News On The Go January 18, 2013

Maura Zurick

1. The newest and supposedly most technologically advanced Boeing 787, the Dreamliner, has been grounded internationally due to a fire risk. The Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday that lithium batteries used in the jets can leak corrosive fluids and start fires. Airline regulators in other countries have followed the FAA’s recommendation of grounding the jetliners until the safety issues can be resolved. The jet was created to be lightweight and energy efficient in order to conserve fuel during flights.

2. Notre Dame’s star linebacker is either on the receiving end of a cruel hoax or in collaboration to gain publicity. Manti Te’o is known in the football world for his skill and his love life. Te’o was “dating” a girl named Lennay Kekua, who was in a car crash then later died of cancer. The media have been following Te’o’s tragic love story since the start of his successful football season. The only problem is Kekua doesn’t exist. It is still unclear whether Te’o had any involvement in the fake girlfriend incident or if he was just a target of a nasty prank. Deadspin was the first to look into the Kekua story and found absolutely nothing — no birth records, car accident report or death certificate. Notre Dame officials have stated that they support Te’o and believe he was a victim. Te’o finished second for the Heisman Trophy. (Read the full story.)

3. The hostage situation at a gas plant in Algeria resulted in the deaths of 35 hostages and 15 militants after the Algerian military attempted an airstrike to resolve the issue. President Obama offered military support to the Algerian military, but the offer was declined. The Algerian forces shot at the kidnappers while they attempted to leave the plant with the hostages. The Algerian military confirmed seven of the hostages survived, but it is unclear how many of those are Americans. Seven Americans were part of the initial 41 hostages, the rest of whom were foreigners. (Read the full story.)

4. A businessman from Chicago was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in prison for providing material that supported terrorism. Tahawwur Rana, 52, is a Pakistani-born Canadian. He was convicted of aiding a Pakistani group whose attacks in 2008 killed more than 160 people in Mumbai, India.

5. Obama’s plan for gun control is already being ignored and dismissed by lawmakers in rural areas from Oregon to Mississippi. However, if Congress acts and signs the president’s plan into law, lawmakers will not be exempt from obliging to restrictions. In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant urged legislature to make it illegal to enforce any order by the president that “violates” the Constitution. Obama has stated that he is aware of such opposition and will continue to fight for gun control.

Contact Maura Zurick at [email protected].