December 2015 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of December 2015.
14 Killed in San Bernardino Social Services Center Shooting (Dec. 2): Fourteen people are killed and more than 20 wounded when two people open fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center, a service facility for people with disabilities and special needs in San Bernardino, California. The suspects, husband and wife Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, are killed in a shootout with police after the rampage. Officials say they believe the attack is terrorism related. It is the worst mass shooting in the United States since 26 people were killed in Dec. 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. (Dec. 8): The F.B.I. announces that Farook and Malik had been "radicalzed." The F.B.I. also concludes that while the couple was not working with ISIS directly, their actions were inspired by the Islamic State.
All Military Combat Roles Now Open for Women (Dec. 3): The Pentagon announces that all combat jobs will be open to women. In a press conference, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says that "there will be no exceptions" to this new rule. The historic announcement overrides the 1994 rule made by the Pentagon that restricted women from combat roles such as infantry, artillery, and armor. That 1994 rule had remained in place despite the fact that women were often in combat during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.
Trump Calls for Ban on Muslims Entering the U.S. (Dec. 8): Donald Trump causes more controversy when he calls for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the country. The statement receives international and national condemnation, including his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump is still the front runner for the nomination with a substantial lead in national polls.
Two GOP Presidential Candidates Drop Out of Race (Dec. 21): South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham announces that he is suspending his campaign for the U.S presidency. Graham leaves the race due to poor performance in the polls and an overall lack of support for his campaign. (Dec. 29): Former New York Governor George Pataki announces that he is leaving the 2016 presidential race after missing the filing deadlines in several states. (Dec. 31): By the end of 2015, there are still twelve candidates campaigning for the republican nomination.
Grand Jury Votes Not to Indict Tamir Rice Shooter (Dec. 29): A grand jury in Cleveland votes not to indict police officer Timothy Loehmann for fatally shooting Tamir Rice in Nov. 2014. Twelve-year-old Rice had been playing with a pellet gun at a recreation center when he was shot. The verdict sparks protests in Cleveland and adds to outrage across the nation of white police officers killing African-Americans.