1 | Pakistan Terrorists Target Lahore, Again In an early-morning attack near police and intelligence-agency offices in the eastern city of Lahore, suspected Taliban militants detonated a van rigged with explosives, killing at least 30 people and wounding hundreds more. It's the latest of several strikes targeting the city in recent months, including a daring daylight ambush of the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in March. Citing the escalating war against Islamic militants in Pakistan's northern regions, officials called the attack an "attempt to subvert the army's brave and courageous operation and the government's resolve to defeat terrorists." Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the country's Taliban insurgency, had recently threatened retaliation for ongoing military action in the Taliban-occupied Swat Valley. Three suspects were taken into custody.
2 | Moscow From Russia With Love After years of courting the U.S. utilities market, Russia inked its first commercial deal to supply low-enriched uranium to nuclear reactors in Missouri, Texas and California. The $1 billion contract with three U.S. companies is expected to provide electricity for nearly 15 million homes beginning in 2014. Under an existing nonproliferation agreement, Russia provides fuel for half of the U.S.'s nuclear reactors, using uranium converted from dismantled Cold War--era nuclear weapons. But the new pact marks the first time the country will be able to sell so-called virgin uranium to the U.S.
3 | California Proposition 8 Upheld In a setback for supporters of gay marriage, California's Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that Proposition 8, the statewide same-sex-marriage ban passed in November 2008, is constitutional. But the court unanimously held that the 18,000 couples who were married before the ban remain legally married. Gay-rights advocates may push to repeal Prop 8 next year.
[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]
Seriously delinquent mortgages in 2008
600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000
Q1 - Q4
• Subprime • Prime • Alt-A
SOURCE: OFFICE OF THRIFT SUPERVISION (U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY)
4 | Washington Foreclosure's Next Wave As unemployment threatens to hit double digits, economists say the U.S. is entering a troubling new phase of the foreclosure crisis. Job losses are leading more homeowners with prime loans--the lowest-risk category--to default. According to the Treasury Department, prime-loan delinquencies jumped 115% in 2008; some 1.5 million homes could be affected.
5 | Ireland More for Abuse Victims A massive, chilling report documenting 85 years of child abuse in Ireland's now defunct church-run orphanages and reform schools has prompted the government to demand that the 18 Catholic orders named in the report increase their victims'-compensation funds nearly eightfold, to $1.4 billion. Several orders agreed to work with the government, including the Christian Brothers, which managed a large number of the institutions implicated in the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse's study, and accepted a possible unspecified increase. The commission's five-volume report, which took nine years to complete, identifies more than 800 alleged abusers--including nuns, priests and monks--and includes statements from 1,090 people who suffered beatings, neglect and sexual abuse.