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While U Slept. The Big 5 Overnight Stories. Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

ICELAND VOLCANO CREATES MORE AIRLINE HAVOC Some 17,000 flights will be cancelled Friday across large swaths of Europe as ash from erupting volcano spreads southward. Airports were closed in France, Germany and UK. Closure at Warsaw airport could affect arrival of world leaders for funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who died last weekend in airplane crash. (CNN video/article)

OBAMA ORDERS HOSPITAL VISITATION RIGHTS TO GAY PARTNERS Any hospital that gets Medicare and Medicaid money must grant same visitation rights to gay and lesbian partners as married heterosexual couples. (Politico)

VATICAN CARDINAL PRAISED BISHOP FOR PROTECTING RAPIST PRIEST Latest shocking revelation is 2001 letter in which Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, then head of Vatican’s clergy office, praised a French bishop who’d refused to turn in rapist priest to civil authorities. (Reuters)

THAI COMMANDOS LAUNCH RAID AIMED AT PROTEST LEADERS Thai government moved to break anti-government protests by arresting holed-up top leaders of the “red shirt” movement. One top protester avoided capture from hotel headquarters in a dramatic escape down rope. (NYTimes)

NEW PROBE TO OPEN OF BHUTTO’S KILLING AFTER SCATHING REPORT UN report blames security forces for failing to protect assassinated Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto. Pakistani police say they will open new investigation, while aide to ex-President Pervez Musharraf calls UN report “pack of lies.”

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