International / National / News / January 20, 2010

News Briefs: Jan. 14-20

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Barely a week after the earthquake that caused one of the worst natural disasters the world has ever seen, Haiti was hit with another earthquake of 6.1 on Wednesday morning. It is still unclear what new damage has been caused by this quake and what damage is caused from last week’s disaster. The death toll in Haiti is expected to reach well over 200,000. (Source:

CHILE – A new conservative president elected in Chile marks the end of the 52-year reign of the leftist presidents in the country’s history. Sebastian Pinera will take power in March and is listed as number 701 on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world. He aims to create jobs in Chile and improve the country’s economy. Chile is now one of the few Latin American countries without a leftist president, and it also has one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. (Source:

MASSACHUSETTS – In a Senate election to fill late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat, Republican Senator Scott Brown was unexpectedly chosen to fill an important spot in the health care conflict. Competition for the seat came as a surprise to both voters and members of Senate, and Brown could be a key figure against Obama in pushing the health care bill forward. It has already been decided that no action on the bill will be taken until Brown has officially taken his seat in Senate, which he is expected to do in coming days. (Source:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted in 1981 of killing a police officer, and his case ruling was thrown out on Tuesday based on a past flawed jury trial. Abu-Jamal argued that his jury was racially biased. His resentencing will mean he could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole. (Source:

DURANGO, Mexico – Wednesday morning, 23 inmates at a prison in Mexico were killed in a fight. The causes are still unknown. Mexico’s prisons are known for being overcrowded and poorly run, and over 60 fatalities have occurred in Mexico prisons in the last two years. With a prison of 2,025 inmates, Durango has also become a much more dangerous city in past years. (Source:

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – Due to recent invasions of Asian carp in the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River, the state of Michigan has filed a Supreme Court lawsuit against Illinois, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The lawsuit hopes to close canals and waterways that open into Lake Michigan. If the invasive species of carp did become a population of the Great Lakes, it would be a huge danger to the lakes’ large fishing industry. At this time, scientists have found Asian carp DNA in Lake Michigan. (Source:

LOS ANGELES, California – After contract disagreements and ratings-influenced rescheduling on NBC, Conan O’Brien will officially be leaving The Tonight Show. O’Brien will tape his last episode of the show on Friday. Until then, he is riding out his last days on the show by publicly, endlessly insulting the NBC network and producers. (Source:

NEW YORK, New York – For regular readers of The New York Times, the newspaper will soon be implementing fees to read content online. In past years, the finances of the paper have been in steady decline, which might give insight to why they are starting to make their online readership pay. The newspaper says that some articles will be available for free over a period of time, but that if a reader exceeds a certain amount of article views over a month, they will begin charging their fees. There is no decided fee at this point, and the change will not take place for at least one year. (Source:

LOS ANGELES, California – This past week, some of the strongest storms hit Southern California since 2005, bringing with them fears of mudslides. 800 homes have been evacuated near Los Angeles and the storms brought lightning, flooding of at least five inches, and heavy snowfall in the mountains. Roads were closed due to flooding and at least two deaths have been associated with the storms. One tornado was also sighted. (Source:

Annie Zak

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