U.S. troops pursue African rebel leader Joseph Kony; U.S. spending slows, though incomes rise; a suicide blast in Syria kills 9; U.S. officials are close to granting asylum to Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng; the presidential ad race begins; and Microsoft invests $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel hosts the White House Correspondents dinner; Kevin Jonas Partners with Ryan Seacrest for ‘Married To Jonas;’ and Patrick Dempsey rescues a teen from a car crash.
Kelly + Caitlin
Rights group: U.S. asylum likely for China dissident, http://bit.ly/JIJ0nP
Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng will likely find asylum in America. U.S. and Chinese officials are working on a deal to secure Guangcheng’s arrival this week. Guangcheng originally rattled Chinese authorities by exposing state-enforced abortions in villages. Guangcheng made a video released last Friday calling for an investigation into the beatings, harassment and other mistreatment he, his wife and daughter suffered at the hands of local officials during his 20 months of house arrest.
U.S. spending slows, while income rises, http://cnnmon.ie/J4LZXL
U.S. consumer spending slowed in March, though incomes rose at a fast rate. The Commerce Department reports that personal spending increased 0.3% in the month. In February, there was an optimistic 0.9% jump in spending. And adjusting for higher prices in the month, spending increased only 0.1%. Income increased better at 0.4%, in comparison with 0.2% the month before. This is the first time since December that income growth outpaced spending increases.
Suicide blasts kill 9 in Syrian city of Idlib, http://bit.ly/JLZ0ct
By rigging cars with explosive, two suicide bombers killed at least nine people and wounded nearly 100 near a military compound and a hotel in northwestern Syria today. The blasts created two craters in the ground and destroyed much of a nearby hotel. The bombings come shortly after a U.N. cease-fire agreement to reduce violence between the Syrian government and rebel troops. Sixteen U.N. observers are on the ground reporting back on developments and peace strategies. By mid-May, the team is set to grow to 100 people.
In Vast Jungle, U.S. Troops Aid in Search for Kony, http://nyti.ms/Iod0YL
One hundred of America’s Special Operations troops are working with African forces to find fugitive rebel commander Joseph Kony who has been hiding out in the jungle for years with a band of child soldiers and dozens of child brides. No one knows Kony’s exact location, but research into the matter shows that the land they are searching is the size of California. The American forces emphasize that the mission is not to engage in combat, but to only assist African officials in securing Kony. Kony began his tirade in a northern Uganda village more than 25 years ago. He went on to create the Lord’s Resistance Army, aiming to overthrow Uganda’s government. His mission then grew to terrorize villages, kidnapping thousands of children to become a part of his army.
With a Steel Column, a Tower Will Reclaim the Manhattan Sky, http://nyti.ms/JjE9rk
With permitting weather conditions, a steel column will go into place this afternoon atop the exoskeleton of 1 World Trade Center. New York will then have a new tallest building. The 100th floor of 1 World Trade Center will bring its height to 1,271 feet, making it 21 feet higher than the Empire State Building. The building’s finish over the course of the next couple of months will see it at 1,368 feet, identical in height to the first 1 World Trade Center. The ultimate finish over the year, attaching an antenna as well, will bring the structure’s overall height to 1,776 feet.
Presidential race ad war begins in earnest, http://bit.ly/Iyn3cK
The presidential campaign ad fight began last week after a super PAC aired a 30-second ad mocking President Obama as “a celebrity president.” The super PAC is tied to Karl Rove. The ad asks “After four years of a celebrity president, is your life any better?” After that, statistics on the high unemployment rate and student loan debt among young Americans run. The Obama campaign responded with a 90-second video ad starring former President Bill Clinton, who speaks on Obama’s accomplishment of assassinating Osama bin Laden. The ad ends by questioning what Romney would have done in the same situation.
Barnes & Noble’s shares soar on Microsoft Nook investment, http://cnnmon.ie/JX1y8G
Microsoft is investing $300 million with Barnes & Noble for a 17.6% stake in its digital e-book reader, The Nook. Barnes & Nobles are now skyrocketing in early Monday trading, up to 85% at Monday’s open. Microsoft values the overall Nook business at $1.7 billion, more than twice the $792 million market value for all of Barnes & Noble at the close Friday.
Arianna Huffington: President’s bin Laden ad “despicable,” http://cbsn.ws/IPjhuE
Jimmy Kimmel pokes fun at Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan during White House Correspondents’ Dinner, http://cbsn.ws/Jwifp7
Princess Diana’s Astrologer Predicts the Year Ahead for William and Kate, http://bit.ly/KsF0M5
Kevin Jonas Partners With Ryan Seacrest For ‘Married To Jonas,’ http://on.mtv.com/IzVt0P
Patrick Dempsey Rescues Teen from Car Crash, http://bit.ly/Jwcvvz