2010

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2009 2010 2011 The Future

Contents

Timeline

January

January 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31
  • January 1
    • In the northwest village of Shah Hasan Khel, Pakistan, a suicide car bomber killed nearly 100 people.
    • U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed the case against five Blackwater security guards accused of the shooting in a crowded Baghdad intersection in 2007 killing unarmed Iraqi civilians.
  • January 2
    • President Barack Obama says that an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen apparently ordered the Christmas Day plot against a U.S. airliner, training and arming the 23-year-old Nigerian man accused in the failed bombing.
  • January 3
    • U.S. Embassy in Yemen closed because of an active threat from al-Qaida.
    • Some Democratic lawmakers who support closing Guantanamo Bay say the U.S. should reconsider whether to repatriate suspected terrorists from Yemen.
  • January 4
    • President Barack Obama ended a Hawaiian vacation to return to Washington DC.
    • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says internal unrest and a surge in al-Qaida activity in Yemen pose a global threat.
    • Republican U.S. Rep. Henry Brown, (SC-01), announces he will not seek a sixth term in Congress so he can spend more time with his family.
    • Houston Mayor Annise Parker says her election to lead the nation's fourth-largest city marked a milestone for gay Americans but was just "one step toward a tomorrow of greater justice."
    • Former Georgia state Sen. Kasim Reed is being sworn into office as Atlanta's 59th Mayor.
    • Republican senator Jim DeMint continues blocking confirmation of Erroll Southers to head the Transportation Security Administration accuses Democrats of trying to install the candidate without debate.
  • January 6
    • The U.S. Embassy reopened in Yemen following a two-day closure because of what Washington called an imminent threat of al-Qaida attack. The British Embassy, which had also closed, resumed operations, though consular and visa services remained closed.
    • A top al-Qaida leader says the Dec. 30 attack on a CIA outpost in Afghanistan was to avenge the deaths of a Pakistani Taliban leader and two al-Qaida figures.
    • Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman and architect of major health care legislation said he will not seek another term.
  • January 7
    • A White House reports says the U.S. government had plenty of information to keep the alleged Christmas Day bombing suspect off an airplane.
    • A New Jersey same-sex marriage bill fails.
  • January 8
    • US President Barack Obama announces changes to US intelligence gathering and sharing, to prevent a recurrence of the Christmas Day plane bomb plot.
    • The U.S. unemployment rate remains steady at 10%.
    • Former CIA Director John McLaughlin is appointed to lead a small team of national security experts to examine the intelligence failures that allowed the Detroit bomber and the Fort Hood shooter to carry out their plots undetected.
  • January 11
    • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton starts a trip meant to strengthen U.S. relations with key partner nations in the western Pacific.
    • The U.S. Supreme Court said it will not allow video of the California Proposition 8 (anti gay-marriage) trial held in San Francisco to be posted on YouTube.com, even with a delay, until the justices have more time to consider the issue.
  • January 12
    • Haiti: a 7.0 temblor centered 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, a city of about 2 million inhabitants, at 4:53 p.m. local time
    • The Associated Press reports that the Obama administration plans to ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, on top of a record request for $708 billion for the Defense Department next year,
    • President Barack Obama and the first lady travel to Delaware to attend funeral services for the mother of Vice President Joe Biden.
  • January 16
    • President Barack Obama asks former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to coordinate efforts to involve more Americans in the recovery and rebuilding effort that's needed in Haiti. He met with the ex-presidents at the White House.
  • January 18
    • MARTIN LUTHER KING day.
  • January 19
    • Republican Scott Brown wins a stunning victory in the Massachusetts special Senate election against Martha Coakley. Senate Democrats no longer hold a fillibuster-proof majority with his seating.
    • At least 4,373 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in *March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
  • January 21
    • The Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision ruled that the government *May not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, said, “Ignoring important principles of judicial restraint and respect for precedent, the Court has given corporate money a breathtaking new role in federal campaigns.”
    • House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, says the House would not adopt the Senate version of the health-care bill and send it to President Obama.
    • President Barack Obama proposes legislation to prohibit bank holding companies from owning, investing, or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds and from engaging in proprietary trading.
    • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, declaring that an attack on one nation’s computer networks “can be an attack on all,” issued a warning that the United States would defend itself from cyberattacks, though she left unclear the means of response.
    • Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards admits he fathered a child during an affair before his second White House bid.
  • January 23
    • President Barack Obama in his weekly radio and internet address said with reference to the January 21 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, "This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy. It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way - or to punish those who don't."
  • January 25
    • Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's cousin, known as Chemical Ali, is executed.
    • Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, passed away.
  • January 29
    • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said China risks diplomatic isolation and economic uncertainty if it doesn't join the international push to further sanction Iran for its nuclear program. Beijing has been reluctant to support United Nations penalties to curb Iran's pursuit of nuclear technologies and weapons-delivery systems.

February

February 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28
  • February 3
    • Toyota announces that the Prius, has flaws in its braking system.
  • February 4
    • National Tea Party Convention convenes in Nashville, headlined by Sarah Palin.
  • February 5
    • The unemployment rate drops to 9.7% in January 2010, down from 10% in December. An additional 20,000 jobs were lost.
    • Democratic Rep. John Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district, PA-12, in the United Sta[tes House o[f Representatives]] since 1974 passed away.
  • February 15
    • A high ranking Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is captured in Karachi with intelligence help from the United States. Being a relatively moderate member of the Taliban’s senior leadership, Baradar’s capture has undermined Karzai’s push for peace talks.
  • February 22
    • A United States Special Forces airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, targeting insurgents, accidentally kills 27 Afghan civilians.
  • February 28
    • Chile was devastated by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake. About 750 people were killed in the quake, while over 1.5 million were displaced.

