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.
The man convicted of the 1981 bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, has applied to have his second appeal dropped- a sign that he may soon be released on compassionate grounds. al-Gegrahi has terminal prostate cancer and will possibly be released on “compassionate grounds” to his family in Libya or transferred to a Libyan prison. All 259 people on the plane died, as well as 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Voice of America.
The death toll from Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan could reach over 500. The official death toll now stands at 118 but several villages were completely buried in mudslides, CNN.
Virginia senator Jim Webb is in Burma to meet with military leader General Than Shwe. The visit comes after the conviction of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi but it is not known if Webb will address that matter. Webb is traveling through the region Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, New York Times.
In Perth, Australia a quadriplegic man, Christian Rossiter, has won the right to die. A judge ruled that Rossiter’s caretakers will not be held criminally responsible if he refused food and water, BBC News.
President Obama honored 16 people in a lovely ceremony today as recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can attain. Those honored were: Nancy Goodman Brinker, Pedro Jose Greer, Jr., Stephen Hawking, Jack Kemp, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Billie Jean King, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Joe Medicine Crow-High Bird, Harvey Milk, Sandra Day O’Connor, Sidney Poitier, Chita Rivera, Mary Robinson, Janet Davison Rowley, Desmond Tutu, and Muhammad Yunas. You can find their bios at the link, CNN.
The man convicted for killing 270 people in 1988 by planting a bomb on board Pan Am Flight 103, known as the Lockerbie bombing, is set to be released. Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has terminal prostate cancer and will be allowed to return to his native Libya in time for Ramadan. The flight was leaving London for JFK airport and exploded over the town of Lockerbie, where 11 people on the ground were killed. 180 killed were Americans and many were students who were returning home from studying abroad, BBC News.
A judge has ruled Microsoft “infringed a patent belonging to i4i LP, gave the software giant 60 days to comply with the injunction and awarded the Canadian company about $290-million.” Microsoft will also have to immediately stop selling most versions of the Word program, Globe and Mail.
Brazil reports that 274 people have died in the country from A/H1N1 flu. They plan to import 18 million vaccines in the next two years, China View.