NEWS DAY | “Wimps in the White House” / MN Nurses approve strike / Peter Erlinder is back

“Wimps in the White House?” General Stanley McChrystal has been recalled to Washington “to explain to the Pentagon and the commander in chief his quotes in the piece about his colleagues.” The cause: a Rolling Stone profile, “The Runaway General,” subtitled “Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s Top Commander in Afghanistan, Has Seized Control of the War by Never Taking His Eye Off the Real Enemy: The Wimps In the White House,” which is scheduled to appear Friday.

McChrystal apologized for his statements. Among those blasted by McChrystal and his aides in the article: the president and vice-president, U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke, National Security Advisor Jim Jones, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Gen. Karl Eikenberry (ret.).

In other news from Afghanistan, the Washington Post reports:

The U.S. military is funding a massive protection racket in Afghanistan, indirectly paying tens of millions of dollars to warlords, corrupt public officials and the Taliban to ensure safe passage of its supply convoys throughout the country, according to congressional investigators.

Just in case that’s not enough security, Blackwater is back, with a $120 million contract to protect U.S. consulates in Afghanistan.

Minnesota nurses voted overwhelmingly to approve an open-ended strike some time after July 1. Nurses’ reps told MPR that the strike was approved by 84 percent of those voting:

No date has been set for this strike and nurses are hoping they won’t have to set one. Cindy Olson said the negotiating teams made a pact with their members that they would try their best to work out differences with the hospitals before resorting to another strike.

Nurses and hospitals appear set to return to the bargaining table. Nurses previously staged a one-day strike on June 10. Any open-ended strike would not begin until July, at the earliest.

Minnesota attorney Peter Erlinder is back, after three weeks in a Rwanda jail. He’ll hold a press conference Wednesday to talk about his experiences in Rwanda and his work as a defense attorney for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda.

HIRE Minnesota protested the hiring record of Ames Construction on Monday. HIRE’s press release said:

Ames, which is one of the largest general contractors in the nation, has been under a corrective action plan with the Minnesota Department of Transportation for its hiring practices since 2006. And despite year after year of failure, this contractor received one of the largest construction contracts in state history for the Highway 62 project. Now, Ames is one of the top three finalists to receive a contract to build out the $1 billion Central Corridor LRT line.

According to the Pioneer Press report, MNDOT spokespersons said they are satisfied with the corrective action Ames has made, including hiring 27 minority employees. An Ames spokesperson said he was unaware that the company was under any corrective action plan.

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