News Briefs – March 1, 2011

Compiled by Amber Sandlin / Sun Star Reporter
March 1, 2011

Gaddafi’s last stand

Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi’s roughly 40-year hold on the north African nation of Libya is rapidly dissolving. Protesters seized control of the city of Kufra in the southeast of the country, and the turmoil has spread to the capital of Tripoli. On Monday, Feb. 21, Ali El-Assawi, the Libyan ambassador to the U.S. resigned in protest of Gaddafi’s actions, including ordering fighter pilots to target the protesters.

Source: New York Times

American hostages murdered by pirates

Pirates off the coast of East Africa shot and killed four American hostages on Tuesday Feb. 22, after negotiations for the hostages’ release fell apart. Navy SEALs took control of the ship, killed two of the pirates and captured 15 more. After taking control of the ship, SEALs found two more dead pirates, evidence that the hostage-takers had turned on one another.


New Zealand earthquake

“Mommy, I got buried” was the first of many texts sent by a young woman trapped in the rubble of her college building on Tuesday Feb. 22, when a 6.3 magnitude quake hit Christchurch, New Zealand. With hundreds of people missing within the first few hours, more than 2,500 were injured. The current death toll has risen to 113.

Source: MSNBC

Toyota recall

On Thursday, Feb. 24, Toyota recalled more than 2 million vehicles due to a sudden-acceleration problem where the gas pedal became trapped in the floor mat. The problem has sparked around 3,000 complaints and dozens of lawsuits.

Source: MinnPost

President Obama will no longer defend the “Defense of Marriage Act”

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Wednesday, Feb. 23, that the Obama Administration will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed in 1996 that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, against challenges to its constitutionality. “I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage,” Obama said, “Attitudes evolve, including mine.”

Source: Washington Post

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