents.

The Arizona measure was criticized by other minorities. “This law is un-American as it unjustly targets communities of color, in particular immigrant communities, which have been critical to the economic growth of our country throughout its history,” said Michael Honda, chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Protests against Obama: race or policy?

Former President Jimmy Carter said out loud what Democrats had been whispering for a while, that the protests against the country’s first black president are tinged with racism.

USA-POLITICS/Carter’s forceful words threw the issue into the forefront of public debate.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American,” Carter said in an interview on NBC.

Inside the Tent: Twin Cities residents on protests and security

The Twin Cities have been the scene of sometimes violent protests and a heavy security presence during the Republican National Convention. Kelly Nuxoll of Huffington Post’s Off the Bus talked to two residents about what they think and how they’ve been affected.

Jonathan Hunter, St. Paul

“This is not the world I live in.”

Rick Engman, Minneapolis

“I don’t mind a non-violent protest,¬† but when people start threatening other people’s freedom of speech like the Republican¬†National Convention’s meeting … then there’s a problem.”

Inside the Tent has more than 40 delegates and other attendees in Denver and St. Paul, equipped with video cameras to capture the conventions from the ground up. Nuxoll is not a Reuters employee and any opinions expressed are her own.