The Night Note: 11/30/09

News you need to know.

By Brendan Williams-Kief
|  Monday, Nov 30, 2009  |  Updated 7:31 PM EDT
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The Night Note: Nancy Likes Flowers

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The following stories are brought to you by the fine folks on the News4 assignment desk.

"NO GOD?  NO PROBLEM!"
The D.C.-based group American Humanist Association has launched an ad campaign to promote atheistic ideas. Some local Christians believe its timing with the upcoming holiday is awkward.

The group is running 200 ads on D.C. buses that feature smiling people in Santa hats and the caption that asks "No God?...No Problem!"

Spokesman Roy Speckhardt said he realizes some people will see the ads as an attack on their faith. "I hope they can see it as a chance to say, 'Hey, there's folks out there who feel different from me and they're OK, too.' That's the message that we're trying to get across." (NBC Washington)

BRITISH YACHTERS DETAINED BY IRAN
The racing yacht owned by Sail Bahrain and crewed by the five Britons was stopped by Iranian naval vessels last Wednesday.

The crew members are still in Iran. All are understood to be safe and well and their families have been informed.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said: "FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) officials immediately contacted the Iranian authorities in London and in Tehran on the evening of November 25, both to seek clarification and to try and resolve the matter swiftly. (The Telegraph)

PELOSI SPENDS $2,993 ON FLOWERS
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent $2,993 in taxpayer money on flowers between June and October. House Majority Whip James Clyburn has a thing for Chantilly Donuts, spending about $265 at the Virginia shop in the past quarter. And Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), a fiscal conservative, decided to give about $2,000 in unused office funds back to the government to help reduce the deficit.


These expenditures – culled from thousands of line items released Monday by the Chief Administrative Officer of the House – are just a fraction of the $300 million spent last quarter by House offices. But while the bulk of congressional office spending goes to salaries and routine office expenses, some of the line items offer a window into the personalities and priorities of each congressional office. (Politico)

SALVATION ARMY KETTLE THEFT, ARREST
Police on Monday arrested a man suspected of swiping a Salvation Army kettle full of donated money and pushing one of the Christian charity's bell ringers to the ground when she tried to take it back.

Shawn P. Krieger, 44, of Toledo, was was sought in the robbery Sunday evening in Maumee, in northwestern Ohio, of a kettle filled with cash donations.

According to The Blade newspaper, police say the man grabbed the kettle outside a store. The bell ringer grasped at the chain suspending the kettle and tried to take it back. But police said she was pushed down by the man, who told her: "I can't stand you and your bell-ringing. I hate Christmas." (MSNBC)

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