Daily Digest: Gaddafi, Arlington, AT&T

by Taryn Wobbema

Despite an attack on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s compound – which includes his residence and barracks for his personal guards – allied forces say they aren’t targeting the Libyan president himself, according to the BBC. Last week the UN Security Council authorized “all necessary measures,” including a no-fly zone, to protect Libyan civilians who have been targeted by pro-Gaddafi forces for protesting Gaddafi. But, under the resolution, that does not include targeting the leader. Sunday was the second night of “US-led action” in Libya, which has included French air strikes in the east, cruise missile attacks from US and British ships and submarines. Reports say the attack against Gaddafi’s compound resulted in a destroyed administrative building. According to the New York Times, European forces rejected claims that Libyan civilians had been killed in the air strikes.

Arlington Cemetery is overbooked. New leaders at the military resting place have to go through each of the 3,500+ plot reservations to determine who has actually reserved plots and whether those spaces are already occupied, according to the Washington Post. Several big problems – like unmarked or mismarked graves – led to the firing of the cemetery’s two top leaders last year. Now, the new leaders have to sift through the poorly kept paper records (since they still haven’t been digitized). In some cases, they’re dealing with reservations made back in the ‘50s. Since then, the criteria for burial have changed – died while on active duty, received top award or eligible for retirement benefits – disqualifying some who reserved plots decades ago. I wouldn’t want to make that phone call.

Speaking of phone calls: AT&T announced its purchase of T-Mobile for $39 billion. That would make it the largest carrier in the U.S. and narrow the competition to three: Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Nextel. Critics have already begun denouncing the purchase, saying the merger will raise prices. Regulators will have to weigh the impact on competition and consumers. The combination could provide better coverage, though, which would help AT&T, which is oft criticized for dropped calls and slow data services. The combo would account for about 42 percent of wireless users in the nation. Verizon has about 31 percent.