September 2009 Archives

Senate Finance Committee Rejects Public Option

The Senante Finance Committee rejected two Democratic proposals for a government insurance plan Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

The vote comes as a major setback for President Obama, who has campaigned for the public option as a way to "keep insurance companies honest."

The first proposal was put forth by John D. Rockefeller of West Virgina and rejected by a vote of 15-8. All Republicans on the panel voted "no" along with five Democrats.

The second proposal, by Charles E. Schumer of New York, was beaten 13-10.

The Financial Committee is the last step before the legislation could be discussed in the full House and Senate, according to CNN.

"A Government-run plan will ultimately run private insurers out of business," Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said.


Princeton Bomb Scare May Be Hoax

Three devices resembling homemade bombs were discovered outside the high school, post office and public utilities building of  the eastern Minnesota town Princeton Wednesday morning, according to the Pioneer Press.

Almost 4,000 students and employees were sent home after their discovery.

Nothing dangerous was found in the bottles, which contained some sort of powder and liquid with wires sticking out, according to the Star Tribune.

"At this point I am guessing that we are dealing with a hoax," Princeton Police Chief Brian Payne said. "But we are still not 100 percent."

The St. Paul Police Department bomb squad took samples for analysis.

Iran Tests New Mid-Range Missiles

Iran's Revolutionary Guard tested missiles with capability to strike Isreal, parts of Europe, and American bases in the Persian Gulf Sunday, according the New York Times.

The tests came only days after President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France criticized that Iran's previously secret nuclear plant breached UN regulations, and only two weeks after President Obama canceled former President George W. Bush's plan for missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Iran said that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but many leaders said they developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran is to hold talks with the UN security council and Germany on Thursday concerning its nuclear program, according to the BBC.



Analysis- Big Turnout for the Little Texan: Ron Paul at the U

The sources used in the story are Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann, who were the speakers at the forum.

The attributions are scattered throughout the story, because the author sets up his quotes with different topics discussed at the forum.

Most of the information in the story is based on what happened at the speech and what the representatives, other than basic information that would not take much research to find.

The reporter is trying to convey what was discussed at the forum and how people reacted using the quotes in the story.


Carleton College President to Retire

The President of Carleton College will retire in June, according to the Star Tribune.

Robert Oden Jr, 63, has overseen many changes in the school since he took over in 2002, including the addition of two residence halls, the first systematic curriculum review in 50 years, and a fund-raising project that has brought in $235 million so far.

Oden cites a need to spend more time to travel with his wife and a desire to live closer to his children in New Hampshire and New York as reasons for his retirement.

Originally from Vermillion, S.D., Oden served as president of Kenyon College from 1995 to 2002 and as headmaster of Hotchkiss School in Connecticut from1989 to 1995.

The board of trustees will begin looking for Oden's replacement within the next few weeks, according to the Pioneer Press.

Bachmann, Paul Criticize "Out of Control" Spending in Forum

Reps. Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann blasted the current administration's spending plan at a forum at Northrop Auditorium at the University of MInnesota Friday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Over 2,000 people attended the event, and met the representatives with support.

"You are the generation that will inherit increasing debt from out-of-control spending," Bachmann said.

Paul also warned that further government expansion will undermine personal liberty.

"Government is increasing its role in all our lives, from health care to welfare," said Paul.

Bachmann praised Paul's proposed legislation that would require a detailed audit of the Federal Reserve, according to the Star Tribune.

There has never been audit of the reserve since its creation in 1913.


Iran Posses Nuclear Plant

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization announced Friday that they were in the process of building a facility designed to produce nuclear fuel, according to the New York Times.

The announcement marks the first time that international authorities had been told about the existence of the plant.

President Obama said that that the Iranian nuclear program challenges the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the international community must "draw a line in the sand."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy along with President Obama and Prime Minister Brown demanded that the plant be opened for inspection.

The U.S. and Israel have not not ruled the possibility of a last-resort military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, according to the Associated Press.


Obama Stresses Cooperation In UN Address

In his first speech at the UN General Assembly, President Obama urged for international unity Wednesday, according to the BBC.

Speaking in front of representatives from over 120 countries, the president said that America alone can not succeed in tackling the world's problems.

"Those who chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone," he said

Among the problems the president included in his call for international cooperation were Middle East peace, nuclear non-proliferation, climate change and poverty in developing countries, according to the Guardian.

The speech differed from former President George W. Bush's talks on unilateral action, which were not popular with UN delegates.


