Recently in National News Category

Armed CD peddler killed in Times Square gunfight

Armed CD peddler killed in Times Square gunfight

By Brittany Falkers


            An armed man hawking CDs was shot to death by a plainclothes police sergeant Thursday after trading gunfire in the taxi area of the landmark Marriott Marquis hotel, the Star Tribune said.

            The sergeant chased the scam artist through sidewalks crowded with holiday shoppers and tourists.  The two exchanged gunfire that shattered Broadway theatre and gift shop windows, before killing the suspect near the landmark hotel, police told WCCO News.  

            Raymond Martinez, 25, was no ordinary CD peddler, police told the Star Tribune.  He was carrying a loaded pistol and had a handful of business cards from gun dealers in his pockets.

            No on else was injured, according to WCCO News.

NY grad student accused of fatally stabbing Binghamton University professor

By Brittany Falkers

            A New York graduate student has been accused of fatally stabbing a 77-year-old Binghamton University anthropology professor, the Star Tribune said.

            Authorities told the Star Tribune that Abdulsalam al-Zahrani was charged with murder Saturday in the death of Richard T. Antoun of Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

            Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen says Antoun knew al-Zahrani from school, according to the Star Tribune.  He told the New York Times the two had known each other for "quite some time."

            Mollen says he didn't know whether al-Zahrani has an attorney.  There was no phone listing in Binghamton for the 46-year-old Saudi national, the Star Tribune said.

            Antoun died Friday after being stabbed four times with a six-inch kitchen knife, according to TransWorld News.

            University officials notified students of the stabbing by text message, TransWorld New said.

            Binghamton president Lois DeFleur called the killing "an act of senseless violence," according to TransWorld News.

College tuition in California to rise by 32 percent

College tuition in California to rise by 32 percent

By Brittany Falkers


            The University of California Board of Regents approved a plan to raise undergraduate fees on Thursday, the New York Times said.

            The equivalent of tuition is to rise 32 percent by next fall, to help make up for steep cuts in state funding, according to the New York Times. 

            The state allocation for the university system was cut $813 million, or 20 percent, this year, leading to a halt in hiring, furloughs and layoffs, according to the New York Times.

            Students have protested both the budget cuts and the proposal for higher fees, which would bring in-state tuition to more than $10,000 a year, the New York Times said.

            A second day of protest roiled the UCLA campus today as the UC regents prepared to approve the increase in student fees, according to the LA Times.

            Mark Yudorf, president of the system, told the New York Times that UCLA now recived hold half the support from the state as it did in 1990.  The system still needs a $913 million increase in state financing next year to avoid further cuts.  If it is not provided, next year's freshman enrollment will most likely be cut.

            "When it comes to the university's core support, we have only two main sources - taxpayer dollars from the state and students fees." Yudorf told the New York Times.

            The full Board of Regents is expected to approve a fee hike of $2,500, or 32 percent, in two steps by next fall.  The total student fees increase would be about triple the UC cost a decade ago.  Room, board, and books can add another $16,000, according to the LA Times.

Hasan charged with murder for Fort Hood killings

Hasan charged with murder for Fort Hood killings

By Brittany Falkers


            Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was charged by military officials on Thursday with 13 counts of premeditated murder, accusing him of the attack at America's largest Arm post in Fort Hood, Tex. last week, according to the New York Times. 

            Investigators are still unsure of Hasan's motive for the attack.  "We are doing everything possible and we are looking at every reason for this shooting," Chris Grey, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command said at a news conference Friday at Fort Hood. 

            Hasan, 39, an Army psychiatrist, could face the death penalty if convicted, reporters for Bloomberg said.

            Hasan had espoused the belief that America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were wars against all Muslims, according to the New York Times.

            Before he was taken down by the police, he shot to death four commissioned officers, eight enlisted soldiers and one civilian in the crowded center, officials told reporters for the New York Times.

            The military and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been trying to determine whether the gunman acted alone, and so far, officials in Washington say, they have found no evidence of a conspiracy, according to the New York Times.

Suspect kills 12 at Fort Hood

Suspect kills 12 at Fort Hood

By Brittany Falkers


            Twelve were fatally shot and 31 were wounded at Fort Hood in Texas on Thursday, according to CNN news.

            The suspect is not dead as previously reported by the military, the base's commander told reporters from CNN Thursday evening.  

            The suspect, identified at Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire at a military processing center at Fort Hood around 1:30 p.m., Army Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told reporters.

            Hasan, 39, is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a psychiatrist licensed in Virginia who was practicing at Darnall Arm Medical Center at Fort Hood, according to military and professional records, said CNN news.