March

March 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
  • March 3
    • Rep. Charles Rangel steps down as chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee due to growing concerns over ethics violations. An ethics panel is investigating his fund-raising tactics, his failing to pay taxes on his rental property, and the use of rent-controlled homes for business purposes.
  • March 5
    • The unemployment rate remained steady in February, at 9.7 percent. The economy shed 36,000 jobs, fewer than forecasted.
  • March 7
    • Iraqi parlimentary elections held.
  • March 9
    • Israel's Interior Ministry announced that it had approved construction of 1,600 new apartments, an embarrassing setback for Vice President Joe Biden after a day of warm meetings with top Israeli officials.
  • March 12
    • US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rebukes Israel over its recent decision to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.
  • March 16
    • Attorney General Eric Holder says Osama bin Laden will never face trial in the United States because he will not be captured alive.
    • The man who oversees U.S. forces in both the Iraq and Afghan wars, Gen. David Petraeus, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the fighting in Afghanistan will "likely get harder before it gets easier" and predicts 2010 will be a difficult year. On Iraq, he expects the United States can reduce its forces as planned, from about 97,000 to 50,000 by the end of *August.
  • March 18
    • Democrats kill the extra $100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska in health care overhaul bill that has become a symbol of backdoor deal making.
    • President Barack Obama has signed into law a package of tax breaks and spending designed to give the nation a boost in jobs. The legislation includes about $18 billion in tax breaks and $20 billion into highway and transit programs and includes incentives for small businesses to hire new employees who have been out of work for 60 days.
    • Idaho's Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government over any insurance mandate requiring people to buy health insurance. Idaho is the first state to do such.
  • March 20
    • Democratic lawmakers drop plan for an indirect vote that would have relied on a legislative maneuver to give their OK to the Senate's version of health care legislation. There would be a straight up-or-down vote on the health care overhaul bill
    • President Obama went to Capitol Hill to encourage House Democrats to finish work on his health care overhaul bill and told them, "We're going to get this done." House Democrats make final preparations for final passage of the bill on Sunday, March 21.
    • Stewart Udall,former Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, passed away.
  • March 21
    • President Barack Obama announces plans to issue an executive order assuring that federal policy bar U.S. aid for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. The order will help to assure the passage of Obama's health care bill by winning support from a bloc of Democratic anti-abortion lawmakers led by Rep. Bart Stupak.
    • The U.S. House gave final approval by a 219-to-212 vote to legislation passed by the U.S. Senate on Christmas Eve overhauling the nation's healthcare system (216 votes were needed to pass the legislation). The House later adopted a package of changes, agreed to in negotiations among House and Senate Democrats and the White House, by a vote of 220 to 211. That package goes to the Senate for a vote.
  • March 23
    • President Barack Obama signs the landmark health care overhaul bill into law.
  • March 24
    • The FBI investigates threats against lawmakers stemming from intense opposition to the health care overhaul law.
  • March 25
    • The U.S. Senate by a 56-43 roll call vote, passes legislation to 'fix' parts of the new health care overhaul law which was signed by the President on Tuesday, March 23. Subsequently the U.S. House voted 220-207 to approve changes to the new health overhaul law.
  • March 26
    • The U.S. and Russia sealed a major nuclear weapons treaty, agreeing to slash both warhead arsenals by nearly one-third.
    • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the conservative group SpeechNow.org can raise unlimited donations from individuals for election ads it plans to run independently of candidates.
    • Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi-led Iraqiya party wins 91 seats in parliamentary elections, edging out Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's 89 seats.
  • March 27
  • March 28
    • President Barack Obama makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan, spending about six hours in the country. President Obama talked with President Hamid Karzai about the continuing corruption in Karzai's administration and met with troops at Bagram Air Base.
    • Pope Benedict XVI opened Holy Week amid one of the most serious crises facing the church in decades involving pedophile priests.
  • March 29
    • Two central Moscow subway stations were attacked by female suicide bombers during rush-hour. At least 38 people were killed and 60 others wounded in the two explosions. It is believed Chechen rebels were behind the attacks.
    • The G-8 meeting of foreign ministers precedes *June's G-8 summit uniting world leaders in Huntsville, Ontario focusing on non-economic issues.
    • It is reported that nine suspects were arrested in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana by the FBI in an alleged Christian militia plot over the preceding weekend. Suspected members of a group that called itself Hutaree were allegedly plotting to kill police officers.
  • March 31
    • President Barack Obama announced plans to allow drilling along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska — ending a longstanding moratorium on exploration from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean.

