The cash for clunkers program will come to an end in the U.S. on Monday. The program, which allows vehicle owners to trade in fuel inefficient cars and trucks for newer models, has run out of the $3bn allotted for it, but the initiative has been hailed as a success by the Obama administration, Washington Post.
The Lockerbie bomber, who was released today, was greeted as a hero in his native Libya. Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi met thousands of supporters as he stepped off a plane from Britain. He served eight years of a life sentence before being released on compassionate grounds because he is dying of cancer, Times Online.
Former head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge says he was pressured by the Bush administration to raise the terror-alert level before the 2004 presidential election. In his new book Ridge says then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld both asked him both asked, but he and his staffrefused, Wall Street Journal.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed today by the U.S. Senate to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court bench. 9 Republicans voted for her and she was easily confirmed with a 68-31 vote. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic to serve on the court’s bench, CNN.
The Senate also voted today to provide $2bn for the “cash for clunkers” program, which allows drivers to trade in their fuel inefficient vehicles for newer ones. The program has proved to be immensely popular and blew through it’s budget quickly after 250,000 cars were traded in in a single week, USA Today.
Writer-director John Hughes, noted for his hit ’80s and ’90s movies like Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, has died at the age of 59. His spokeswoman said he had a heart attack while walking this morning in Manhattan. Hughes is also known for Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Home Alone, USA Today.
Officials in Pakistan are trying to confirm reports that the Taliban leader in Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, has been killed in the country. Reports say he was killed in a missile attack on a relative’s home and his family has confirmed that one of his wives has been killed, BBC News.
Australian police have detained four people in Melbourne after discovering a plot to blow up an army base. Police say the suspects were planning a suicide attack and it is likely it would have been the worst terror attack on Australian soil if not prevented. The four are all between the ages of 22 and 26 and are Australian nationals, BBC.
The American “cash for clunkers” program has already seen a quarter of a million cars traded in and is being cited as the reason for Ford’s increase in sales last month (for the first time in two years). However, White House officials say that unless the Senate approves $2bn for the program by Friday, they will be forced to end the program, AP.
Strong earthquakes hit near Mexico today, but no reports of damage or injuries have surfaced. The first earthquake had a magnitude of 5.8, the second was very strong at 6.9, and a 5.0 and 5.9 followed soon after. The quakes were felt in L.A., San Diego, and Phoenix, BNO.
Breaking: BNO reports there has been a missile strike near the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Check back for details.