Recently in National News Category

Family of tornadoes hits U.S., damages North Carolina most

by Maddy Hughes
North Carolina received the worst blow of a group of more than 240 storms traveling over the U.S. Saturday, according to the New York Times and the Charlotte Observer.

The Charlotte Observer said that there were more than 60 tornadoes across the state, while The New York Times said there were more than 90.

The tornadoes began in Oklahoma Thursday night and stretched all the way to the Eastern Seaboard, leaving damage of tens of millions of dollars in its wake. The storms left 45 people dead and hundreds injured.

Twenty-one of the 45 deaths nation-wide happened in North Carolina. The state had not seen storm damage of this extent sine 1984, when 42 people were killed by 22 twisters. Most of the deaths happened in small rural counties.

These tornadoes were unusual in North Carolina because though the Great Plains may see these kinds of storms twice a year, they rarely ever occur in North Carolina, according to weather service meteorologist Scott Sharp from Raleigh, N.C. And though it was unusual how many of the storms hit North Carolina, it was most unusual that all of the tornadoes came from one large storm.

Federal Government nears shutdown Friday

by Maddy Hughes
The whole country watched in awe Friday as the federal government drove itself toward a shutdown at midnight, which it just barely avoided through a last-minute compromise between Republicans and Democrats.

The main disagreement at first appeared to be only about the budget--after all, that is what Congress was negotiating. But family spending seemed to be a large factor causing the split as well, NPR and ABC News reported.

Both Republicans and Democrats pointed fingers at the other side for stalling an agreement, and the accusations involved positions taken on family spending. Though hard to tell around which of the topics the dispute centered, there was intense debate about the use of taxes for family spending purposes, specifically for Planned Parenthood.

Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid said that Republicans were mostly against taxes being used to fund Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions to women, although the taxes are private.

But both sides cited the other's main agenda as the source of the prolongation. House Speaker Republican John Boehner said that it was not the spending legislation that caused the most disagreement, but the size of the budget cuts.

In a debate between Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., funding for Planned Parenthood was the heat factor. Hollen repeatedly reminded Pence that the taxpayer money is not what funds Planned Parenthood services, while Pence focused on the idea that abortions make up the majority of its services.

The federal spending budget will be finalized next week.

Wisconsin lawmaker tackled by police

by Maddy Hughes
MADISON, Wis.-- TIME and The Washington Post, along with many other publications, reported police tackling a representative from Wisconsin trying to get into the Capitol Thursday, after it had been closed to the public.

Because of all the protests in Wisconsin in the past couple weeks, Democratic representative Nick Milroy attributed their action to an error in judgment. He was dressed in street clothes as he tried to enter the Capitol to get clothes from his office after 6 p.m., and the understandably exhausted police officers mistook him for a protester.

A judge had ordered that the building be shut down earlier that day, in response, after weeks, to the thousands of protesters camping out overnight inside the Capitol and resuming their riots there during the day.

The video of the incident, taken by WISN-TV, shows Milroy close to the doors when the police order him to stay away. He tries to show his ID but doesn't have enough time before they tackle him.

Milroy calmed viewers by saying there was "no harm, no foul in this incident" and that the weeks of chaos have taken their toll on everyone, including himself. Milroy was one of the four Assembly members who, earlier in the week, moved their desks to the front lawn after public access to the Capitol was restricted.

Bill passes Assembly, protests continue in Wisconsin

By Maddy Hughes
Madison, Wis.-- The bill that has caused thousands of Wisconsinites to gather around the capitol in protests against it passed the Assembly Saturday after a debate that started in the early morning Wednesday.

The Assembly was debating amendments to the bill, and displayed a great deal of conflict between the sides of the Democrats and Republicans, according to this article in the Associated Students of Madison.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday on a prank call done on Walker by a blogger from Buffalo, N.Y., who was posing as David Koch, a conservative and very wealthy contributor to Walker.

