Recently in National News Category

Tornadoes hit Mississippi

Tornadoes roared through four southern states Saturday killing at least 10, according to the L.A. Times.

Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas were all hit. Mississippi in particular took the brunt of the damage, according to the L.A. Times.

Mississippi's Yazoo County was hit the hardest of the 15 counties in the state that saw the tornadoes, according to the L.A. Times.

The National Weather Service said it appears the tornadoes originated in Louisiana, according to the Associated Press.

Former Blackwater officials charged in weapons case

The former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former senior company officials were charged Friday with illegally acquiring automatic weapons and filing false documents, according to the New York Times.

The employees converted an estimated 227 weapons into short-barrel rifles without registering them, persecutors said according to the L.A. Times.

Additionally they are being charged with trying to hide the weapons and disguising them as purchases by a North Carolina sheriff's office, according to the New York Times.

These charges are the latest in the scrutiny of the Blackwater operation since 2001.

Nuclear summit in Washington to begin Monday

President Barack Obama will host a two-day summit beginning Monday on nuclear proliferation and terrorism, according to NPR.

Leaders from nearly 50 countries will be in attendance in what is considered an unprecedented global effort against vulnerable nuclear materials, according to CNN.

Ben Rhodes, the president's deputy national security adviser, said that there is a danger for both American and global security, as there are known terrorist groups pursuing nuclear weapons, according to NPR.

In addition to the summit, the United States will continue negotiating with members of the United Nation Security Council over tougher sanctions against Iran and its nuclear ambitions, according to CNN

Killer of Kansas abortion doctor sentenced to life in prison

Scott Roeder, the man who murdered one of few late-term abortion doctors, Dr. George Tiller, was sentence to life in prison Thursday without parole for 50 years, according to the LA Times.

Roeder, 52, was convicted of premeditated murder for shooting Tiller point-blank in the forehead during a Sunday service on May 31 at his Wichita church, according to the LA Times.

Sedqick County District Judge Warren Willbert gave him a longer sentence because Roeder stalked Tiller for years before and shot him at a church, according to the LA Times

According to the Associated Press, the murder has made it markedly harder in Kansas to get an abortion as Tiller's clinic closed and there are just three clinics in the state that offer abortion services to women up to their 21st week of pregnancy.

Obama chooses director for Medicare and Medicaid

President Barack Obama will nominate Dr. Donald M. Berwick as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Associated Press.

Berwick is the president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass., and if elected by the Senate, will help carry out the responsibilities associated with the new health care reforms, according to the New York Times.

Berwick is known for his challenges to doctors and hospitals to provide better medical care and at lower costs, according to the New York Times.

Dr. Elliott S. Fisher, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at Dartmouth Medical School, said Dr. Berwick was "a visionary leader who can motivate people to change," according to the New York Times.

Obama proposes amendment to No Child Left Behind law

President Barack Obama announced Saturday plans to amend the No Child Left Behind law by implementing a new school accountability system, the Washington Post reported.

Instead of judging schools by their overall class performance, the proposal aims to focus more on the growth of individual students, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We don't think we should micromanage the schools from Washington," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the Wall Street Journal Friday, "We want to hold educators accountable but let them be creative."

Administration officials said the plan would ensure college and career readiness for students by 2020, and would steer the lowest performing school in the right direction, the Washington Post reported.

The core elements of the No Child Left Behind program remain in tact, the Washington Post reported. States will still test every year in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school, and detailed reports of scores will ensure achievement gaps are disclosed.

Congressman Delahunt announces retirement

Representative William D. Delahunt announced Friday that he will not seek re-elction for his eighth term in office.

Delahunt, 68 said the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in August has made him realize that he wanted to spend more time with his family, the New York Times reported.

According to the Boston Globe, Delahunt had considered resigning before, but Sen. Kennedy encouraged him to stay two years ago.

The Christian Science Monitor said the retirement of the Democrat will open another opportunity for the Republican party to take another step closer in taking control of the House.

"Life is about change," Delahunt said. "I think it's healthy. It's time."

Navy to lift ban on woman serving aboard submarines

The navy will soon allow female sailors to serve aboard submarines in a continued effort to reduce barriers for woman in the military.

Pentagon notified Congress of its intent Monday to allow nearly 50,000 woman serve aboard submarines, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

After the 30-day notification period is served, the Navy can begin integration of its 70-odd submarines, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he would like to see woman in the military have broader opportunities in service, the Washington Post reported.

During the 1990's the ban against female service on surface combat ships and combat aircraft was lifted, but the ban on submarines remained, the Washington Post reported.

Adm. Gary Roughead, the chief of naval operations, said he is very comfortable integrating woman, but there will have to be issues of living space, and retention rates that will have to be worked through, the Washington Post reported.

Roslyn Brock named as new chairman of N.A.A.C.P.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced it's new president Saturday.

Roslyn M. Brock, currently the vice chairwoman of the organization, is a health care administrator and also is the first president of N.A.A.C.P. who has been too young to have personally experienced legalized segregation, the Washington Post reported.

"This is the time for renewal," Julian Bond, 70, the predecessor who took over the chairmanship in 1998 said in the New York Times. "We have dynamic new leadership. Roslyn understands firsthand how important youth are to the success of the N.A.A.C.P."

Brock, in addition to being the first woman president, is the youngest president the organization has had. She began her involvement in N.A.A.C.P. as a freshman in college.

According to the New York Times, Brock said she wants to see N.A.A.C.P. catch up with technological advancements in social activism such as live streaming videos, online campaigns and social media web sites.

The N.A.A.C.P. was founded in 1909 by W.E.B. DuBois and Ida B. Wells to fight for the civil rights of African Americans.

According to the Washington Post, Brock wants to narrow its focus on civil rights issues to education, health care, economic empowerment, criminal justice and civic engagement.

Biology Professor opens fire after faculty hearing

A biology professor at the University of Alabama opened fired Friday after a faculty meeting killing three colleagues and injuring three others.

The professor, Amy Bishop, a Harvard-educated biologist, has been charged with capital murder, the The Chronicle reports.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, friends and colleagues say Bishop was upset about failure to receive tenure at the University.

The Boston Globe reports that this is not the first violent incident the Professor had been involved in. She also shot and killed her teenage brother when we was 20 years old.

Much of the public has attributed the shooting to pressure to make tenure which has been increasingly diffuclt given the competition and economic times, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Of those injured, one remains in critical conditions, while two are in stable conditions, The Chronicle reports.

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