In today’s news, Jerry Sandusky’s eight victims will testify against him; Newt Gingrich surges in the polls; and scientists have developed a vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus. In other news, Amanda Knox may land a book deal, and Andrew Bird announces new album.
Coral + Caitlin
Russia election protests: Putin plays down losses, http://bbc.in/u8Shqz
Yesterday in Russia, 300 protesters were arrested in one of the biggest opposition rallies the country has seen in years. Protestors came out against Russia’s recent election’s alleged voter fraud. In response, thousands of troops were deployed to the demonstrations and two opposition leaders were arrested. A judge has already sentenced the leader of the Solidarity movement, Ilya Yashin, to 15 days in prison for organizing an unauthorized rally. Meanwhile, Russia’s Interior Minister Vasily Panchenkov said the troops were meant “to ensure the security of the citizens.”
BP accuses Halliburton over Gulf of Mexico oil spill, http://bit.ly/rsExd2
In a court filing on Tuesday, BP accused Halliburton of intentionally destroying incriminating evidence related to last year’s devastating Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP says that Halliburton trashed records of faulty cement slurry it made for the Macondo well off the coast of Lousiana. It’s also accusing Halliburton of deleting a computer model, and asked a court to hire a team of computer experts to dig it up. Eleven people died when the well blew out and the rig exploded, and BP has had to take most of the financial penalties. Halliburton is denying the accusations.
Shias targeted in deadly Afghan shrine blasts, http://bit.ly/vntU3m
At Abu-Ul Fazil, a Shiite shrine in the Afghan capital Kabul, at least 54 people were killed and 100 more injured after a suicide attack. Hundreds of people had gathered there to mark the holiday of Ashoura, a holiday that Shia were banned from celebrating under the Taliban. Also, four people were killed in a bombing near a mosque in the northern city of Mazar e Sharif. Attacks on Shiites had been rare in Kabul since the fall of the Taliban; most targets have been Western groups and military.
Alpha to pay $200 million in UBB safety deal, http://bit.ly/vAPZ5M
Federal prosecutors are supposed to announce on Tuesday that Alpha Natural Resources, the owners of the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, have reportedly agreed to pay $200 million in fines, restitution, and mine-safety enforcements relating to a 2010 explosion. The “global settlement” will cover civil penalties for Performance Coal Company, the operators of the mine, but the deal does not resolve any potential criminal violations.
All Eight of Jerry Sandusky’s Alleged Victims Will Testify Against Him, http://abcn.ws/rKiywO
All eight of the boys who were allegedly sexually abused by former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky are coming forward to testify against him. Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, had said that one of the boys, named Victim 2 in the grand-jury report, had denied he was abused. “The kid is … now grown up, he’s in his 20s. He’s adamant that nothing sexual occurred,” Amendola said last month. The cases are alleged to have happened over 15 years. On Saturday, The New York Timespublished an interview with Sandusky where he says that former football coach Joe Paterno never confronted him about the accusations.
Nashville homeless man says he got voter ID runaround, http://tnne.ws/v48NdE
A Nashville homeless man, says he got the runaround from the Department of Safety when he attempted to apply for a free state identification to vote. Only after he made a call to an aide of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper did he receive the ID. “She felt that I was homeless, which I am, and she didn’t want to help me with anything with the government,” he said about a clerk working at the Department of Safety’s office in the Snodgrass. “She acted like, ‘Look at this, nobody’s going to help him out anyway, because he’s homeless.’”
Is it time to stop voting on Tuesdays? http://bit.ly/tOwooc
The reason for voting on Tuesdays dates back to 1845 when law was written stating election day was to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Law makers added the “after the first Monday” clause so the election would never be held on the Catholic Holiday of All Saints Day. Tuesday was decided upon in order to give people a full day to travel after the day of rest. However, now these reasons are out of date, and people are having trouble getting out of work to make it to the polls. Some want to move Election Day to the weekend in order to promote a higher voter turn out. A bill called the Weekend Voting Act seeks to move Election Day to the first weekend in November, allowing voters to cast ballots on either Saturday or Sunday.
Romney staff spent nearly $100,000 to hide records, http://reut.rs/u3NXxv
Before leaving the post of the Governor of Massachusetts in 2007, Mitt Romney spent nearly $100,000 in state funds replacing the computers in his office in order to keep records private. State officials say the move was legal, but acknowledge laws are vague when it comes to technology. Before he left office, Romney’s staff had emails deleted from state servers, erasing much of the internal documentation from his four-year tenure as governor.
Newt Gingrich surges in new polls, http://usat.ly/u4KDFL
Newt Gingrich appears to be pulling ahead in the polls. The Washington Post/ABC News survey in Iowa shows Gingrich with 33% of support among likely GOP caucus-goers, while Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have 15%. In South Carolina, another key early voting state, the former House speaker leads Romney by nearly 17 percentage points. Texas Gov. Rick Perry comes in well behind Gingrich and Romney.
(via NY Times) Fund-Raising Gains New Urgency for Gingrich Camp: ‘With just four weeks to go until the Republican primary season begins, Newt Gingrich spent his Monday not on the hustings of Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, but in Midtown Manhattan, prospecting for what his newly resurgent campaign needs most desperately: money. Bolstered by strong debate performances and top billing in some recent Republican polls, Mr. Gingrich cruised into the Union League Club for a fund-raiser and news conference, followed by private meetings with potential high-dollar donors around Manhattan.’ http://nyti.ms/rTVeKC
Vaccine developed against Ebola, http://bbc.in/saCwy0
Scientists has developed a vaccine that protects mice from a deadly form of the Ebola virus. Ebola kills 90% of the people that it infects. Previous vaccines, relying on crippled viral particles, degraded too quickly to be useful. The new vaccine, however, is made from a synthetic viral protein and can be stored long term. The vaccine protected 80 percent of mice from the virus. The next step is to test the vaccine on a strain of the virus more similar to the one that infects humans.
South Korean robot prison guards: R2-D2 maybe, not the Terminator, http://lat.ms/vaUmIf
In South Korea, a 5-foot-tall, four-wheeled prison guard robot will patrol the behind-bars hallways of penal institutions and even assess the mental states of prisoners. “The robots are not terminators,” according to one scientist who helped design them. The boxy yellow and white robots have been hired for night patrols at a jail in the city of Pohang. They will scoot around the prison corridors and scan inmate cells for suspicious activity and injured or hostile inmates. Their month-long trial begins in March.
Rex W. Huppke says “We need electronic gadgets with opinions — our own, of course,” http://trib.in/v79GdS
Spike Dolomite Ward presents “‘Obamacare’ to the rescue,” http://lat.ms/rK0Wpa
The Wall Street Journal believes “Fortuño Favors the GOP,” http://on.wsj.com/uO05Gx
Frederick M. Hess and Linda Darling-Hammond describe “How to Rescue Education Reform,” http://nyti.ms/uO2sd6
Amanda Knox Signs with Book Agent Who Repped Barack Obama, http://bit.ly/sHZVXj
Kim Richards’ Rehab Stay Is “a Step in the Right Direction,” Says Adrienne Maloof, http://bit.ly/sVJgAL
Carrie Underwood Wins Big At American Country Awards, http://on.mtv.com/rADIc2
Andrew Bird Announces New Album, http://p4k.in/v3RcWy