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Other News: Oracle Buys Sun Microsystems

April 20, 2009 at 6:10 PM EDT
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JIM LEHRER: In other news today, a major acquisition reshaped the computing world. Business software-maker Oracle bought Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion. The deal means Oracle will control the Java programming language that runs on more than 1 billion devices worldwide.

In Iraq, a suicide bomber attacked a U.S. military delegation. Eight American soldiers were wounded; three Iraqi civilians were killed. It happened in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province. Violence continues there despite a decline elsewhere.

And the number-two leader of al-Qaida rejected U.S. plans to send more troops to Afghanistan. Ayman al-Zawahiri said in an audio message, “It’s only adding more fuel to the fire.”

The president of Iran triggered a walkout at a U.N. conference on racism today. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Israel of running a repressive, racist regime. And he charged the U.S. and Europe created the Jewish state at the expense of Palestinians.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, president of Iran (through translator): Following World War II, under the pretext of Jewish suffering and based on misusing the Holocaust, they resorted to military aggressions, and made an entire nation homeless, and sent migrants from Europe, the U.S., and other parts of the world, and established a totally racist government in the occupied Palestine.

JIM LEHRER: In response, around 40 diplomats walked out of the gathering in Geneva, and the U.N. secretary general condemned the remarks. The U.S. and eight other Western nations were already boycotting the conference over concerns about its fairness.

The 2009 Pulitzer Prizes were announced today. The New York Times took five awards, including one for exposing a call girl scandal that engulfed then-Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York. The Detroit Free Press won for reporting on sexual text messages that led to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick being ousted.

In the arts, playwright Lynn Nottage won the drama prize for “Ruined,” a tale of survival during an African war; Elizabeth Strout and her book, “Olive Kitteridge,” won the fiction prize; and W.S. Merwin won for poetry, with “The Shadow of Sirius.”

Army football great Felix “Doc” Blanchard died on Sunday at his home in central Texas. He was a bruising fullback who won the Heisman Trophy at West Point in 1945. Blanchard was known as “Mr. Inside,” in combination with Glenn Davis, “Mr. Outside.” Together, they led Army to back-to-back national titles in 1944 and ’45. “Doc” Blanchard was 84 years old.