Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was involved in a car accident on Sunday. Jindal was re-elected to a second term as governor in 2011. The Republican leader is married and the father of three young children. 

He was on the way home from his son's soccer game around 5 p.m. CDT on Louisiana Highway 30, south of downtown Baton Rouge, when a truck made an illegal U-turn in front of his car. Two police vehicles were northbound on the state highway in the inside lane when the truck made the illegal turn from the outside lane.

The truck side swiped the first vehicle, which was carrying the governor. The second vehicle "took evasive action" and hit a utility pole, said a statement from state police.

A trooper in that second vehicle sustained minor injuries, but, luckily Jindal went unharmed. The driver of the truck was cited for making an improper turn.

"The governor did not sustain any injuries, and he is thankful for the work of the Louisiana State Police who keep him and his family safe every day," Lansing said.
President Barack Obama intends to nominate Deborah K. Jones to become the new U.S. ambassador to Libya. The last person to be U.S. ambassador to Libya was Christopher Stevens, but he was one of the four Americans killed in an attack on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in September. Jones is very experienced, having been the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait from 2008 to 2011. Before that she held embassy and consulate posts in Turkey, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria, according to the White House. 

President Obama also announced on Wednesday that he intends to nominate James Knight as ambassador to Chad. "It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this administration to serve the American people. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," Obama said in a White House press conference.
It is a very tight race between Virginia's governor hopefuls. Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli both stand at 38% among registered voters in a poll by Quinnipiac University Wednesday. Another 21% said they were undecided between the two candidates. The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted by phone from February 14-18 among 1,112 registered Virginia voters. The sampling error was + or - 2.9 percentage points. Virginia will officially decide the new governor in November. "Although the folks in Richmond are paying close attention to the political maneuvering around the Governor's race, most Virginians have not yet begun focusing on it," said Peter A. Brown, assistand director at Quinnipiac. It will be interesting to see what happens in November.
Last week, more tragic shootings and gun violence happened in America. The first one happened in Alabama, when an armed man named Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded a school bus dropping kids off after school, and demanded two students. The bus driver, named Charles Albert Poland, refused and tried to defend the students, but got shot four times by Dykes and was killed. Dykes is in police custody and is being interrogated about children he is believed to have abducted and be currently holding as hostages. On the same day in Chicago, Hadiya Pendleton, a girl who had just recently performed at Obama's inauguration, was shot down by a gangbanger. Another recent one that stirred much uproar on Social Networks particularly was that an innocent Latino man was shot and killed in Georgia. The victim named Rodrigo Diaz accidentally pulled into a Georgia man named Phillip Sailors' driveway, mistaking it for his nearby friend's house. However,  the paranoid Georgia man stereotyped Diaz and thought he was a Latino coming to rob him, so he took out his legally obtained gun and heartlessly shot and killed Diaz. Those are just the gun-related events happening in a normal week in America nowadays.
The Newtown massacre was supposed to change America and the way we deal with guns, but these events are proof that little change is actually happening. A Pew Research Center poll found that 85% of Americans are for universal background checks back to limit the ability of convicted felons and the mentally ill to get a gun, yet we still wait and wait while more innocent people are killed while we make up our minds.
Federal officials issued new rules for mortgage servicers Thursday. These new rules are aimed at protecting homeowners facing foreclosure. In the midst of this housing crisis, many mortgage servicers have had trouble handling the flood of delinquent loans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said. "In too many cases, it has led to unnecessary foreclosures," said CFPB director Richard Cordray. "Our rules ensure fair treatment for all borrowers and establish strong protections for those struggling to save their homes." These new mortgage rules seek to easen burdens on people, with rules that prohibit servicers from foreclosing on borrowers seeking loan modifications, and rules that require servicers to explore all alternatives to foreclosure first. 
Later today, Wednesday Jan. 16, 2012, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will announce a new package of gun control proposals. They will be joined by a group of children who wrote letters to the president after the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14. Families of some of the Newtown victims will also be at the event. Assault weapons ban, universal backup checks, and a ban on magazines with more than 10 rounds are all part of the plan, says a White House official. The federal government estimates that over 300,000,000 non-military guns are owned or available for purchase in the United States. Carney says that Obama "has made clear that he believes in the Second Amendment right of citizens to be armed, but believes we ought to take common sense, and enact common sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights, but prevent people who should not have weapons from obtaining them."
With the MANY recent shootings happening across the country (2 IN THE PAST 5 DAYS), people are starting to wonder whether strict gun control could help eliminate this senseless violence. Well, the answer to that is yes, and history can prove it. 

In April 1996, in the popular tourist spot of Port Arthur, Tasmania, a gunman killed 20 innocent people with his 29 bullets, all in about 90 seconds. This "pathetic social misfit," to quote the judge in the case, used a similar military-style rifle to the one used by the Connecticut killer. 

Australia had just elected a new conservative prime minister at the time, John Howard. He wept and mourned the deaths, but then did something to prevent a similar situation from happening again: he announced nationwide gun reform. He banned rapid-fire rifles and shotguns, tightened gun owner licensing, and registered remaining firearms to uniform national standards. Attitudes to firearms and the regulations governing them changed almost overnight. After a decade of gun massacres, Australians had had enough of it all. In fact, polling at the time measured public approval of his government's new gun laws at 90-95%.

In two nationwide federally funded gun buybacks, plus large-scale voluntary surrenders and state gun amnesties, Australia collected and destroyed more than a million firearms, almost one-third of the national stock. No other nation had ever attempted anything on this scale. But, it seems to have worked. In the years after the Port Arthur massacre, the risk of dying by gunshot in Australia fell by more than 50% -- and stayed there. In the 16 years since the announcement of legislation specifically designed to reduce gun massacres, Australia has seen no mass shootings. The national rate of gun homicide remains 30 times lower than that of the United States, an appalling figure.
It was just a regular day at Clackamas Town Center, a mall in the Portland, Oregon area. People were just enjoying the day and doing a little Christmas shopping when they notice a man in a hockey mask walking out of Macy’s wielding an assault rifle. Cries of terror and “get down” echo through the mall as the gunman begins to open fire. People sprint to the nearest store to find a safety point behind a store counter or rack of clothing, but the maniac walks casually from store to store; firing some of the 16 shots he fired. Nicole Sutton, a worker in the mall, said she heard gunshots echoing and saw people rush into the store she works in. "It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced," she told KOIN. People in distant parts of the mall like Sears, however, were lucky, and got live feed via a TV in the store and sought help from police. But the police did not get there in time to save the 3 killed by the end of the incident, including, oddly, the shooter (police are further investigating). Shootings are becoming more and more widespread and common in the US lately; take for example, the shooting at The Dark Knight Rises Midnight Premiere in Aurora, Colorado, or the shooting at the Empire State Building this summer. Maybe it is time to really take a look at gun laws, because the violence and lack of gun control are starting to get out of hand.

Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has thanked people from around the world who have supported her as she recovers from the traumatic attack. The Taliban attacked her on October 9, 2012 when she was in a van coming home from her school in Swat Valley. Gunmen stopped the van, found Malal, and shot her in the head and neck. This attempted assassination would have surely worked and deteriorated the schoolgirl activism in Pakistan, as the Taliban expected, but, by some miracle, Malala survived. She is now at a hospital in Britain, where she was transferred after the assassination attempt. Examinations revealed that she had suffered no major neurological damage, but she is still a long way from recovery. Her father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, says that she is reading books and walking in the hospital in the city of Birmingham, trying to recover. The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to go after her again, but Malala seems to not be scared. "People have actually supported a cause, not an individual," she said in her thanking message. "Let's work together to educate girls around the world."