Obama signs bill to extend Bush-era tax cuts for two more years
The Washington Post-December 17, 2010
The bill extending the Bush tax cuts, as well as unemployment benefits, has become official. The bill was signed into law on Friday. It has been proposed that the bill will create jobs for US citizens.
Senate votes to repeal ban on gays openly serving in military
CNN – December 18th, 2010
On Saturday, December 18th, the Senate voted to repeal the armed forces’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by a margin of 65-31. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law sometime next week. Powerful political figures like Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and several human rights leaders applauded the Senate’s vote. Although Democrats cheered the policy changed, many Republicans opposed it, one citing that the ruling would be a “distraction.”
Bloomberg urges passage of 9/11 health bill
CNN-December 20, 2010
The US Senate is being urged to pass a health care bill for the sake of September 11 rescue woerks. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York, is one of a group of political officials who are pressuring the Senate to pass the bill. The House has already passed the bill.
Republicans stiffen opposition to nuclear treaty with Russia
The Los Angeles Time-December 20, 2010
Senate Republicans are still opposing the nuclear arms treaty with Russia. Republicans are saying that those supporting the treaty are trying to ratify it to quickly, while those in favor of the treaty say that quick ratification is crucial.
Reports Of Abductions In Ivory Coast Grow
NPR- December 19th, 2010
In the Ivory Coast, there have been hundreds of reports of people being abducted from their homes at night by armed assailants in military uniform and growing evidence of “massive violations of human rights” since their recent disputed election. Last month, the U.N. was invited by Ivory Coast to supervise their presidential election. The UN and the international community have recognized Ouattarra as the winner. However, Gbagdo, the previous president, has refused to give up his post.
North Korea Withholds Fire After Military Drills by South
New York Times – December 20th, 2010
Even with an impending showdown, South Korea went ahead with planned live-fire artillery drills on Monday despite North Korea’s warnings of “brutal consequences beyond imagination” and attack last month under similar circumstances. Some find that the North’s softened toned to be a strategic move in order to bring outside nations to a negotiation for food aid.
Dream Act’s failure in Senate derails immigration agenda
Los Angeles Times – December 19th
The Senate failed to pass an effort to establish a way to grant citizenship for children of illegal immigrants on Saturday, ending any steam that the immigration agenda had left. The final tally was 55 to 41, falling victim to a GOP filibuster and, surprisingly, a few Democrats. Obama called it “incredible disappointing,” especially when his presidency assured activists that he would place immigration reform as a top priority. Republicans in the Senate said that it was obvious the bill wouldn’t pass, due to problems with securing the U.S./Mexico border, yet Democrats pushed forward to entice the Latino vote.
Anti-Gay Atmosphere Permeates Uganda
NPR- December 20th
In October, a tabloid called Rolling Stone — no relation to the American magazine — published an article which listed names, addresses and hangouts of gay men and lesbians. Gay activists say that outing them puts them in danger. On Tuesday, a judge in Uganda is expected to decide whether Rolling Stone may continue to publish the names of gay men and lesbians.
WikiLeaks: Julian Assange bail hearing makes legal history with Twitter ruling
NPR- December 14th
Howard Riddle, the Chief Magistrate of Julian Assange’s trial, made legal history by allowing reporters to “tweet” during the proceedings as long as they did so “quietly” and “did not disturb” the court. There is no official ban on the use of mobile phones in court, but in practice they are prohibited during hearings in the same way that TV cameras and recording equipment aren’t allowed.
Study Reveals that Fox News Makes You Stupid
AlterNet – December 15th, 2010
World Public Opinion conducted a study that shows that Fox News viewers are more misinformed than viewers from other sources. For example, “63% believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear).” MSNBC was the least misinforming, but misinforming nonetheless.