Monday, January 23, 2012

New roundup

Photo caption: Rep. Giffords leads the crowd in the pledge of allegiance during a vigil on January 8, in Tucson, Arizona, marking one year since a shooting rampage left her and 12 others wounded and six people dead.

--> News: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the three-term Democrat grievously injured just over a year ago in an assassination attempt that shook the country, announced Sunday that she intends to resign from Congress this week to concentrate on recovering. You can watch Giffords' video in its entirety here.

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--> News: Francesco Schettino, captain of the cruise liner that capsized off Italy's coast, has told prosecutors the vessel's operators, Costa Cruises, instructed him to perform a maneuvre that brought it too close to shore, according to leaked transcripts of his questioning.

Prosecutors say Schettino steered the vessel, which carried more than 4,200 passengers and crew, within 150 metres of the Tuscan island of Giglio to perform a maneuvre known as a "salute" - a greeting to the islanders.

Costa Cruises have said they were not aware of the dangerous practice of bringing the ship so close to the shore and have suspended the captain, saying he was responsible for the disaster. Costa, a unit of Carnival Corp, says Schettino lied to the company and his own crew about the scale of the emergency.

Schettino also said that the black box on board had been broken for two weeks, and that he had asked for it to be repaired, in vain. (Via HuffPo)

--> In related news: Two more bodies were found over the weekend -- one woman on Saturday and one on Sunday, both wearing life jackets -- bringing the number of confirmed dead to 13. Another 19 are missing, according to CNN.

--> Election 2012: Newt Gingrich was named the projected winner of the South Carolina primary within moments of polls closing in the state Saturday. In the latest sign that the former speaker of the House's large margin of victory was a result of explosive last-minute momentum, exit polls show that many Palmetto State voters hadn't made up their minds until this week.

The AP reports that a majority of South Carolina Republican voters said they decided on a candidate in the last few days, and they favored Gingrich by a double-digit margin. Santorum and Romney were about even for second among this group.

--> (Sports world-related) Death: Joe Paterno, whose tenure as the most successful coach in major college football history ended abruptly in November amid allegations that he failed to respond forcefully enough to a sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant, died Sunday, his family said. He was 85.

The longtime Penn State head coach was diagnosed with what his family had called a treatable form of lung cancer shortly after the university's Board of Trustees voted to fire him. (Via CNN)

--> Sports: Eli Manning and the Giants (12-7) will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis as 3 1/2-point underdogs. The last time the teams met for the NFL title, 2008, the Giants ended the Patriots' bid for a perfect season. (Via AP)

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