Obama praises Algeria for lifting its state of emergency. So how about lifting ours? 

In a statement released from the White House yesterday, President Obama commended the government of Algeria “for taking an important step forward today by formally lifting the State of Emergency that has been in place in Algeria for 19 years.”

That's great -- so how about formally lifting the State of Emergency that the United States has been under for about half as long? On September 14, 2001, President George W. Bush put us under a National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks. President Obama most recently renewed this emergency declaration on September 10, 2010. It is the source of legal authority for the military's "stop-loss" policy, among other things. Perhaps it's not on par with Algerian martial law, but these declarations do grant extraordinary powers to the president, and allow the president himself to renew those powers.

The USA is under multiple states of emergency at any given time. These potentially give the President emergency powers ranging from controlling industrial production to preventing military personnel from leaving service. Once an emergency is declared, it must be renewed every year. Here are a few that the U.S. currently has active:

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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