Loughner Family Releases Statement, Haiti Marks 1-Year Anniversary of Quake
An autographed portrait of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is displayed at a makeshift memorial outside the hospital in Tucson, Ariz., where she is in critical condition. Photo by Shaun Tandon/AFP/Getty Images.
President Obama is traveling to Tucscon for a memorial service for those killed and injured in the Saturday shooting rampage. Doctors say Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is breathing on her own and are “hopeful” about her condition.
The family of alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner, 22, released a statement saying “[T]here are no words that can possibly express how we feel. We wish that there were, so we could make you feel better. We don’t understand why this happened.”
Loughner faces five criminal charges, including murder and attempted assassination.
Haiti Marks One Year Anniversary of Quake
Guards raise the Haitian flag outside the ruins of the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince. File photo by Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images.
One year ago, Haiti was devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed an estimated 250,000 people and left over a million people homeless.
Despite international aid pledges, Haiti’s reconstruction has been a slow process — and many affected by the quake are still living in makeshift tent camps. The threat of cholera, violence in the camps and crime have compounded the damage.
Hezbollah Threatens to Quit Lebanon Government Over Probe
Hezbollah, the Shia political party and militant group, has threatened to leave the Lebanese government over a United Nations probe of the assassination of Rafik Hariri in February 2005. Hezbollah has denied any involvement in Hariri’s death and says the U.N. investigation is a “U.S.-Israeli plot.” If Hezbollah and its allies leave the cabinet, it would mean a walkout by 11 ministers. The tenuous unity government comprises 30 ministers.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the son of Rafik Hariri, has reportedly rejected calls for an emergency session of Cabinet in a months-long political standoff. The prime minister is currently in the United States for meetings with President Obama.
There are fears that tension over the investigation could lead to sectarian clashes between Shia and Sunni groups within the country. Hezbollah is backed by Iran and Syria.
North, South Korea Resume Direct Communication
For the first time in eight months, North and South Korea have opened the hotline between the two rivals at the border meeting point of Panmunjom. North Korea cut of direct communication in March after the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan. South Korea blamed North Korea for the attack that left 46 of its sailors dead. Tensions were further exacerbated by the November shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by North Korea.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is in Tokyo to discuss the threat of North Korea’s nuclear program with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.