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OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

The OND concept was borne under the keen keyboard of Magnifico - proper respect is due.

Current Contributers are ScottyUrb, Bentliberal, wader,Oke, rfall, JML9999 and Neon Vincent.

BBC:    Japan begins quake relief mission

Japan begins quake relief mission   
A mammoth relief mission is swinging into action in north-east Japan, a day after it was struck by a devastating tsunami, claiming hundreds of lives.

The disaster was triggered by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, the country's most powerful since records began.

Japan's military has mobilised thousands of troops, hundreds of planes and dozens of ships.

The government has declared a state of emergency at five nuclear reactors as cooling systems failed.    

BBC:    Libya: US and EU say Muammar Gaddafi must go
Libya: US and EU say Muammar Gaddafi must go   
The US and the EU have again called on the Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi to step down.

President Barack Obama said the US would take a wide range of actions to ensure Col Gaddafi surrendered power.

EU leaders meeting in Brussels agreed to "examine all necessary options" to protect the civilian population in Libya.

But they made no mention of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya in their final communique.    

BBC:    Demand for Twitter details in Wikileaks probe upheld
Demand for Twitter details in Wikileaks probe upheld   
A federal judge has ruled that the US government may demand that three associates of Julian Assange hand over Twitter account information in the criminal investigation into Wikileaks.

The three users of the social network had appealed against an earlier ruling.

Their legal team had argued the request was a violation of their constitutional rights of free speech and association.

The judge ruled that those freedoms do not shield members from complying with legitimate government investigations.    

BBC:    Ivory Coast crisis: 'Nearly 450,000 refugees'
Ivory Coast crisis: 'Nearly 450,000 refugees'   
More than 450,000 people have fled their homes because of the crisis in Ivory Coast, the UN refugee agency says.

Dead bodies were being eaten by dogs in the streets of the main city, Abidjan after recent fighting, a UNHCR spokeswoman told the BBC.

Alassane Ouattara, widely recognised as the winner of last year's poll, has gone to regional powerhouse Nigeria to get help ousting his rival.

Laurent Gbagbo refuses to cede power    

BBC:    Gabrielle Giffords walking and talking, doctors say
Gabrielle Giffords walking and talking, doctors say   
US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head in an Arizona attack, is walking and stringing sentences together, doctors in Texas say.

Ms Giffords' condition was said to be improving in "leaps and bounds".

Doctors also said her husband and medics had told her about the shooting that wounded 13 and killed six people.

Doctors said it was too early to say whether she would be able to attend the launch of the Space Shuttle mission to be commanded by her husband in April.    

BBC:    Bahrain protesters 'facing death threats'
Bahrain protesters 'facing death threats'   
As demonstrations continue in Bahrain, three prominent civil rights activists say they have been targeted with death threats.

The threats came on the eve of an anti-government march on the Royal Court.

Protesters say the march was halted by what they called stone-throwing thugs, while security forces and police looked on.

The threats were allegedly made against Mohammed al-Maskati and Naji Fateel of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, of Human Rights Defenders.     

Reuters:    Japan warns of radiation leak from quake-hit plants
Japan warns of radiation leak from quake-hit plants   
(Reuters) - Japan warned of a possible radiation leak on Saturday as authorities battled to contain rising pressure at two nuclear plants damaged by a massive earthquake, but said thousands of residents in the area had already been moved out of harm's way.

Pressure was building in reactors of two plants at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima facility, located some 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo. At one of them, the Daiichi plant, pressure was set to released soon, which could result in a radiation leak, officials said.

"It's possible that radioactive material in the reactor vessel could leak outside but the amount is expected to be small, and the wind blowing toward the sea will be considered," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.

"Residents are safe after those within a 3 km radius were evacuated and those within a 10 km radius are staying indoors, so we want people to be calm," he added.    

Reuters:    Chile upgrades tsunami alert for coast and Easter Island
Chile upgrades tsunami alert for coast and Easter Island   
(Reuters) - Chile on Friday upgraded a tsunami alert for its coastline and remote Easter Island territory after waves triggered by a massive earthquake in Japan hit Hawaii, and said it would evacuate flood-prone areas along the mainland coast.

