Recently in National News Category

St. Louis Airport Reopens After Tornado

The St. Louis airport reopened Sunday, two days after a tornado damaged a few planes, blew out windows and threw a bus onto the roof, the Associated Press reported.

Officials said that around 70 percent of the scheduled flights would still arrive and depart, the Washington Post said. Concourse C, which suffered the most damage, is expected to open in a few months.

The tornado damaged about 750 homes in the St. Louis area and left nearly 26,000 people without power. Gov. Jay Nixon said that the lack of serious injuries felt like "divine intervention."

Storms Hit North Carolina Hardest

A storm system that launched at least 241 tornadoes over 14 states hit North Carolina Saturday, killing at least 21 and devastating homes, flipping cars and throwing livestock into the air, the Washington Post reported.

The three-day system was one of the worst spates of twisters ever recorded, the LA Times said. At least 45 have been reported dead nationwide, and more than 241 tornadoes were spotted.

It was the deadliest day for tornadoes in North Carolina since 1984, when 22 twisters killed 42 people across the state.

Government Averts Shutdown

Lawmakers reached a budget deal Friday night minutes before the deadline for government shut down, the New York Times reported.

The agreement has averted a government shutdown that would have closed down thousands of government facilities nationwide, postponing tax returns, passport obtainment, and other government procedures.

According to the Washington Post, the deal reached by negotiators will have $39 billion in spending cuts.

Republicans agreed to drop their demands to cut funding for programs that included abortion, and Democrats agreed to an overall bigger size of cuts outlined in the budget.

BP Seeking to Drill in Gulf of Mexico Again

BP is in talks to resume oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Washington Post reported Sunday. The discussions between the Interior Department and BP come almost a year after the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which dumped oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days.

A BP official told the New York Times,">New York Times that the corporation is asking for permission to drill on 10 more sites in the Gulf in exchange for stricter safety and supervisory rules.

The Justice Department is considering a range of criminal penalties against BP for the oil spill last year, including a manslaughter charge for the deaths of the rig workers.

Geraldine Ferraro Dies

Geraldine Ferarro, the first woman to be nominated by a major party for vice presidency, died Friday in Boston. She was 75.

Ferarro died from complications of the blood cancer myeloma, which she had been battling for 12 years, and was surrounded by her family when she passed, the Huffington Post reported.

Ferarro was best known for her 1984 Democratic nomination for the vice presidency, running alongside Walter Mondale. Her nomination was proclaimed a victory for the women's movement 64 years after women obtained the right to vote, the New York Times said.

Her family said in a statement that "Geraldine Anne Ferraro Zaccaro was widely known as a leader, a fighter for justice, and a tireless advocate for those without a voice. To us, she was a wife, mother, grandmother and aunt, a woman devoted to and deeply loved by her family. Her courage and generosity of spirit throughout her life waging battles big and small, public and personal, will never be forgotten and will be sorely missed."

Charlie Sheen Sues Warner Bros. For $100 million

Charlie Sheen has filed suit for $100 million against Warner Bros. and the creator of Two and a Half Men Chuck Lorre, the New York Times reported Thursday.

The suit accuses Lorre of orchestrating Sheen's downfall in order to kick him off the hit TV show, Inside TV said. The opening statement of the suit accused Lorre of taking money from the crew and cast of Two and a Half Men "in order to serve his own ego and self-interest and make the star of the series the scapegoat."

Sheen was fired last week from the show in response to his recent behavior which has included drug use, accusations of violence with women, and comments about Warner Bros. executives and Lorre.

Sheen's lawyers don't represent any other crew or cast members from the TV show so far.

U.S. adds 192,000 jobs in February

The U.S. added 192,000 jobs in February, up from the 63,000 added in January, according to the New York Times. Unemployment fell to 8.9 percent, the lowest number in two years.

Economists have estimated that the U.S. needs 130,000 new jobs in order to keep up with population growth, according to the Washington Post. The job losses from last month have been attributed by the numerous snowstorms that have plagued the country, shutting down offices.

"With firms already extremely lean in terms of staffing, they will have no choice but to hire en masse if, as I expect, economic activity continues to pick up," Stephen Stanley, the chief economist for Pierpoint Securities, said.

Experts said that unemployment may actually rise slightly as discouraged workers come back to the labor force.

Maryland Senate Approves Gay Marriage Bill

The Maryland Senate approved a bill Thursday that gives same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals, the Washington Times reported.

The bill was amended so that religious groups and and other institutions don't have to be forced to participate in gay weddings, according to the Huffington Post. Gov. Martin O'Malley said he would sign the bill into law if it passes in the House.

Obama told Congress it would stop opposing challenges to the law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman on Wednesday, marking a a change in long-standing American policy.

"It provides full equality under the law for thousands of same-gender couples in our state, couples like Mark and myself," Sen. Richard Madaleno, the only openly gay member of the Maryland Senate, said regarding the bill.

Chicago Population Dips 7 Percent

The Chicago population dropped 6.9 percent- about 200,000 people- between 2000 and 2010, according to recent census results and Yahoo! News.

The recent recession is to blame for the decline as many families are flocking to the suburbs, Fox 9 said.

Chicago's population peaked in 1950 but had been in decline until the 1990s when there was an economic boom. African Americans are still the largest racial group at 33 percent, but are becoming more even with other racial groups, such as Hispanics (29 percent) and Non-Hispanic whites (32 percent).

Surrounding counties like Cook County, Kendall County, and DuPage all saw increases in their population.

53rd Annual Grammy Awards Kick Off Sunday

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards happened Sunday night at the Staples Center. There were a few upsets and Lady Gaga managed to surprise everyone once again with her entrance.

According to the Washington Post, the biggest upset of the night was when Esperanza Spalding beat out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence + The Machine, and Mumford and Sons for Best New Artist.

Lady Gaga arrived on the red carpet inside of an egg which was being carried by several scantily clad models, the Huffington Post reported.

Muse beat out Neil Young for best rock album, and Cee Lo Green had an Elton John-esque performance mixed with Gwyneth Paltrow and the muppets. Eminem's "Recovery" won best rap album as expected (it was 2010's best selling album).

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