News Buzz: Floods in Iowa and China, Bush in Britain, and More

Flooding in China, Bush and Brown discuss Iraq and Afghanistan, and Obama's key states.


Floods flood front pages

Massive flooding is dominating the headlines in both the United States and China today. More than 1.3 million people across nine provinces in China have been forced to flee their homes after heavy rainfall caused rivers, some already swollen from last month's earthquake, to overflow. At least 60 people have died. Eight are still missing. Heavy rains are expected to continue at least for the next week. In the United States, National Guard soldiers and emergency workers are rushing to place sandbags along rivers in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and elsewhere in attempt to protect towns and homes. Officials believe that such efforts may have spared Iowa City from catastrophe this weekend, but caution that southern Iowa is still in danger. "It's likely that we will see major and serious flooding on every part of the southeastern border of our state from New Boston and down," one Iowa official said. "We are taking precautionary steps, we are evacuating where necessary, but that is going to be the next round here."

Bush visits Britain

Wrapping up a weeklong trip to Europe, President Bush stood this morning with British Minister Gordon Brown at a press conference in London and thanked the British leader for promising tougher sanctions on Iran and for pledging more troops and assistance to Afghanistan. Though Britain has recently withdrawn some troops from Iraq, Bush told reporters that he and Brown are in agreement on Iraq policy. "I have no problem with how Gordon Brown is dealing with Iraq," Bush said. "He's been a good partner." Currently about 4,000 British troops are still serving in the Iraq. Brown's pledge for more Afghanistan support would include some 230 British engineers, military personnel, and "logical staff."

Winning without Ohio and Florida?

Barack Obama is plotting out an interesting fall campaign, according to reports. In 2000 and 2004, Ohio and Florida were the states that decided the presidential race. This time around, however, Democrats are envisioning a way for the Illinois senator to win the presidency that would instead include Virginia, Georgia, and several Rocky Mountain states. Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, in a private pitch last week, outlined several alternatives to rack up the 270 electoral votes Obama would need to win the presidency.