Libya: Woman struggles to tell foreign journalists of kidnapping, rape by Qaddafi militia

A Libyan woman burst into the hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli Saturday morning and fought off security forces as she told journalists that she had been raped and beaten by members of the Qaddafi militia. After nearly an hour, she was dragged away from the hotel screaming.” (New York Times)

Her name is Eman al-Obeidy. CNN’s Nic Robertson was present, and his tweeted account is screengrabbed here. “CNN camera was violently snatched, systematically smashed to pieces and video footage stolen,” he wrote. “Some journalists were beaten in blatant display of regime thuggery.”

“Journalists are demanding to see her. David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times and I went to officials in charge who claimed they don’t know who took her, or where she was taken.”

A related Reuters item is here. Above: A related Sky News clip. The UK Telegraph also has video coverage. (via @acarvin).

Japan: Explosion at Fukushima nuclear plant (video)

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Photos: Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama, March 13, 2011. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano confirmed on Saturday there has been an explosion and radiation leakage at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The biggest earthquake to hit Japan on record struck the northeast coast on Friday, triggering a 10-meter (33-foot) high tsunami that swept away everything in its path, including houses, ships, cars and farm buildings on fire. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)


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The videos above (one from Japanese TV, one from the Russian network RT) show a plume of smoke emerging from the damaged reactor at Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan on Saturday: an explosion blew the roof off of a building and destroyed the outer walls of a reactor. Officials have expanded the evacuation radius around the plant to a 12 mile radius, and are distributing iodine to populations nearby, to help offset possible radiation poisoning. Below, a shot from NHK TV of the damaged building (thanks, Yamara, via BB Flickr Pool).

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New York Times article by Matthew Wald and Michael Wines:

Officials said late Saturday that leaks of radioactive material from the plant, which began before the explosion, were receding and that a major meltdown was not imminent. But severe problems at two nuclear plants close to the epicenter of the quake forced evacuations of tens of thousands of people from surrounding areas, hampering efforts to search for survivors and forcing Japan’s leadership to grapple with two major crises as the same time.

The NYT’s Lede blog has been updating, and there’s a Reuters live blog here. CNN item, and AP item via NPR.

Early reports are that radiation levels receded after the explosion, and that a worse disaster may have been averted. Still, the incident is being described as the most significant nuclear disaster since Three Mile Island or Chernobyl, in global impact. The Fukushima disaster now has its own Wikipedia page.

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Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in Arizona, was on Palin’s infamous “target” map (Updated)

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UPDATE, 11:59AM PT: Tucson, AZ University Medical Center on CNN: Gifford is alive, and in surgery. “I can confirm that she was shot in the head,” said a hospital spokesperson. Among the shooting victims in critical condition, one child was shot.


Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was among the estimated 15 or more victims of a shooting outside a Safeway store in Tucson, Arizona within the past hour. So far, 15 are reported wounded, 6 dead. Details are still coming in, but what has been reported so far: she was “shot point blank in the head,” the assailant(s) fired some 15 or more shots into the crowd, and this took place at a “town hall” sort of event during where Giffords was speaking to her constituents. One shooter is reported to be alive and in custody.

Early news reports: NPR, NYT, CNN, Tucson Citizen.

Above, a tweet the congresswoman published just before the gathering began.

Also: “Congresswoman Giffords is married to astronaut Mark Kelly, making her the only current member of Congress to have a spouse who is a member of the Armed Forces, and the only member of Congress to ever have a spouse in space.” Kelly is the Commander of Space Shuttle Mission STS-134.

Gifford was among those in Arizona whose offices were targeted with vandalism and threats during the health care debate in 2009.
(via @nytjim)

Giffords was also one of the lawmakers Sarah Palin “set her sights on” in the Palin PAC infographic below (takebackthe20.com). The congresswoman and others are targeted with simulated gun sights on a map of the United States.
(thanks, @niftyjames)

UPDATE, 12:11PM PT: Sarah Palin has issued a statement here.

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Continue reading “Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in Arizona, was on Palin’s infamous “target” map (Updated)”

Report: TSA behavior detection officer kidnaps, rapes woman before attempting suicide

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Randall Scott King, who has worked as a TSA behavior detection officer for nearly five years, allegedly tried to kill himself after abducting a woman, sexually assaulting her, then releasing her with a suicide note to deliver on his behalf.

Police found the 49-year-old suspect inside his home (shown here) in Hogansville, Georgia, with wounds on his body. The attack is reported to have taken place on the night of November 17, 2010.

More: CNN, WSB Radio, WGCL TV. (Via BB Submitterator, thanks ablebody)