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.
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.
Iran convicts journalist of spying. Roxana Saberi is a journalist with dual Iranian and American citizenship who was arrested in Iran in January for buying alcohol. The second reason given for the arrest was an accusation Saberi was working in Iran without proper press credentials, but that charge was later changed to spying for the United States, USA Today.
Pirate attacks continue. Dutch commandos working under the authority of NATO freed 20 hostages from pirates, New York Times.
New guidelines on stem cell research from the NIH. In a change from the policy under President Bush, the National Institutes of Health have announced that researchers may use discarded stem cells obtained from fertility clinics, but that stem cells cannot be created specifically for research, NPR.
18 die in mine explosion in China. China reported the deaths of 3,200 mine workers last year but analysts say the actual number is even higher, BBC News.
North Korea announces it considers tougher sanctions a declaration of war. North Korea’s launch of a rocket using ballistic missile technology earlier this month prompted condemnation by the United Nations. North Korea insists the launch was not a weapons test but an attempt to put a satellite into orbit, CNN.
The trail of the sole survivor of the group of suspects who perpetrated the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year has been delayed. Ajmal Amir Qasab, a Pakistani national, was set to begin trial today when his appointed lawyer was removed due to conflict of interest because the lawyer also represented a victim of the attacks, CNN.
Elections in India begin tomorrow. Over 700 million people will cast parliamentary ballots at 800,000 polling centers. The elections will take five weeks with ballots cast in a different region every week. In recent years national parties have been declining while local and regional parties have gained, New York Times. BBC News has in depth coverage: battleground map, election in numbers, impact of redistricting.
Pirates again attacked a US ship, the Liberty Sun carrying aid to Africa. The pirates inflicted damage to the ship but were ultimately repelled, Huffington Post.
French fishermen protest EU fishing restrictions by blockading 3 ports on the English Channel, France 24.
This day in history: Today is the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough football disaster. In 1989, 96 fans were crushed to death at a football match in Liverpool, Sky News.
Shocker: Ohio State University study reveals Facebook use causes academic performance to suffer, OSU Research Page. OSU has recently come under fire for deleting posts on the university’s official Facebook page, Chronicle of Higher Education.
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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At least 49 protesters have been injured in Bangkok in skirmishes between anti-government rioters and police. Reports say the protesters threw petrol bombs at the police and officers had fired back after being shot at first. Earlier today the government issued a state of emergency for the country, Sky News. Update: BNO now says at least 83 protesters have been injured.
Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama has been rescued by Navy SEALs and 3 of the 4 pirates that attacked the American ship have been killed. The fourth, who is reported to be as young as 16-years-old, is in custody. The Justice Department will review the case to see if they can prosecute the pirate. President Obama issued the order for the Navy to use force if necessary, CNN.
Argentine Angel Cabrera won the 2009 Masters tournament today in Augusta, Georgia in dramatic fashion. Cabrera, along with Americans Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry, played in a 3-way playoff for the green jacket, with Cabrera winning on the 10th hole, NBC Sports.
Check out our coverage of the Amazon/LGBT controversy here.
Thailand remains in turmoil after protests all week. Today the government has declared a state of emergency and local news sources are reporting that tanks are patrolling Bangkok. Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is stoking the unrest and asking dissenters to revolt against the government, which they claim was not democratically elected since the current government ousted Thaksin in 2006 during a coup. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has refused to step down, Sky News.
The Sri Lankan government has declared a temporary ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers and will not launch any military offensives on them until the truce is over. The battles between the two have put Sri Lanka in the middle of a civil war with tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the fighting. The truce is meant to allow civilians time to leave the area, BBC News.
Conservationists have found a new species of orangutan in a remote part of Indonesia. The team estimates there are 1,000 to 2,000 of the animal in the area, which would give a big boost to the endangered species. Before the discovery, scientists said there were only between 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left on Earth, Associated Press.
BREAKING: The American ship capatain who had been held hostage by Somali pirates has been freed. Three of the four pirates holding Captain Phillips have been killed and the fourth is in custody, BNO.
A Sunday school teacher has been arrested for the death of an eight-year-old California girl. The woman, Melissa Huckaby, has a daughter who played with the girl, Sandra Cantu, and owned the suitcase Cantu was found in, which Hucakby had reported missing, Sky News.
The British Medical Journal says China has 32 million more boys under the age of 20 than girls because of the strict one-child per family policy. The desire to have a son instead of a daughter has caused many couples to abort female fetuses and there have been many occurrences over the years of parents abandoning daughters. The study finds that the trend is rising, and the problem will likely worsen in future generations, NY Times.
The Maersk Alabama, the American ship hijacked by pirates days ago, has reached a Kenyan port, but without their captain. Captain Richard Phillips is still being held for ransom by Somali pirates, MSNBC. Pirates have also hijacked another ship, a tugboat named that is carrying 16 crew members, 10 of which are Italian, BBC News.
Amid calls from protesters, the Central Election Commission in Moldova has certified that the Communist party did win the latest parliamentary election. Three members did concede that the results were flawed, however, and that some people who appeared to have voted were in fact dead during the election or had moved out of the country, United Press International.