Wednesday, January 25, 2012

News roundup

--> News: In a daring nighttime raid last night, a U.S. Navy SEALs team (the same one that killed Osama bin Laden) rescued two hostages, including one American, who were being held by kidnappers in Somalia.

American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, were working for the Danish Refugee Council, a Danish relief organization, in northern Somalia when they were kidnapped last October. U.S. officials described their kidnappers as heavily armed common criminals with no known ties to any organized militant group.

The SEALs gathered up Buchanan and Thisted, loaded them onto the helicopters and flew them to safety at an undisclosed location. The two hostages were not injured during the rescue operation and are reported to be in relatively good condition. More at MSNBC.

--> News: Tens of thousands of Egyptians have gathered at Tahrir Square today to mark the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak with some seeking a new revolt against army rule and others celebrating the changes already achieved.

It is a year since protesters inspired by an uprising in Tunisia took to the streets in Egypt and the January 25 anniversary has exposed divisions in the Arab world's most populous country over the pace of democratic change.

Concerned the generals are obstructing reform to protect their interests, the pro-democracy activists behind the "January 25 revolution" plan marches to Tahrir Square to demand the military council that replaced Mubarak hand power to civilians immediately.

But well-organized Islamist parties which dominated Egypt's most democratic election since army officers overthrew the king in 1952 are among those who oppose a new uprising. More at MSNBC.

--> Election 2012: A new poll indicates that since Newt Gingrich's double digit victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary, the former House speaker's surged among people likely to vote in Florida's Republican presidential primary on Tuesday.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released this morning, Romney is at 36% support, with Gingrich at 34%, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 13%, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 10%, and 7% undecided. Romney's two point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.

But looking just at Sunday and Monday numbers, after the news of Gingrich's big win in South Carolina, the former House speaker has a 40% to 34% advantage over Romney, with Santorum at 11% and Paul at 6%. (Via CNN)

In related news: The GOP candidates are courting Miami today. Of special note: Gingrich is giving a lecture at Florida International University right now, mere feet from my job.

--> Cosmic news: Solar storm could disrupt power grids

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