Recently in National news Category

GM to close Saab line

After talks with Dutch carmaker Spyker to sell Saab fell through, GM announced Friday that it will close its Saab line, according to USA Today.

The two companies realized they would not reach their goal for a deal by Dec. 31 due to issues that no amount of time would resolve.

The closing of the line will eliminate 3,400 jobs worldwide.

"This is a business that has struggled for more years than not," an executive vice president at G.M., John F. Smith, said.  "Sometimes things just don't work."

Saab filed for bankruptcy protection in February, and sold just 93,000 vehicles worldwide last year, according to the New York Times.

Officials arrest 300 in California

Immagration officials arrested 300 foreign nationals who had commited serious crimes this week, according to the New York Times. 

Federal agents deported or detained the immigrants in the largest operation ever aimed at illegal immigrants with criminal records.

More than 80 percent had convictions for serious or violent crimes and more than 100 have been removed from the country.

About 400 officers and agents took part in the operation, which is part of a new program to arrest and deport immigrants with criminal records, according the Los Angeles Times.

The program has expanded rapidly since its start in 2003, and has recently ended a requirement to fill quotas which led to officials arresting immigrants with no criminal record.

Obama optimistic about job report

President Obama welcomed the fact that the U.S. has reportedly only lost 11,000 jobs in November, according to the New York Times.

Speaking in Allentown, Pa. Friday, the president also expressed caution, and saying, "we have a lot more work to do before we can celebrate." He also commented that the nation still needs to find new ways to create jobs.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate fell below than anytime since the start of the recession, according to NPR.

The unemployment decline was a surprise to most economists and the data was the strongest sine December 2007 when the recession first began, according to USA Today.

Republicans have produced a different perspective on the report, with House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, saying anyone who celebrates Friday's report "is out of touch with the American people."

Swine flu may have peaked

The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday that swine flu activity is down in all regions of the country, according to the New York Times.

A similar statement was made by the World Health Organization, who said there were "early signs of a peak" in most of the U.S.

Flu is still widespread in 43 states, but that is down from 46 states last week. This is also the first time the flu has been in a downward trend in all parts of the country, according to WebMD.

But CDC Director of Immunizations and Respitory Diseases Anne Schuchat said there is no way to know if the peak has been hit, or if more cases will spring up later in the season.

"Influenza season goes from December to May," Schuchat said. "We may have weeks and months of a lot of disease ahead of us."

Fort Hood shooter charged with murder

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect in last week's shooting at Fort Hood, has been charged by military officials on 13 counts of premeditated murder, according to the New York Times.

Tragedy at Fort Hood

An Army psychiatrist about to be deployed to the Middle East opened fire on soldiers at Fort Hood, killing 12 and injuring 31, according to the New York Times.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, was promoted in May and was upset about his pending deployment to Iraq, according to a spokesman for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

Hasan began opening fire at about 1:30 p.m. central time and was quickly killed by police forces.

The shooting took place near a processing center where soldiers were preparing to deploy to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Washington Post.

Two other soldiers were apprehended on suspicion of involvement in the attack, but were later released after questioning.

"It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil," President Obama said.

White House boasts job figures

The White House reported Friday that showed the $159 billion used in grants and loans so far have created or saved about 640,000 jobs, according to the Washington Post.

"The Recovery Act is operating as advertised," said Vice President Joe Biden

More than half of the jobs saved or created in the report were in education, according to the New York Times.

Many republicans have questioned the effectiveness of the stimulus program, citing the 9.8 percent unemployment figure.

Officials also expect there to be errors in the report because the 130,000 recipients of loans and grants are likely to have have overstated or understated jobs.

Public Option May be Added to Bill

Senate majority leader Harry Reid said he may include a government-run health insurance plan in a bill that he will soon take to the Senate floor, Democratic senators said Thursday.

Reid's announcement comes after opinion polls show that a majority of Americans support a government insurance plan and by Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comment that the House would definitely include a public option in its version of the legislation, according to the New York Times.

Reid also stood behind the proposal to give states the option not to participate in a government-run health care system, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Whatever plan Sen. Reid brings to the floor, it will be one he is confident will be supported by 60 senators, enough to avoid a Republican filibuster.

Supporters of the plan say that competition between the government and private insurers will drive down costs, while opponents claim that it will cause too much government involvment.

Snowe, Committee Passes Health Care Legislation

The Senate Finace Committee approved leglislation that would overhaul the health care system Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine was the only Republican to cast her vote along with all 13 Democrats. All nine other Republicans voted against the bill.

The Finance Committee becomes the fifth and final Congressional panel to approve the bill, which will now move to the floors of the House and Senate.

The legislation is to cost an estimated $829 million over 10 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back," President Barack Obama said. "Now is the time to dig in and work even harder to get this done."

Vote on Health Care Bill Scheduled

The Senate Finance committee will vote on a bill that will bring major changes to the health care system next Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

The vote would be the last obstacle before the legislation can hit the floor of the House and Senate, which could be as early as this month.

The announcement from Nevada Senator and Democratic majority leader Harry Reid came one day after the highly anticipated cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office said that the bill would provide health care to 29 million uninsured Americans while reducing the federal deficit by reducing spending on spending on health care.

The health care overhaul will cost about $829 million, according to the Washington Post.

The bill still faces significant criticism, as Reid accused opposing Republicans of being "partisan protestors" rather than "productive partners" in a speech on the Senate floor.

 

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