Recently in National News Category

Smuggling clash kills US Coast Guard officer

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A suspected smuggling vessel crashed into a small U.S. Coast Guard boat killing one officer and injuring another off the Southern California coast Sunday, according to authorities, CBS News and Fox News said.
The small boat was deployed from a cutter by the Coast Guard to help in investigating a suspected Mexican drug smuggling vessel, CBS News said.
The Coast Guard spotted a panga, which is an open, low-sided fishing boat, near the Channel Islands west of Malibu before dawn, Fox News said. The Coast Guard issued a statement saying the panga, operating at a high speech and without lights, crashed into the inflatable boat deployed from the cutter, CBS News said. Two members of the Coast Guard were thrown from the boat, CBS News said.
Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, 34, of Redondo Beach, sustained traumatic head injuries and was pronounced dead after being brought to shore, CBS News said.
The second man was treated for minor injuries, but his name has not been released, Fox news said.
The alleged smuggling vessel tried to flee, but another Coast Guard vessel was able to stop it and detain two suspects, CBS News said.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released a statement, saying, "This tragedy reminds us of the dangers our men and women in uniform face every day, and the great risks they willingly take, as they protect our nation," as reported on CBS News.
Horne and his wife Rachel have one daughter and a child on the way, CBS News said.

Obama shops on "Small Business Saturday"

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President Obama shopped at a local small bookstore to promote Small Business Saturday, the Christian Science Monitor said.
Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia joined the President at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., the Christian Science Monitor said.
Small Business Saturday, an alternative to Black Friday, was created in 2010 by American Express to promote small business, CBS News said. Last year, approximately 100 million people participated in Small Business Saturday, the Christian Science Monitor said.
This is the second year Obama has participated in the Saturday event, CBS News said. Last year, the President shopped at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. He purchased eight books that year, the Christian Science Monitor said.
This year, the President consulted his Blackberry, then purchased 15 books before even browsing the store, CBS News said. He claims he came prepared with a list.
"That's how I shop. Michelle, she can go wandering around forever. I like knowing what I'm coming in here for," the President said, as reported in CBS News.
When asked to report on politics, Obama said, "Come on, we're doing Christmas shopping. Happy Thanksgiving, folks," as reported in the Christian Science Monitor.
"Through events such as 'Small Business Saturday,' we keep our local economies strong and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century," Obama said as reported by CBS News.

Secession petitions picking up steam

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Approximately 700,000 residents in the U.S. hailing from all 50 states have signed petitions on the White House website to secede from the country to create their own governments as of Wednesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer said.
At least seven petitions have over 25,000 signatures, the Philadelphia Inquirer said. Texas has the most of any state's petition with 99,000 signatures, the Inquirer said.
Upon further review of these petitions, many of the signatures are from residents not even living in the states. Minnesota's petition has signatures from people living all over the U.S.
Many Republican governors are taking a stand against these petitions, the Huffington Post said.
Jennifer Ardis, spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, spoke of the secession petitions to Alabama Live, as reported in the Huffington Post.
"We can disagree on philosophy, but we should work together to make this country the best it can be," Ardis said.
Conversely, two petitions have been proposed to exile and deport those wishing to secede from the U.S. Those petitions currently have a combined 25,000 total signatures, the Philadelphia Inquirer said.

Poll: 51 percent of Americans support gay marriage

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An ABC News-Washington Post poll shows 51 percent of Americans support marriage equality in the U.S., the Huffington Post said.
The results of this poll come days after Maryland, Maine and Washington approved gay marriage initiatives and Minnesota struck down the proposed marriage amendment which would ban same-sex marriages, The Hill said.
The poll was a survey of 1,023 registered voters polled between Nov. 7 and 11, the Huffington Post said. However, 47 percent of respondents opposed gay marriage, the Huffington Post said.
The findings of the survey show six in 10 young adults and three in four Democrats support gay marriage, The Hill said. However, two in three senior citizens and 81 percent of "very conservative" respondents oppose gay marriage, the Huffington Post said.
Challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as union strictly between one man and one woman, are expected to be heard by the Supreme Court. If the highest court in the U.S. refuses to hear the case, the federal appeals court ruling will stand which would allow gay marriage in California, the Huffington Post said.
Gay marriage is currently legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., the Huffington Post said.

A group of African painted dogs at the the Pittsburgh Zoo mauled a 2-year-old boy to death Sunday morning after he accidentally fell into the exhibit, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The boy's mother lifted him on top of a railing, approximately 4 feet high, to give the boy a better view when he lost his balance and fell more than 10 feet into an exhibit containing 11 wild dogs, the Chicago Tribune and USA Today. A netting is in place to protect anyone against falling, but the boy was so small, he ricocheted off the net and into the exhibit, USA Today said. An autopsy showed the attack, not the fall, is what ultimately killed the boy, USA Today said.
The animals immediately attacked the boy, so once zoo staff arrived, there was nothing that could be done, the Chicago Tribune said. Staff fired tranquilizers at the dog, but one of the dogs was shot and killed because it would not leave the body of the boy, USA Today said.
The dogs were quarantined, but no other dogs have been put to death, USA Today said.
The zoo was closed immediately after the accident on Sunday and for the day Monday, but it is expected to open on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune said.

