Things to Know for your New day
A mighty quake rocks Chile. A convicted spy could go free. And Obama moves on to his next fight.
City News Service | 4/2/2014, 10:07 a.m.
1: MISSING PLANE
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said good night, then drifted off over the darkened seas, somehow bypassing that vast spiderweb of modern technology that catches every move of worldwide aviation. Yet, high technology seems the only way of tracking down where on Earth the plane ended up.
This morning, we learned that the possibility that something sinister may have happened hasn't been discounted. Cops have interviewed about 170 people and will continue questioning families and those who had access to the plane.
2: CHILE QUAKE
Dodging a catastrophe:
A mighty 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's northern coast last night. It caused small landslides, sapped power and generated a tsunami. At least five people died, and about 300 prisoners escaped, the government said.
Chile is on the so-called "Ring of Fire" that's prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. An earthquake of the scale that struck last night is capable of wreaking tremendous havoc. So, if the initial reports stand, Chile may have been spared a horrible fate. In 2010, an 8.8-magnitude quake killed about 500 people and was so violent it moved the city of Concepcion at least 10 feet.
A last-minute enrollment surge enabled the White House to meet its original sign-up target for the Affordable Care Act. It was a surprising victory for the Obama administration after a rocky rollout of a program that has become a political hot potato for Democrats and a rallying cry for Republicans.
Today, Obama turns to another big item on his domestic agenda: raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10/hour.
4: GM CARS
In the hot seat:
New General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced a barrage of questions from lawmakers about the ignition problem in certain GM vehicles, including the Chevy Cobalt, that many families believe killed their loved ones. Thirteen people have died and a recall has been issued. One major problem for GM? The company knew of the defect at least 10 years ago but failed to act until now. "I close my eyes, I think about how he died, and it's not fair," said Cherie Sharkey, who lost a son.
5: JONATHAN POLLARD
Jonathan Pollard is a former U.S. intelligence agent who was convicted of spying for Israel. But the U.S. could release him before the Jewish holiday of Passover (April 14) to save the the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, an Israeli official says.
How would this work? In exchange for the release, sources say Israel would have to make significant concessions to the Palestinians, which could include a settlement freeze, the release of additional prisoners and an agreement to continue peace negotiations beyond the end-of-April deadline.