Headlines from around the world: 2/4/13

University endowment investment has taken a small hit over the last few months due to the poor performance of international equities, a new study shows. The annual rate of return for these investments dropped 0.3 percent, which is significant when compared with a rate of return of 0.8 percent at most large universities. Medium-sized schools took the biggest hit, suffering negative returns.

Fourteen people were killed in the large explosion at a Mexico City oil company’s office headquarters last week. Law enforcement officials in Mexico City have not issued a statement about why the explosion occurred, but are investigating the cause and will make a full report when the source has been identified. At least 100 people are known to have been injured as a result of the blast.

Local sheriffs from across the country are denouncing proposed federal gun laws, saying that they will not enforce any law which counters the second amendment. Many officials have written letters to President Obama, explaining in detail their opposition to the laws and why they will not enforce them.

Israeli fighter jets bombed a military target last week with differing accounts as to the result coming from the United States and Syria. Syrian officials claim that the jets bombed a military research center northwest of Damascus, but U.S. officials say that the target was a convoy of trucks carrying surface-to-air missiles bound for Lebanon. Syria has submitted a formal complaint to the United Nations, denouncing the attack and restating its right to defend itself.

Last week the Senate approved suspending the debt ceiling until May of this year in an effort to maintain the good will and credit rating of the U.S. Treasury. Now the full attention of Congress will be on the proposed $1 trillion in cuts to the military and domestic spending.

The U.S. Navy may be out a massive sum of money following the accidental grounding of the USS Guardian last month. The $277 million vessel was used as a minesweeper, and ran aground last month on the Tubbataha reef in the Philippines. The Navy intends to dismantle the ship to remove it from the reef. Philippine officials are investigating the total damage done to the reef, and may fine the United States a considerable sum.

The Iranian government has announced its plans to install sophisticated uranium enrichment equipment in its plants, enabling it to develop weapons-grade plutonium in the near future.

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