Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old accused of shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and killing six people at a political event in Tucson, is scheduled to appear in court Monday at 4 p.m. ET. Loughner is charged with murder, attempted murder and attempting to assassinate a member of Congress.
President Obama called for a national moment of silence Monday at 11 a.m. ET to remember the victims who died, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge.
Rep. Giffords remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the head. Doctors have expressed tentative optimism about her prognosis, saying she has been able to respond to commands.
Stay with the NewsHour for more coverage of this story throughout the day.
Sudan Referendum Vote Proceeds with Huge Turnout
Women sing while waiting in line outside a polling station in Juba on Jan. 9, 2011, on the first day of a week-long independence referendum. Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images.
South Sudanese have turned out by the thousands for the second day of a referendum vote that appears likely to create a new state. Lines formed in the city of Juba, which would be the new nation’s capital, before dawn Monday.
A 2005 agreement between the north and the south calls for a 60 percent majority for the secession to be valid. Nearly 4 million Sudanese were registered to vote in Sudan, and many who are living abroad will also be counted. If the south votes for secession, it will not officially take place until the conclusion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in six months.. There is hope that the split would conclude decades of violence, but clashes in the border city of Abyei that left 33 dead underscore the ongoing tensions.
Secretary Gates in China for Meetings with Military Officials
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in Beijing for meetings over three days with Chinese defense officials ahead of a planned visit to the White House by President Hu Jintao. Gates and Chinese defense minister Gen. Liang Guanglie are holding meetings in an attempt to iron out differences of interest in the two countries’ military policies, including a rapid growth in the size of China’s navy and the United States’ sale of arms to Taiwan, a policy that Gen. Liang said “severely damage China’s core interests.” The two held a joint news conference calling for further talks but shying away from concrete agreements.
Despite concerns over China’s increasing military strength, officials say the buildup is a means of catching up with the advanced militaries, not a threat to others. Secretary Gates has said the Pentagon would respond “appropriately” to the development of a stealth aircraft.
Secretary Gates will also stop in Tokyo during his trip, where he is expected to advocate for closer military ties between South Korea and Japan.
Spain Separatist Rebels Call for Permanent Ceasefire
The Basque separatist group known as ETA has said it is enacting a “permanent truce” in its fight for independence from Spain’s government, one it said would be “verifiable by the international community.” The ETA has been fighting for independence for the Basque region of northern Spain since the 1960s in a movement that has cost more than 800 lives. In its statement, the ETA claimed it would continue to pursue its goal through non-violent means.
Spain’s government reacted with skepticism, pointing to a 2006 bombing at Madrid’s airport after a previous ceasefire and saying the group was turning to political means after its leadership had been weakened by the government’s crackdown.