April

April 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30
  • April 1
    • Census Day.
    • The Obama administration finalized strict new gas mileage standards for new cars and trucks. Vehicles released in 2016 will be required to meet fuel efficiency targets of 34.1 miles per gallon.
    • Ethics complaints against lawmakers who have rented rooms in a controversial Capitol Hill townhouse on C street are reported to be filed by a watchdog group called The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
  • April 2
    • Nationwide, the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent in March.
  • April 4
    • Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California say that the Republican National Committee must be held accountable for the way it uses the money it raises in light of nearly $2,000 spent for a night at a sex-themed Hollywood nightclub.
    • A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Mexicali, Mexico and was felt in Los Angeles and Phoenix.
  • April 5
    • The U.S. consulate in Peshawar was attacked by at least five suicide bombers. At least six Pakistanis were killed and many were injured. No Americans were hurt.
    • 29 miners were killed after a mine explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The Massey Energy Company, the biggest coal mining business in central Appalachia and the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine is scrutinized for its poor safety history.
  • April 6
    • Kyrgyzstan’s president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, fled the capital, Bishkek, on his plane, and the opposition declared that it was forming its own government.
    • President Barack Obama said his administration would narrow the circumstances in which the U.S. might launch a nuclear strike, that it would not develop new nuclear warheads and would seek even deeper cuts in American and Russian arsenals.
    • At least 4,388 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in *March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
  • April 7
    • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell called it a "major omission" not to have noted slavery in his declaring *April Confederate History Month in Virginia.
  • April 9
    • Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he would retire at the end of this Supreme Court term.
  • April 10
    • Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others, including numerous lawmakers, the central bank governor, the commanders of the country's armed forces and the head of its Olympic committee, died in a plane crash *April 10 near Russia's Katyn forest.
  • April 13
    • President Barack Obama convenes a 47-nation nuclear security conference. The President in addressing the conference said that the prospect of nuclear terrorism had emerged as one of the greatest threats to global security. He called on global leaders to secure or destroy vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear materials. In two years, leaders will gather again in South Korea to assess progress in securing stockpiles.
    • President Barack Obama said he is confident China will join other nations in urging tough new sanctions on Iran for continuing to defy the international community in seeking nuclear weapons.
  • April 14
    • A 6.2 quake struck the impoverished county of Yushu in China's Qinghai province in the Tibetian region.
    • Saying that the prospect of nuclear terrorism had emerged as one of the greatest threats to global security, President Barack Obama called on world leaders to "not simply to talk, but to act" to secure or destroy vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear materials.
  • April 15
    • Tea party protesters mark tax day with protests across the country.
    • President Barack Obama issues a directive making it easier for hospital patients, particularly gays and lesbians, to receive visitors and choose who will make medical decisions on their behalf.
    • Flights from the Eastern United States to Europe are disrupted by clouds of ash spewed from an Icelandic volcano.
  • April 16
    • Senate Republicans fiercely criticized nominee Goodwin Liu, President Barack Obama's choice for a seat on a San Francisco-based federal appellate court.
    • Internal CIA e-mails show the former CIA head, Porter Goss, agreed with a top aide's 2005 decision to destroy videotapes of the harsh interrogation of a terror suspect, an action that remains the focus of an FBI investigation.
    • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged that Goldman Sachs had committed fraud by creating and selling a mortgage investment that secretly intended to fail.
  • April 17
    • Obama cancels trip to Poland for the funeral of Poland's president, who died in a plane crash April 10 near Russia's Katyn forest. The trip was cancelled due to volcanic fallout from an Icelandic volcano.
  • April 20
    • A British Petroleum oil rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, caught fire and sank 36 hours later. 11 men died in that incident. An oil spill bigger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 ensues causing a massive environmental cleanup operation.
  • April 22
    • Two days after the explosion of a BP oil rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, the oil rig sank to the ocean floor.
  • April 23
    • Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed into law SB 1070, which prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens and makes it a state crime for an alien to commit certain federal immigration crimes. It also requires police officers who, in the course of a traffic stop or other law-enforcement action, come to a “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal alien verify the person’s immigration status with the federal government. A national furor ensues.
  • April 24
    • Four days after the explosion of a BP oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, an oil leak is found. (see April 20)
  • April 27
    • In a U.S. Senate hearing, where Goldman Sachs officials were grilled for 11 hours, senators from both parties harshly criticized Goldman for its actions.
    • As of Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at least 4,393 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in *March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
  • April 28
    • The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, refused to order the removal of a congressionally endorsed war memorial cross from its longtime home atop a remote rocky outcropping in California's Mojave Desert.
    • 62 members of the House, in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, asked the Justice Department to begin a criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs and other firms that possibly committed fraud.
    • Government scientists monitoring by air the oil plume already on the water concluded BP's estimate of release from the disabled oil well was far too low and revised the estimate to 5,000 barrels a day instead of 1,000.
  • April 29
    • The U.S. military's ban on women serving on submarines ends.
    • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency so officials could begin preparing for the impact of the continuing Gulf Coast oil spill. At least 10 wildlife management areas and refuges in Louisiana and neighboring Mississippi are in the oil plume's path.
    • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the Gulf Coast oil spill has been designated of "national significance," meaning that the government has taken control of cleanup operations and that a wide range of new federal resources are now available to those involved in the efforts.
    • Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced that he is leaving the Republican primary for Senate, and is instead running in the general election as an independent.
    • Republicans in the U.S. Senate drop their objection to a debate on the most significant reforms to financial regulations since the 1930s.
  • April 30
    • Four-term Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida announced that she will not seek re-election to Congress, citing health concerns.
    • David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Barack Obama says no new oil drilling will be authorized until authorities learn what caused the explosion of the deep water BP rig off the coast of Louisiana.
    • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other administration officials flew to the Gulf Coast.
    • Four Democratic New Jersey lawmakers ask President Barack Obama in a letter, to reverse his plan for new offshore oil and gas drilling in light of the giant Gulf Coast oil spill.
    • Arizona Gov.Jan Brewer signed a bill that makes changes to a controversial new state immigration law, saying the changes should ease concerns about racial profiling. The Arizona legislature changed the language of the bill to require scrutiny only of people who police stop, detain or arrest. They also changed a section of the bill that barred officers from "solely" using race as grounds for suspecting someone is in the country illegally. The legislators removed the word "solely" to bar race from being used by officers enforcing the law.
    • The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter as consumers increased spending at the fastest pace in three years, the strongest sign yet a sustainable recovery May be taking hold, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

