Lunchtime Links: January 20, 2010

A violent 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti early this morning, complicating relief efforts while stories of survival from the initial tremor eight days ago still surface.

A Nashville ministry is one of many working to speed the adoption process of Haitian children in the wake of last week’s earthquake. U.S. officials estimate there are 900 orphans in the country who are currently in the process of being adopted by U.S. parents. The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that 380,000 Haitian children live in orphanages or group homes.

Rock supergroup U2 and rap mogul Jay-Z are teaming up to quickly record a song to raise funds for Haiti earthquake relief efforts.

Maddy Curtis, the daughter of a pro-life blogger, was shown advancing to the Hollywood round of American Idol last week from the Boston auditions held over the summer. Curtis, 16, is the ninth of 12 children from a Catholic family in rural Virginia.

Scott Brown pulled off a stunning upset of Martha Coakley in a special Senate election in Massachusetts to replace the late Ted Kennedy. Brown’s win sends a Republican representative to fill a Senate seat for the first time in nearly 40 years and ends Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority, complicating passage of pending health care reform legislation.

Christopher Speight surrendered to police in rural Appomattox County, Virginia, early this morning. Eight bodies were found in and around Speight’s home leading to a manhunt during which Speight fired on a Virginia State Police helicopter Tuesday.

The New Orleans Saints have largely been plagued by a history of futility and underachievement in the Big Easy. Not so in 2009, as a dynamic offense has the team hosting its first NFC Championship on Sunday. It’s also the second trip to the conference championship game in four seasons for the Saints under head coach Sean Payton.

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