Silver Chips Online

National News for Nov. 30 - Dec. 13

By Julia Wynn, Online Connections and Food Editor
December 14, 2009
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post and the New York Times. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Washington, D.C.
Nov. 30 - President Obama has announced that the U.S. will deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in the upcoming months, bringing the total number of American forces in the country to 100,000. Democrats in the House of Representatives are concerned about the expense of such a plan and hope to limit U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. President Obama plans on remaining in Afghanistan for an extended period of time to ensure that the situation does not lead to an expansion of the conflict into neighboring countries. France has refused to deploy more troops, but Britain has agreed to send an additional 500 to Afghanistan.

Oslo, Norway
Dec. 10 - President Obama recently accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in front of an audience of European officials at an Oslo City Hall ceremony. His formal acceptance speech, known as the Nobel Lecture, acknowledged his lack of credentials in comparison to previous recipients such as "Schweitzer and King, Marshall and Mandela." Obama stressed the necessity of occasional force to achieve peace, justifying his recent deployment of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. The president's small contribution to world peace is only the beginning of his "labors on the world stage," he said. The standard $1.4 million reward that accompanies the prize will be donated to charity, according to the White House.

Orlando, Florida
Dec. 2 Professional golfer Tiger Woods released a statement on his web site regarding the car accident that occurred outside his Florida residence on Nov. 27. He apologized to his supporters and family members for his behavior, promising that he will "strive to be a better person" in the future. Recent reports revealed that Woods was not wearing a seat belt when he drove over a curb, crossed a grass median and crashed into a fire hydrant early that morning. Woods has avoided talking to the press about the incident. Although there are no criminal charges, Woods paid the $164 fine and accepted the four points on his driving record. On Dec. 11, Woods announced that he would take an "indefinite break" from golfing to concentrate on his family. PGA tour officials fully support his decision.

Washington, D.C.
Dec. 7 - The same day as the commencement of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that greenhouse gas emissions negatively affect human health and the environment. The finding came after a 2007 Supreme Court decision that required the EPA to investigate the effects of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases on the environment and then decide how to regulate them. Many have expressed concern over the expense and complexity of regulating such widespread gases. Lawsuits filed by opposing groups are expected to delay the regulation process. The EPA is urging lawmakers to pass the regulations as soon as possible.

Virginia
Dec. 1 A new smoking ban requires Virginia restaurants to install separate ventilation systems in all smoking areas. Three-fourths of Virginia's restaurants have become entirely smoke-free to satisfy the provisions of the new legislation. Governor Timothy McCain introduced the legislation after the Institute of Medicine published a new study that revealed the danger of inhaling second-hand smoke. If the ban is violated, restaurants must pay a $25 fine. Some argue this penalty is too low to encourage full compliance with the law.

Editor's note: This article was revised on Dec. 15.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/9738