Tag Archives: Senate

U.S. Senate Passes Healthcare Bill

Health  care reform is one step closer in the United States after the Senate passed health care reform legislation early this morning, Wall Street Journal.  The Senate and House of Representative bills still need to be reconciled before a bill will be ready for President Barack Obama to sign, Washington Post. Text of President Obama’s remarks on the passage, New York Times.

Kids can follow Santa’s route around the world today and tonight courtesy of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a Cold War era system designed to track incoming missiles from the Soviet Union. NORAD started tracking Santa Claus in 1955 after a newspaper misprint directed the Sears Roebuck Claus phone line to a secret emergency NORAD number, CNN. Official Santa tracker. @noradsanta on Twitter.

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Over 50 Dead in Deadly Plane Crash in Indonesia

Over 50 people have been killed in a plane crash in Indonesia according to initial reports. Eyewitnesses say the plane was completely destroyed and two people living in the area have been reported killed. At least 109 passengers and crew were on the plane, BBC News.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a missing mother who refused to allow her cancer-stricken son to get chemotherapy treatments. The warrant was issued after she missed a court hearing scheduled for yesterday. She has not been seen since and her son, 13-year-old Daniel Hauser, is also missing. A Minnesota court ruled that Daniel would have to undergo chemo treatments to treat his Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with doctors saying he has an 80 to 95% chance of survival if treated, CNN.

Senate Democrats have blocked President Obama’s request for $80 million to close the Guantanamo detention center. Legislators are worried that the over 200 detainees will have to be moved to the United States and are trying to send the prisoners to other countries instead, NY Times.

A small aftershock shook L.A. today, two days after a 4.7 earthquake hit the area. No damage or injuries were reporting after either quake, AP.

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Sen. Specter Switches Parties

Senator Arlen Specter caused a stir today when he switched from the Republican to the Democratic party after 40 years as a GOP member. The senior senator from Pennsylvania, Specter was first elected in 1980 and has been a moderate voice in the legislative body ever since. Specter said he switched parties because the Republican party has become too conservative, but openly admitted that the switch was in part a response to the fact that he could have potentially lost his seat in the 2010 primary election to Pat Toomey, Senatus.

The switch gives the Democratic majority 59 votes in the Senate, one shy of the magic number of 60 that would allow the party to block filibusters. The 60th vote could come from Democrat Al Franken, who is still in a legal battle with incumbent Norm Coleman over who won the election last November for Minnesota’s seat. A recount has given Franken a 312 vote lead, but Coleman is contesting the results. A poll shows 64 percent of Minnesotans want Coleman to concede the race, UPI.

Scientists have completed sequencing a cow genome and the results could lead to a massive transformation in farming. The genome map “will transform how dairy and beef cattle are bred” by allowing researchers to detect which cows will produce higher milk and meat quality. It also shows that cows are more similar to humans than rodents, BBC News.

We want to call attention to a blog called the Baghdad Bureau, written by New York Times’ reporters in Iraq’s capital city, which updates daily from the war torn country with a different perspective than the big news organizations. Read it here.

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