May

  • May 1
    • A bomb in a Nissan Pathfinder SUV which was left in New York City's Times Square fails to go off. 53 hours later, Faisal Shahzad, an American of Pakistani descent, was arrested on Emirates flight EK202 about to leave JFK airport for Dubai.
  • May 2
    • 12 days after the $350 million Deepwater Horizon oil rig was consumed by flames, President Barack Obama flew to the Gulf to get a firsthand look.
  • May 3
    • The Pentagon says Alabama, Florida and Mississippi have requested the federal mobilization of National Guard troops to aid oil clean-up efforts along the Gulf Coast.
    • Parts of the southeast United States, including Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi are flooded after two days of torrential rains.
  • May 4
    • Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says the administration wants to work with Congress to change a law that caps at $75 million BP's liability for economic damages. Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is co-sponsoring a measure that would raise the liability limit to $10 billion. Menendez also wants it to be made retroactive so it can apply to the huge spill that began after an oil rig exploded in the Gulf on April 20.
    • As of Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at least 4,397 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in *March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
  • May 5
    • President Barack Obama says he wants to begin work this year on legislation overhauling the nation's immigration system, firming up his commitment on a key priority for Latino voters and lawmakers.
    • The protests and riots in Athens against the Greek government's austerity program threaten to undermine tourism, one of Greece’s few growth industries and the country’s best hope of easing the pain of its unprecedented austerity program.
    • Fears of the spread of Greek debt crisis hit stocks and currencies around the world.
    • House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-WI) announces his retirement after 41 years in Congress.
  • May 7
    • As of Friday, May 7, 2010, at least 971 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
    • The Federal Election Commission grants the National Democratic Redistricting Trust's request to let lawmakers raise unlimited contributions for the legal fights likely to develop as congressional district boundaries are redrawn after the 2010 census.
    • The U.S. economy added 290,000 jobs in March, the biggest gain in four years.
  • May 9
    • Senior White House officials say that the Pakistani Taliban were behind the failed Times Square bombing on May 2.
  • May 11
    • Several senator urge the Obama administration to put the Pakistani Taliban on a State Department terrorism blacklist that would impose sanctions.
    • British Prime Minister Gordon Brown formally resigns as prime minister and a new coalition government is formed.
    • President Barack Obama congratulates new British Prime Minister David Cameron on his appointment - offering an invite to visit Washington during the summer.
  • May 13
    • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rules out any political reconciliation with Taliban who refuse to recognize the rights of women.
    • The EPA said it is completing a rule requiring large polluters to reduce six greenhouse gases by installing better technology and improving energy efficiency. The step should be taken whenever a facility is built or significantly modified. The rule will take effect in July 2011 and applies to any industrial plant that emits at least 75,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year.
  • May 17
    • The U.S. Supreme Court votes 5–4 against life sentences for juveniles who commit crimes other than murder.
  • May 19
    • The United States, Russia, China, and others agree to impose sanctions on Iran's nuclear program, in an attempt to stop the country from enriching uranium.
    • Thai rioters disperse, and protest leaders surrender, ending a 68 day protest.
  • May 20
    • National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair's last day is on May 28 as it becomes known that President Obama has lost confidence in Director Blair.
  • May 21
    • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says North Korea must face international consequences for the sinking of a South Korean warship by a North Korean submarine in *March 2010.
    • President Obama appoints former Flordia Senator Bob Graham and former EPA head William Reilly to head a bipartisan commission that will look into the spill's causes and recommend the "precautions we need to take to avoid a similar disaster from happening again."
  • May 22
    • Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, Republican, won the House seat representing urban Honolulu, as two Democrats, State Senator Colleen Hanabusa and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case split the Democratic vote. The seat was held by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for the Hawaii governorship.
    • An Air India Boeing 737-800 passenger airliner overshoots a hilltop runway in southern India and plunged over a cliff killing 158 people and leaving only 8 survivors.
  • May 25
    • President Obama will bolster the U.S-Mexico border with 1,200 National Guard troops and increase law enforcement spending to reduce rampant drug smuggling in the area.
  • May 26
    • BP starts the "top kill" procedure.
  • May 28
    • President Obama heads to Louisiana.
  • May 29
    • BP engineers say that the “top kill” technique had failed
  • May 31
    • Nine activists were killed by Israeli naval commandos aboard the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish passenger vessel that was carrying about 600 activists. The Mavi Marmara was part of a flotilla of 6 ships, passenger and cargo, destined for the Palestinian Gaza Strip carrying 10,000 tons of aid. The flotilla challenged the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government has said that a blockade was necessary to protect Israel against the infiltration into Gaza of weapons and fighters sponsored by Iran.
    • The top financial chief and co-founder of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, is killed in an American drone attack in Pakistan. American intelligence officials say he was the third highest leader in the organization, behind Osama Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

