Oscar Pistorius is granted bail set at $113,000; Russia accuses the U.S. of holding double standards with Syria; U.S. troops set up a drone base in Niger; and Google introduces a touch screen laptop. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z announce the dates of their summer tour; Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose welcome their newborn son; and Prince Harry and his girlfriend come out as a couple.
Caitlin + Liza
Oscar Pistorius granted bail ahead of murder trial, http://nbcnews.to/VALzkz
Oscar Pistorius was granted bail set at $113,000 on Friday, despite protests from the prosecution. Pistorius, the double amputee and former Olympic track star, is accused of “premeditated murder” of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but maintains he mistook Steenkamp for a robber in his home. Though prosecutors had worried Pistorius would flee the country if granted bail, defense lawyers maintained he is not a “flight risk.” “What kind of life would Pistorius lead if he flees, given his protheses?” questioned Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair.
Russia accuses U.S. of double standards over Syria, http://reut.rs/W7xYnq
Russia accused the United States of having double standards on Syria, citing that the U.S. had blocked a UN Security Council statement condemning Thursday’s car bomb attack in Damascus as terrorist action. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the U.S. was threatening international unity in the “war on terror” by blocking a statement about the “terrorist attacks”. A U.S. representative at the United Nations denied that the U.S. had blocked the statement. The U.S.’s relationship with Russia has worsened since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency last May, and new Secretary of State John Kerry will have his first meeting with Lavrov next week.
U.S. troops arrive in Niger to set up a drone base, http://wapo.st/UR7ftz
President Obama announced on Friday the creation of a drone base in the West African nation of Niger, where 100 American troops will be deployed to spy on members of al-Qaeda in the Sahara. The opening of the Niger drone base marks the addition of another U.S. military operation against al-Qaeda to join those in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. U.S. troops in Niger will also support the France’s military operation in Mali, where al-Qaeda members and other militants have founded a refuge. “This is purely an intelligence gathering mission,” a U.S. defense official said.
Las Vegas Strip Shooting Launches Multi-State Manhunt, http://abcn.ws/W6Gpzj
Three people were killed in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip on Friday, launching a multi-state manhunt for a group of men in a black Range Rover responsible for initiating the attack. Following an argument at the Aria resort and casino, the group of men shot at two people in a Maserati, prompting a multi-car crash resulting in a taxi exploding. The driver of the Maserati died from gunshot wounds, as did a driver and passenger who were inside the taxi. Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona have all put authorities on alert for the Range Rover, which is carrying an unclear number of men and is considered armed and dangerous. “Clearly the suspects in this shooting have no regard for the lives and and safety of others,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.
FBI battling ‘rash of sexting’ among its employees, http://bit.ly/VzqYx9
CNN obtained FBI reports detailing a variety of misconducts inside the agency including sending nude pictures, paying for sex, and a “rash of sexting cases.” The incidents were detailed in a quarterly report issued to FBI employees as a way to deter such behavior in the future. Employees were found to have used government-issued devices to send many of the lurid messages. “We’re hoping (that) getting the message out in the quarterlies is going to teach people… you can’t do this stuff,” FBI assistant director Candice Will said. “When you are given an FBI Blackberry, it’s for official use.” Between 2010 and 2012, the FBI disciplined 1,045 employees for various violations.
Obama: Voting Rights Act Provision Should Be Kept, http://huff.to/13twcLc
The Supreme Court is set to hear a challenge on Wednesday to a key section of the voting rights law which requires local and state governments with a history of racial discrimination to get Justice Department approval before they make changes affecting elections. The Alabama appellate will argue that such a requirement is no longer necessary because areas with histories of racism have made such progress. President Obama defends the law, holding that ending federal oversight would make it harder to help people who believe their voting rights have been violated.
Google Introduces a Touch-Screen Laptop, http://nyti.ms/157OjJh
Google moved further into the laptop business on Thursday with the introduction of the Pixel, the newest version of Google’s Chromebook laptops, which store everything online in the cloud. The Pixel’s trademark will be a touch screen that is brighter, taller, and of a higher resolution than most other laptop screens. Analysts say the big question for the Pixel will be whether buyers are ready to do the majority of their computing in the cloud, using Google Docs and Gmail rather than software like Microsoft Word. The introduction of the Pixel marks a major shift by Google toward competition with Apple and Microsoft to sell high-end devices.
Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z Tour to Launch This Summer, http://bit.ly/W86zld
Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose Welcome Son Sebastian Taylor, http://bit.ly/WW9Ocu
Prince Harry Let Secret Out After Heavy Night, http://thebea.st/12VLug5
Megan Fox, Michael Bay Team for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, http://huff.to/XunWYu
Oscars 2013: And the Winners Will Be…?, http://bit.ly/135H6uI