Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
The Financial Times argues that the final judgment on how upright the Afghan elections were matters enormously to the Obama administration. If the U.S. public decides the election results were phonied up, it will turn, FT argues, even more against the war than it already is (51 percent oppose the Afghanistan war in the U.S.).
I don’t think the U.S. public cares so much about the elections. I think support for the Afghanistan war depends on the administration effectively tying it to concerns about Americans’ safety and security. And since that argument is so hard to make convincingly, I can’t see how public support for the war is going to come back. With dozens of U.S. troops killed in July, moreover, people are hearing more bad news than good.
What I think is true is that a poorly executed Afghanistan policy could turn Obama into a one-term president. It is too early to judge exactly what Obama’s policy will be in Afghanistan, but it should become clear within a few months. So far, Obama has not made the case and hasn’t explained what the end game is.
CNN International’s Atia Abawi reports from Kabul on the election process. She says the electoral commission says it won’t have preliminary results until Aug. 25. She also suggests, based on personal observation, that voter turnout was lighter than announced and that ballot-stuffing took place last Thursday.
Al-Jazeera English interviews Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on the election process. He says he thinks the process went well despite a relatively low turnout, and says he won in areas where the votes have been counted. His rival Hamed Karzai also claims to have won.
France24 English service on drug money corruption high in the Afghan government:
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.