Brazil’s Defense Minister says wreckage from Air France Flight 447 has been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean by military planes. The seen wreckage is listed as “an orange life vest, an aircraft seat, a drum, kerosene and oil.” It was spotted an estimated 600 miles off of Brazil’s coast, New York Times.
President Obama is preparing to leave for his Middle East trip that is designed to reach out to the Islamic world. Obama will first stop in Saudi Arabia where he will talk with King Abdullah. On Thursday, the U.S. President will speak at Cairo University, followed by a stop in Europe to commemorate D-Day, BBC News.
In a surprise appearance, President Obama met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during Barak’s meeting with White House officials in Washington. Obama is seeking to put pressure on Israel to accept a two-state solution, which would give Palestine statehood, but Prime Minister Netanyahu does not seem to be receptive to the idea, Haaretz.
Hot Topic: The Washington Post has a two-part series on the 2006 murder of Robert Wone, an Ivy League lawyer who was stabbed to death at his friend’s home. Three men who lived in the home are the prime suspects and will go on trial next year. Read the series here.
In a major victory for the Pakistani army, Taliban fighters have fled Mingora in the Swat Valley after intense fighting. Officials hope this is a turning point in a fight to rid the country of the terrorist group. The 20,000 civilians trapped in the area are being given supplied, but power in the area will not be restored for an estimated two weeks. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said cash payments will be given to affected residents and massive reconstruction will occur, AP.
England’s Prince Harry landed yesterday in the U.S. for his first official visit to the country. The prince has played in a charity polo match in New York City, visited Harlem, met with Gov. Patterson, and honored September 11th victims, CNN.
After North Korea’s dismemberment of the Korean Armisitice, American officials have been cautioning the country against taking any militay action. Defense Secretary Robet Gates said today: “We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia — or on us. He went on to say he didn’t believe Korea was, right now, a direct threat, NPR.
Today marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Sichaun Province in China last year. 85,000 died and 500,000 were left homeless. China’s president, Hu Jintao, was at the anniversary ceremony today where he opened an memorial for the victims of the earthquake, Xinhua. Controversy surrounds the deaths of 5,000 schoolchildren who died when their schools collapsed. There are allegations that schools were built with shoddy materials and building practices. Parents are suspicious because some schools collapsed while building surrounding it remained standing. The Chinese government has declared that there was nothing wrong with the school’s construction, BBC News.
Government doctors in Sri Lanka are reporting 49 more civilian casualties from army shelling inside the warzone. Government officials have denied the reports, Bloomberg.
A hearing is scheduled for today concerning Continental Connection Flight 3407 that crashed as it neared Buffalo’s airport in February. 50 people died in the crash. The captain of the flight is said to have failed simulator tests in the past and was fatigued, CNN.
Continuing on his tour of the Middle East, Pope Benedict XVI is in Jerusalem today. He was the first pope to enter the Muslim holy site Dome of the Rock. The pope also visited the Western Wall which is significant in Jewish history and will visit the place where Jesus Christ is said to have eaten his last meal, Catholic News Service.
Pakistan says it has dropped commandos into the Swat valley to battle Taliban militants, Associated Press.
New export figures show Chinese exports were down 22% in April, making six straight months of export declines for China, New York Times.
The death toll from last night’s earthquake in central Italy has risen to over 150 people and workers are still searching through the rubble for survivors. 60 people have been rescued so far, BBC News.
U.S. officials say a serious plot to assassinate President Obama in Turkey has been foiled. Details are scarce, but a Syrian man was arrested last week in connection with the plot, CNN.
Somalian pirates have hijacked 3 ships in the last 2 days, including a Taiwanese war ship. The other two ships were from Yemen and Great Britain. According to analysts, these hijacks further suggest that the pirates are now targeting war ships farther out from the African coast, MSNBC.
On Monday, senior administration officials told the New York Times that the United States will engage in more drone attacks in Pakistan. These attacks have caused much uproar in the Asian country and the Taliban has retailated against them. A Taliban leader claimed that last month’s attack on a Lahore police academy was in response to the drone attacks. Leaders have also threatened two suicide bombings a week if the attacks continue, NY Times.
