Yes, you heard it correctly: 190 Taliban fighters were in sight of a U.S. drone when U.S. intelligence officers were told they could not bomb them because they were standing in a cemetery.
The fighters were gathered, close together, to attend a funeral, but soon disbanded and quickly disappeared into the mountainsides. NBC News reports that U.S. Army officers were blocked by the rules of engagement that forbid a missile or bomb strike in a cemetery although, in Iraq, battles have occurred in cemeteries before.
Keep in mind this order came as NATO was being asked to send in more troops to Afghanistan because the Taliban had been regaining strength so quickly it had been able to take back the areas it had been swept out of. Eliminating the Taliban has proved difficult, largely, because it is nearly impossible to find them in their hideouts. A large gathering like this appeared to be a gift until our military was told it was a "no go." Are we fighting a war to win it or not? It sure feels like our brave armed forces are being hamstrung.
Talk about poor parenting: In Gettysburg, Pa., a mother confessed that to reward her 13-year-old son for doing his homework, she would smoke marijuana with him. She even invited his friends to "light up" with them. The boy told police his mother said that if he smoked pot he'd forget about his father who is in prison for selling and smoking crack. In the house, police found a heroin vial, glass pipes and bowls, cocaine straws and drugs. Amanda Livelsberger will be sentenced November 27.
Where did he come from? A new bird species is discovered in India! The Bugun Liocichla was caught and released in May near the Indian border with China. It is multicolored with a black cap and bright yellow patch around the eyes and a yellow, crimson, black and white patch on the wings. Now you know what to look for next time you're hiking there.
Have a great day,
Finally, here is the latest gossip from Neil Sean, across the Pond:
Busy week here in London. Soon the season starts again and trust me, you’ll get all the hottest gossip first thanks to my favorite blonde, E.D. Hill.
— Laugh out loud moment this week is the remark that dumb blonde Paris Hilton is an icon of Monroe proportions. The super blonde with the reed-thin voice is nothing but great at P.R., but with her pop career in freefall we’re all guessing that this is a stunt just to get us to buy the album. Was it really so bad? She was arrested in the U.S. for playing it in her car – I jest! But seriously we figure that her time on Planet Showbiz is up.
— Start running slowly as I reveal how the Hoff — aka David Hasselhoff — has admitted to amounts of botox. He told me, “I love the stuff and in my job, Neil, I have to look great.” Nothing wrong with that is there? Worse than that, the hunk is planning to attack the charts right here in the U.K. with his first Christmas single. He reveals: “People like my music. I normally take a walk around my gold discs when people have a pop at me, but I love singing and let’s face it, I have appeared on Broadway and the West End so someone must like the sound that I am making.”
— Justin Timberlake managed to get just one week at No. 1 in the charts. His label is hoping that his new album “Future Sex” hits the mark. He was bumped by E.D. Hill’s fave disco group, Scissor Sisters, who, as revealed last week, are fans of our glorious leader too. Jake Shears cheekily told me: “I can’t believe that we have beaten Justin off the top but you know it’s coming to party season and we are a party band — but we love him and hope that his album does well.” Ah shucks!
— Want to know the real reason why the stunning style icon and movie star Nicole Kidman requested that her bulbs of light in the top-class Dorchester Hotel be changed for a lower wattage? Well, she told me this: “Look, it’s not being a diva at all! I am having a magazine shoot here and we all know that stark light can make you look drained. I am white-skinned enough. It’s not a diva moment, honest. It was in fact the magazine that requested them and not me.” The actress is staying at the hotel with new hubby Keith Urban who I can reveal plays the piano in the foyer on a regular basis, much to the delight of many young ladies (and men) in the foyer.
— Met up with the lovely "Pirates" star Orlando Bloom last week who insists on keeping his hat on, come what may. He did tell me that that his co-star Johnny Depp has a great voice despite smoking for years, and we get to hear that great voice in the next movie. Orlando popped up in the new Ricky Gervais show “Extras.” We know that you guys like Ricky there, but it’s not all that rosy here. Fans of “The Office” show would like the fact that the other team players in the show got a mention. They don’t do much but look out for stars like Bowie and “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe in the new series.
— Lindsey Lohan’s missing bag — give me a break! I have met the dim-witted star in London and she can barley remember her own lines let alone a bag full of jewels. Message to the film team: Great P.R. stunt and all the acres of press around the world. But then it was “suddenly found,” which makes you laugh. Also, hats off to Lindsey, who is in talks about her “music career” while here in London. Lindsey told me she fancies a stint on the stage also. “ I love the idea of creating night after night.” Yes, but will she show up on time I wonder?
— Fresh from cleaning up the streets of New York, part-time cleaner and one-time pop icon Boy George is going back to music. Met up with the former Culture Club front man who told me: “I loved it. Actually it was a great reality check without a doubt and the people were so friendly. I hate the idea that these people who do that job are looked down upon. I was honored to get there and clean up, but I did hate the uniform. I would have to change that if I did the job full time, as the color is so not me at all!”
— Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes! That picture on Vanity Fair was the talk of the U.K. last week. The pictures are like Tom – dull — but whose eyes does the kid have and where did it get all that hair? I was thinking if I was Sir Elton I might be checking my wig collection.
— Nanny-loving actor Jude Law is going back to the stage here in London — nothing to do with the fact that he is seen less and less in any great films. Hamlet is his choice and he reveals that: “I think I need this like an injection of reality. I love doing the stage and people respond differently when you’re up there. It’s great to see all those faces in the dark.” Mmmmm… someone invite Chris Rock and quick.
— Look out for a leaner, slimmer TV chef in the shape of Gordon Ramsey when he rocks up for a new series of “Hell’s Kitchen.” The hunky — now chunky — chef told me, “It’s hard to keep the weight off as you get older, but I will if only to keep all my gay fans happy and there will be no more topless shots until I have the right bod again.”
— Despite having promoted her album to the brink, stunning Beyonce could only manage a No. 4 placing here in the U.K. this week. She is of course heading for a huge year with her movie “Dream Girls” on the way but she told me recently, “I won’t be happy until I am holding an Oscar aloft and then I know I can act.” Loved her, love the album, and she is far more beautiful in the flesh let me tell you guys.
— “Will & Grace" star Eric McCormack was in town telling me how hard it’s been to land the right kind of roles since the show ended. “I think that casting people still see me as just Will and that hurts — it really does to be honest. I figure that a dose of theatre might help but for now I would love a role in “Dr. Who.” I have become a huge fan of the show.”
— It had to happen – that caught-on-camera campier-than-camp kiss with John Travolta has livened up those summer nights in the U.K. John dear, we all love you so much, and who did not want to be Olivia Newton John? But did you know that t-shirts are now being made with that image on them? He is still the one that we all want, that’s for sure.
See you Friday on "FOX & Friends!" Have a great week,
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