News in Brief: Number of US Troop Casualties From Roadside Bombs in Afghanistan Soared in 2010, and More

Number of US Troop Casualties From Roadside Bombs in Afghanistan Soared in 2010

US military statistics show that the number of troops “killed by roadside bombs in Afghanistan soared by 60 percent last year, while the number of those wounded almost tripled,” The Washington Post reports. In 2010, 268 US troops “were killed by the improvised explosive devices, or IEDs … about as many as in the three previous years combined.” Military officials believe the rise in deaths and injuries is a direct result of “the surge in U.S. and NATO troops, as well as the intensified combat.”

In Egypt, Protesters Call for Ousting of President

Thousands of Egyptian activists protested in the streets and clashed with police on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports. The activists are calling for the ouster of their country’s Western-backed President Hosni Murabak. The dissenting “Egyptians, long frustrated by mounting economic woes and a seemingly unmovable leadership,” led one of the largest protests in decades in cities across the country, ” chanting “Down, Down with Mubarak!” reports the Inter Press Service.

Virginia State Senator Calls for Castrating Sex Offenders

The AP reports that Virginia Sen. Emmett Hanger, a Republican, has introduced a bill that “would require the state to study the use of physical castration as an alternative to civil commitment for sexually violent predators.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “eight other states allow for some form of castration for sex offenders,” though only Texas and Louisiana “allow for physical castration.”

Newt Gingrich Calls for Abolition of EPA

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and presumptive Republican presidential candidate, told the AP that he would like to see the Environmental Protection Agency abolished and replaced “with a new organization that would work more closely with businesses and be more aggressive in using science and technology,” called the Environmental Solution Agency. “I think you have an agency which would get up every morning, very much like the National Institutes for Health or the National Science Foundation, and try to figure out what do we need to do today to get a better environment that also gets us a better economy,” he told the AP in Iowa, where he was visiting to talk to a trade group and meet with Republican legislators.