Recently in National News Category

Five accused of luring Florida teen to gruesome death

Fifteen-year-old Amber Wright and Seath Jackson, also 15, at the beginning of March were in what looked like a young normal relationship. After breaking up weeks after Jackson posted on Facebook his love for Wright, Wright, along with four other people, has been accused of leading Jackson to a planned gruesome death, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to Marion County Sheriff's Office detectives, Wright, her 16-year-old brother Kyle Hooper, and three other older friends devised a deadly plan in which Jackson was beaten, shot several times, and then burned to ashes, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Gainesville Sun, there was a series of facebook posts indicating growing tension between Wright and one-time boyfriend Jackson.

One of the suspects, 18-year-old Charlie Kay Ely, told a reporter that the group went after Seath for hitting Amber, but that has still not been confirmed, reported the Gainesville Sun.

Southern Tornado outbreak among largest in U.S. History

A vicious storm system created a reported 241 tornadoes since Thursday, with more than 60 tornadoes touching down in eastern North Carolina, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a minimum of 22 people were killed all across the state of North Carolina late Saturday, with another five people killed in Virginia. In addition there was havoc wrecked earlier from the storms in Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, and Mississippi, all together leaving another 17 people dead, reported the LA Times.

According to officials, the damage caused by the tornadoes in North Carolina is estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars, reported the New York Times.

The New York Times reported that the storm system brought with it flash floods and tornadoes and thunderstorms accompanied by giant balls of hail, which left hundreds injured and many dead throughout the southern states.

According to the Star Tribune, A Yale University student about to graduate, was killed inside a university chemistry lab when her hair was pulled into a rotating lathe, a type of lab machine, school officials said Wednesday.

The Star Tribune reported that senior physics and astronomy major Michele Dufault, died Tuesday night while working on her senior thesis. Her body was found by other students in the lab, university President Richard Levin said.

The Connecticut medical examiner's office said that Dufault died from accidental asphyxia by neck compression, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the New York Times, students and Yale staff members were devastated by Dufault's death on Wednesday, and in a letter to students Linda Koch Lorimer, a Yale vice president, called her death a "terrible accident", also stating that couselors would be open for grieving students.

Santa Monica synagogue explosion caused by unusual device

According to authorities, the explosion near a synagogue in Santa Monica California on Thursday was most likely deliberately planned out, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities went back on forth on pinpointing the reason for the explosion, mostly because of the confusion around the device that caused the explosion: an explosive device situated under pounds of concrete put into a trash bin, reported the LA Times.

According to the New York Times, officials were looking on Saturday for a man thought to be responsible for the explosion. Rob Hirsch, 60, has been linked by investigators to the homemade explosive device that was found.

Hirsch is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers in the nearby area, seeking charity, reported the New York Times.

Federal officials outlined preparatory government shutdown plans Wednesday, in the event that last-resort budget cuts are not reached by the midnight deadline on Friday, reported the Los Angeles Times.

A government shut down would lead to freezing the processing of paper income tax returns, suspending pay for the military and furloughing around 800,000 civilian federal employees, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the New York Times, the federal agencies rely on spending authority given out by Congress, which expires for most agencies on Friday.

But, even with the possibility of a shutdown, federal employees will be able to continue work needed to safeguard human life, to protect different federal properties or to at least shut down the government in an orderly fashion, reported the New York Times.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reaffirmed Thursday his opposition to putting American ground troops in Libya, but countered by saying that allies involved in the operation might provide assistance to the rebels, on account of the advances made by Col. Moammar Kadafi's forces, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Gates knows that the Obama administration is still debating on whether to supply arms to the rebel forces or not, but thinks that what they need most is training, according to the Los Angeles Times.

At a congressional panel on Thursday, Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, answered questions from angry Congress members who are deeply conflicted with President Obama's exact plans for U.S. involvement in Libya, reported the New York Times.

In his opening statement to the House committee, Gates clarified that the U.S. involvement would be limited, and that he thinks the conflict would probably end once Colonel Qaddafi is out of power as a result of economic or political pressures, according to the New York Times.

Tim Pawlenty, our next president?

Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, filed his paperwork with federal elections officials on Monday, as the first major Republican to take the step towards being a formal presidential candidate, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Pawlenty has already organized a team in Iowa and New Hampshire and has made multiple visits to both states.

Pawlenty said in an interview last week that he thought he had unique appeal to economic and social conservatives, along with a blue-collar directed campaign message, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Star Tribune, the 2012 Republican field is flawed in the fact that there is no serious GOP contender without a personal misstep or policy move that angers the Republican party base.

Terror hearing turns political as emotions run high

The televised House hearing on Thursday turned extremely emotional and politically charged, not solely because of the delicate topic material, which was a discussion on terrorist sympathies in regards to Muslim Americans, but because lawmakers mostly just accused each other, reported the New York Times.

According to the New York Times, Republican lawmakers accused Democrat lawmakers of sacrificing security, while Democrat lawmakers accused Republican lawmakers of counting out non-Muslim acts of terrorism, such as whitesupremacist hate crimes.

The Seattle Times reported that the sharp political divisions at the hearing only put into perspective a country still conflicted with how to fight terrorism, nearly a decade after the 9/11 attacks.

Furthermore, Al-Qaida has used the strategy of targeting young American Muslims to commit acts of terror, and the U.S. government has no idea how to combat those efforts, reported the Seattle Times.

Thousands of protesters crowded in the Capitol building in Madison, which police tried to cut off access to on Thursday, to protest a bill Republican State Assembly members were set to vote on that eliminates state employees' bargaining rights, reported the New York Times.

Protesters clogged the hallways and some security-check points in the Capitol building on Thursday, to make it difficult for the GOP-controlled Assembly to begin its consideration of the latest version of Gov. Scott Walker's plan, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Republican members alone casted their votes for similar legislation on Wednesday, while the Democrats continued to boycott the bill by remaining out of Wisconsin, according to the New York Times.

Protesters continued their demonstrations by pounding on plastic buckets with drumsticks, waving the American flag, and marching with pro-union signs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Supreme Court ruled in an 8-to-1 decision on Wednesday, that the First Amendment protects hateful picketing at military funerals, reported the Washington Post.

According to the New York Times, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, and said that the national commitment to free speech requires protection for even hurtful speech on public issues.

The case arose after members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., protested in Maryland at the funeral of 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq, the Washington Post reported.

According to the Washington Post, the church contented that God is punishing America for its tolerance of homosexuality.

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