Shark attacked California surfer

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A California surfer survived a shark attack by punching the shark in the head Wednesday off the coast of Eureka, Mercury News said.
Scott Stephens was catching some waves when a great white shark bit him and pulled the surfer under, Mercury News said. Stephens began fighting with the shark until it released him. Stephens saw a lot of blood, Mercury News said.
Stephens remained in the hospital Thursday, but he is expected to make a full recovery as none of his vital organs were not harmed, NBC said.
A wave then helped Stephens get back to shore where fellow surfers where able to begin giving him medical attention, NBC said. Stephens was placed in the back of a truck and taken to a hospital, NBC said.
"An average of about 65 shark attacks happen each year around the world that typically result in two or three deaths, according to the Pew Environment Group," Mercury News said.
Stephens spoke publicly about the incident Wednesday, thanking fellow surfers and doctors for their help, NBC said.

New England braces for Hurricane Sandy

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Predicted to be the worst storm in a generation to hit the Eastern Seaboard, 50 million people could likely be affected by a rare giant storm led by Hurricane Sandy, the Star Tribune said.
Residents of several states are being urged by governors to move inland in preparation for the storm, said Kare 11.
The storm will likely create torrential rainfall and damaging winds over the course of several days, the Pioneer Press said. Waves may reach as high as 30 feet. The peak of the storm will arrive Monday or Tuesday, the Pioneer Press said. 50 mph winds are possible, Kare 11 said.
Hurricane Sandy is not the only storm that is causing concern. Hurricane Sandy is expected to collide with two winter storms that could potentially create one large storm, Kare 11 said. The storms, moving from the west of the United States, could pull in Hurricane Sandy and give it energy, the Star Tribune said. These storms could dump several feet of snow inland, the Star Tribune said.
Transportation is likely to be affected. New York City is considering shutting down public transportation, Kare 11 said.
As reported in the Star Tribune, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned residents of the upcoming storm. "This is a large, unpredictable storm, so be prepared for possible outages," he said.

Popeyes plans to take over 14 Twin Cities' metro KFCs

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National food chain Popeyes will face a bankruptcy judge next month to takeover 28 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants nationwide, 14 of which are in the Twin Cities' metro area, the Star Tribune said.
The 14 planned restuarants would join the only Popeyes restaurant in the metro on Lake Street in south Minneapolis, the Burnsville Patch said.
KFC, a bankrupt franchise, intends to be involved in the possible takeover process, the Star Tribune said. The company, as reported in the Star Tribune, "intends to make every effort to see that as many restaurants as possible continue to operate as KFC restaurants with the same employee teams but under new ownership," the company said.
AFC Enterprises, Popeyes' parent company, has agreed to pay Wagstaff Management, KFC's owners, $13.8 million for the 28 locations nationwide, the Star Tribune said. The other 14 locations are in California, the Star Tribune said.

Support for identification cards for illegal immigrants residing in the Los Angeles community is growing, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the New York Times, the goal of issuing the identification cards is to allow illegal immigrants to open bank accounts and access certain services.
A City Council committee unanimously approved the plan that would allow private companies to create identification cards for illegal immigrants reports the New York Times. According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles residents would not incur the fees for the plan. The private companies would charge $10 to $20 for each card.
According to the New York Times, New Haven was the first city to issue identification cards to illegal immigrants. Oakland and San Francisco followed suit. Los Angeles would be the largest city to allow for such identification cards.
The identification card would function as a debit card reports the Los Angeles Times. Card holders would be able to make purchases from the card, load it with money, and make reservations with the card.
While the identification card would be acceptable at many places, including banks, it would up to the Los Angeles Police Department whether the card would be an acceptable form of identification according to the Los Angeles Times.
The New York Times reports that many illegal immigrants carry around large sums of money. This identification card would allow them to put the money in a safe place, lowering their chances of being victims of robberies.
Support of this identification card is widespread, but many do not share the sentiment.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, opposed the plan in the New York Times.
"This city has bent over backwards to accommodate people who are in this country illegally," Mehlman said. "If Los Angeles is going to be issuing government IDs, how do they know these people's true identities? They could be helping people establish a false identity."

Shot fired at Denver Obama campaign office

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A shot fired at Obama's campaign office in Denver, Colo., Friday afternoon resulted in no injuries.
According to The Denver Post, the shot was fired at 3 p.m. and people were inside the office, but no one was injured by the single shot.
Raquel Lopez, spokeswoman for the Denver police reported to CNN that police do not have a detailed description of a suspect, but they do have a possible "vehicle of interest." According to the Denver Post, detectives are reviewing tape recordings of the incident and specific vehicle information cannot be released.
According to CNN, the Secret Service has not been involved in the investigation. The Obama re-election campaign also declined to comment on the incident.

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