Walk-In Flu Shots Suspended

HealthPartners has temporarily suspended walk-in flu shot clinics due to low vaccine supplies, according to the Star Tribune.

They had scheduled 31 clinics in September and October, but only completed two.

Spokesman Joe Dangor said vaccine shipments have slowed because manufacturers have been concentrating on a vaccine for the H1N1 virus, which will not be available until October.

Flu shots will still be given to patients during appointments.

Boyton Health Services at the University of Minnesota has also postponed a walk-in clinic for the flu vaccine on Sept. 23, according to the Minnesota Daily.


General Warns Possible Afghan Conflict Failure

The top military authority in Afganistan warned that the conflict will likely end in failure if additional troops are not deployed within the next year, according to the New York Times.

Gen. Stanley A. Mchrystal submitted his assessment to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in late August, and is now under review by President Obama.

The general believes that success is still achieveable, but says he will need more forces and better organization with NATO allies in order to be victorious.

Currently, there are 68,000 troops approved, and Mchrystal could potentially ask for an additional 10,000 to 45,000 more.

The administration is now waiting on a more detailed report requesting additional resources and troops which is not yet complete, according to the Associated Press.

Terrorism Probe Investigation Takes Day Off

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A Denver man who is under investigation in a terrorism probe met with his attorney rather than attending the fourth day of FBI questioning, according to the Associated Press.

Najibullah Zazi, a 24 year old airport shuttle driver, is under investigation for a possible link to al-Qadia.

An intelligence official said that the Afghanistan native played a major role in an intended terrorist attack in New York City.

Zazi's attorney is denied rumors that her client is considering a plea that involves terror charges.

Zazi has spent 28 hours with federal investigators over the past three days, according to the New York Times. 

The break makes sense according to spokeswoman Wendy S. Aellio, who said that Zazi's lawyer Arthur Folsom needs time to review the situation.

Pawlenty Third In Presidential Straw Poll

Gov. Tim Pawlenty finished in third in a poll of fellow conservatives in a test of potential presidential contenders, according to the Star Tribune.

Pawlenty finished one vote behind Mitt Romney at 73 votes, while Mike Huckabee was the overwelming favorite at 170 votes.

The poll took place at the Values Voters Summit, which was hosted by the conservative Family Research Council.

A number of voters said that the reason that they did not vote for Gov. Pawlenty was because he has not made his political platform clear.

According to Politico, abortion was the single most important issue to sway the voter's opinion.


New U.S. Attorney For Minnesota Sworn In

B. Todd Jones was sworn into office for U.S. Attorney for Minnesota on Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

Jones becomes the 41st U.S. attorney for Minnesota as he returns to a job that he held at the end of the Clinton administration.

He will have his hands full when he takes office, handling issues such as the recruitment of Somali men by a group that is linked al-Qaida, according to the Pioneer Press.

President Obama has confidence in Jones, however, because of his long list of public service including his time in the Marine Corps.

The new U.S. attorney is taking over for Rachel Paulose, who resigned in Nvember 2007 after several management issues during the Ablerto Gonzales scandal.


Russia Hails Major Changes to U.S. Missile Defense Program.

President Obama announced that his administration is ditching plans for missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Vladimir Putin has hailed the decision, calling it "brave" on the part of the U.S.

The old plan, proposed by former President George W. Bush, was unpopluar with Russia because it was seen as a threat to Russia's security.

The new plan focuses on using a more efficient system to protect the U.S. and its allies from possible medium and short-range attacks, rather than long-range attacks from Iran according to the New York Times. 

President Obama said  that Iran has made significant progress in creating a nuclear weapon recently, but Russia has stood firm in its decision not impose sanctions against them.

The move has drawn criticism from republicans, including Sen. John McCain, who claim that it will empower Russia and Iran, according to the Guardian.


Acorn Scandal Intensifies

The Senate voted 83-7 to take stop federal funding for the antipoverty group Acorn Monday, according to the New York Times.

The decision came after undercover videos were released depicting Acorn employees advising people on how to perform tax fraud in order to run a brothel and to people posing as a prostitute and pimp.

Acorn plans on an internal investiagtion into the practices shown in the video, according to USA Today.

Last week, the Census Bureau told the orginazation that it did not not want its help with completing a 2010 census.

Some Republicans, including Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, are calling for an investigation into Acorn and for states to sever financial ties with the group, according to the Star Tribune .




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