June

  • June 1
    • The Obama administration says it has begun civil and criminal investigations into the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama announces his resignation from office.
  • June 4
    • According to the Department of Labor's statistics, employers added 431,000 jobs and the jobless rate fell to 9.7 percent in *May, from 9.9 percent in April. But the underlying numbers showed that almost all of the growth came from the 411,000 workers hired by the federal government to help with the Census.
    • President Obama names Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr. as the new director of national intelligence. Clapper is tasked with improving the coordination between the 16 U.S. spy and intelligence agencies.
  • June 8
    • Senator Blanche Lincoln withstood a multi-million-dollar campaign against her from organized labor, environmental groups and liberal advocacy organizations from outside Arkansas as she wins the Democratic primary election over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.
  • June 9
    • Twelve of the 15 nations on the U.N. Security Council voted for sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. (Turkey and Brazil voted against it and Lebanon abstained.)
  • June 15
    • President Barack Obama, in his first televised Oval Office speech, used the still-unresolved crisis in the Gulf of Mexico to press for sweeping change in energy policy.
    • The government raised its estimate of the oil flow rate yet again, declaring that as much as 60,000 barrels of oil could be flowing into the Gulf every day.
  • June 17
    • Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, faced relentless questioning by Congressional Democrats and denied any personal responsibility for the decisions that led to the disastrous oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Texas congressman Joe Barton, ranking Republican member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce apologized to the BP CEO Tony Hayward and said "I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House". Barton was referring to the agreement that President Barack Obama announced with BP for establishment of a $20 billion relief fund. Barton described the White House action as a "shakedown". Barton later retracted his apology.
  • June 18
    • British Petroleum’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, says that Mr. Hayward “is now handing over the operations, the daily operations, to Bob Dudley.” He was referring to Robert Dudley, an American oil executive who has been a managing director of BP since 2009.
  • June 20
    • Israel announces an eased blockade of Gaza that could significantly expand the flow of goods overland into the impoverished coastal Palestinian Gaza Strip, isolated by the Israelis for three years.
  • June 21
    • The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a federal law that makes it a crime to provide “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts.
  • June 23
    • Gen. Stanley McChrystal's negative remarks about administration officials in interviews for a Rolling Stone magazine article represent conduct that "undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system," says President Barack Obama as he fires McChrystal and replaces him with Gen. David Petraeus.
  • June 28
    • United States Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat from West Virginia died. Byrd served as a Senator from 1959 to 2010 and was the longest-serving senator and the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Congress.
    • The FBI arrested 10 people who allegedly spied for Russia for up to a decade - posing as innocent civilians while trying to infiltrate U.S. policymaking circles and learn about U.S. weapons, diplomatic strategy and political developments.
  • June 30
    • The Senate has unanimously confirAccmed Gen. David Petraeus as the next commander of the Afghanistan war. The vote was 99-0.
    • Benigno Aquino III, sworn in as the Philippines' 15th president
    • Hurricane Alex, a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of near 105 mph (155 kph), makes landfall about 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Soto La Marina along the Mexican coast.

July

  • July 2
    • As of July 2, 2010, at least 1,063 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
    • The United States added 83,000 private sector jobs in June, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate declined to 9.5 percent, from 9.7 percent in May. But the decline is deceptive as 652,000 Americans left the work force, giving up on finding a job.
  • July 3
    • Vice President Joe Biden visits Iraq to celebrate July 4 with the troops and to be briefed by military commanders.
    • Apple admits flaw in iPhone4.
  • July 6
    • As of July 6, 2010, at least 4,412 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
    • The U.S. Justice Department is filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's tough new law targeting illegal immigrants, according to the Associated Press.
  • July 8
    • U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled the federal law banning gay marriage, The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define the institution and therefore denies married gay couples some federal benefits.
  • July 10
    • 10 Russian agents who blended into American communities and who were arrested two weeks prior, were back on Russian soil, a day after they were exchanged at the Vienna airport for four prisoners the Russians had accused of spying for the West.
  • July 11
    • Two explosions rip through crowds watching the World Cup final in two places in Uganda's capital killing 64 people.
    • Spain won the World Cup Championship's final game for the first time with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands.
  • July 14
    • Former Vice President Dick Cheney disclosed that he has undergone surgery to implant a left ventricular assist device to relieve symptoms of his end-stage congestive heart failure.
  • July 15
    • By a 60-39 vote the U.S. Senate passed financial reform legislation that imposes new regulations on Wall Street and creates new protections for consumers.
    • Goldman Sachs agrees to a $550 million settlement with the federal government after being accused of misleading investors during the subprime mortgage crisis and housing market collapse.
  • July 16
    • On day 87 of BP oil spill, oil stops flowing.
    • Carte Goodwin is appointed by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to replace Sen. Robert Byrd who passed away on *June 28, 2010. A special election will be held on November 2, 2010, to determine who will serve the remaining two years in Byrd's term.
  • July 19
    • Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign from her position as Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart posted edited video excerpts of Sherrod's address at a *March 2010 NAACP event to his website implying present racism. The decision to fire her was reversed when the full video revealed a different interpretation of her remarks.
  • July 22
    • A bipartisan, four-member investigative subcommittee of the House Ethics Committee indicated that it had "substantial reason to believe" that Rep. Charles Rangel had violated a range of ethics rules.
  • July 23
    • Tropical storm Bonnie makes landfall on the southeastern coast of Florida and dissipates in the Gulf of Mexico on July 24.
  • July 27
    • The U.S. consumer confidence index for July is at its lowest since February, with one in six people expecting lower income in the next six months.
    • By a 57-41 U.S. Senate vote, Senate Republicans block legislation imposing new restrictions on political activity by special interest groups, which calls for greater disclosure on campaign advertising funded independently by corporations, unions and other organizations, but included an exemption for the National Rifle Association and a small number of other groups.
    • BP confirms Tony Hayward would resign as CEO of the company and be replaced by Bob Dudley on 1 October 2010.
  • July 28
    • A federal district court judge issues a preliminary injunction against sections of Arizona's immigration enforcement law, scheduled to take effect on July 29, that called for police officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and required immigrants to prove that they were authorized to be in the country or risk state charges.
  • July 29
    • The U.S. Senate shelves a plan to create a $30 billion loan fund for cash-strapped small businesses, due to a GOP filibuster, delaying final passage of a top administration priority.
  • July 30
    • The U.S. House's rejection of bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust has opened a sharp rift between two New York congressmen, Republican Peter King and Democrat Anthony Weiner. [1]

