The parents of 16 children, 12 of those adopted, were found shot to death in their Florida home yesterday. Eight children of the victims, Byrd and Melanie Billings, were found inside the home, all unharmed. Authorities say they are looking for three males driving a red van who may be suspects in the murders, CNN.
Five British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan today, bringing the total of British soldiers killed in the war since 2001 to 184. The soldiers were killed in two separate attacks while on foot patrols in the Helmand province, BBC News.
Hot Topic: Obama presses Africa on corruption here.
Nine policeman in Peru have been killed by Amazonian indigenous protesters during a rescue operation at a petroleum facility. Protesters had kidnapped 38 officers, of which 22 were rescued and seven others are still missing. The protesters were angry with the government for drilling for oil and gas on ancestral land. Fighting in Bagua, Peru began Friday, killing 22 tribesman and 11 officers. 5 civilians were also killed. The violence was the worst in the country since the 1990s, BBC News.
Juarez, Mexico seemed to be recovering from their deadly drug wars, but violence is spiking again. Officials say the amount of executions performed in broad daylight is much higher than at this time last year. Two drugs cartels in the city are fighting for control of the drug trafficking routes that enter the U.S. Juarez is just across the border from El Paso, Texas, NPR.
Longshot Summer Bird won today’s Belmont Stakes race, denying jockey Calvin Borel the chance to be the only jockey in history to win all three Triple Crown races on different horses. Borel rode Mine That Bird, the horse he rode in his Kentucky Derby win, and placed third, SI.
Svetlana Kuznetsova easily defeated #1 ranked Dinara Safina in the women’s finals of the French Open. Kuznetsova won in only 74 minutes, winning the frist two sets 6-4 and 6-2. Tomorrow, Roger Federer will play Robin Soderling in an attempt to win the only Grand Slam title that has alluded him in his career, ESPN.
U.S. President Obama spoke at Omaha Beach in France today to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Read a summary and quotes from his speech here.
Over 50 people have been killed in a plane crash in Indonesia according to initial reports. Eyewitnesses say the plane was completely destroyed and two people living in the area have been reported killed. At least 109 passengers and crew were on the plane, BBC News.
An arrest warrant has been issued for a missing mother who refused to allow her cancer-stricken son to get chemotherapy treatments. The warrant was issued after she missed a court hearing scheduled for yesterday. She has not been seen since and her son, 13-year-old Daniel Hauser, is also missing. A Minnesota court ruled that Daniel would have to undergo chemo treatments to treat his Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with doctors saying he has an 80 to 95% chance of survival if treated, CNN.
Senate Democrats have blocked President Obama’s request for $80 million to close the Guantanamo detention center. Legislators are worried that the over 200 detainees will have to be moved to the United States and are trying to send the prisoners to other countries instead, NY Times.
A small aftershock shook L.A. today, two days after a 4.7 earthquake hit the area. No damage or injuries were reporting after either quake, AP.
The world watched as U.S. President Obama and Israel’s P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu met for the first time since both took office. In a visit to the White House, Netanyahu was pressed on agreeing to a two state solution to help bring peace to the Middle East. The Prime Minister did not say he would support a Palestinian state, but did affirm he was devoted to the peace process, BBC News.
Sources say the Obama administration is set to announce a new law tomorrow that will require new cars to have 30% better gas mileage by 2016. The change would make the standard for cars 42mpg, MSNBC.
Mali is moruning the loss of young elephants who are dying in wells because of the lack of water. The elephants fell into the wells in search of water and, unable to crawl out, die in the hot Mali sun. Six elephants have been found dead and four have been saved, but this is a large amount when one considers only 350 to 400 elephants remain in the area, CNN.
Make sure to check out NPR’s series on how to battle global piracy here.
Despite calling for a ceasefire, the Tamil Tigers are still under fire in Sri Lanka. The government said the fighting today would be some of the last. A EU commission will be investigating civilian deaths, which each side is blaming on the other. The ceasefire will hopefully end the long 26-year civil war finally, BBC News.
Pakistan says over 1,000 Taliban militants have been killed in the operation centered around the Swat Valley. While the country is celebrating the deaths, they are also frustrated with the civilian deaths incurred by U.S. air strikes. New reports say over 90 children died in the strike last week that killed 140 people, NPR.
