Algerian special forces have freed 650 of the hostages seized by Islamists; Lance Armstrong admits to doping in an interview with Oprah; and speculation surrounds Notre Dame football star Manti Te’O and his fake girlfriend. Meanwhile, the Onion will release an “autobiography” on Vice President Biden, and Michelle Obama debuts a new haircut.
Caitlin + Liza
650 hostages freed by Algerian special forces, http://bit.ly/Xhf5In
Algerian special forces have freed 650 hostages taken by Islamists after attacking a gas field in eastern Algeria on Wednesday. Over half of the 132 foreign workers taken hostage have been freed. 10 to 20 Americans are being evacuated, while some remain unaccounted for. U.S. officials have not specified the exact number of Americans involved in the attack. “This incident will be resolved–we hope–with a minimum loss of life. But when you deal with these relentless terrorists, life is not in any way precious to them,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
Lance Armstrong Confession: Cyclist Admits Doping During Oprah Interview, http://huff.to/13Kj8CW
Lance Armstrong opened up about doping Thursday night in the first installment of a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong openly admitted to using banned substances in all seven of his Tour de France victories. Earlier on Thursday, he was stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics. Armstrong noted that he was committed to restoring his reputation. “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and trying to apologize to people…for the rest of my life,” he said.
Behind Manti Te’O hoax about girlfriend lies a deep desire to believe, http://wapo.st/XinJqA
Following a Deadspin.com report published Wednesday, questions are circulating about the dead girlfriend of Manti Te’O, the star linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up who helped lead Notre Dame to the BCS Champion Bowl. Te’O's supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who was said to have died of leukemia, was a media fixation central to his personal story. Te’O claims the pair carried out their relationship online, and now says he was the victim of an online prank. However, controversy remains over whether the fake girlfriend may have been a publicity stunt created by Te’O himself.
‘Obama for America’ to morph into ‘Organizing for Action’, http://bit.ly/13LRSFd
President Obama’s “Obama for America” re-election campaign will be relaunched as “Organizing for Action”, a non-profit organization with a mission to advocate for his second-term agenda. Organizing for Action will push for agreements on the president’s priority issues by using powerful tools from the re-election campaign including grassroots organization, social media outreach, and a large voter database. Jim Messina, who directed the 2012 campaign, will chair Organizing for Action.
One to beam up: NASA uses a laser to send Mona Lisa to the moon, http://nbcnews.to/XimYxX
NASA will use a laser-tracking system to make the Mona Lisa the first digital image to be transmitted via laser to the moon. NASA has previously sent laser pulses and strings of numbers to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the laser-tracking system that has been circling the moon for the past three and a half years, but this is the first time they will transmit a far more visual painting. NASA said this type of laser communication could serve in the future as a backup for the radio communication currently used by satellites, potentially allowing higher data rates of communication.
Biden Getting an Autobiography From the Onion (Whether He Wants It or Not), http://nyti.ms/WL5Tfh
New ‘Do Alert: Michelle Obama Debuts Bangs, http://bit.ly/XeucCi
Selena Gomez Talks Justin Bieber Pre-Split and Taylor Swift Friendship, http://eonli.ne/XjhJ0j
“Django Unchained” Slave Toys Discontinued, http://tmz.me/VOHz0m
Jennifer Lawrence: I Should Have Been in “Zero Dark Thirty”!, http://eonli.ne/SJmBAC