The Upshot
  • National Geographic is famous for high-quality professional photojournalism, but photos that readers themselves shoot and submit are often just as amazing. Every weekday, the magazine's editors choose their Daily Dozen favorites. The photos that are voted highest by online visitors are made available for download in National Geographic's Weekly Wrapper as computer wallpaper.

    Reader photos are submitted from around the globe. The incredible labyrinth-like landscape below was photographed by He Qustuf at LongJi Terrace in Guilin, China.

    Click to see more images of natural phenomena


    Photograph courtesy He Qustuf/National Geographic Your Shot

    Besides desktop wallpaper, National Geographic also turns user photos into electronic slide puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. Interested in having your snapshots featured? Check out National Geographic's Your Shot to find out how to submit your own.

    Read More »from National Geographic user snapshots showcase world’s natural wonders
  • Libya stalemate: Now what?

    Libyalarge37

    British intelligence operatives sought, and failed spectacularly, to open up preliminary negotiations with rebel forces over the weekend--a reversal that has Western powers once more uncertain about how to handle the de facto civil war between insurgents and Muammar Gadhafi's brutal regime in the North African nation.

    Operatives with England's SAS/MI6 team in Libya wound up being detained by the rebel leaders to whom they were trying to open a line of contact. Their humiliation has left the broader international community stymied on Monday as pro-Gadhafi forces and rebels appear locked in a strategic stalemate.

    Anti-regime forces organized a rebel council in their eastern Libyan stronghold of Benghazi over the weekend--but early international efforts to open talks on possibly assisting them had a rocky start. The rebel forces arrested the eight-man British intelligence and commando team that had helicoptered into eastern Libya last week to start a quiet dialogue.

    "The eight Britons had been detained and questioned since Thursday by rebel leaders who had suspected they were mercenaries," the Guardian reported. "Challenged by guards at a wheat farm, they were forced to open bags containing weapons, reconnaissance equipment, and multiple passports, then herded into a dormitory before they were handed over to the rebels."

    Read More »from Libya stalemate: Now what?
  • The Obama administration is preparing to nominate veteran diplomat Anne Patterson as the next U.S. ambassador to Egypt, as it undergoes a critical period of political transformation from three decades of autocratic rule by the recently deposed president Hosni Mubarak.

    Patterson, a career Foreign Service officer, has served in several challenging diplomatic posts, most recently as the well-regarded U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. As the top U.S. diplomat in Islamabad from 2007 to 2010, Patterson has been a key member of Obama's Af-Pak national security team, involved in frequent White House inter-agency consultations on the war in Afghanistan. Patterson previously served as acting U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, ambassador to Colombia, and to El Salvador.

    Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the appointment, which has not yet been officially announced, is in the works. Patterson could not be reached for comment. If confirmed, Patterson will succeed

    Read More »from Obama to name Anne Patterson next US envoy to Egypt

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  • Netanyahu assails Iran deal, touts US-Israel ties
    Netanyahu assails Iran deal, touts US-Israel ties

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to lower tensions, Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. officials cast their dispute over Iran as a family squabble on Monday, even as the Israeli leader claimed President Barack Obama did not — and could not — fully understand his nation's vital security concerns.

  • Former PGA pro retracts Woods ban claims
    Former PGA pro retracts Woods ban claims

    Former US PGA Tour player Dan Olsen on Monday retracted a claim that Tiger Woods has been suspended for a month after Woods' agent and tour officials strongly denied the statement. I want to apologize to Nike, the PGA Tour, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and (tour commissioner) Tim Finchem," Olsen said in a statement released by WFVN radio station based in Lansing, Michigan website. Olsen, a teaching pro who last played a US PGA event at the 2011 PGA Championship, compared Woods to noted US disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of seven Tour de France titles and admitted he took banned performance-enhancing substances.

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