By Mark Memmott

We start with the grim news that at least 97 people were killed (the BBC reports) early today when an Indonesian military transport plane crashed on the island of Java. According to the BBC:

At least two people died on the ground as the plane hit houses before skidding into a rice field where it caught fire.
The plane, en route from Jakarta to eastern Java, came down not far from an air base where it was heading.

Voice of America says more than 100 "military personnel and their families" were on board.


The plane struck homes on the ground, leaving parts among the wreckage. AP photo


As for other stories making headlines, they include:

-- The Associated Press -- Iran Says It Test-Fired Missile With 1,200-Mile Range: "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran test-fired a new advanced missile Wednesday with a range of about 1,200 miles, far enough to strike Israel and southeastern Europe."

From a related story by AFP: "In the past, Iran has often boasted of developing new weapons systems only to be met with skepticism from Western defense analysts."

-- San Francisco Chronicle -- Voters Reject Budget Measures: "California voters soundly rejected a package of ballot measures Tuesday that would have reduced the state's projected budget deficit of $21.3 billion to something slightly less overwhelming: $15.4 billion. The defeat of the measures means that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state legislature will have to consider deeper cuts to education, public safety, and health and human services, officials have said."

-- Morning Edition -- When It Comes To Moving Prisoners Out Of Guantanamo, It's Like Obama Has To "Sell A Community A Toxic Waste Dump": NPR's David Welna reports on the huge challenge President Barack Obama faces convincing any lawmakers -- including fellow Democrats -- to OK the transfer of detainees from the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to U.S. prisons.

-- The New York Times -- "Arms Sent By U.S. May Be Falling Into Taliban Hands": From Kabul, the Times reports that "of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents' corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers. The presence of this ammunition among the dead in the Korangal Valley, an area of often fierce fighting near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan, strongly suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against American troops."

-- The Washington Post -- "U.S. May Add New Financial Watchdog": "The Obama administration is actively discussing the creation of a regulatory commission that would have broad authority to protect consumers who use financial products as varied as mortgages, credit cards and mutual funds, according to several sources familiar with the matter. The proposed commission would be one of the administration's most significant steps yet to overhaul the financial regulatory system."

Contributing: Chinita Anderson of Morning Edition.

categories: Morning Roundup

6:51 - May 20, 2009