The Palestinian political group Hamas has reached an agreement that other militant groups will stop firing rockets into Israel for a year. The agreement also suggests that Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been held in Palestine for over 3 years, may be released soon in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, Guardian.
23 people are dead after a ferry sank in Indonesia. Over 200 people had to be rescued, BBC News.
The United States is one step closer to health care reform after the U.S. Senate voted last night 60-39 on a procedural motion to move debate further, Voice of America.
Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan had his first hearing for charges in the deaths of 13 people. Hasan, who is paralyzed from the chest down after being shot by a civilian police officer, had the hearing in his hospital room. New evidence has emerged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the FBI had intercepted emails from Hasan to people connected with al Qaeda but that information was not passed on to the military, BBC News.
A Canadian woman has lost her long-term disability benefits for depression after an insurance agent for her private supplemental insurance saw a picture of her on Facebook smiling and having a good time on vacation, Associated Press.
More information is available on Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychologist who opened fire at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas yesterday killing 13 people and injuring 30. Although he was initially reported to have been killed, it is now known that Hasan was shot several times by a civilian police officer and is unconscious and under armed guard at a local hospital. Hasan, the son of Palestinian parents who was born in Virginia, is a lifelong Muslim but did not appear to be an extremist. He was harassed after the September 11th attacks. Recently, he had expressed dissatisfaction with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was suspected of posting comments on the internet that seemed to praise suicide bombers, Associated Press. Witnesses say Hasan was calm and methodical during the shootings, ABC News. Hasan was said to have joined the Army in exchange for college fees and to have tried to gain release from his contract but was denied, Times Online. Hansan’s aunt says he even offered to repay his medical training in exchange for discharge. His aunt said that Hasan’s work as a psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center left him deeply disturbed and fearful of being deployed to Iraq, Washington Post.
Civilian police responded to the shooting within 3 minutes of the attack. Sgt. Kimberly Munley is being hailed as a hero for bringing down Hasan despite being shot herself, Associated Press.
Timeline of the shootings, BBC News.
In Yokohama, near Toyko, Japan, a gunman injured 3 debt-collectors before killing himself. The gunman was a member of organized crime in Japan. Violence, especially gun violence, is rare in Japan and is usually associated with the Japanese mafia (yakuza), BBC News.
The deal that would have restored political order in Honduras appears to have fallen through. Ousted president Manuel Zelaya says that he was unable to join the de facto government that has controlled the country since June 28 when Honduran military forced him to leave the country. Roberto Micheletti has been acting as the country’s leader since Zelaya’s exile. An upcoming scheduled presidential election is expected to proceed as planned but the United States has said the outcome will not be recognized as valid unless Zelaya is returned to power first, New York Times.