            Evidence has emerged that Major Hasan was both a troubled man and a religious Muslim.  Reports suggested that soldiers may have heard him shout something like "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is great!" - just before he fired two automatic handguns, said the New York Times.

            President Obama asked people to avoid "jumping to conclusion" while the investigations continued.

Colorado receives 3-plus feet of snow

Colorado receives 3-plus feet of snow

By Brittany Falkers


            An early fall snowstorm forced Denver International Airport to cancel hundreds of flights, and highways leading nor and east from Denver were closed into the night Thursday as a two-day storm passed through Colorado, according to the Denver Post.

            The storm spread 3 feet of snow and high drifts across parts of northern Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, according to the Star Tribune.  

            It was the heaviest October snowfall in the Denver area in a decade, which forced hundreds of schools and businesses to close, according to the Star Tribune.

            "Big storms like these, they seem to come around every 10 to 12 years," Kyle Fredin, a National Weather Service meteorologist told the Star Tribune.  

            United Airlines canceled about 200 flights, while Frontier canceled at least 44 of its daily trips and Southwest about 35 due to the weather, according to the Denver Post.

15-year-old charged with murder

15-year-old charged with murder

By Brittany Falkers


            Authorities said Saturday that a 15-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder for the death of a 9-year-old central Missouri girl found in the woods two days after she went missing, said.

            Police did not release the teen's gender or name, according to the Star Tribune.

            The 15-year-old is suspected of killing Elizabeth Olten, according to the Star Tribune.

            Cole County Sheriff Greg White told reporters from the associated press that the teenage suspect is not related to Elizabeth but was acquainted with her and is from the same area just west of Jefferson City in Missouri.

            Under Missouri law children as young as 12 can be charged as adults with first-degree murder, according to the Star Tribune.

            Cole County Juvenile Court Administrator Michael Couty told associated press reporters that the suspect was in the custody of the juvenile justice system and would undergo a background and psychological check.  Couty planned to request a hearing next week before a family court judge to determine whether the suspect should be tried as a juvenile or as an adult.




Obama declares H1N1 a national emergency

Obama declares H1N1 a national emergency

By Brittany Falkers


            President Obama signed a proclamation declaring the H1N1 influenza a national emergency late Friday, said.

            The new proclamation will give doctors and medical facilities greater ability to respond to the flu pandemic, according to

            Obama's health chief will now, by the proclamation of a national emergency, have the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect non-infected patients, according to the Star Tribune.

            So far only 11 million doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine have gone out to health departments, doctor's offices and other providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials.   

            Administrative officials told reporters at the Star Tribune the declaration was a pre-emptive move designed to make decisions easier when they need to be made.  Officials said the move was not in response to any single development.

            Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius now has authority to bypass federal rules when opening alternative care sites, according to the Star Tribune.

            The proclamation will allow some hospitals to have opened drive-thrus and drive-up tent clinics to screen and treat swine flu patients.  Hospitals could modify patient rules to quicken access to treatment, according to The Star Tribune.

Balloon boy found in attic

Balloon boy found in attic

By Brittany Falkers


            A six-year-old boy was thought to be trapped inside his family's homemade helium balloon Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

            The story caused national uproar when authorities searched northern Colorado for the boy.

            The balloon landed after two hours traveling through counties.  When the balloon touched ground the boy, Falcon Heene, was no where to be seen.  

            The boy's father had scolded the boy about the balloon earlier Thursday morning, for getting inside a compartment before it took off; leading the family to believe the boy was in there when the balloon took off, according to

            The boy was then found in the attic where he was playing with toys and had taken a nap, according to

            The father denies any accusations of the situation to be any sort of a stunt, according to The Star Tribune.

Feared los in balloon, boy found at home

Balloon boy's father: It's 'pathetic' to suggest a stunt

Obama Extends Relief as Job Loss Rises

Obama Extends Relief as Job Loss Rises

By Brittany Falkers

            In Congress, the Obama administration and Democratic leaders are discussing extending many safety net programs and proposing new tax incentives for businesses to renew hiring, according to The New York Times.

            Following President Obama's radio address on Saturday Obama's economic team discussed these new ideas and "Explore additional options to promote job creation" at a meeting on Monday.

            Mark Zandi, an economist, told The New York times, "It is very important for the government to continue to provide significan support to the economy through the next year.  At least that should include extending the homebuyer's credit, various business tax breaks and mortgage relief programs.

As Job Loss Rises, Obama Aides Act to Fix Safety Net

By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

Obama stimulus casts a wider government safety net, expands programs for the poor

By Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal

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