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Combat Operations In Iraq Over, President Obama Declares In Oval Office Address

President Barack Obama reads his speech to photographers after delivering a primetime televised address marking the the end of combat mission in Iraq. Susan Walsh/Associated Press hide caption

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Susan Walsh/Associated Press

Good morning.  In a prime-time address last night, President Obama drew an official end to U.S. combat operations in Iraq. But as NPR's Corey Flintoff notes, "challenges lie ahead in a country that faces persistent insurgent violence and political turmoil."

— "Obama Says Iraq Combat Mission Is Over," The New York Times:

President Obama declared an end on Tuesday to the seven-year American combat mission in Iraq, saying that the United States has met its responsibility to that country and that it is now time to turn to pressing problems at home.

In a prime-time address from the Oval Office, Mr. Obama balanced praise for the troops who fought and died in Iraq with his conviction that getting into the conflict had been a mistake in the first place. But he also used the moment to emphasize that he sees his primary job as addressing the weak economy and other domestic issues — and to make clear that he intends to begin disengaging from the war in Afghanistan next summer.

— "Obama declares that combat in Iraq is over," The Washington Post:

Saying it is "time to turn the page" on one of the most divisive chapters in American history,President Obama declared the U.S. war in Iraq over Tuesday night, telling the nation that he was fulfilling his campaign pledge to stop a war he had opposed from the start.

You can read a transcript of the speech here.

— "Murkowski concedes GOP Senate race to Miller," Anchorage Daily News:

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday night conceded the Republican primary election to Joe Miller, the tea party backed challenger who maintained his Election Day lead after thousands of additional absentee and other ballots were counted through the day.

"We know that we have outstanding votes to count in the primary but based on where we are right now I don't see a scenario where the primary will turn out in my favor. And that is a reality that is before me at this time," Murkowski said in a news conference broadcast live over statewide television from her campaign headquarters in Anchorage.

— "Hurricane Earl eyes U.S. East Coast," The Weather Channel:

As of 5 am EDT Wednesday Hurricane Earl was located about 815 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina or 175 miles north of Grand Turk Island with top winds near 125 mph.

Earl is moving toward the northwest at 16 mph, and should continue in this direction through this evening.

A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Surf City to Parramore Island, Virginia, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. As well, a tropical storm watch is in effect from Cape Fear to Surf City, North Carolina.

— "Tourists prepare to evacuate N.C. island as Hurricane Earl approaches," Los Angeles Times:

Tourists on a North Carolina vacation destination island were preparing to board the ferries and head for the mainland early Wednesday and more evacuations could be on the way as powerful Hurricane Earl threatened to sideswipe the East Coast.

Hyde County spokeswoman Jamie Tunnell, said about 30 cars, including trucks pulling campers, were lined up to board ferries that would begin leaving Ocracoke Island on the state's Outer Banks for the 21/2-hour trip to shore.