Giffords recovery update; Sudan minister shot; Somali pirates release captives
National news: Patriot Act falls to pass
In a blow to the Republican Party, the Republican-led House failed to pass an extension of the Patriot Act. The vote signals that the GOP may face a sizable resistance from within their own group.
National news: Giffords recovering at "lightning speed"
On Facebook, Mark Kelly wrote an update about the recovery of his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), one month after the Tucson shooting:
It is hard to believe that only one month has passed since Gabrielle was shot. The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren't kidding when they say this is a marathon process. There are encouraging signs everyday though. Gabby's appetite is back and - even though it's hospital food - she's enjoying three meals a day. We can't thank you enough for the heartfelt show of support that has come in from all around Arizona and the nation. I want the families of all the other victims and the entire Tucson community to know that Gabrielle will soon stand by your side to mourn this tragedy and learn how we can heal. In the mean time, your prayers are being heard so don't stop.
International news: Somali pirates release fishing boat, capture oil tanker
Four months after their ship was seized by Somali pirates, 43 Koreans were released. There is no information about any possible ransom being paid, but payments are often several million dollars for the release of ships and crews. The release comes on the same day that a separate set of pirates captured an oil tanker with 25 crew on board.
International news: Sudan minister slain
Just two days after the official results of the 99 percent vote in favor of Southern Sudan's independence were announced, news broke that a minister had been shot and killed. However, it appears the slaying of Jimmy Lemi Milla, the minister of cooperatives and rural development, was unrelated to the successful independence referendum. He was shot by his personal driver. Southern Sudan probably will become an independent nation July 9.
Randomness: Play 'Transmission'
And just because the only thing that could make the devastatingly dark Joy Division song "Transmission" any more creepy is if it's performed by Playmobil dolls:
| February 9, 2011; 10:50 AM ET
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