A New York assistant principal has died from the H1N1 swine flu virus. Mitchell Wiener, 55, is the fifth American to die from the strain and five schools in Queens, New York have been closed in response to his death. Officials say the number of cases of swine flu are rising in New York City, NY Times.
President Obama delivered Notre Dame’s undergraduate commencement speech today amid protests from anti-abortion activists. Notre Dame, a Catholic university located in Indiana, awarded Obama an honorary degree of law. A few protesters heckled Obama during his speech, but it was mostly well received and garnered a standing ovation. 39 protesters were arrested before the speech, CNN.
The horse Rachel Alexandra won the 134th Preakness Stakes today in Baltimore, dashing Mine That Bird’s hopes for the Triple Crown. The win was the first for a filly at the race in 85 years and the winning jockey, Calvin Borel, also won the Kentucky Derby this year riding Mine That Bird, ESPN.
President Obama has named Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as the U.S. ambassador to China. Huntsman, a Republican, was seen as a strong contender for the 2012 presidential election and considered a popular politician, MSNBC.
Arrests were made today before Moscow’s gay pride parade. Police detained dozens that were supposed to meet at a park before the rally, which was barricaded by police, and prominent gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev was among those arrested. The march was going to coincide with the Eurovision contest taking place in the city, which has a large gay following, CNN.
With an estimated 100+ million people watching, Norway took the trophy in the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. The competition, started in 1956, is held annually with each memeber of the European Broadcasting Union entering one song into the contest to be sung live. European citizens and a panel then decide the winner. This year, Norway won 387 votes, the most in the competition’s history, BBC News.
Sri Lanka says the military crackdown on the Tamil Tiger rebels should end in 48 hours. The Sri Lankan army has pushed the rebels, along with Tamil civilians, into a 1.5 square mile area in northern Sri Lanka along the coast. Conditions are very poor there and the only semi-legitimate reports come from doctors who have been treating the civilian victims. President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the army is expected to break through and eliminate the rebels in the next two days. The Red Cross has suspended relief efforts in the area because it is so dangerous. A Red Cross worker was killed two days ago, CNN.
The White House is expected to announce today that it will restart military tribunals for some of the detainees held captive in the Guantanamo Bay military prison. The administration says the detainees will have access to their lawyers in order to prepare a defense and that the trials will be more in keeping with U.S. due process laws than they were under the Bush administration but critics fear that secret evidence, which will not be available to either the detainees or their lawyers, will be used in the military tribunals, Christian Science Monitor.
Pakistan lifted a curfew in the Swat Valley to encourage civilians to flee the area. The Pakistani military, which is heavily engaged in conflict with Taliban rebels in the northwestern region of Pakistan, are hoping to minimize civilian casualties as fighting intensifies, Voice of America.
Europe’s recession may be reaching its low point. Growth dropped in many countries in Europe, Reuters.
Google issues apology for yesterday’s slow service, BBC News. Website to bookmark: Is it down for everyone or just me?
At least 50 civilians have been killed at a hospital in the conflict zone of Sri Lanka. Intense fighting between the Sri Lankan military and the rebel group Tamil Tigers has caught civilians in the crosshairs, with reports suggesting over 1,000 civilians were killed this past weekend. Foreign journalists are not allowed in the area, but a doctor told news organizations earlier this week that the deaths were the fault of the government. Human Rights Watch, however, says satellite images and eyewitness reports show both sides are responsible, AP.
Protesters in support of the Tamil Tigers marched in Toronto today. The 12,000 peaceful participants were praised and thanked by onlookers for not obstructing the flow of the city, which occurred on Sunday night during a protest, Globe and Mail.
A boat capsized off the coast of Florida today and at least 10 are reported dead. Authorities believe the boat was being used to smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. The boat was believed to be carrying people from the Bahamas and Haiti, and women and children were indeed on the boat, CNN.
President Obama announced today that he is blocking the release of photos that show American soldiers abusing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama is afraid the photos will add to even more anti-American sentiment and would endanger troops, NY Times.
The space shuttle Atlantis has successfully reached the Hubble Telescope. The shuttle will work on repairing and adding upgrades, such as much needed gyroscopes, BBC News.