January 2010 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of January 2010.
- U.S. Introduces Stricter Screenings for Certain Air Passengers (Jan. 3): The Transportation Security Administration announces stricter screening requirements for passengers traveling by air to the U.S. from 14 countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. Passengers with passports or originating flights from any of the countries on this list will be required to undergo full-body pat downs and extra scrutiny of carry-on luggage. More advanced screenings will also be necessary at certain airports. The new regulations result from the attempted bombing by a Nigerian citizen on December 25. (Jan. 6): Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of attempting to detonate a suicide bomb on an airplane bound for Detroit, Michigan on December 25, 2009, is indicted on six counts. Charges include attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
- Senator Christopher Dodd Will Not Run for Reelection (Jan. 6): Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, who has served the state since 1980, will not run for reelection in November when his term is finished. Though a popular public figure for many years, Dodd has recently faced criticism from citizens of Connecticut and the Democratic party for what appeared to be an improper loan from Countrywide Financial (he has been cleared of all charges of wrongdoing).
- Republican Scott Brown Wins Mass. Senate Seat (Jan. 19): In a stunning upset, Republican Scott Brown, a former member of the state senate, wins a special election in Massachusetts for Ted Kennedy's vacated U.S. Senate seat, beating Democrat Martha Coakley, the state attorney general, by a wide margin. His victory marks the end of the Democrats' "super" majority in the Senate and raises questions about the viability of the Democratic party and the pending health-care reform bill. Kennedy passed away in Aug. 2009, ending a 46-year run in the Senate.
- Supreme Court Blocks Corporate Spending Limits for Political Campaigns (Jan. 21): In a 5–4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the government cannot restrict the spending of corporations for political campaigns, maintaining that it's their First Amendment right to support candidates as they choose. This decision upsets two previous precedents on the free-speech rights of corporations. President Obama expressed disapproval of the decision, calling it a "victory" for Wall Street and Big Business.
- Senate Confirms Ben Bernanke for Second Term as Fed Chairman (Jan. 28): The U.S. Senate agrees to give Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, another term, a 70–30 vote. This will be Bernanke's second, four-year term.
- Guilty Verdict for Man Accused of Killing Abortion Doctor (Jan. 29): A jury finds Scott Roeder, charged with first-degree murder for killing George Tiller—a doctor known for performing late-term abortions—guilty. Tiller was killed in May 2009 in his own church. Roeder claims he killed Tiller to stop the abortions the doctor was performing.