While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011
  • Japanese engineers have begun releasing radioactive water into the sea, in an attempt to create more storage capacity for even more radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. They’re also planning on building a silt fence in the ocean to stop the spread of radioactive material, though construction of the barrier could take “several days,” according to Hidehiko Nishiyama, Japan’s spokesman on nuclear safety.
  • Southwest Airlines says it will cancel 100 additional flights today, after discovering “small, subsurface cracks” in two jets. Yesterday, the airline cancelled 300 flights, or 9-percent of its schedule, after finding cracks in three planes. Southwest began inspecting its fleet after a plane’s fuselage ripped open in mid-flight, on Friday. The company expects the inspections to wrap up by Tuesday.
  • Protests in Yemen are raging on, today, with some 90,000 demonstrators gathering in the city of Taiz. CNN is reporting that eleven people have been killed, and more than 500 have sustained injuries. Medical field teams say they were attacked by the government’s central security forces and the Republican Guard. Much like all the other protesters in the region, Yemen’s demonstrators have major issues with their national leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who, according to Reuters, is being pressured by the U.S. to step down.
  • Barack Obama kicks off his 2012 re-election campaign today, with a video posted to his website. He’s also blasting everyone’s inboxes with e-mails, urging his grassroots supporters to get up and start “talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends” (about Obama, presumably). In a cute little twist, today’s announcement from the 44th President comes on the fourth day of the fourth month of this year.

While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011
  • Italy has begun moving more than 1,700 North African migrants to a temporary camp in the Puglia region. The country estimates that 20,000 migrants have arrived on its shores, on the heels of the recent turmoil in Libya and Tunisia. On Wednesday, however, residents in Manduria called for the camp’s closure, arguing that many migrants had already escaped.
  • Japan is looking to bail out Tokyo Electric Power Co., owner of the country’s faltering nuclear plant. The government plans to support the company with public funds, but confirmed that it will not take more than a 50-percent stake in TEPCO. “TEPCO has been operating as a private company,” Japanese Prime Minster Naoto Kan told reporters. “We would need to support them, but what I would basically like is for TEPCO to work hard as a private company.”
  • Bouzeid Dorda, Libya’s chief of intelligence, is denying rumors that he has abandoned Moammar Gadhafi. Two members of Gadhafi’s inner circle have already severed ties with the embattled leader, but Dorda insists that he will not “betray the people or the leader.” Meanwhile, pro-Gadhafi forces are ramping up their efforts to maintain control over the country

While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

NATO TAKES SOLE COMMAND OF LIBYAN AIR OPERATIONS On the ground, CIA operatives work to connect with rebel fighters who have seen their surge toward Tripoli impeded. (CNN)

UK REFUSES IMMUNITY TO DEFECTING LIBYAN FOREIGN MINISTER Britain refuses to offer Moussa Koussa immunity from prosecution after his apparent defection, but said his departure would hearten rebels fighting to topple Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. (AP)

IVORY COAST: GBAGBO LOSES KEY PORT CITY Forces loyal to one of Ivory Coast’s rival presidents, Alassane Ouattara, have captured the key cocoa-exporting port of San Pedro. (BBC)

SARKOZY IN JAPAN CALLS FOR GLOBAL NUCLEAR REFORM French President makes call for new global nuclear standards by the end of the year during a first visit by a foreign leader to Japan since the earthquake and tsunami that triggered its atomic disaster. (Reuters)

from Worldcrunch…

‘Mad Max’ Brigade: Libyan Rebels, More Enthusiastic Than Effective


Gaddafi, Fashion Icon: The Power Politics Behind Extravagant Couture




While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

SYRIAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES NATION IN MIDST OF POPULAR UPRISING Bashar al-Assad begins his first address to the nation since a two-week-old violent crackdown on anti-government protests. Assad began his speech by referencing what he called a “test” to the Syrian unity. (AlJazeera)

UK EXPELS FIVE LIBYAN DIPLOMATS Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague says U.K. has expelled five Libyan diplomats for intimidating opposition supporters.(AP)

