Recently in National News Category

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Military Policy Repealed

The Senate voted Saturday to repeal the armed forces' policy of "don't ask, don't tell", which prevented openly gay people from serving in the military.

According to CNN, the legislation was passed in a 65-31 vote, and it should be signed into law later this week by President Obama.

"Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are," Obama said in an e-mailed statement.

According to ABC News, Sen. John McCain was the fiercest opponent of the decision, and he said that he believed the change in policy would directly harm troops.

Since the original law was enacted in 1993, an estimated 13,500 service members have been discharged from the military for revealing their sexual orientation, according to ABC News.

Newton Wins Heisman Despite Suspicious Voters

Cameron Newton, quarterback at Auburn University, was named the winner of the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, the award given annually to college football's most valuable player.

According to ESPN, Newton received the third highest percentage of first-place votes in Heisman history despite an off-field controversy that nearly cost Newton his eligibility.

Earlier this season, it was reported that Newton's father requested money from schools during the recruiting period in exchange for his son's playing services, a major violation of NCAA rules.

As Fox Sports announced, though, the NCAA determined that Cameron Newton had no knowledge of his father's violations, which allowed him to keep his eligibility.

Newton became the first Heisman winner at Auburn since 1985, and he will try to cement his legacy at the school by winning the national championship against Oregon next month.

WikiLeaks, U.S. Government Face Off

Julian Assange, founder of the website WikiLeaks, demanded that President Obama resign if it is discovered that he allowed U.S. diplomats to spy on officials of the United Nations.

According to CBS News, Assange also called for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to step down as a result of the action.

"The whole chain of command who was aware of this order, and approved it, must resign if the U.S. is to be seen to be a credible nation that obeys the rule of law," Assange said to El Pais, a newspaper in Madrid.

Details of the spying allegations were among the 250,000 secret government documents released by WikiLeaks since last week, according to CNN. As a result of the leak, the backlash from the U.S. government against WikiLeaks has been immense.

"I think the man is a high-tech terrorist," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to CBS about Assange. "He has done enormous damage to our country."

Family Murdered in Florida

A mother and her three young children were found murdered in their Tallahassee, Florida home Saturday morning.

According to ABC News, the family was found dead by police after a concerned neighbor called the authorities. There appeared to be a violent struggle, according to the Tallahassee police department.

The victims, including 6-year-old twin girls and a 3-year-old boy, have not been identified, and their bodies are undergoing autopsies.

"This is a very shocking and unusual case for us," said Officer David McCranie of the Tallahassee police department.

Police are working on gathering information on potential suspects at this time.

Former Obama Chief of Staff Joins Chicago Mayoral Race

As widely expected, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel threw his hat into the race to replace Richard Daley as mayor of Chicago Saturday.

Emanuel, who stepped down as President Obama's chief of staff in October, formally announced his intentions in the packed gymnasium at Coonley Elementary School in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"The choices we make in the next few years will define Chicago for future generations," Emanuel said to estimated crowd of 250 supporters. "They will determine whether we remain a world class city, or fall back."

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Emanuel will attempt to emerge from a crowded field of contenders that includes U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

The candidates are vying to replace Daley, the mayor of Chicago since 1989, who announced in September that he would not be seeking re-election.

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