Originally published 02/26/2013
In a break from tradition (or perhaps it’s merely the start of a new one) the Weather Channel has given names to the major winter storms from the 2012-2013 season. Time will tell if this has been a particularly snowy winter, but as of the end of February sixteen of the twenty-three proposed storm names have already been used. None were more severe this year than Winter Storm Nemo, which socked the Northeast at the beginning of February, causing power outages throughout the Northeast and killing fourteen people.Nemo was far from the worst of the so-called “nor’easters” which regularly impact New England. Documented since at least the early nineteenth century, nor'easters regularly devastate the eastern coasts of Canada the United States. Nor'easters typically occur between the months of September and April (so there’s time still yet for another round – in 2007, a powerful nor’easter hit the East Coast in mid-April), and these storms usually cover an area of hundreds of miles or more. Heavy rain, snow, and winds tend to hit the New England region heaviest, causing flooding, property damage, and coastal erosion.
Originally published 01/28/2013
Women have been serving in militaries around the world for centuries.
Originally published 01/25/2013
Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the leading female Soviet sniper of World War II.After more than a year of planning, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta overturned the ban on women's ability to serve in combat roles in the United States military. Panetta's removal of the ban followed an official recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin E. Dempsey. This decision to allow women to occupy the front lines came yesterday as a formal gesture following the last decade of women's unofficial service in combat positions; since 2001, around 280,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.While the Senate Armed Services Committee may have an opportunity to reverse the decision through legislative means, prospects look hopeful for this shift in the military's stance, which was largely a decision made internal to the military itself. By May 15 of this year, the different branches of the armed services are expected to present specific implementation plans for their integration of women into combat roles, including requests for exceptions to the new policy.
Originally published 01/18/2013
HNN Hot Topics: Presidential Inaugurations “So Help Me, God”: The History of the Presidential InaugurationOn Monday, January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second presidential term. The inauguration has been a key event at the start of each presidency since George Washington first took office. Since then, certain features have remained fairly constant, such as the oath and the inaugural address. Other aspects, such as the date, have changed. Inauguration Day was originally March 4 until the ratification of the 20th Amendment, which switched the date to January 20, except in years such as this one when that date falls on a Sunday. In these cases, the president is sworn in with a private ceremony on Sunday and then takes a public oath on the next day. The event has changed with the times in some ways and held to tradition in others, not to mention the mishaps that have occurred along the way.
Originally published 01/15/2013
The debt ceiling initially allowed Congress to get around the fiscal uncertainty of paying for war.
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