Recently in National News Category

Freak Snowstorm in the Northeast

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Halloween enthusiasts were taken by surprise when a freak snowstorm strolled in the Northeastern region October 29.

"This is absolutely a lot more snow than I expected to see today. I can't believe it's not even Halloween and it's already snowing," Carole Shepherd of Washington Township, N.J., said to NPR.

Over 2 million homes and businesses were without power due to the snow "toppling leafy trees and power lines," NPR said.

Authorities reported to CNN 13 deaths that were attributed to the storm, some to vehicular accidents, trees falling, and carbon monoxide poisoning of alternative heating sources.

Ohio Zoo Animals to Be Quarantined

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The widow of the man that released 56 exotic animals from their cages and then killed himself was denied retrieving the remaining six live animals Thursday due to a quarantine order from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The animals are held indefinitely at the Columbus Zoo under the order issued by Agriculture director James Zehringer.

Zehringer was led to believe that the animals should be examined for potentially dangerous diseases such as the herpes B virus, the Columbus Dispatch said.

There was also concern for the unsanitary living conditions of their homes before their release that could have exposed these diseases to the animals, Star Tribune said.

"These animals are the innocents in this situation, and our job is to really take care of them as much as we can and make sure their welfare is looked out for," Zoo president Dale Schmidt said to Star Tribune.

Fight in McDonald's Caught on Video

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A McDonald's cashier was caught on tape beating two unruly customers when he was chased behind the service counter Wednesday morning.

The video shows that two women started arguing with Rayon McIntosh, who was taking the order, after he questioned their $50 bill, CBS New York said.

Denise Darberau, 24, and Rachel Edwards, 24, were hospitalized with a cut, broken arm, and cracked skull, CNN said. Police said the two were also arrested and charged with menacing, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

McIntosh, 31, was also arrested and charged with two counts assault and possession of a weapon, CBS New York said. McIntosh previously served a ten year sentence for manslaughter of a high school classmate in 2000, NY Daily News said.

Ohio Public Sector Workers Fight Union Law

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Police, teachers, firefighter unions alike are fighting to repeal Senate Bill 5, which was enacted in March, and is up for debate for the future voting in November.

Senate Bill 5 limits unions collective bargaining rights and ask public sector employees to pay more for health care and pension benefits, said Ohio Senate president Thomas E. Niehaus to the Atlantic Wire.

Supporting and opposing sides to a repeal on Senate Bill 5 plan to fight for support and expected to spend approximately $20 million in phone-banking and door-knocking campaigns, the New York Times said.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the national president and secretary of the nation's largest law enforcement union, the Fraternal Order of Police, are to visit Ohio and rally members in support of the repeal.

American Woman Cleared of Murder Charges

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The Italian jury cleared 24-year-old Amanda Knox Monday of all charges after 4 years of persecution/custody.

Knox was arrested on suspicion of murdering her British roommate, Michelle Kercher, in Perugia, Italy, CNN said.

The victim's family is now left with no answers and confusion, the Associated Press said through the Washington Post, especially when the decision against Knox two years ago was "so certain."

"We are left back to square one," Kercher's brother, Lyle, said to the Associated Press.

Knox returned home in Seattle Tuesday reuniting with family.

Housing Market on the Decline

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Home sales has been on the decline for years but this past August, it has met a new all-time low.

"New home sales are on pace for the worst year since the government began keeping records a half century ago," NPR said.

These new homes are competing in prices with the surplus of existing homes as well as the ones in foreclosure.

Buyers in the home industry are not only having trouble qualifying for mortgages but also selling their current home, according to Forbes.

Banks like Wells Fargo don't make buying a house any easier when they are not as willing to lend and asking for larger down payments, NBC said.

The End has Come to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

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The repeal on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was put in effect Tuesday. This policy forced members of the military to lie about their sexual orientation.

Over the 18 years that the policy was active, over 14,500 gays were discharged from the service, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said through Reuterst. Discharged persons can reapply now that the Pentagon is accepting applications from the openly gay, but there are no guarantees.

Stacy Vasquez, 30, applied to be reinstated in the military after being discharged under the policy, but after eight years of being out of the service might not make her qualified.

"It depends on how many people they're looking for, what background they're looking for, what skill sets they're looking for," Vasquez said to NPR.

For the gays in the service, one burden of many is lifted off their shoulders. The partners of gay military members still have the obstacle of receiving support when the federal Defense of Marriage Acts doesn't recognized same-sex civil unions, said the Washington Post.

P-51 Mustang Crashes into Box Seats at Reno Air Race

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Nine people were killed by a WWII-era P-51 Mustang aircraft dive-bombing into the box seats section of the Reno Air Race grandstand Friday.

A total of 69 people were injured by the shrapnel flying at high velocities from the crash, said ABC News.

The pilot was a Hollywood stunt flier Jimmy Leeward, 74, and performed in this event for multiple years. Witnesses told reporters that the pilot appeared to maneuver the aircraft to avoid hitting the crowd seconds before crashing, said Fox News, CBS, and ABC.

Investigators suspect mechanical failure derived from the videos and photos taken by the spectators.

Six to nine months is the estimated amount of time for a full investigation, said Mark Rosekind of National Transportation Safety Board to CNN.

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