Three German soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in a battle with insurgents. The attack happened at the German military base in Kunduz, which has been frequently attacked since German forced entered the country in 2002, BBC News.
Workers in Jerusalem accidentally uncovered a 4,000-year-old tomb from the Canaanite period. The tomb held bones from two human, clay pots, beads, and plates. Archaeologists say the discovery will help shed light on the ancient burial procedures and show how the people lived then, AP.
Two British journalists have been expelled from Iran for “activities inconsistent with their diplomatic status.” In response, Prime Minister Brown will expel two Iranian diplomats from their London embassy, Sky News.
Former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun has died from severe injuries sustained after falling off a mountain, reports say. Roh apparently fell off of the mountain and into a ravine. Police are looking into if it was a suicide or an accident. He was South Korea’s president from 2003 until 2008, BNO. Update: BNO reports a suicide note written by President Roh was found.
A U.S. appeals court has ruled against tobacco companies, finding that major companies deceived the public by marketing their cigarettes as healthier than others. Cigarettes with the labels “low tar,” “mild,” “light,” and “ultra light” are now banned and companies must publish “corrective statements,” NPR.
Heavy fighting in Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu has killed at least 36 people. Pro-government forces are fighting Muslim extremists who have taken control of the city. The fighting has lasted ten days and over 100 people have been killed. Over 50,000 citizens are said to have been displaced, BBC News.
A panel of scientists have named the top 10 species discovered in 2008, with the pygmy seahorse topping the list. Other new species include the Tahina spectablilis, which is a plant that dies under its own weight, and a bacteria found in hairspray, CNN.
An AP photograph of a U.S. soldier fighting the Taliban in pink boxers has become iconic in conflict in Afghanistan. U.S. Army Specialist Zachary Boyd was asleep when Taliban fighters began fighting upon the soldiers and didn’t have time to don his pants before engaging the enemy force. The picture became famous after it graced the cover of the New York Times, AP.
A third person in the U.S. has died from the swine flu. The latest victim, a man in his 30s from Washington state, had underlying heart conditions. Other countries that have reported deaths are Mexico, 48 dead, and one deceased in both Canada and Cuba. 40 percent of those affected by the flu in the U.S. are between the ages of 11 to 18, but the deaths have not happened in that age range, MSNBC.
The German government have announced that they plan to outlaw paintball and other games that simulate violence, including laser tag. This comes after a school shooting in the country earlier this year that left sixteen dead, BBC News.
As reported this afternoon, sources confirm that the body found earlier outside of Athens, Ga, was indeed that of former UGA professor George Zinkhan. He murdered three people exactly two weeks ago and seemingly disappeared after the shooting. Police found his car abandoned in the woods last week, and his body was found a mile away from the vehicle. Police say he partially buried himself in the woods before committing suicide, possibly to make it harder to find his body, USA Today.
President Obama entertained tonight at the White House Correspondents Dinner with 3,000 journalists and celebrities in attendance. Of Dick Cheney, the President said the former VP was busy writing his memoir, “How to shoot friends and interrogate people,” MSNBC.
Pakistan steps up attacks on Taliban militants in the northwestern mountainous region along the border of Afghanistan. The Pakistani government had tried to negotiate with the Taliban, allowing the group to take over areas of the Swat Valley, but has recently stepped up attacks due to international pressure. More than 40,000 have fled the region, BBC News.
Rupert Murdoch, the head of the global conglomerate News Corporation, says News Corp. newspaper websites will begin to charge for content within a year. The company owns the Wall Street Journal which has been successful in using paid content. Murdoch also owns the New York Post, the Sun and the Times of the UK and several Australian papers, CNN.
US government review of 19 troubled banks finds them in good shape according to an op-ed by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, New York Times.
An attack at a wedding ceremony in Turkey’s Mardin province killed at least 45, six of them children, today. Grenades and automatic weapons were used in the attack, but the mayor of Mardin has said the attack does not appear to be terr0r-related. Some reports say it was the families of the bride and groom that were fighting, BBC News.
A Pakistani spoke to the New York Times about the troop surge in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s new strategy. The source told the Times that the terrorist group were planning to move in and out of Pakistan, counting on the fact that troops can not reach them in Afghanistan’s neighboring country, NY Times.
The Boston Globe is still alive after the newspaper’s owner extending talks with unions to save one of the U.S.’s top papers. The Globe’s owner, the New York Times, says it will shut down the paper if agreements are not reached to lower salaries and pensions, BBC News.
The Israeli government has issued an emergency in order to help save the Sea of Galilee, a place where Christians believe Jesus performed miracles such as walking on water. The body of water is in an environmental disaster as mismanagement and drought has killed most wildlife, Sky News.
A 22-year-old med student at Boston University has been charged with killing a woman in Boston and robbing two others. Philip Markoff is suspected of being the “Craigslist Killer,” a moniker given to the person who shot Julissa Brisman, 26, in a Boston hotel room last week, CNN. Markoff is engaged to be married to another med student at BU and had no previous police record, but police labeled Markoff a “predator” and suspect there are more victims that have yet to come forward, NY Daily News.
The only Somali pirate to survive the attack on the Maersk Alabama has landed in New York and is set to stand trial. The pirate is just 16-years-old. The other three pirates who attacked the ship and held the boat’s captain hostage were killed by Navy SEALs, BBC News.
On this 4/20, NPR takes a look at what the U.S. would be like if the government legalized marijuana. Read the analysis here.
The Pulitizer Prize winners were announced today, with the New York Times winning five awards, but the most interesting winner was Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune. Giblin was laid off more than three months ago by the newspaper. He helped the paper win an award for his coverage of immigration enforcement operations in Arizona, Assoicated Press.
Check our earlier post on updates on the four people found dead in a Baltimore-area hotel room. Police suspect it may have been a murder-suicide, info here.
More information on the missed warning signs from gunman who killed 13 people at an immigrant services center in Binghamton, New York. Jiverly Wong came to the U.S. from Vietnam as a refugee. He was jailed for using a forged check in California but was still granted citizenship a few years later. In response to an application for a gun permit, Mr. Wong’s father told police he did not think his son should have access to a weapon, but the permit was granted. Wong was also suspected in a bank robbery but was never charged, USA Today.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who, as it was widely reported, shook hands with President Obama at the Summit of the Americas a few days ago, has announced he will restore Venezuela’s ambassador to the US. The US is expected to reciprocate. Relations between the US and Venezuela have been strained since Chavez was elected. In response to a reporter’s question about his first meeting with Obama, Chavez said, “I think it was a good moment… I think President Obama is an intelligent man, compared to the previous US president.” BBC News.
A UN conference on racism may fall apart as the US and other western nations refuse to participate. The US fears the proposed language of the conference statement singles out Israel in that it likens Zionism, the desire for an Israeli state, to racism. The US also has concerns that the proposed condemnation of “incitement to religious hatred” could have free speech implications, BBC News.
Journalism schools struggle to find relevance in the changing news industry, the New York Times.
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.