33 people are missing after a boat sunk off the coast of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean. The first ship to reach the scene saved 42 people, BBC News.
William Jefferson, a former congressmen from Louisiana, was convicted today of 11 counts of bribery. Jefferson is accused of accepting $400,000 in bribes and was found with $90,000 in his freezer in March 2005. His lawyer says he will appeal the decision, AP.
The U.K. has introduced rail plans that would create ultra fast passenger trains, with speeds reaching 250/mph. Transport analysts say, if built, the new system could substantially cut into air travel, Guardian Unlimited.
New scientific studies show that far away stars move at speeds greater than one million mph. The stars are part of a galaxy 11 billion light-years away and prove that the galaxy is oddly massive, but compact, SPACE.
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.