August

  • August 2
    • Russian authorities impose a state of emergency around about 500 towns and villages because of wildfires burning across the west of the country.
  • August 4
    • Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California, strikes down the voter-approved gay marriage ban (Proposition 8) in California, calling the law unconstitutional. Walker says the law discriminates against gay men and women.
  • August 6
    • In July, 131,000 jobs were lost in the U.S. economy, despite the fact that private payrolls grew. This number is greater than experts had expected. The unemployment rate remains at 9.5%.
  • August 10
    • Former Senator Ted Stevens, 86, died in a small plane crash, along with 4 others, in Alaska. Stevens served six terms in the U.S. Senate, however, Stevens lost his seat after being found guilty of corruption, charges that were eventually dropped.
  • August 13
    • President Obama, referring to the Islamic mosque controversy, said he supports the "right to build a place of worship and a community centre on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances." The decision to build an 15-storey Islamic centre in Manhattan, including a mosque, two blocks from the Ground Zero site of the September 11th terrorist attacks has grown from a local controversy to a national debate.
    • Egg recalls announced as many are stricken with salmonella.
    • One-fifth of Pakistan has been flooded in relentless monsoon rains. Nearly 1,400 people have died and 875,000 homes have either washed away or are damaged, according to Pakistan's Disaster Authority.
  • August 15
    • China's economy is the second-largest in the world. China passed Japan and is approaching that of the United States.
  • August 17
    • After deliberating for 14 days, the jury found former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich guilty one criminal count — making false statements to the F.B.I., which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict on 23 of the 24 counts against Blagojevich.
  • August 18
    • International relief officials say the pace of aid donations was still not commensurate to deal with Pakistan's worst flooding disaster.
  • August 19
    • White House spokesman Bill Burton says President Barack Obama is a Christian who prays daily, trying to tamp down growing doubts about the president's religion.
  • August 24
    • William Saxbe, a Republican, who became the fourth attorney general to serve under President Richard M. Nixon and presided during the Watergate investigation, dies. He was 94.
  • August 25
    • Former Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman says in a magazine interview that he is gay. Mehlman was campaign manager for President George W. Bush in 2004 and then RNC chairman after Bush's re-election.
  • August 26
    • Former president Jimmy Carter negotiated the release of an American citizen, Aijalon Gomes, who was imprisoned and sentenced to eight years' hard labor for crossing into North Korea from China on Jan. 25 for unknown reasons.

September

  • September 1
    • President Barack Obama announced a six-year infrastructure revamp plan with an initial investment of $50 billion to jump-start job creation.
  • September 3
    • The Labor Department reports that the U.S. unemployment rate is up to 9.6% in August.
  • September 7
    • President Barack Obama says he opposes any compromise that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy beyond 2010.
  • September 9
    • A natural gas line explosion in San Bruno, California destroyed 53 homes and damaged 120 others. 7 people die, 20 are injured, 6 are still missing.
  • September 21
    • Senate Republicans blocked efforts by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision.
  • September 23
    • Senate Republicans continue to block legislation requiring special interest groups running campaign ads to identify their donors. By a 59-39 vote, the legislation fell one short of the 60 needed to advance in the Senate.
    • During a speech at the U.N. by President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wherein he states that the "majority of the American people as well as most nations and politicians around the world" say that the 9/11 attacks were the work of the Government of the United States trying to protect Israel," the U.S delegation along with many other U.N. delegates walk out.
  • September 25
    • President Barack Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to criticize House Republicans over the "Pledge to America" released during the previous week. According to Obama, the Pledge contained "the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn't surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy."
  • September 27
    • The Obama administration expressed disappointment in Israel's refusal to extend a slowdown in settlement construction raising the prospect of Palestinians walking away from current peace negotiations.
    • President Barack Obama signs into law a chain of tax cuts for small businesses and up to $14 billion in federally funded loans aimed at stimulating job creation,
    • NATO-led forces are reported to have killed more than 50 insurgents on Pakistani soil after rare pursuits by helicopters across the border from Afghanistan over the past weekend.
  • September 28
    • President Barack Obama scolds fellow Democrats even as he rallied them Tuesday in an effort to save the party from big GOP gains in the crucial midterm elections. The President says,"It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines".
    • The U.S. Supreme Court will post audio files of each week's arguments on its website Friday starting in October. The court has put argument transcripts on the site within hours of the arguments.
  • September 29
    • The U.S. House, by a vote of 268-160, has approved a bill to give up to $7.4 billion to workers sickened during the cleanup of World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks.
    • Congressional Democrats off plans to repeal George W. Bush’s top income tax rate cuts until a post-election lameduck session of Congress.
  • September 30
    • Senate Republicans successfully block the passage of a bill that would have denied tax breaks to US companies moving jobs overseas.
    • Pakistan blocks land route for NATO convoys carrying supplies to Afghanistan after a cross-border NATO helicopter attack is blamed for the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers.

