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Obamas earn $1.8 million in 2010

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By Kelsey Lund

President Obama saw his 2010 income drop to a third of what it was in the previous year as his book sales lower, although he is still a millionaire, CBS News reported.

The Obamas declared a total income of $1.73 million in 2010, compared to a total of $5.5 million in 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported. Most of the earnings stemmed from Obama's book sales, the Los Angeles Times said.

All the proceeds from Obama's new children's book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughter," were donated to a charity, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Overall, the Obamas donated almost $250,000 to 36 various charitable organizations, CBS News reported. The majority of the amount donated to charities came from the children's book sales, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The release of the federal tax returns confirming the president's millionaire status coincide with Obama's recent announcement that he will pursue the end of tax cuts for wealthy Americans such as himself, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mother drives her family into Hudson River

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By Kelsey Lund

A mother intentionally drove her minivan with four children inside off a boat ramp into the Hudson River in Newburgh, N.Y. on Tuesday night, killing herself and three of her four children, the New York Times reported.

Lashandra Armstrong, 25, drove her four children Lashaun Armstrong, 10, Landon Pierce, 5, Lance Pierre, 2, and Lainaina Pierre, 11 months into the Hudson river after what was later reported to the police as a domestic dispute, Reuters reported

The lone survivor, a 10-year-old boy, who does not share the same father with the three other children, escaped the van through the driver's side window, swam ashore, and went to the Newburgh Fire Department where he informed the police of the incident, the New York Times reported.

The police found the car in 8 feet of water more than 25 feet from the shore after an hour-long search effort, Reuters reported.

Police are looking for the three children's father, Jean Pierre, for questioning, Reuters reported.

Air France plane wreckage found

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By Kelsey Lund

Bodies and debris were discovered on Sunday from the wreckage of an unsolved Air France plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in 2009, BBC reported.

The plane's black box flight recorders that investigators hoped would solve the mystery of the crash were not found, investigators said in the Associated Press.

The wreckage and bodies from the crash will be raised within a month, BBC reported.

Three previous attempts failed to find the plane that had sunk after its crash, BBC reported. The fourth attempt used robots capable of searching depths of up to 13,120 feet in the ocean when they discovered a part of the plane, BBC said.

All 228 people from over 30 countries died on Flight 447 when the plan crashed into the ocean on June 1, 2009 on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, the AP reported. The cause of the crash remains unknown, the AP reported.

Missing Bronx Zoo cobra found

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By Kelsey Lund

A venomous Bronx Zoo Egyptian cobra missing for over a week was found on Thursday coiled in a corner of the Reptile House, ABC News reported.

The cobra's disappearance had closed the zoo's Reptile House since last Friday when zoo workers noticed it was missing, the Star Tribune said.

A zoo employee found the cobra and used special tongs to pick up the snake, ABC News reported.

Since its escape the cobra's fame spread to Twitter, where a person pretending to be the cobra sent fake updates to its nearly 200,000 followers, ABC News reported.

Zoo officials announced when the snake escaped that they knew it was in the Reptile House where they eventually found it, but searching for the snake was a difficult process, the Star Tribune said.

Pawlenty enters race for president

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By Kelsey Lund

The former governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, became the first candidate to begin a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, the Washington Post reported.

Pawlenty, 50, announced he was building an exploratory committee over a two-minute video posted on Facebook, the New York Times said.

Pawlenty has been preparing for this step for months by visiting early-voting states to garner support, the New York Times reported.

The former governer is not well known nationally, and has struggled to stand out among some of his more famous Republican counterparts, the Washington Post reported.

Pawlenty's aides said he will try to differentiate himself from his opponents as a mediator between fiscal and social conservatives, the Washington Post reported.

By Kelsey Lund

The devastation facing Japan after an earthquake and tsunami struck is the most challenging since World War II, Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan said Sunday in the Los Angeles Times.

Japan was hit by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake Friday, which caused a 33-foot tsunami and a nuclear explosion when the cooling system housing a reactor failed, the Times of India reported.

"The current situation of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear plants is in a way the most severe crisis in the past 65 years," Kan said in the Los Angeles Times, calling for the Japanese people to unite and overcome this crisis.

More than 10,000 people in the northeast coast of Japan alone are speculated dead, the Times of India said.

Rescuers have saved 12,000 people, and 100,000 soldiers were deployed to assist in the rescue process, Kan said in the Los Angeles Times.

Woman survives 100 mph ride on minivan hood

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By Kelsey Lund

A California woman clung to a windshield wiper blade on the hood of a minivan that reached 100 mph on Saturday, the Star Tribune said.

Christopher Michael Carroll, 36, drove 35 miles along a Northern California freeway in the middle of night with his wife on the hood, after fighting with her over his alleged drug abuse, ABC News reported.

"She kind of goes with the van to try to stop him, gets up on the hood and is hanging on to the wiper blade," police spokesman Rex Osborn said in the Star Tribune. "She obviously didn't think he would keep driving."

Carroll was charged Wednesday for attempted murder, kidnapping and domestic assault, the Star Tribune said.

Three callers contacted the police after seeing the woman on the car, ABC News said. When Carroll slowed down, a car following the two picked up the woman and brought her to the hospital, ABC News said.

The woman said she barely held on. "I was holding on literally by the tips of my fingers and basically my ankles," she said to ABC News.

Alaskan politician refuses "intrusive" airline security

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By Kelsey Lund

An Alaskan state representative in Seattle decided to take a boat back to Juneau on Sunday rather than submit to an airline security pat-down, TIME said.

State Rep. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage, had already been taken through a full body scanner when the airport security told her she would need a pat-down because her mastectomy showed up in the scanner, USA Today reported.

Cissna's chief of staff, Michelle Scannel, said the pat-down was "intrusive" but did not give further details why the representative would not submit to it, TIME said.

The journey from Seattle to Juneau by sea takes approximately 12 hours, USA Today reported.

Obama calls reporter attacked in Egypt

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By Kelsey Lund

President Barack Obama called CBS reporter Lara Logan on Wednesday after the announcement of her brutal attack in Egypt last week, CNN reported.

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not disclose further details of the call, CNN reported.

Logan was sexually assaulted and attacked Friday while covering a story for CBS about the celebration after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned, the Associated Press reported.

A group of women and 20 Egyptian soldiers rescued Logan, who had been separated from her crew and their security team in a mob of about 200 people, CNN reported.

Logan is currently recuperating in a U.S. Hospital, the AP said.

'Polite robber' arrested

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By Kelsey Lund

Authorities arrested a suspect Monday for supposedly being the "polite robber"--the courteous man who robbed a Seattle convenience store Saturday, the Associated Press said.

The 65-year-old suspect, Gregory P. Hess, earned his nickname as the "polite robber" after he apologized and thanked the owner of the convenience store, John Henry, whom he robbed at gunpoint on Saturday, the Seattle Times said.

Hess was caught on surveillance video taking $300 from the store and telling Henry, "I'm robbing you sir," the Associated Press reported. Hess promised Henry he would pay him back if possible, the Seattle Times said.

Hess is also known as the "transaction bandit" in connection to a string of bank robberies he was convicted for in 2003, the Seattle Times reported.

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