Munich
Gates to Putin: One cold war is enough, thank you

Pentagon chief Robert Gates responded yesterday to Vladimir Putin’s assault on U.S. foreign policy by saying “one Cold War is enough” and that he would go to Moscow to try to reduce tensions. Gates also sought more allied help in Afghanistan.

He delivered his first speech as Pentagon chief at a security conference in Germany and then flew to Pakistan to discuss fears of a renewed spring offensive by Taliban fighters in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan, a close U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism, has faced charges that the Taliban militia stage attacks from Pakistan against Afghan government troops and NATO- and U.S.-led coalition troops.

Baghdad
U.S. military: Iranian leadership is arming Shiite militias

U.S. military officials yesterday accused the highest levels of the Iranian leadership of arming Shiite militants in Iraq with sophisticated armor-piercing roadside bombs that have killed more than 170 American forces.

The military command in Baghdad denied, however, that any newly smuggled Iranian weapons were behind the five U.S. military helicopter crashes since Jan. 20 – four that were shot out of the sky by insurgent gunfire.

A fifth crash has tentatively been blamed on mechanical failure. In the same period, two private security company helicopters also have crashed but the cause was unclear.

Lisbon, Portugal
Overturn of Portugese abortion ban fails at polls

Voters failed to overturn Portugal’s strict abortion law yesterday because of low turnout at the polls, but the prime minister nonetheless vowed to relax the restriction through legislation in the conservative Roman Catholic country.

With nearly all the votes counted, almost 60 percent of voters approved the referendum allowing women to opt for abortions up to the 10th week of pregnancy, while slightly more than 40 percent opposed it.

However, under Portuguese law more than 50 percent of the country’s 8.9 million registered voters must participate in a referendum to make the ballot valid. The turnout yesterday was 44 percent.

Detroit
Tests examine prospects for new bridge over Detroit River

Workers with the Michigan Department of Transportation are conducting tests to determine whether the ground can bear the weight of foundations for a new bridge over the Detroit River.

The joint U.S.-Canadian border crossing project is to supplement the already busy Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Last week, workers began drilling 14 holes to go as deep as 1,700 feet near River Rouge’s Zug Island and between Fort Wayne and the Mistersky power plant to examine the bedrock, spokesman Bill Schreck said.

This part of the bridge project is to cost $11.3 million, the Detroit Free Press reported.

MDOT says the drilling is expected to end by June.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

Notable Number:
165,000

The number of eggs spilled on a Virginia highway after the truck transporting them crashed into a guardrail Saturday, closing the exit ramp for several hours, The Associated Press reported.

A cleaning crew was finally able to clean up the mess using 250 pounds of kitty litter to absorb the yolk. The driver fled the scene and officials have yet to find him.

“It looked like a large omelet,” said Michael Karbonski of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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