Lunchtime Links: February 16, 2010

As U.S. forces intensify their offensive into southern Afghanistan military officials announced the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, described as the No. 2 behind Taliban founder and Osama bin Laden associate Mullah Muhammad Omar.

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh surprised the political establishment Monday by saying he will not seek re-election to a third term. Bayh becomes the third Senate Democrat in recent weeks to turn down a re-election bud along with Christopher Dodd (Connecticut) and Byron Dorgan (North Dakota).

Electrical problems delayed the possible release of 10 American missionaries jailed in Haiti charged with trying to take children out of the country without proper documentation. The lack of electricity made it impossible for a deputy attorney general to print out his recommendation to a judge who has the final say as to whether the group will be granted bail or remain imprisoned until trial.

Two teens shot by hooded gunmen during a Richmond, Calif., church shooting Sunday are cooperating with local police after initial reluctance. Police believe the shooting of the two boys, 14 and 19, stems from personal reasons and are anxious to find the suspects and stop any potential retribution for the church shootings.

Film director Kevin Smith has made headlines and generated a huge spike in Twitter traffic after he was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight because his weight was deemed a safety risk.

Americans continued their medal hunt at the Winter Olympics as Seth Wescott won a gold in snowboard cross and downhill skier Bode Miller rebounded for a disastrous 2006 Olympics to win a brnze medal, perhaps enhancing future endorsement opportunities.

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