October

  • October 2
    • "One Nation Working Together", a coalition of progressive and civil rights groups marched by the thousands to the Lincoln Memorial and pledged to support Democrats struggling to keep power on Capitol Hill. The event comes one month after Glenn Beck packed the same space with conservatives and tea party-style activists.
  • October 4
    • The U.S. Supreme Court starts a new term with a new member, justice Elena Kagan.
    • In Hungary, a sludge reservoir bursts sending 200 million gallons of toxic mud into the roads of three villages, killing 8 people and injuring scores of others.
  • October 6
    • The U.S. apologized for a recent helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers at an outpost near the Afghan border, saying American pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents they were pursuing. The border was closed to NATO convoys on September 30 because of the inadvertent killings. Militants have taken advantage of the stalled convoy to launch attacks against stranded or rerouted trucks.
    • A private White House review uses tough language to suggest that Pakistan is not doing enough to confront the Taliban and al Qaeda.
    • The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments about funeral protests. Whether Westboro Baptist Church's pickets are protected by the First Amendment was explored. The church was sued by Albert Snyder, who said the picketing caused emotional distress when they did so at the funeral of his son, Matt, a Marine who died in Iraq.
  • October 12
    • The White House lifts the moratorium on deepwater drilling for oil and gas, which has been in place since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill.
    • U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, of California, orders the government to stop the enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Law."
  • October 13
    • 33 miners are pulled from the San Jose mine in Chile after spending 69 days trapped.
  • October 15
    • The Defense Department warns gay troops that if they disclose their sexual orientation, they could still get in trouble, despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' unconstitutional.
    • Attorney General Eric Holder says the federal government will enforce its marijuana laws in California even if the state's voters approve a ballot measure to legalize the drug.
  • October 19
    • A one-day strike over the French government's pension reform proposal to raise the legal minimum requirement age from 60 to 62, turned into widespread protests, gas shortages, blockaded roads, closed schools, and violence in France.
  • October 20
    • A federal appeals court temporarily stays the U.S. district court decision reverse the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The military will continue to enforce the policy for the time being.
  • October 25
    • A 7.7-magnitude quake that struck the remote Mentawi islands off western Sumatra, spawned a 10-foot (3-meter) wave that kills hundreds in Indonesia.
  • October 29
    • President Barack Obama says the suspicious packages believed to be linked to a plot by Yemen's al-Qaida branch is a "credible terrorist threat."

November

  • November 1
    • The San Francisco Giants beat the Texas Rangers 3 to 1 to win the World Series.
  • November 2
    • General election day. GOP wins back the U.S. House, makes gains in the U.S. Senate, and wins many governorships. The GOP seized control of about a dozen statehouses.
    • China rejected a U.S. offer to broker three-way talks with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea. China's latest spat with Japan started after a Chinese fishing trawler collided in September with two Japanese patrol boats near the disputed islands.
    • Japan temporarily called back its ambassador to Moscow following Medvedev's visit one of the Kurile islands. The Kurile Islands are claimed by both countries.
  • November 3
    • The Federal Reserve announces it intends to buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds through the middle of 2011, on top of an estimated $250 billion to $300 billion already planned.
    • President Barack Obama abandons legislation, hopelessly stalled in the U.S. Senate, that includes economic incentives to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, vehicles and other sources.
  • November 5
    • Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for the downing of a United Parcel Service cargo plane in Dubai in September and also says it was behind the mail bomb plot uncovered by international authorities in late October.
    • Hurricane Tomas lashes Haiti, leaves 20 dead.
    • The U.S. rate of unemployment in October remained at 9.6%.
  • November 7
    • Defense Secretary Robert Gates is encouraging Congress to act before year's end to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military. It's a position shared by President Barack Obama.
  • November 11
    • China defended its controversial foreign exchange controls as “responsible” and repeated its vow to gradually increase the flexibility of its yuan currency.
  • November 12
    • The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Pentagon to continue preventing openly gay people from serving in the military while a federal appeals court reviews the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
    • A long-expected trade agreement with South Korea failed to materialize, while Obama attended the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea.
  • November 13
    • Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the United States must reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations in Afghanistan.
  • November 16
    • Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., will continue as majority leader and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will stay on as minority leader in the 112th Congress.
    • Sen. Mitch McConnell says the abuse of the earmarking system turned it into a symbol of government waste that Republicans do oppose. McConnell had long been a proponent of the earmarking system.
    • Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), was found guilty Tuesday of breaking 11 separate congressional rules related to his personal finances and his fundraising efforts for a New York college.
  • November 17
    • House Democrats elected Nancy Pelosi to remain as their leader.
  • November 19
    • Head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole says the full body scans and thorough hand pat-downs causing a furor among some passengers and pilots are unavoidable in a time of terrorist threats.
  • November 20
    • President Barack Obama tells GOP not to hold up Russia arms treaty
  • November 21
    • Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he worries that North Korea is advancing its potential nuclear capability toward "real life" after a scientist reported new activity in its atomic program.
    • NATO leaders emerged from a two-day summit in Portugal with a common commitment that U.S. and other allied forces will have moved into a support role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
  • November 24
    • Tom Delay, former House Majority Leader from Texas, is convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering involving corporate campaign contributions.
  • November 28
    • Documents obtained by WikiLeaks of some of the purported U.S. diplomatic cables are published online.
  • November 29
    • President Barack Obama proposes a two-year freeze of the salaries of some 2 million federal workers, trying to seize the deficit-cutting initiative from Republicans.
  • November 30
    • Congressional Republican leaders held a meeting with President Obama. This is Obama's first meeting with top lawmakers since Republicans made huge gains in the midterm elections. At the meeting, Obama told Representative John Boehner, the incoming House speaker, and Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, that he regretted not reaching out to them more in his first two years in office and vowed to do better.
    • The Pentagon announces, after a nine month study, that repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," law, which forbids gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military, will not affect the military's strength.

