Silver Chips Online

National News for Jan. 18 - 31

By Julia Wynn, Online Connections and Food Editor
February 1, 2010
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 a forum for discussion.

Washington, D.C.
Jan. 21 - In a decision that overturned decades of campaign finance law, the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot ban corporations from financially supporting a candidate in elections. The court was evenly divided in the 5-4 decision, which has major implications for the future of political elections. The case paved the way for corporations to secure a larger role in affecting the outcome of elections. Even with expanded rights to free speech in the political spectrum, corporations must still divulge their spending to Congress, who can require them to create disclaimers for advertisements.

New York
Jan. 22 - Conan O’Brien hosted his last "Tonight" show after refusing to fill a time slot 30 minutes later. In his resignation contract with NBC, O'Brien accepted $45 million on the condition that he will refrain from starting a new show on a competing network until September. O’Brien will surrender his time slot to Jay Leno, who was removed from "Tonight" so that NBC could abide by the terms of the resignation contract. O’Brien declared that he will be moving on to “exciting new career opportunities,” but he acknowledged that he is proud of the work he has done with NBC over the past 20 years.

Colorado
Kristen D. Parker worked at the Rose Medical Center in Denver from 2008 - 2009. Courtesy of University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
Kristen D. Parker worked at the Rose Medical Center in Denver from 2008 - 2009.
Jan. 22 – In a rare move, federal judge Robert E. Blackburn rejected a plea agreement from former hospital technician Kristen D. Parker, who admitted to using hospital needles to inject herself with heroin in 2008 and 2009. In addition to abusing an illegal substance, Parker transferred hepatitis C to 17 hospital patients at the Rose Medical Center after reusing her heroin needles on the patients. Blackburn insisted that the plea limited his freedom to judge the case and hear the victim accounts of the incident. Although a guilty plea could make the expected 20-year sentence more severe, Parker's lawyer, Gregory C. Graf, expects Parker to plead guilty when the case reconvenes next month.

Washington, D.C.
President Obama discusses his three-year budget freeze, among other national initiatives, in his first State of the Union address. Courtesy of The New York Times
President Obama discusses his three-year budget freeze, among other national initiatives, in his first State of the Union address.
Jan. 27 - In his State of the Union address, President Obama introduced a plan to establish a three-year freeze on all federal funding except on matters related to national security. As the national debt rises toward World War II levels, Obama wants to limit spending to $447 billion a year for programs such as those related to the environment and education. The administration conceded that these reductions may make it difficult to deliver on promises made during Obama’s campaign, but it countered that the deficit is a serious issue worthy of attention. The spending freeze, which Obama hopes to implement in October, will not affect Congress’ economic stimulus package nor will it impact a new bill designed to create more jobs.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/9846