Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing to include a public option in the health care reform bill that is being written in the Senate. If included, it will likely include a provision that allows states to opt out of a government plan, New York Times.
A commercial passenger plane that overshot its destination by 150 miles yesterday should have received multiple warnings that it was nearing the Minneapolis airport. The pilots on the Northwestern Airlines plane were said to be arguing about airline policy when they missed their landing, Associated Press.
Sri Lanka plans to release 40,000 Tamils that are currently being held in government run refugee camps, Voice of America.
Three explosions in northwestern Pakistan have killed dozens, including 17 people traveling to a wedding, Al Jazeera.
In an indirect admission that the device can cause harm, the maker of the Taser stun guns has cautioned law enforcement officials not to stun suspects in the chest. The company said that heart attacks can occur and leave law enforcement open to lawsuits. A number of suspects have been injured after being struck by Taser stun guns by police, CNN. A Polish immigrant, Robert Dziekanski, was killed at the Vancouver Airport after being Tasered two years ago, The Globe and Mail.
2 million refugees are returning to Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Swat Valley residents were evacuated from the area while the Pakistani military conducted an intensive fight against the Taliban. The area is safe for families to return to but many homes have been destroyed, Voice of America.
Unrest continues in the Chinese city of Urumqi between Muslim Uighurs and the Chinese government. Two Uighurs were shot and killed by police today. The police were trying to prevent the men from attacking another Uighur, according to official reports, BBC News .
The Prime Minister of Japan is expected to call an election on August 30. His party, the LDP, which has been in power in Japan for most of the past 30 years, suffered losses in recent Toyko elections prompting a vote of no confidence, Reuters.
Suspected Nazi John Demjanjuk has been charged with 27,900 counts of accessory to murder for his alledged involvement in the gassing of prisoners at a concentration camp in Poland during World War II, Associated Press.
The spaceshuttle Endeavor is set for another launch attempt this evening. This will be the fifth try on this go round, Associated Press.
South Korean media reports that Kim Jong-il is suffering from pancreatic cancer, Christian Science Monitor.
Sonia Sotomayor, US President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court, will begin her Congressional confirmation hearings today at 10am EDT. USA Today is live blogging the hearings. Watch live on CSPAN.