News on the go: Sept. 23, 2013

Carrie Blazina

Kenyan security forces conducted an assault operation Sunday against a mall in Nairobi where an al-Qaida affiliate group is holding hostages. Sixty-eight people have already died in the incident, but Kenyan officials said the assault on the mall would end the two-day standoff, and they said most of the remaining hostages had been rescued Sunday night. Officials said 10 to 15 al-Shabab extremists stormed the mall Saturday, fired on civilians and took an unknown number of hostages. (read full story)

Germans re-elected the country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, for a third term Sunday, and conservatives appeared to have earned an absolute majority. If her party is not able to secure a majority, experts said her party is most likely to form a coalition with the Social Democrats. Merkel has been Germany’s chancellor since 2005 and has been a leader in responding to the European debt crisis. (read full story)

According to an analysis published Sunday in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio’s new facial-recognition system for drivers has fewer use restrictions than similar programs in other states. Information collected from every other state showed that no other system in the United States lets as many as 30,000 police officers and court employees to search and access driver’s license images without audit or oversight. The Ohio Attorney General’s office launched the program in June without announcing it to the public.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday that a Republican state representative is proposing a bill to ban teen drivers from transporting any other teen passengers. State Rep. Rick Perales said the bill would move Ohio law in line with recommendations from safety groups. The bill also would require backseat passengers to wear a seat belt and push teen drivers’ curfew from midnight to 10 p.m.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].