(1) The Iraq War started nine years ago today, on March 21, 2003. Here are the stats: About $1 trillion of taxpayer money spent through 2011. 4,487 U.S. troop casualities (54% of US casualties were under 25 years old); 32,223 troops wounded (excludes psychological injuries). 150 journalists killed; Over 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed; 2,255,000 Iraqis displaced inside Iraq.
(2) Thousands of Coptic Christians have gathered to pay their respects to Pope Shenouda III, who died on Saturday at the age of 88. His funeral will be held on Tuesday. Shenouda serves as the 117th pope of Alexandria from November 1971. He tried to smooth sectarian tension during his tenure. Full video here:
(3) Muammar Gaddafi's intelligence chief Abdallah al-Senussi, the last major Gaddafi associate on the run since the dictator's overthrow, was arrested in Mauritania after his arrival late Friday on a flight from Morocco. Senussi is being held at the headquarters of the Mauritania's security service in the capital Nouakchott. He was carrying several false passports. Senussi is sought by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity over attacks on anti-Gaddafi protesters. Libya said it is sending a delegation to Mauritania to press for the extradition.
(4) Happy 100th birthday to Bayard Rustin, the civil rights organizer, visionary organizer, and activist. Rustin was a master strategist who created the model for nonviolent social movements in the U.S. He’s best known for organizing the March on Washington in 1963. He introduced the Gandhian protest tactics that became one of the hallmarks of the Civil Rights Movement. As a black gay man, he was kept from having a larger profile, as the movement worried his sexuality was a liability.
(5) Rick Santorum called Mitt Romney a flawed candidate on ‘This Week,” and asked for a one-on-one debate with the former Massachusetts governor. “I’d love to be able to get one-on-one with Gov. Romney and expose the record that would be the weakest record we could possibly put up against Barack Obama,” said Santorum. “We can’t nominate such a weak candidate.” Santorum criticized Romney for “hiding” behind billionaires. “The more I look at the record of Gov. Romney and match it up against Barack Obama, I feel like I am doing a training run for the general election,” said Santorum.
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