Stories for December 20, 2012
Unable to round up enough support, House Republicans abruptly put off a vote Thursday night on legislation allowing tax rates to rise for households earning $1 million and up.
Since the mid-1980s, the U.S. Border Patrol has quintupled in size -- growing from about 4,000 to more than 20,000 agents.
Turns out the Marine "sergeant" who decided to stand guard out front of a California elementary school hyped his credentials. Craig Pusley claimed to have been a combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan and a Marine reservist, but Pusley served just eight months in the Corps, never left MCRD San Diego, and was never deployed.
The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 turned much of the northern hemisphere into an ash-strewn no-fly zone. But Eyjafjallajökull was just the start. Katla, an Icelandic volcano 10 times bigger, has begun to swell and grumble. Two more giants, Hekla and Laki, could erupt without warning. Iceland is a ticking time bomb: When it blows, the consequences will be global. Meet scientists trying to understand those consequences — for air travel and for the global food supply and Earth’s climate. Could we be plunged into years of cold and famine? What can we do to prepare for the coming disaster?
Here was the choice facing Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Run next year against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose popularity would have made the Republican exceedingly difficult to beat, or fix his gaze on the Senate seat now occupied by 88-year old fellow Democrat, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who (according to certainpolls) is seen by many voters as too old for re-election in 2014.
"The public's attitudes toward gun control have shown only modest change in the wake of last week's deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.," the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reported Thursday afternoon.
Sen. John Kerry is considered the leading candidate to become the next secretary of state, and that gave added weight to his remarks Thursday as he oversaw testimony on the most volatile foreign policy issue in recent months: the deadly Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi.
The latest stories about how the nation is reacting to last Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 first-graders and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School, include:
A former Marine from Indiana admitted Wednesday that he broke into a mosque in Ohio and set fire to a prayer rug because he wanted revenge for the killings of American troops overseas. Randy Linn pleaded guilty to hate crime charges, saying he'd become enraged after seeing images of wounded soldiers in the news.
In recent years, authorities in Southern California have been confronting a rise in maritime smuggling of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico. In December, the stakes were suddenly raised when a U.S. Coast Guard member was killed during a confrontation with suspected smugglers. But law enforcement agents aren't the only ones at risk.