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General’s Report on Afghanistan to Be a Catalyst for Obama

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s 66-page report assessing the conditions in Afghanistan is serving to catalyze the thinking of a president about what he can realistically accomplish in this conflict, and whether his vision for the war and a commitment of U.S. troops is the same as his general’s.

But even as President Barack Obama expresses skepticism about sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan until he has settled on the right strategy, he is also grappling with a stark reality: It will be very hard to say no to McChrystal, the top commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.

The White House expects McChrystal’s request to be not just for U.S. troops but for NATO forces as well. This week, the White House is sending questions about his review back to the general, and expects to get responses by the end of next week.

Obama has had only one meeting so far on the McChrystal review, but aides plan to schedule three or four more after he returns from the Group of 20 summit meeting in Pittsburgh at the end of this week.

Aides said it should take weeks, not months, to make a decision.

Most Children Need Just One Shot Of Swine Flu Vaccine

A single shot of swine flu vaccine appears to protect most children and teenagers nearly as well as it protects adults, federal health officials said Monday.

However, young children who have never had the flu or a flu shot need two doses, they said. So, to fully protect them against both swine and seasonal flu this year, those children will need four shots.

“I’m pleased to bring you more good news,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters on Monday in a telephone news conference about the trials of the new vaccine his agency is overseeing. On Sept. 10, he reported that adults were protected by a single shot, rather than the two that many experts had predicted; the announcement effectively doubled the nation’s supply of swine flu vaccine and halved the paperwork.

Preliminary results of the next round of trials, in pregnant women, are expected early next month.

EU Defends Action Against Intel

The European Commission cited a series of damning e-mails to bolster its contention that Intel violated antitrust rules to keep its rival Advanced Micro Devices out of the chip market.

The documents, European regulators argued, show a pattern of intimidation that they assert was repeated across the industry as Intel bound its customers in a complex web of rebates and incentives aimed at hobbling AMD.

In one e-mail message, a Dell executive warned his boss that if Dell used chips from Advanced Micro Devices, the scale of retaliation by Intel would be so severe that Dell would “have to bite and scratch to even hold” its 50 percent discount on price of the Intel chips.

The European Commission’s antitrust unit on Monday published the text of this e-mail message, from 2004, and a torrent of similar documents to back up its contention that the record $1.5 billion fine it imposed in May against Intel was justified.

The documents, regulators argued, clearly show that computer manufacturers were sorely afraid to cross Intel, which holds 77 percent of the global market for computer chips, by buying from AMD, Intel’s only serious rival, with 23 percent.