Romney takes aim at health care law
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Saturday derided President Barack Obama's health care law — modeled in some ways after one the ex-governor signed in Massachusetts — as a misguided and egregious effort to seize more power for Washington. "Obamacare is bad law, bad policy, and it is bad for America's families," Romney declared, vowing to repeal it if he were ever in a position to do so. He said what works for one state isn't the right prescription for the nation as a whole, adding, "One thing I would never do is to usurp the constitutional power of states with a one-size-fits-all federal takeover."
Air Force space plane is launched
An experimental robotic space plane was launched into orbit atop a massive Atlas V rocket Saturday for a classified Air Force mission that could last up to nine months. The 19-story Atlas V and the space plane, dubbed the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 5:46 p.m. The unmanned X-37B, which resembles a miniature space shuttle, is about 29 feet long with a wingspan of about 15 feet. It draws solar power for energy using unfolding panels. The Air Force says the space plane is designed to stay in orbit for 270 days, and will provide a way to test new technologies in outer space, such as satellite sensors and other components.
Thousands watch gay Mardi Gras
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott were lampooned for their opposition to gay marriage as hundreds of thousands of revelers crammed inner Sydney streets Saturday for one of the world's premier gay and lesbian parades. Some 300,000 spectators in sidewalk throngs often 10 to 15 people deep turned out for Sydney's 34th annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Openly gay Hollywood star Lily Tomlin was among well-known gay advocates who kicked off the party. Christian opponents of the parade held a vigil in downtown Sydney several blocks away from the festivities to protest same-sex marriage.
Estonia: This Baltic country of 1.3 million heads into its first election as a euro-zone member today, with the center-right government hoping to be rewarded with an unprecedented second term for steering one of Europe's most depressed economies back to growth.
Havana: The trial of U.S. government contractor and Maryland native Alan Gross, 61, who faces up to 20 years in jail on charges he sought to undermine Cuba's government, wrapped up Saturday after both sides gave closing arguments, but with no indication of when a verdict might come.
Moscow: An Antonov plane ordered by the military junta in Myanmar crashed during a test flight near the southwestern Russian city of Voronezh on Saturday, killing all five Russians and two pilots from Myanmar who were on board, the Interfax news agency quoted investigators as saying.