Chile was hit by a magnitude 8.8 quake and ensuing tsunamis a year ago that hammered towns, roads and industries in south central Chile, killed more than 500 people and caused an estimated $30 billion hit to the economy between damaged infrastructure, property and lost productivity.

"The level of tsunami has been raised for Easter Island, where waves are now estimated at 3 meters (10 feet) rather than 2 meters (7 feet)," said Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter, adding the alert also applied to Chilean Antarctica.

"We are also going to evacuate residents in flood-prone zones (along the coast of the mainland)," he added, saying the evacuation should be complete by 9:30 p.m. (0030 GMT on Saturday). The waves are expected to reach mainland Chile around idnight (0300 GMT on Saturday).    

Reuters:    Five Israelis killed in West Bank attack - Isreali military
Five Israelis killed in West Bank attack - Isreali military   
 (Reuters) - A Palestinian infiltrator killed five Israelis in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank early Saturday, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

Israeli media said the attacker broke into a house in the settlement of Itamar overnight and stabbed to death a couple and three children, including a baby, from the same family.

"Five civilians were killed in this terrorist attack," the spokeswoman said.

She said troops were searching for the attacker in the area around Itamar, which is near the Palestinian city of Nablus. She gave no further details

Reuters:    U.S. to rebid $2.4 billion in Florida rail funds
U.S. to rebid $2.4 billion in Florida rail funds

(Reuters) - The Obama administration will rebid nearly $2.4 billion in high-speed rail grants recently rejected by Florida, one of three states to conclude "bullet train" projects are too expensive in a tough economy.

California and several Northeastern states have expressed interest in the money, much of which came from $8 billion in rail grants from the 2009 U.S. economic stimulus package.

"States across the country have been banging down our door for the opportunity to receive additional high-speed rail dollars," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on Friday in announcing his agency would rebid the funds initially awarded to Florida but declined by Governor Rick Scott.

Proposals are due on April 4.

Reuters:    Next stopgap bill would cut $6 billion over 3 weeks
Next stopgap bill would cut $6 billion over 3 weeks   
(Reuters) - House Republicans are preparing another stopgap-spending bill that would cut $6 billion from current levels and keep the government running for three more weeks, Representative Steven LaTourette said on Thursday.

The stopgap-spending bill would buy lawmakers more time after existing funding authority expires on March 18 to agree on final spending levels for the 2011 fiscal year, which ends September 30. The Senate would have to approve it as well before it could be sent to President Obama to sign into law.

"I hear it's three weeks, I hear it's $6 billion," LaTourette, a member of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, said.

The legislation will be unveiled on Friday and up for a vote by the full House on Tuesday, said Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers. But he would not detail the spending cuts it will contain.    

Reuters:    Fed decision on bank dividends expected in days
Fed decision on bank dividends expected in days   
(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve could tell major banks as soon as next week whether regulators' stress tests show they're healthy enough to boost stock dividends.

Banks have been eager to reduce massive capital cushions they built up as they recover from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, but regulators have been nervous about letting them chip away at these reserves.

The Federal Reserve's most recent stress tests, which apply to the 19 largest U.S. bank holding companies, are wrapping up as European regulators are doing their own fresh battery of tests. Last year's European stress tests were widely criticized for a lack of transparency and credibility.

Banks and analysts are viewing a Fed decision to allow banks to boost payments to shareholders as a signal to markets the financial crisis is behind the industry.    

Apple Insider:    Impressive lines suggest first day iPad 2 sales could hit 500k, analyst says
Impressive lines suggest first day iPad 2 sales could hit 500k, analyst says   

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster increased his first day sales estimate for the iPad 2 to an upper range of 500,000 units after initial demand surpassed his expectations, with some Apple retail stores drawing 104 percent longer lines than last year's launch.

In a research note earlier this week, Munster had suggested that launch day lines for the iPad 2 would be shorter than those for last year's launch of the original iPad, citing much greater availability of the device at more than 10,000 stores of retail partners.

However, some lines for the iPad 2 reached more than triple last year's numbers, based on Munster's checks with several Apple retail stores around the U.S. For example, the Mall of America Apple Store in Minneapolis saw 334 people in line, compared to 105 customers last year.

At Apple's flagship 5th Avenue store in New York, Piper Jaffray researchers counted 1,109 people in line on Friday, compared to 730 people last year.    

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