December

  • December 1
    • In a letter cosigned by 42 Senate Republicans to Senate President Harry Reid, Senate Republicans said they intend to block action on virtually all Democratic-backed legislation until all the Bush-era tax cuts are extended, and until the Senate passes legislation to fund the government.
    • The U.S. Senate rejected, by a roll call vote of 56-39, a ban on lawmakers inserting earmarks or pet projects in spending bills.
    • Colin Powell, a retired four-star Army general and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said he fully supports the New START treaty, and believes President Obama has adequately addressed the concerns of Republicans lawmakers over verification and modernization of the remaining U.S. nuclear arsenal.
  • December 2
    • Rep. Charles Rangel of New York was censured by the House for financial and fundraising misconduct. The vote was 333-79. It was only the 23rd time that the House invoked its most serious punishment short of expulsion.
    • Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the country's top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, urged a Senate panel to pass legislation repealing the don't ask don't tell policy before the end of the year.
  • December 3
    • President Obama spends four hours in Afghanistan. Obama met with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry. Obama visited wounded soldiers at a base hospital and pinned five with Purple Hearts.
    • Top uniformed Army and Marines generals told a Senate panel that letting gays serve openly in the military during wartime would be divisive and difficult.
    • The unemployment rate in the U.S. rose to 9.8% in November, up from the rate of 9.6% in the previous several months.
  • December 6
    • The United States, Japan and South Korea say they would not resume nuclear negotiations with North Korea until it stops its "provocative and belligerent" behavior and takes concrete steps to roll back its nuclear arms program.
  • December 7
    • The 69th anniversary of the day the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor Naval Base, killing 2,403 people, destroying 188 planes and damaging 8 battleships.
    • President Barack Obama testily defended his Bush tax cuts compromise over combat with Republicans, lecturing mostly liberal Democrats not to be "sanctimonious" purists in denial of tax cuts for those making above $250,000.
    • Julian Assange, the Wikileaks spokesperson is arrested in the UK by police.
    • A deal between President Obama and congressional Republicans involving a two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels is announced - breaking Obama's campaign promise to let tax cuts for the rich expire.
    • Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Senator John Edwards, dies at age 61 from breast cancer.
  • December 8
    • House and Senate Republicans thwart Democratic efforts to award $250 checks to Social Security recipients facing a second consecutive year without a cost-of-living increase.
    • The Senate passed a one-year 'fix' preventing a 25 percent cut to Medicare payments that would kick in on Jan. 1. Still needs to clear the House.
    • Republican Tom Emmer conceded the Minnesota governor's race to Mark Dayton.
    • The Obama administration, it is reported, has abandoned attempts to persuade Israel to slow West Bank settlement activity. The Palestinians had demanded the freeze in settlements in exchange for engaging in direct talks that were supposed to lead to a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with Israel.
  • December 9
    • Senate Republicans derailed a bill to aid people who got sick after exposure to dust from the World Trade Center's collapse in the Sept. 11 attack. Supporters were three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote on the bill that would have provided as much as $7.4 billion in health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors.
    • A major defense authorization bill carrying the repeal of the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law was blocked by Senate Republicans and one Senate Democrat after negotiations between the parties failed.
    • The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is sticking to his refusal to resume peace talks with Israel unless it freezes all construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
  • December 13
    • Richard Holbrooke, 69, U.S. special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan passed away.
    • The Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) that is now called the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, was signed into law by President Obama.
  • December 15
    • For the second time in 2010, by a vote of 250-175 vote, the House voted to do away with the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, giving the Senate a final shot at changing a law requiring thousands of uniformed gays to hide their sexual identity.
    • President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation that delays for one year a cut in Medicare pay to doctors.
  • December 16
    • The Obama administration's year-end review of its Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy is released: President Obama says, "We are on track to achieve our goals." The review suggests tough combat would continue for years and that troop withdrawals in 2011 would probably be small.
    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is released from UK prison after spending 9 days.
    • Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon announces he has prostate cancer and will miss late-session votes.
  • December 17
    • The Obama-GOP tax-cut deal passes a House by a vote by 277-148. The bill slashes the estate tax, extends all the Bush tax cuts and reauthorizes unemployment insurance for 13 months.
  • December 18
    • In a historic vote for gay rights, the U.S. Senate did away with the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by a voe of 65 to 31. Eight Republican senators joined almost all Senate Democrats (West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) was absent). GOP Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Richard Burr (N.C.), John Ensign (Nev.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and George Voinovich (Ohio) voted for the measure.
    • The DREAM Act, which would give legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age, lived here for at least five years, graduated from high school and attended college or served in the military, fell five votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP-led filibuster — 55 to 41.
  • December 20
    • Venezuela formally told the U.S. to not bother sending Larry Palmer as the next ambassador since he would be asked to return the moment he landed in Caracas.
  • December 22
    • President Barack Obama signs legislation repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the 17-year old Clinton-era law that sought to allow gays to serve under the terms of an uneasy compromise that required them to keep their sexuality a secret.
    • The 9/11 Health Care bill passes the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent. The bill calls for providing $1.8 billion over the next five years to monitor and treat injuries stemming from exposure to toxic dust and debris at ground zero; New York City would pay 10 percent of these costs. The legislation also sets aside $2.5 billion to reopen the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for five years to provide payment for job and economic losses.
    • The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed on April 8, 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, is ratified by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 71-26. Thirteen Republicans, a quarter of the Republican caucus, broke with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ).
  • The Alaska Supreme Court upholds a lower court decision in the disputed U.S. Senate race, saying the state correctly counted write-in votes for Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
  • December 23
    • Two parcel bombs exploded inside the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome.
    • President Obama starts an 11 day vacation in Hawaii.
  • December 26
    • Nearly 2 feet of snow fell on New York City. It was the city's sixth-worst snowstorm on record. Flights at all three of the New York City's airports were grounded.
  • December 27
    • The East Coast struggled to dig out from a severe two-day blizzard that buried airports, froze trains and subways, downed power lines and stranded hundreds of thousands of travelers and commuters during the busy holiday travel period.
  • December 28
    • The Obama administration revoked Venezuela's ambassador to the United State's visa in a tit-for-tat diplomatic response to Venezuela's rejection of the U.S. choice to be the next envoy to the South American country. (see December 20)
  • December 30
    • Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell went on a media offensive after reports that federal prosecutors were looking into whether she illegally used campaign money for personal use.
2009   |   2011
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