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March 15, 2010

National News for March 1 - 14

by Fran Djoukeng, Online Entertainment and Sports Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The New York Times and The Washington Post. Silver Chips Online posts these news summaries to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Philadelphia, Pa.
Courtesy of San Angelo Police Department
March 2 - Federal prosecutors brought criminal charges against a woman nicknamed “Jihad Jane,” an alleged terrorist operating within the U.S. who recruited others to her cause using the internet. Since October 2009, federal prosecutors have held Colleen Renee LaRose, 46, in custody on the grounds that she traveled to Sweden to coordinate a terrorist attack with accomplices in Europe. LaRose went to Sweden "with the intent to live and train with jihadists and to find and kill," according to an indictment issued in Philadelphia. In the past, LaRose had been active on radical Islamic websites and posted questions on the internet seeking advice on bringing foreign people into the country. This ongoing investigation has raised concerns over broadening terrorist profiles and the security of air transportation.

Washington D.C.
Courtesy of Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press
March 2 - The nation’s capital now has a same-sex marriage law. Under the new law, same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license and retrieve the certified license three days after the date of submission, according to the district’s marriage bureau website. The law took effect in March after Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) approved a measure to recognize same-sex marriages in December 2009. The district joins Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and New Hampshire in permitting same-sex marriages.

Maryland
March 10 - Maryland is one of several states in the process of adopting new national academic standards for mathematics and English. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers are leading the initiative to establish common standards, citing the need for education that better prepares students for college and careers after high school. State boards of education are in the process of reviewing the new standards for a vote on whether to implement the changes. In February, Kentucky became the first state to adopt the proposal. Officials in Maryland are considering a possible spring vote, and Ohio officials said they will vote on June 8. This current trend is an impetus for President Obama's campaign to improve the quality of education nationwide.

Washington, D.C.
March 10 - President Obama announced the names of the foundations that will receive money from his Nobel Peace Prize win last October. In a statement delivered last Wednesday, Obama noted that “these organizations do extraordinary work in the United States and abroad helping students, veterans and countless others in need.” Obama decided to divide the $1.4 million prize between 10 charities. He offered $750,000 to six organizations that support college-bound students and $200,000 to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund for rebuilding efforts. An additional $125,000 will be awarded to six other organizations, including the Posse Foundation, Negro College Fund, the American Indian College Fund, College Summit, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation.



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