Syrian rebels abandon the U.N’s attempts at a peace plan; a suicide car bomb kills 23 in Baghdad; gunmen surround the Tripoli airport; rescue workers sift through debris from yesterday’s deadly plane crash in Nigeria; suspected murderer Luka Rocca Magnotta is found in Berlin; and Mitt Romney’s popularity numbers increase. Meanwhile, Richard Dawson is remembered; Miss Rhode Island has been crowned Miss USA; and Drew Barrymore wed this weekend.
Syrian rebels killed 80 pro-government soldiers over the weekend, signaling that they no longer support Kofi Annan’s peace plan for the country. The rebels had given President Bashar al-Assad a deadline of last Friday for putting an end to violence in Syria. When the deadline was not met, the rebels decided to break ties with the U.N.’s efforts to intervene in the country. “We have decided to end our commitment to this [plan], and starting from that date [Friday] we began defending our people,” rebel spokesman Maj. Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters.
Suicide car bomb kills 23 in central Baghdad in deadliest Iraq attack in 3 months, http://wapo.st/KqTTjF
A suicide car bomb aimed at Baghdad’s Shiite religious-affairs office killed twenty-three and left dozens dead in what is the deadliest attack in Iraq in three months. The explosion caused the first floor of the religious-affairs office to collapse and damaged nearby cars and buildings. “The scene was horrific,” one witness told The Associated Press. The religious-affairs office manages religious sites for Iraq’s Shiite Muslim population.
Libya militia surrounds Tripoli airport, http://reut.rs/Kr8JXl
Armed members of the al-Awfea Brigade surrounded the Tripoli airport this morning causing flights to land at a nearby military base. “The situation in the airport is very tense, and tanks are surrounding the buildings,” an official told Reuters. “No one is allowed into the building.” Allegedly, the gunmen targeted the airport after one of their militant leaders was captured. It is unclear whether the situation has ended or not, although a rebel spokesman told CNN that the situation has been resolved and the gunmen are withdrawing.
Fears of on-ground deaths from Nigeria plane crash, http://bit.ly/M66OSf
A plane crash in Nigeria Sunday killed all 153 passengers on board. The plane crashed near Murtala Muhammed International Airport in an area populated with businesses and residences. Officials fear that the location of the crash could have caused people on the ground to have been killed. “The fear is that since it happened in a residential area, there may have been many people killed,” said National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Yushau Shuaib. The cause of the crash is not clear. Emergency workers have been sifting through debris and have recovered 48 bodies.
Sandusky judge denies accusers’ bid for pseudonyms, http://apne.ws/K9JiVB
Judge John Cleland in Pennsylvania has ruled that Jerry Sandusky’s ten alleged victims will not be able to use pseudonyms in courts. Judge Cleland also ruled that no form of communication, like tweets or electronic media, can be present in the courtroom. Jury selection will begin Tuesday for the case, in which Sandusky faces 52 charges over 15 years stemming from allegations that he molested ten boys. The former Penn State assistant football coach, who denies the charges, has been under house arrest pending trial. 250 reporters have registered attendance in the courtroom.
Luka Rocco Magnotta, the Canadian man suspected in the brutal murder and dismemberment of a Chinese student, has been arrested in Berlin. Police believed that the 29-year-old had fled to France, but were notified when a Berlin cafe worker recognized Magnotta after seeing his picture in the press. The suspect had been on the run for about two weeks.
A new CNN/ORC poll shows that Mitt Romney’s popularity rating has risen from 34% to 48%. 42% of those polled have a negative impression of Romney – which is the same number of those who dislike President Obama. The poll has the president’s popularity rating at 56%. According to those who worked on the survey, young voters have allowed Obama’s popularity to be higher than Romney’s. “The biggest gap between Obama and Romney’s favorability ratings is among younger Americans,” observered CNN’s polling director. “Romney may have a small advantage among independent voters, but that is offset by his lower favorability rating among Republicans than Obama has among Democrats.”
Queen’s Jubilee: Rock concert at Buckingham Palace, http://bit.ly/MbFK7v
Richard Dawson remembered by Paula Abdul, Pat Sajak and more, http://cbsn.ws/KKqrmQ
Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo to work on breast and ovarian cancer issues, http://cbsn.ws/JPBuf3
Drew Barrymore’s Quiet Wedding, http://abcn.ws/KFfh2x
Internet meme Mr. Trololo dies in Russia at age 77, http://bit.ly/LskAAm
Tags: al-awfea brigade, Barack Obama, bashar al-assad, buckingham palace, cnn/orc poll, diamond jubilee, drew barrymore, Jerry Sandusky, judge john cleland, kofi annan, luka rocco magnotta, mike tyson, Miss USA, Mitt Romney, mr. trololo, murtala muhammed international airport, national emergency management agency, olivia culpo, pat sajak, Paula Abdul, President Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, richard dawson, sami al-kurdi, shiite religious-affairs office, spike lee, syrian rebels, tripoli airport, u.n. security council, yushau shuaib