A mother of five was shot dead by Israeli artillery fire Friday while picking up her two-year-old son from outside her village home. The Guardian UK reported that she was close to the “buffer zone” created by Israel along its border with Gaza. Three of the woman’s relatives were wounded in shelling earlier in the week, but Red Crescent ambulances were not allowed to reach the wounded for several hours.
In southeast Iran at least twenty-seven people have been killed and over 100 wounded in a double suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque, reported Democracy Now. A Sunni Muslim rebel group, Jundallah, has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for the execution last month of one of it’s leaders.
Iraq also has reason to mourn Friday, reported the Guardian UK, as a fire at a hotel in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya killed 29 people and injured at least 22 others. The police chief said the fire, whose death toll included four children, was sparked by an electrical short-circuit.
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Governor Joe Manchin has tapped former chief counsel Carte Goodwin to succeed late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia), Democratic officials told the Associated Press. Manchin will present his appointee, a member of a prominent West Virginia family, at a Friday afternoon press conference at the Capitol.
The emergency oil cap placed on BP’s gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday evening has shown no signs of leakage, reported the New York Times, in the first heartening sign that the flow of crude oil has been staunched. Kent Wells, a senior vice president at BP, told reporters that pressure inside the well was building up as engineers hoped it would, and they would continue to watch video feeds for possible leaks. BP also plans to take steps to resume the drilling of a relief well.
Following nearly a year of negotiations, Congress has approved a sweeping overhaul of financial regulation, reported Democracy Now! The measure would impose new limits on the derivatives market, restrict trading by banks and create a consumer protection agency within the Federal Reserve. The Senate voted 60 – to – 39 to send the measure to President Obama’s desk, with three Republicans joining the Democratic majority. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin), the lone Democrat to oppose the bill, said “Washington once again caved to Wall Street on key issues and produced a bill that fails to protect the American people from the pain of another economic disaster.”
Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to settle the Security and Exchange Commissions’s civil fraud lawsuit against it. The SEC called it the “largest-ever penalty paid by a Wall Street firm,” but according to an investigation by ProPublica, the settlement does not hurt Goldman as much as it seems. They found the penalty is about eight times what the CEO takes home in a year, about two weeks worth of profit, less than a tenth of the gain Goldman’s stock had Thursday, a sum that Goldman could pay immediately and is also a fair amount more than what Goldman made on the deal the SEC sued it over.
Six months after an earthquake devastated Haiti, a CNN investigation has found that none of the aid money pledged by the United States has made its way to the country. The United States pledged $1.15 billion to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission but has paid nothing because the money is tied up in the congressional appropriations process. Donors promised $5.3 billion at the aid conference in March, but less than 2 percent of that money has made its way to the Commission to dispense. Only four countries have paid anything to the commission: Brazil, Norway, Estonia and Australia.