National News for Nov. 16 - 29

Nov. 29, 2009, midnight | By Lauren Kestner | 14 years, 6 months ago

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post and CNN. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Washington, D.C.
Nov. 19 - In a Nov. 18 Senate hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. defended his Nov. 13 decision to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators, alleged masterminds of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, to a civilian court in the Southern District of New York for criminal trials. He expressed confidence that prosecutors, who plan to pursue the death penalty, will present evidence resulting in a conviction. Republican senators objected to Holder's decision, arguing that enemy combatants caught on a battlefield during war should be tried in a military court to preserve classified information and intelligence-gathering methods.

Middletown, Pa.
Nov. 21 - One hundred and fifty workers were sent home from the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Middletown, Pa. after a radiological contamination alarm sounded at four p.m. in the Unit One containment building. A monitor at a temporary opening designed to facilitate the addition of new steam generators showed a slight increase in radiation, but the contamination was confined to the building and posed no public safety threat. Two radiation specialists from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) investigated the cause of the leak on Nov. 22. In accordance with NRC requirements, the Unit One and Unit Two nuclear plants will be decommissioned once the license expires. Activity at Unit Two was halted after its nuclear core melted in a March 1979 accident, which raised concerns over coal-fired power plants.

Washington, D.C.
Nov. 25 - The White House announced Wednesday that President Obama will attend the United Nations (U.N.) climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark on Dec. 9. He will pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, a promise that is consistent with a House bill but falls short of the 20 percent cut proposed in the Senate. White House officials consulted with lawmakers prior to releasing the emissions target and said the figure could fluctuate based on domestic legislation. Senators will be approached after the climate talks, scheduled to take place from Dec. 7 - 18, to consider ratifying the convention treaty. Many environmentalists have criticized Obama for planning to attend one day at the beginning of the talks before other world leaders arrive to finalize the treaty. Others argued that his pledge will not have the desired impact on the environment, citing a European Union (EU) commitment to cutting emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Washington, D.C.
Nov. 28 – Senior U.S. officials announced Saturday that 9,000 Marines will be deployed to Helmand, a southern province in Afghanistan, to renew counter-terrorist assaults on the Taliban. The Marines and 1,000 U.S. Army trainers will enter Afghanistan as early as February after President Obama outlines his new war strategy in a Tuesday speech at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Obama's plan is expected to call for the phased deployment of 30,000 - 35,000 new troops over the next 12 - 18 months. The 9,000 troops moving into the Helmand province will allow the U.S. to dispel Taliban forces in Marjeh, a battle front that was abandoned after officials concluded they did not have enough troops to wage an offensive.

Tags: Roundup

Lauren Kestner. Lauren Kestner loves Trader Joe's chocolates, cheesy television soap operas, summer trips to Lake Anna, coffee ice cream from Coldstone Creamery, hikes at Northwest Branch and shopping at Heritage. Playing soccer for Blair or her MSC club team and running at the gym consumes much … More »

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