Accused Shooter Loughner to Appear in Court, Car Bombs Kill Iraqi Pilgrims

BY News Desk  January 24, 2011 at 7:42 AM EST

Jared Lee Loughner, the accused shooter in the Arizona shooting rampage, is expected in court Monday afternoon for a preliminary hearing on charges of murder and attempted murder. He also faces charges of attempted assassination. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

A judge from California is hearing the case, as colleagues of Arizona U.S. District Judge John Roll, who was killed in the shooting rampage, have recused themselves from the case. There is a chance the trial could be moved out of state, although it is presently being handled in Phoenix.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was transferred to Houston on Friday, where she remains hospitalized and is expected to be transferred into a rehabilitation center.

Two Car Bombs Kill 25 Pilgrims in Iraq

Car bomb attacks targeting Shia pilgrims traveling to Karbala killed 25 people and wounded an estimated 70 others, echoing last week’s attacks on pilgrims marking the end of the Shia mourning period Arbaeen. Despite security measures, the influx of travelers by vehicle and on foot have posed a security challenge.

The first of the two attacks took place at a bus terminal, followed by another bomb four hours later. Both took place within 15 miles of the city of Karbala. The same pilgrimage has been attacked in previous years.

Toyota Remains World’s Largest Automaker in 2010

Despite bad publicity over faulty accelerators, Toyota outsold General Motors in 2010 to become the world’s largest carmaker, selling 8.42 million to General Motors’ 8.39 million. The sales were predominantly in Asia; in the United States, Toyota sold 1.94 million vehicles, a slight decline from the year before.

General Motors, which received a massive government bailout, showed promise after a strong Initial Public Offering, in November.

In 2008, Toyota had surpassed GM in sales after the Detroit-based giant had held the slot for the better part of a century.

Afghanistan to Seat New Parliament Wednesday

Afghan President Hamid Karzai will allow a new parliament to be seated Wednesday, a parliament he had previously refused to swear in because of electoral complaints from Afghan President Hamid Karzai Hosts Tajik President Emomali Rahmon losing candidates. Prosecutions would be allowed, but lawmakers would receive immunity. Some of the losing candidates had argued that violence and fraud had dissuaded their constituencies from voting.

The compromise elicited criticism from U.N. representatives, and critics said the decision would damage the government’s credibility and that groups within the country would feel disenfranchised.

Cold Spell Grips Northeast

Temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit prompted school closings or delays in parts of New England Monday, with two deaths over the weekend blamed on the cold.

Wind chill was expected to be as far as 50 below. Crews in New York City worked overnight to ensure a smooth commute Monday morning, checking equipment and preemptively de-icing rails.