November 2011 Current Events: U.S. News

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Here are the key events in U. S. news for the month of November 2011.

  • Occupy Wall Street Protests Continue (Nov. 3): The Occupy Wall Street movement turns violent in Oakland, Calif. when, after a peaceful march downtown, a small group of about 100 demonstrators break windows, burn garbage, and spray graffiti. The same group briefly occupies a building. Police officers warn the group to leave the building and then fire tear gas and bean bag rounds into the building. Dozens of protesters are arrested. (Nov. 14): After city officials issue several warnings for protestors to abandon camp, police officers in riot gear raid the Occupy Oakland encampment and arrest 33 protesters. Officials in other cities start to disband Occupy Wall Street camps due to public safety and health concerns. Protestors respond by starting camps on college campuses, including Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and the University of California, Berkeley. (Nov. 15): During a sweep of Zuccotti Park in New York City, 140 protesters are arrested. A judge rules that the city has the right to enforce the rule against camping in the park. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defends clearing the park by saying that health and safety conditions have become intolerable. Sixteen hours after the police sweep, protesters are allowed back in park, but cannot sleep there overnight. (Nov. 17): In an attempt to prevent traders from getting to Wall Street, hundreds of protestors scuffle with police on their way to the New York Stock Exchange. At least 50 protestors are arrested. Some traders do have difficulty getting to work, but the stock exchange opens for trading on time. (Nov. 21): A video showing two University of California, Davis police officers using pepper spray at close range on seated, passive protesters goes viral. The video leads to demands that Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi resign. The two police officers and the police chief are put on leave. The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to spread to college campuses where, especially in California, the battle shifts focus to tuition increases.

  • Sex Abuse Scandal Shakes Up Penn State (Nov. 5): Former Penn State defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, is arrested on charges of 40 counts of sexual abuse over a 15-year period. Senior vice president for finance and business, Gary Schultz, and the athletic director, Tim Curley, are charged with perjury and failure to report what they knew to the authorities. Schultz resigns from the university and Curley is placed on administrative leave. (Nov. 9): Celebrated Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno is fired by the school's Board of Trustees because he failed to notify the police in 2002 after he was informed of a suspected assault by Sandusky. (Nov. 18): The Second Mile, a local charity founded by Jerry Sandusky, announces that it is preparing to fold. Sandusky met the eight boys he has formally been accused of sexually assaulting through The Second Mile.

  • More Women Come Forward With Allegations Against Herman Cain (Nov. 7): Sharon Bialek comes forward with allegations that Herman Cain made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 1997. She is the fourth woman to accuse Cain, but the first to come forward publicly. Two of Cain's accusers are legally prohibited from speaking about the allegations due to confidentially provisions of their severance agreements with the National Restaurant Association. Cain is the former chief of the restaurant association. Bialek claims that Cain made the unwanted advance when she asked him for help with employment after being fired from the restaurant association's education foundation. Cain denies all accusations that have been made against him. The latest polls from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News show him still in the lead for the Republican nomination. (Nov. 28): A fifth woman, Ginger White, comes forward, saying that she and Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair. She has phone records that prove the two called and texted each other. Cain admits that he gave White financial support and that his wife was not aware of his friendship with White.

  • Voters Reject Conservative Measures in General Election (Nov. 8): In the 2011 general election, voters choose against conservative-backed measures across the nation. An anti-abortion measure in Mississippi, an anti-labor law in Ohio, and a measure to clampdown on voting rights in Maine are all rejected. Mississippi's anti-abortion measure, also known as the "personhood" amendment or Initiative 26, is a surprising loss since the state is one of the most conservative and the proposal sparked national debate. Initiative 26 would have defined life in the state's Constitution "to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof." Overall, voters show support for current officials on city and state levels. For example, mayors win re-election bids in Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Baltimore. In Iowa, Republicans fail to take over the State Senate.

  • Supercommittee Fails to Agree on Deficit Reduction Plan (Nov. 21): The Congressional committee in charge of finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions fails to agree on what programs to cut after more than 10 weeks of meeting. Because the group could not agree on a deficit reduction plan, automatic cuts to military and domestic programs will go into effect in 2013.

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2011 Current Events

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