Governor Walker essentially said that he has no plans to let go of the idea for the bill, and used phrases that revealed his strongly bipartisan ideology such as "not one of us" (when referring to a Democratic senator). He had no clue that the caller was posing and revealed a plan to stop the protests by planting "trouble makers" among them, eventually rejecting it because it could cause people to say he had to dismiss the bill in order to resolve the mayhem.

The Assembly had been debating over 100 amendments the Democrats proposed and the Republicans tried to vote on the bill, stopping the debates and causing Democrats to protest collectively.

The Assembly Speaker abruptly called for a vote despite the Democrats' shouting protests. The bill passed 51-17, with 28 Representatives absent. The bill still needs to be sent to the Senate in order to be enacted.

Workers in Wisconsin protest Budget Repair Bill

by Maddy Hughes
MADISON, Wis.--Thousands of protesters have gathered and remained at the state capitol since Feb. 12 in an effort to block a new plan from Governor Scott Walker to break apart unions and cut rights for public workers.

The New York Times and The Associated Students of Madison both reported on the riots, giving thorough rundowns of all that has happened thus far.

Class has been out for the past week, as students are permitted to join the protests, since the teachers themselves would be affected by the legislation if it passed. The students and many others have lodged inside the capitol building, staying overnight in sleeping bags and making music with chants against the Republican governor.

Jesse Jackson appeared in the capitol building Friday night to talk to a crowd of 40,000 about vigilance in their fight for workers' rights. He called the revolt a "Martin Luther King moment."

Tea partiers showed up Saturday, in order to demonstrate support of the much contested bill and their governor, causing police to worry about fights between the two sides and prepare for mayhem with snipers, barricades, and temporary fences. But their precautions were proved unnecessary as the tea partiers and opponents of the bill were peaceful in their demonstrations.

Senate Democrats left the state last week, making it impossible for the bill to be passed (or voted on) because they lacked quorum. The Senate voted Friday to allow Governor Walker another week to release his state budget plan.

Ohio fraternity shootings

by Maddy Hughes
Two men from Youngstown, Ohio have been charged with aggravated murder, shooting into a house, and 11 counts of felonious assault after they killed a Youngstown University student and critically injured seven others Sunday, officials reported. Coverage of the event in The Los Angeles Times and USA Today is nearly identical.

The two men had left the party and returned with weapons when the Youngstown student tried to break up a fight between two groups.

Youngstown police Chief Jimmy Hughes was quoted explaining that the two men had been around the area for awhile and must have had some "altercation" that brought on the shootings. Both men are in their early 20s.

Jamail E. Johnson, the 25-year-old student left dead, was shot in his head, hips, and legs. He was described as an "excellent young man" by a legal officer for Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Johnson had recently returned from a trip to North Carolina that focused on manhood and scholarship.

Six of the people injured were students at Youngstown University. Eight were treated at St. Elizabeth Health Center and released by the afternoon, the information about the three left in the hospital kept confidential.

YSU president Cynthia Anderson said she was told by the police that there was no threat to the urban campus in Northeast Ohio.

by Maddy Hughes
All across America, students in their first year of four-year colleges reported an increase in mental health complications due to the stress that the onset of higher education brings.
This report was significant because the levels of difficulty were statistically the worst in the 25-year history of the survey, "The American Freshman: National Norms 2010," given by the Higher Education Research Institute.
The New York Times and The Daily Iowan, in their recent articles addressing the survey, mentioned the same possible causes for the widespread increase in stress: the pressure to succeed in the dwindling economy, and the need to perform well considering the higher tuition rates.
The survey's results emphasized a clear difference in female and male students: both the percent of female students who were overwhelmed, and who responded by getting help, was much greater than that of male students in both cases.
It also focused on the drop in percentage of students who said they felt their emotional health was above average (The New York Times citing the 12 percent decrease from 1985 and The Daily Iowan, a 3.4 percent decrease from 2009).

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