Lunchtime Links: January 26, 2010

The benefit album from last Friday’s “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts Wednesday. The album recorded about 150,000 downloads over the weekend and will be the first digital-only album to reach the chart’s top spot.

Many have criticized Pat Robertson for suggesting that the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti was the work of the devil or a form of divine punishment. But if one believes God is good and intervenes in the world, why does God allow innocents to suffer? What is the best scriptural text or explanation of that problem you’ve ever read?

A look at the numbers two weeks after the Haiti earthquake paints a grim tale and a long road to recovery.

Under mounting pressure to rein in mammoth budget deficits, President Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a three-year freeze on federal funding that is not related to national security, a concession to public concern about government spending that could dramatically curtail Obama’s legislative ambitions.

A suicide bomber destroyed a forensics lab attached to the Interior Ministry in Baghdad today, killing 18. It was the second day of bombings in the Iraqi capital, rising concerns that violence may intensify leading up to elections in March.

Two of tennis’ biggest names have been booted from the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, the first of the year’s four Grand Slam events. Rafael Nadal left with a knee injury, conceding his match to Scotland’s Andy Murray. Andy Roddick, the highest seeded American in the draw, lost to Croatia’s Marin Cilic is five sets.

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