Articles by Rita Rochford

Health care law faces Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States, although a coequal branch in the United States’ system of government, is often featured much less in media.  Its hearings are largely private and the justices tend to be more reserved than the politicians in Congress or the White House.
However, more recently with decisions like Citizens United…

Maher raises PAC questions by donating $1 million

Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher, made a surprise $1 million donation before his political comedy show last week to a super PAC called Priorities USA Action.
Maher not only pledged his million-dollar support but encouraged wealthy Democrats to follow suit. This astounding declaration was made not just before his audience in San Jose, but…

Kony 2012 makes waves at JCU

On April 20, citizens from across the country (including many JCU students) are hitting the streets to show their concern for the most recent social issue trend that has taken Twitter and Facebook by storm – Kony 2012.
In addition to a resounding cry for action on the social networks from millions of people, many…

Senate passes law scrutinizing trade with China

The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 passed the United States Senate with a vote of 79-19 early this October.
This bipartisan legislation will now move on to the U.S. House of Representatives, and if passed, it will go to President Obama.
Although this legislation does not specifically mention China as a potential…

‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest continues into third week

This past September, a group of demonstrators with the intention to “Occupy Wall Street,” began protesting their concerns of greed, the role that corporations play in politics, the inequality of social classes, and the gap between the richest 1 percent of the country and the remaining 99 percent.
Some members indicate that the original plan…

Letter to the Editor: Facemashed not something to ‘lol’ about

Dear John Carroll Community,
In last week’s issue of The Carroll News, they featured the “Facemashed” article. I was especially struck by the article because also on the front page was the story regarding Andrea Teodosio, an individual who brought great things to our campus and touched the lives of so many. She was truly…

Arab League endorses indirect peace talks

After indirect peace discussions between Israel and Palestine stalled in March with Israel’s controversial decision to construct 1,600 homes in East Jerusalem, the Arab League has voted to resume indirect peace proximity talks.
These talks, which the United States is set to mediate, are scheduled to resume this week. The announcement to expand Israeli control…

In animal rights case, Court upholds First Amendment

With an 8-1 majority decision, the Supreme Court passed yet another ruling that strengthened the First Amendment right of free speech. The Court ruled on April 20 to overturn a federal law that restricts the ability of individuals to create and distribute videos featuring animal cruelty such as dog fighting. This case, combined with the…

Obama fulfills promise to reform student loans

With the reconciliation health care reform bill passed, a supplementary piece of legislation added to it will provide reform to the student loan program. This student loan reform will drastically change the role of banks as well as the role of the government in providing student loans.
At the heart of this legislation, approximately $36…

With votes cast, Iraqis await results

With 325 seats in the Iraqi Parliament up for election, approximately 59 to 62 percent of eligible citizens turned out to vote. This figure, although notably less than the 75 percent of people who voted in 2005, represents those who cast their votes despite several violent attacks or threats, including one that claimed the lives…

Obama meets with Dalai Lama

President Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama on Feb. 18. The decision to meet with the Dalai Lama further aggravated American tensions with China, which is already upset over a $6 billion U.S. arms deal with Taiwan.
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, is viewed by China as a dangerous figure who…

Hariri vows to support Hezbollah

After years of turmoil, the tension between Israel and Lebanon has once again heightened with the announcement by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that his government will support Hezbollah – a Lebanese political organization which both Israel and the United States consider a terrorist group –  should violence transpire. 
This declaration came days before the…

Yemen: a country on the brink

Yemen, a Middle Eastern nation bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia, is perhaps one of the oldest civilizations still in existence today.  However, with its long existence comes a history of turmoil and strife that has led to present day ramifications.
The northern and southern regions formed the Republic of Yemen in 1990 following the fall…

A divided Supreme Court rules against restricting campaign contributions

In an effort to extend the First Amendment right of freedom of speech to business organizations, the Supreme Court decided against the government’s ability to restrict a corporation’s campaign contributions for elections. 
While many in support of this decision view it as a rightful extension of freedom of speech that had been denied for decades,…

Obama orders 30,000 extra troops for Afghan war

President Barack Obama greeted cadets at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., where he announced his plan to immediately send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. While most of the troops will be sent to southern and eastern Afghanistan, where violence is at its highest level since the beginning of the war, Obama also said that they would begin removing forces in 2011.

South Korean troops on high alert after naval clash with North Korea

South Korean conservative activists shout slogans during a rally denouncing North Korea’s military in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 11, 2009. South Korea’s troops went on high alert after a brief naval confrontation with North Korea.

Lone gunman kills 13 in rampage at Fort Hood

The Fort Hood Army post in Killeen, Texas underwent a horrific scene of violence on Nov. 5, claiming the lives of thirteen and wounding over two dozen more.  Fort Hood, the largest United States base in the U.S., operates like a city with a daytime population ranging around 80,000. Many of the 40,000 troops stationed…

Vatican opens its doors to disaffected Anglicans

Since the 1980s, the Roman Catholic Church has allowed for individual Episcopal priests to become Catholic priests and remain married if they already were prior to the conversion.
However, on Oct. 20, the Catholic Church, under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI, issued an invitation for the large-scale conversion of Anglicans, who are the original…

Obama debates options on troop level

Entering into the eighth year of the Afghanistan War, the Obama administration is facing difficult decisions on how to proceed. President Barack Obama has maintained that the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan will not falter in terms of current troop levels and the focus of fighting the insurgents. However, it is undecided whether sending additional troops…

Unrest brewing in Honduras as ousted president seeks reinstatement

Since late June, Honduras has been struggling to find order after President Manuel Zelaya was forcibly expelled.
This ousting was supported by members of Zelaya’s own party in Congress as well as many of the business elite and was implemented by the military. Currently, Honduras is under the rule of Roberto Micheletti, the head of…

Obama drops settlement freeze

On Sept. 23, President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations reiterating the United States’ opposition to continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.  
Despite this and U.S. pressures on Israel, Obama’s words seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Israel, at the expense of potential peace negotiations, seems determined to continue building.  
As a…

Obama scraps plan for missile shield

In a move which for the time being has improved relations with Russia, President Barack Obama announced his decision to switch from the prescribed anti-ballistic missile shield plan of the Bush administration.