Hurricane Earl – After dealing a glancing blow to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Earl was heading back out into the open Atlantic on Tuesday, but forecasters warned the large and dangerous storm could have the Carolinas in its sights later this week.
Earl quickly developed into a Category 4 storm Monday, packing winds of 135 mph (215 kph). It also grew large, with hurricane-force winds stretching 70 miles (110 kilometers) from its center and tropical storm-force winds extending outward some 200 miles (325 kilometers).
Iraq combat mission – The official U.S. combat mission in Iraq is scheduled to conclude Tuesday. Roughly 50,000 American troops, however, will remain in the country until the end of 2011. Their mission will be to will train, assist and advise the Iraqis. On Tuesday night, President Obama will address the nation from the Oval Office, a backdrop making a statement: that he is the decider. The speech, meant to mark the end of the Iraq combat mission, will be Obama's second from the Oval Office.
GOP on Iraq – House Republican leader John Boehner will lay out a "prebuttal" ahead of Obama's prime-time speech on Iraq. Boehner will speak to about 10,000 people Tuesday afternoon at the 92nd American Legion National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Iraq and other national security issues, including Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Terror dry run? – Two men held in the Netherlands may have been trying to test U.S. airport security by putting bottles with electronic devices attached in checked baggage, a U.S. law enforcement source said Monday.
The men were taken into custody after landing in Amsterdam on a flight from Chicago, Illinois, Dutch prosecutors said. Both men were being held at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport at the request of Dutch national police, airport spokesman Robert Kapel said. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the two were arrested after "suspicious items" in their luggage raised concerns.