- A study of international scientific output - as defined by the total number of peer-reviewed papers published by scientists in various nations - indicates that China is on course to overtake the US in scientific output by 2013. Over the 12 year period covered by The Royal Society's study, US scientific output increased by 8%. In the same period of time, Chinese scientific output increased by 722%.
- Traces of plutonium-238, plutonium-239, and plutonium-240 have been found in the soil around the Fukushima nuclear complex. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has said that the plutonium levels are not harmful to human health, but it could mean that reactor No. 3's containment mechanism has been breached. "Plutonium is a substance that's emitted when the temperature is high, and it's also heavy and so does not leak out easily," said agency deputy director Hidehiko Nishiyama. "So if plutonium has emerged from the reactor, that tells us something about the damage to the fuel. And if it has breached the original containment system, it underlines the gravity and seriousness of this accident." Opposition leaders in the Japanese Parliament are now demanding that the evacuation zone around the plant be widened.
- In a speech televised last night, US President Obama assured the American people that the United States would not get bogged down in a police action in Libya. "And tonight," the President said in his speech, "I can report that we have stopped Qaddafi's deadly advance." Commentators have observed, however, that he did not actually explain how long the United States would remain involved in the Libyan police action, or outline an exit strategy.
- This morning, Libyan forces pushed the rebels as far east as Bin Jawad.
- Indiana prosecutor Carlos Lam has resigned after acknowledging that he advised Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to discredit labor union protests by orchestrating a fake assault on himself, possibly with a firearm.
- A man in San Antonio was arrested after a gun battle with police over a price increase in Taco Bell's Beefy Crunch Burritos.