Thousands have been injured in an earthquake that struck the mountainous central area of Italy. At least 90 are reported dead. The earthquake struck in the early morning hours when most were asleep. Hardest hit was the medieval city of L’Aquila where hundreds of historic buildings may have been destroyed. A strong earthquake previously struck the region in 2002, resulting in the deaths of 28 people, BBC News.
2 aid workers kidnapped in Sudan, CTV.
Vancouver gang violence continues with a shooting at a Boston Pizza in East Vancouver. The shooting is thought to be a targeted hit . There have been 41 shootings in Vancouver this year, BC Local News.
Car bombs rock Baghdad. Six car bombs, all set off remotely, have killed at least 32 and injured dozens more. U.S. military officials also announced a soldier was killed in the Diyala province on Sunday, the first combat casualty since March 16, Washington Post.
Still no agreement on response to North Korea’s ballistic missile launch from the UN Security Council, Voice of America.
Benjamin Netanyahu expected to be sworn in as Israel’s prime minister today. Since the national elections on February 10, Netanyahu has pulled together a coalition government comprised of far right groups and labor groups, among others. Netanyahu, who was Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999, was previously opposed to a two-state solution to its conflict with Palestine but has recently been vague on his current attitude leaving open the possibility of engaging in talks with Palestine, Reuters.
Ahead of G20 summit, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) issues report on global economic forecast predicting growth will fall 4.3% in its 30 member nations in 2009, CBC News.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with countries neighboring Afghanistan at a conference on Afghanistan at the Hague today. In a reversal of Bush administration policy, the Obama administration intends to reach out to moderate members of the Taliban to bring them into a unity government. Though no formal meeting is scheduled, Secretary Clinton left open the possibility of talks with representatives from Iran who will also attend the conference, CNN.
British troops begin withdrawal from Iraq. Under a deal with the Iraqi government Britain plans withdraw most of its 4,000 troops by May 31, BBC News.
At least one boat and possibly two boats have shipwrecked off the coast of Libya in the past two days. At least 21 people have died and over 200 are feared missing. It is believed that the boats were not within swimming distance to the shore and were not equipped with any life saving equipment. Three boats from Libya carrying hundreds of illegal migrant workers headed to Italy shipwrecked when they encountered stormy weather and high winds, The New York Times.
BREAKING NEWS: The Sun-Times, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times files for bankruptcy. The Sun-Times is the oldest newspaper in Chicago, BNO.
Libyan officials say a boat carrying more than 250 migrants to Europe has sunk. Only 20 people have been rescued. Reuters reported another shipwreck carrying 342 migrants, but that has not been confirmed, BBC News.
The two American journalists detained in North Korea last week will be tried for committing “hostile acts” against the country. If found guilty, they could be kept for years in a labor camp. The reporters are Laura Ling and Euna Lee from Current TV, NY Times.
Take a look at our post on Obama’s auto industry speech for video, articles, and reactions.
And the #1 World News Story: Pakistan Taliban Chief Claims Lahore Attack.
Falling short of the predicted maximum height of 43 feet, the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota is believed to have peaked, USA Today.
Suspects arrested in Pakistan mosque bombing. Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack which killed at least 51 people in Jamrud, Pakistan on Friday, CNN.
George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament, has been barred from entering Canada by the Canadian federal government. Galloway is slated to appear in Toronto, Mississagua, Ottawa and Montreal this week for a speaking tour. He has said he will attempt to cross the border and organizers are prepared to broadcast his speeches via telephone if Galloway is denied entry. Canada considers Galloway a terrorist and a supporter of a terrorist organization. Galloway gave $45,000 as well as humanitarian goods to the Hamas government, a Palestinian socio-political group that controls Gaza. Though declared a terrorist organization by Israel, Canada, the European Union and the United States, Hamas won a majority in democraticly held elections in 2006, Globe ad Mail.
Another avalanche takes the life of a snowmobiler. The incident occurred near Golden, British Columbia, Globe and Mail.
Villanova squeaks into the Final Four in college basketball’s NCAA tournament. Villanova defeated Pittsburgh 78-76 Saturday night. Scottie Reynolds scored the final two points for Villanova with five-tenths of a second left in the game, New York Times.