America

Karzai, Obama To Meet; Second Try Soon To Stop Oil Spill; Kagan Debate Begins

There's no other way to put it: It's been a grim news day so far.

As we reported earlier, there's been another attack on school children in China. This time, seven youngsters and a teacher were killed. It's the fifth such gruesome crime in China in recent weeks.

And, an Afriqiya Airways passenger jet crashed earlier today in Tripoli, Libya, killing about 100 people. The only person thought to have survived is a young Dutch boy. The plane was arriving from Johannesburg.

There is other news to pass along, of course, including these stories:

— BBC News — New Prime Minister "Sets To Work": "The new U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is shaping his government, after his Conservative Party formed an historic coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is to be the new deputy prime minister, with four colleagues also getting cabinet jobs."

Related report on Morning Edition — "After 13 Years, Britain's Tories Are Back In Power": NPR's Rob Gifford reports from London.

The Washington Post — Afghanistan's Karzai To Urge Caution As U.S. Pushes To Empower Local Leaders": "The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is built around the belief that all good counterinsurgency is local. In recent months, American officials have focused their plans on pushing power and money down to district, tribal and village leaders. But those plans have not sat well with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has argued that any weakening in his position could fracture the central government and undermine his ability to woo Taliban fighters away from the insurgency. Karzai, who is set to meet with President Obama on Wednesday, plans to stress that the U.S. search for local governance solutions cannot come at Kabul's expense, sources close to his delegation said."

Related report on Morning Edition — "Karzai, Obama To Rebuild Strained Relations": NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

Coming up later: Obama and Karzai are scheduled to hold a joint news conference at 11:15 a.m. ET.

Morning Edition — "Should Kagan's Lack Of Judicial Experience Matter?" "Historically, judicial experience has not been deemed a major qualification for service on the U.S. Supreme Court, but Republicans have been highlighting Kagan's lack of it this week." NPR's Nina Totenberg reports:

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— The Associated Press — Second, Smaller Containment Box Brought To Site Of Oil Spill: "Political patience was washing away for BP executives who can't stop a broken underwater well from spewing oil into the Gulf, where crews were trying the latest solution — submerging a second containment box designed to funnel the gusher to a waiting tanker. ... Tuesday, a crane lifted the new box from the deck of the Viking Poseidon, one of the more than a dozen boats helping the containment effort, and lowered it into the sea about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, a process expected to last several hours or more."

The Charleston Gazette — W. Va. Democratic Congressman Knocked Out In Primary: "Democrat Alan Mollohan became the first member of the U.S. House to be ousted this spring primary season, after his (primary) opponent mounted a campaign that questioned the 14-term congressman's ethics and support for federal health care reform."

— Dow Jones News — Morgan Stanley CEO Says He's Not Aware Of Any Investigation: "Morgan Stanley's Chief Executive James Gorman said Wednesday that he was not aware of any federal investigation into whether the firm misled investors about mortgage-derivatives deals it helped design and sometimes bet against. The comments came after the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that such an investigation was underway, citing people familiar with the situation, in a step that intensifies Washington's scrutiny of Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis."

— The Associated Press — In Philippines, Aquino Promises Graft-Free Government: "Philippine president apparent, Benigno Aquino III, has pledged he will create a lean, graft-free Cabinet, travel overseas less, investigate corruption and renew peace talks on ending decades-long insurgencies."

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