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION MAY ARM LIBYAN REBELS Fierce debate over whether to supply weapons to the rebels, with some fearful that providing arms would deepen American involvement in a civil war and that some fighters may have terror links. (NYT)

JAPAN TO SHUTTER STRICKEN REACTORS Japan will decommission four stricken reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, with harmful levels of radioactivity detected in the area. (BBC)


In Bahrain, Pakistani Immigrants Targeted In Shiite-Sunni Clash



While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

DIPLOMATIC PUSH ON LIBYA AS FIGHTING RAGES ON More than 40 world leaders and foreign ministers gather in London to plan ways to put pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Government and rebel troops continue to battle in key cities east of Tripoli. (CNN)

IVORY COAST: UN-BACKED LEADER’S TROOPS MAKE GAINS AGAINST GBAGBO Forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, who the international community backs as the rightfully elected president, gain ground on two front in a widening war against forces loyal to sitting President Laurent Gbagbo. (BBC)

GUNMEN TAKE POLITICIANS HOSTAGE IN IRAQ The governor of a northern Iraqi province says he has lost contact with three local politicians after gunmen wearing suicide belts and military uniforms stormed their headquarters. (AP)

PLUTONIUM FOUND NEAR FUKUSHIMA Plutonium found in soil at the Fukushima nuclear complex heightens alarm over battle to contain the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years. (Reuters)

Welcome To Pripyat, Chernobyl’s Ghost Town



While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

LIBYAN REBEL FORCES CLOSE IN ON GADDAFI’S HOMETOWN Conquering Libyan leader’s hometown of Sirte could lead to further gains in the western half of the country, and eventually a showdown in the capital of Tripoli. (AP)

MERKEL’S PARTY DRUBBED IN LOCAL ELECTIONS Preliminary state election results indicate big losses for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Party, CDU, which now seems poised to lose a major stronghold to a Green Party-led coalition in a key state. (CNN)

HUGE BLAST KILLS FIVE IN YEMEN IN AREA CONTROLLED BY REBELS Blast at an ammunition factory in southern Yemen town of Jaar also wounds at least 50. Reports said the plant had recently been seized by militants who, on Sunday, clashed with government forces in the town. (BBC)

OFFICIAL RESIGNS IN RUSSIAN OVER KHODORKOVSKY CASE, CITES INTERFERENCE Aide to judge who sentenced Russia’s Khodorkovsky to more years in prison steps down after saying verdict dictated by higher-ups. Developing. (Reuters)

JAPAN RADIATION ABOUT TO LEAK INTO OCEAN Highly contaminated water is escaping Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and could soon leak into the ocean, the country’s nuclear regulator warns. (NYT)

from Worldcrunch:

Not Dark Yet In Daraa, Heart Of The Syrian Uprising


While U Slept: Big 5 Stories Breaking Overnight. Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011

produced by Worldcrunch

NEW BREACH FEARED AT JAPANESE NUCLEAR PLANT Damage to all-important containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could raise risk of a large-scale release of radiation. (CNN)

WESTERN AIR ATTACK CONTINUES IN LIBYA, TRYING TO CRIPPLE GADDAFI TANK POWER Also, western-led operations to enforce a no fly zone won more Arab support when the United Arab Emirates said it would take part, but France cautioned the conflict could take weeks, or months. (Reuters)

RIVAL RALLIES IN YEMEN AS PROTESTERS DEMAND PRESIDENT’S RESIGNATION Mass rallies in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, come a week after some 50 people were shot dead at a protest. (BBC)

QUAKE HITS MYANMAR, AT LEAST 70 DEAD Powerful earthquake topples homes in northeastern Myanmar. Death toll could rise significantly. (AP)

UNITED STATES GDP GROWTH REVISED UPWARD Commerce Department revises fourth quarter growth to an increase of 3.1% annualized from the earlier estimate of a 2.8% rise. (MarketWatch)


The Streets Of Paris: Who To Target, The Prostitute Or Pimp?