Seven U.S. banks failed today, setting a new record. This means 52 banks have failed this year – more than double the total of all of 2008. Six banks in Illinois and one in Texas are the ones closed, but California and Georgia have the most failed banks of any states so far this year, CNN.
Syria has finally amended a law that allowed men who killed female relatives suspected of having illicit sex to receive small sentences. The law, Article 548, was used to decriminalize “honor killings,” and drew fire from women’s rights groups. The new law makes the minimum sentence two years instead of one, BBC News.
An investigation into the Air France Flight 447 crash shows the plane hit the ocean vertically and did not break up while still in the air. The discovery proves the speed sensors were not the cause of the crash, although they may have played some part, USA Today.
The U.S. Marines have launched a push into the Helmand River valley in southwestern Afghanistan to fight Taliban militants. 4,000 troops entered the area today in the biggest U.S. military attack since 2001, and many are worried the Taliban will be pushed back into Pakistan, causing more turmoil in the country, New York Times. Update: U.S. Marines have suffered their first casualty in the first full day of the Afghan campaign, AP.