Fresh from his electoral victory, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has dissolved parliament to pave the way for new parliamentary elections. Rajapaksa’s main rival in the recent presidential election, former Sri Lankan Army chief General Fonseka was arrested on what are said to be “military matters,” New York Times.
New video obtained by Al Jazeera apparently shows Nigerian security forces executing members of Boko Haram, an Islamic group, Al Jazeera.
An appeals court in Saudi Arabia has upheld the conviction of a man who was sentenced to 5 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for speaking about his sex life on television, BBC News.
A shop owner in Britain has started using a fingerprint scanner to identify his customers in an effort to stop minors from buying cigarettes and liquor. Customers voluntarily submit their identification to verify their age and then allow their fingerprints to be scanned, BBC News.
Fighting continues on the border Saudi Arabia and Yemen for the fifth straight day. Shia Houthis in Yemen have been fighting the Yemen military for their own government since August. The fighting has recently expanded to include Saudi border areas and the Saudi military, Al Jazeera.
Jason Rodriguez, a former employee of Reynolds Smith & Hills in Orlando, Florida, entered the business yesterday and shot 6, killing 1 and wounding 5. He was arrested at his home. Rodriguez was fired from the engineering firm two years ago and recently filed for bankruptcy, CNN.
The U.S. Labor Department announced that the jobless rate for Americans is over 10%, a 26-year high, ABC News.
A British tourist was killed when a man walked into a bar in Amarillo, Texas and opened fire. The shooter, whose motives are unknown, is in custody, BBC News.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 and injured 38 when he opened fire in a Soldier Readiness Center at the Fort Hood army base in Killeen, Texas, was sent to Fort Hood for a “fresh start” after having a difficult time at Walter Reed. Questions about whether the military missed warning signs that Hasan was unstable, USA Today. A FBI team has been dispatched to Fort Hood to reenact the shooting in an effort to understand how events unfolded, USA Today. More on the victims of the Fort Hood shooting, New York Times. Reflections on the Fort Hood tragedy by a veteran of Vietnam, New York Times.
A NATO airstrike yesterday mistakenly killed Afghan police and civilians. The strike occurred during a search for two 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers who are missing, Washington Post.
Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf has been called to court in Islamabad to explain himself in an investigation of his removal of 60 judges. In 2007, Musharraf suspended the constitution, declared a state of emergency and sacked the judges who he feared might rule against him, IBN.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague has ruled to redefine a disputed area in Sudan. The Abyei region has rich oil deposits and is fought over by the Muslim north and the Christian south. Both sides have said they will respect the ruling which sought to divide access to the area’s resources equally. South Sudan will hold a vote in 2010 on whether to become a separate country. The violence in Darfur, which is in a separate region, will not be effected by the court ruling, Associated Press.
Amnesty International has released a new report about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles Times.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will meet with US President Barack Obama today. The pair will hold a joint press conference at the White House today at 3pm EDT. Watch live at Whitehouse.gov/live.
President Obama will also hold a primetime press conference tonight at 8pm EDT. It will be carried on the networks as well as live at Whitehouse.gov/live.
Millions turned out in Asia to catch today’s solar eclipse, the longest eclipse of this century, CNN. Images of today’s solar eclipse: Xinhua, IBN.
Stunning video of the eclipse from all across Asia from BBC News.
Brazil’s Defense Minister says wreckage from Air France Flight 447 has been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean by military planes. The seen wreckage is listed as “an orange life vest, an aircraft seat, a drum, kerosene and oil.” It was spotted an estimated 600 miles off of Brazil’s coast, New York Times.
President Obama is preparing to leave for his Middle East trip that is designed to reach out to the Islamic world. Obama will first stop in Saudi Arabia where he will talk with King Abdullah. On Thursday, the U.S. President will speak at Cairo University, followed by a stop in Europe to commemorate D-Day, BBC News.
In a surprise appearance, President Obama met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during Barak’s meeting with White House officials in Washington. Obama is seeking to put pressure on Israel to accept a two-state solution, which would give Palestine statehood, but Prime Minister Netanyahu does not seem to be receptive to the idea, Haaretz.
Hot Topic: The Washington Post has a two-part series on the 2006 murder of Robert Wone, an Ivy League lawyer who was stabbed to death at his friend’s home. Three men who lived in the home are the prime suspects and will go on trial next year. Read the series here.