News in Brief: Pirates Kill Four Americans, and More

Pirates Kill Four Americans

Somali pirates shot and killed four American hostages Tuesday morning, Beaumont Enterprise reports. According to the US military, their deaths mark the first time that US citizens have been killed during pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Approximately 19 pirates were involved in hijacking the Americans’ yacht on Friday. US naval forces, who had been following the yacht after learning of the hostages, boarded after hearing shots fired, but could not save the Americans’ lives. Two pirates were also killed during the confrontation with the Navy, and 13 more detained.

New Zealand Earthquake Kills 65

ABC News reports that a 6.3-magnitude earthquake and two powerful aftershocks today killed 65 people and trapped more than 100 underneath a collapsed building in Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city. Rescue and recovery efforts have started, but are struggling against rain and cold temperatures as the night falls, and temporary shelters have already filled to their maximum.

Kansas House Votes to Repeal In-State Tuition for Children of Illegal Immigrants

According to the Kansas City Star, the Kansas House voted 69-49 Monday on a bill that would repeal a 2004 law granting in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants. The law mandated that the recipients must have graduated from a Kansas high school and pledged their intention to become US citizens. Kansas was one of 11 states since 2001 to offer in-state tuition for immigrant students, but that number began to dwindle as more and more states repealed the law. If the Kansas Senate passes the repeal, the state would join five others that cut the benefit.

Senate Democrats Promise to Block GOP Anti-Choice Agenda

Several Senate Democrats have spoken out against the House passage of an amendment that cuts government funding from Planned Parenthood, which receives approximately $350 in federal, state and local grants, The Hill said. After the vote, Sens. Barbara Boxer (California) Kirsten Gillibrand (New York) Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Al Franken (Minnesota) and Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire), all Democrats, promised to block the legislation when it reaches the Senate floor and introduce a different spending bill.