Lunchtime Links: February 12, 2010

Dallas was pounded with a foot of snow over the past 24 hours and the Southeast was hit with widespread power outages and travel problems.

Bill Clinton was released from a New York hospital this morning after having two stents placed in blocked arteries yesterday during an unplanned surgery. Despite the success of the surgery, the former President still faces potential complications from it. Clinton is currently spearheading a series of relief efforts in Haiti.

Haitians remain remarkably resilient on the one month anniversary of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. Food has yet to reach all of the 3 million people who need it. Infrastructure problems and supply backlogs continue to hamper an international aid effort that has drawn $537 million from the United States alone. Schools remain closed. And on Thursday morning, in a taste of the new horrors the impending rainy season promises to bring, an early morning downpour muddied the dirt in which 1.2 million people have pitched makeshift camp.

A Haitian judge has recommended that the 10 missionaries from Idaho jailed in Port-au-Prince should be released. The recommendation has been passed on to prosecutors and the judge has the power to drop the charges at any time. The Haitian prime minister has warned that the case is a “distraction” from earthquake recovery. Jean-Max Bellerive said last week that the case of the missionaries risked diverting international attention from the plight of Haitians who had lost their homes and livelihoods.

Snow-clogged streets and closed office buildings are posing twin logistical challenges for Mid-Atlantic florists as Valentine’s Day approaches, and some worry it won’t be a rosy holiday unless sales bloom when the shoveling ends.

High-profile players Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson will miss Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Dallas. An ankle injury has prevented Bryant from playing in the Los Angeles Lakers’ past three games. Iverson has missed Philadelphia’s last five games because one of his young children is ill.

American skier Lindsey Vonn is still scheduled to compete in five previously planned events as one of the centerpieces for the U.S. team as the Winter Olympics kick off in Vancouver tonight with opening ceremonies.

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