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.
This morning, Georgia authorities found George Zinkhan’s jeep in northwestern Clarke County and put one nearby school on lockdown, but the search for the former UGA professor in the area has been called off. Investigators believe the car had been abandoned days ago. Police now believe the crime was more calculated than previously thought and not just a crime of passion, AJC.
Officials tell BNO News that the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, the second largest hotel in the world, was robbed this morning. A sole gunman robbed the casino and fled on foot, presumably not taking a huge chunk of the famous hotel’s worth. More details as they emerge, BNO.
Take a look at BBC News’ worldwide map showing what countries have been affected by the swine flu and how many cases they have.
The UN reports that hundreds of thousands of people still need help after last year’s cyclone in Burma that killed about 140,000 people. The UN and Burma have asked for $700m in relief, but have only received $100m. Most foreign journalists are banned from the Asian country, possibly a cause of why there is so much less interest and help given to the victims than in recent tsunamis in other Asian countries, BBC News.
Obama walked unannounced into today’s White House press briefing to announce Justice Souter’s retirement. Watch:
As we reported earlier this morning, a 23 month-old child in Texas has died from swine flu. It is the first death outside of Mexico. UPDATE: The child was from Mexico and became sick during a visit to Texas, New York Times. Overall, 160 people have reportedly died of swine flu. However, the World Health Organization has only officially declared 9 deaths, including the latest death in Texas, as being conclusively caused by the H1N1 virus. 3 cases have been discovered in Germany, CNN.
President Obama’s nominee for head of the Department of Health and Human Services, former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius was finally sworn in yesterday. Republican members of the Senate held up the confirmation over Sebelius’s pro-choice abortion stance. In the midst of the swine flu scare, Sebelius will have to hit the ground running, USA Today.
At least 5 French tourists are dead after a bus crash in California, Associated Press.
Representatives of Canada’s First Nations had a rare private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican today. They were seeking an apology from the Pope for the Catholic Church’s involvement in a residential school where 150,000 aboriginal children were removed from their homes in the name of education and assimilation, only to suffer psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, CBC.
On his 100th day in office, President Obama will address the nation at 8pm EDT. Recent polls show about 80% of Americans say they like Obama personally and over 60% approve of his policies, MSNBC/Wall Street Journal Poll. BBC News, once again demonstrating that they are the world’s leader in online media, has an interactive map with an overview of how President Obama is viewed around the world. NPR on the “grim 100 days for GOP.”
A man has killed his family as well as himself today in Middlewood, Maryland. 34-year-old Christopher Wood murdered his wife, two sons, ages 4 and 5, and 2-year-old daughter with a gun and, police suspect, a knife. This is a growing trend in America with several reported cases of family murder-suicides this year alone, CNN.
President Obama has spoken out against the 8-year sentence given by Iran to an American journalist. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president “is deeply disappointed at this news.” The U.S. is working with Swiss diplomats in Iran, as they lack ties in the country, to get information on the case, NPR.
Houston, Texas is experiencing massive flooding and 5 children are missing after a car was swept away in a flash flood, MyFox Houston. Officials estimate millions of dollars of damage already and say flooding is worse than the disastrous 1994 floods, WTVY.
The U.S. will boycott a United Nations racism meeting because the language in the meeting’s final document could be seen as criticism of Israel. The U.S. is also concerned that the text could lead to restrictions of free speech for Israel, MSNBC.
In some good news, 10-year-old Damon Weaver, made famous after interviews with Vice President Joe Biden and NBA star Dwanye Wade, has been offered a full college scholarship by Albany State University in Georgia after he completes high school. Weaver also had a heartbreaking segment featured on 20/20 where he talked about gun violence in his hometown (watch the video here, 21 minute mark). The aspiring jounalist and Florida native plans to accept the offer, WPBF.
Hundreds of thousands of people are about to become Canadian citizens, and most don’t even know it. Canada passed an amendment to the Citizenship Act that will reinstate citizenship to those who were forced to renounce it when they became citizens of foreign countries. Their children will also be granted Canadian citizenship. United States citizens are believed to be the biggest group who will be granted citizenship, WSJ.
President Obama, in his tour of Latin America, has pledged to offer Cuba “a new beginning.” Relations have been more than strained between the two countries since the ’60s when Fidel Castro assumed power. Cuba has partnered with Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela in recent years to help one another, with Cuba supplying Venezuela with trained doctors, teachers, and medical personnel and Venezuela giving Cuba oil, among other trades, BBC News.
As we reported on our Twitter yesterday, 1500 farmers in India have committed mass suicide in the face of growing debt. Drought contributed to the farmers’ debt and less crops mean more debt for farmers in the region, Belfast Telegraph.
The EPA has officially concluded that greenhouse gases are a health hazard, leading the way for stricter regulations. The agency has the power to regulate car emissions and where we get out power from, thus big environment-friendly changes could finally be coming in the U.S., NPR.
The Justice Department has released four secret Bush administration memos that detail interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, used by the U.S. on 28 terror suspects. The ACLU has all 4 documents up on their website here. In a reactionary statement, President Obama has vowed to “ensure that the actions described within them never take place again.” The White House will not prosecute CIA officials for engaging in torture acts, BNO.
In the first of its kind, the Youtube Symphony Orchestra premiered at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night and wowed audiences. Almost 100 musicians were chosen to perform from 3,000 video submission. Organizers of the event are hoping the success will change the audition process for performers, CNN.
President Obama has kicked off his first trip to Latin America on a positive note. Obama wrote an op-ed piece that ran in many Latin America newspapers, saying “We will renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.” His big promise so far was made to Mexico in a show of support for fighting drug lords and rising violence in America’s neighbor, NPR.
In even more Obama news, the American president has announced a high-speed rail plan that will cut American dependence on cars and airplanes. The plan calls for 10 corridors that will connect America’s biggest cities and allow trains to reach more than 100 mph, The Guardian. Image of proposed line here.
The First Dog the United States, Bo, has been introduced by the Obama family to the public. Bo is a sixth-month-old Portuguese water dog and the subject of much discussion in America since Obama announced the family would be bringing a dog to the White House on election night, MSNBC.
After Somali pirates declared revenge on the killings of the 3 pirates by U.S. Navy SEALS, 4 boats have been hijacked in less than 48 hours. Two Egyptian boats have been taken, as well as Greek and a Lebanese ships. Pirate attacks are expected to rise as the attackers get more ransom money and better technology and boats, BBC News.
North Korea has vowed to expel all UN nuclear inspectors from the country in light of condemnations from world powers over this month’s rocket launch. The country says the launch was peaceful and a test, but the U.S. is afraid the knowledge from such tests could aid North Korea in building nuclear weapons, Sky News.
In a hope to save dying coral reefs, divers in Japan have begun a project to transplant coral to save the reefs. Off Japan’s island, 90 percent of the coral around Okinawa’s islands has died off, NY Times.
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