In the News: Clinton to Meet Libyan Rebel Leaders; AOL Layoffs; Feud Over Etta James’ Estate

A few noteworthy headlines around the Web

Headline news (Courtesy of Thinkstock)

  • Hillary Clinton Scheduled to Meet with Libyan Rebels

In an effort to promote democracy, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet with Libyan rebel leaders next week during her travels to Tunisia and Egypt. Her announcement comes as the United States declares it is suspending relations with the Libyan embassy in Washington.

Clinton says that the State Department has been reaching out to the rebels’ provisional council, both directly and through intermediaries. These upcoming meetings are the administration’s highest-level contact with those hoping to replace Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

“I intend to convey strong support of the Obama administration and the American people that wish to be a partner in the important work that lies ahead as they embark on a transition to a genuine democracy,” said Clinton.

  • Enter Huffington Post, Exit AOL Staffers

AOL announced today that it’s laying off 20% of its workforce—approximately 1,000 employees—including journalists and support staff. With the recent Huffington Post acquisition and the overlap with AOL properties, the company’s difficult decision may potentially save $20 million.

The chief executive of AOL, Tim Armstrong, attributes the layoffs with the change in the company’s business plan.“The changes we are making are not easy, but they are the right changes for the long-term health of the company, the brand and for our employees,” said Armstrong, in a memo to employees.

Armstrong notes the company is healthier now than it was a year ago and will “be much more healthy by the end of the year.”

  • Etta James’ Son and Husband Squabble Over Her Estate

While Etta James remains bedridden in her California home-—suffering from leukemia, dementia, kidney problems and various other ailments—the legendary singer’s son and husband are fighting over her assets.

The family feud started in November, when James’ husband and tour manager, Artis Mills, filed a petition to get access to the 73-year-old’s bank accounts, which have an estimated total of approximately $1 million. Mills claims the access would assist with payments towards James’ business affairs and increasing medical costs—approximately $30,000 in private medical care costs.

Donto James, Mills’ step-son, questions the current care system set in place for his mother.

A month after Mills filed the petition, Mr. James asked the court to appoint an independent administrator to look over his mother’s finances, in addition to guardianship over her estate. Mills claims the songstress was in no shape to give her son those rights.

Her court-appointed attorney, Dennis Sandoval, remarks James is incapable of making any rational decisions at this point and aware of the ongoing finger-pointing.

“There are a lot of allegations flying around,” said Sandoval.

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