Fri., January 14, 2011 8:03am (EST)

Morning Updates: Arizona Rampage; RNC Vote; Mudslides In Brazil
By Mark Memmott
Updated: 3 years ago

Good morning.

As we reported earlier, things are changing fast in Tunisia -- where protests in recent weeks have put pressure onPresident Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down. He said last night that he would leave office, in 2014. Today, protesters are back in the streets demanding that he go sooner.

Meanwhile, other stories making headlines include:

-- Arizona rampage: "Jared Loughner's increasingly menacing behavior, what may look like a psychotic spiral in hindsight, likely would not have been enough to have him forced into psychiatric care, much less arrested," The Arizona Republic reports. "Mental-health and legal experts say it's likely that no one could have seen a tragedy coming before Saturday."

Loughner is the 22-year-old Tucson man under arrest for the deadly attack on a meet-and-greet event that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was holding with constituents. Six people died and another 13 were shot -- including Giffords, who remains in critical condition.

-- Republican leadership: "Michael Steele will find out today if he needs to find a new job as the Republican National Committee meets to elect a chairman to prepare the party for the 2012 presidential election," NPR's Don Gonyea reported on Morning Edition.

-- Deadly mudslides in Brazil: "More than 500 people are now known to have died in floods in south-eastern Brazil, the country's worst natural disaster for several decades," the BBC says. "Heavy rain has led to massive mudslides hitting several towns, resulting in thousands being made homeless.Police say the number of dead is likely to rise further."

-- Italy's prime minister investigated again: "Silvio Berlusconi has been formally placed under investigation on suspicion of paying for sex with a 17-year old girl, according to a statement issued today by prosecutors in Milan," The Guardian writes. "He was further accused of abusing his position as Italy's prime minister by bringing pressure to bear on the police to cover up his alleged relationship with the girl, who was working as a prostitute. The two alleged offences carry sentences totaling 15 years in jail."

-- Auburn QB Cam Newton: After leading Auburn University to a national championship, quarterback Cam Newton (a junior) has announced he'll leave the school to enter the NFL draft, as The Montgomery Advertiser reports. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.