Lunchtime Links: March 5, 2010

The broadcast of the Academy Awards on Sunday will have a number of unusual twists. Among them, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will co-host the show and the Best Picture competition now features 10 entries, including ex-husband and wife James Cameron (“Avatar”) and Katherine Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) squaring off.

Director Tim Burton, whose otherworldly settings in films such as “Edward Scissorhands,” takes aim at the children’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” debuting in theatres this weekend.

Four “American Idol” contestants were voted off the show Thursday, trimming the field down to 16 singers.

February unemployment numbers released this morning showed the rate staying steady ay 9.7 percent and the number of job losses shrinking to 36,000.

A man shot after he pulled out a weapon and opened fire on two Pentagon police officers died early Friday, authorities said.

The registered sex offender charged with raping and murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King of suburban San Diego could be linked to “several” attempted kidnappings in the area, police said Thursday.

Chile‘s president says it will take three years to rebuild the region wracked by an earthquake and tsunami.

Expatriate Iraqis living abroad began voting today in parliamentary elections which will take place inside the country Sunday. The outcome of the voting and how the government is shaped from it will have a major impact on planned U.S. troop withdrawals this year.

Over the last two months, Haitians have shown a remarkable swelling of faith and determination as they try to survive and move forward from the Jan. 12 earthquake. Christian solidarity among Haitians has been central to their ability to cope with the disastrous surroundings. World Vision’s Laura Blank, who arrived the day after the quake, was amazed by the self-sacrificial attitude of the nonprofit’s Haitian staff. When they passed by destroyed buildings, they often called out the names of friends or relatives who had died there. “I can’t imagine how they cope with the grieving and stress,” said Blank. “They are so used to being helpers, and now they see themselves as survivors who also need help.”

Baylor freshman women’s basketball player Brittney Griner has been suspended f two games after breaking the nose of Texas Tech’s Jordan Barncastle with an unprovoked punch Wednesday.

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