Fridays are awesome!
Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS.
My name is Carl Azuz reporting from the CNN Center.
In Congress, the so called nuclear option doesn't refer to weapons.
It refers to a procedural rule in the U.S. Senate.
It takes a simple majority, 51 votes, for the Senate to confirm a presidential nominee.
But it takes 60 votes to hold the confirmation vote, or it used to.
Yesterday, the Senate passed the nuclear option.
Now, the vote to vote only takes 51.
The idea or requiring 60 votes was to ensure debate in the U.S. Senate.
To make sure that the minority party in the Senate, right now Republicans, didn't get muscled out by the majority party, right now the Democrats.
Some senators argue that the 60 votes requirement was stopping anything from getting done.
The new 51 vote rule only applies to executive and judicial nominees, not to Supreme Court nominees.
And remember, the majority party won't be in the majority forever.
When that power shift happens, senators from that party will get to experience the other side of this nuclear option rule.
Next up, a potential deal between the U.S. and Afghanistan.
American forces were first sent to that country after the 911 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Since he was elected, President Obama has promised to end the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
The White House says that timeframe is still on track, but this new deal could mean that some American forces would stay in Afghanistan after 2014.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced the deal that could leave thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for years to come.
There is no combat rule for United States Forces, and the bilateral security agreement is an effort to try to clarify for Afghans and for United States military forces exactly what the rules are with respect to that ongoing relationship.
The draft agreement is now before an Afghan council of tribal leaders called the Loya Jirga.
Until they approve it, it's far from a done deal.
To get their and President Karzai wants a letter of assurances from the White House including a pledge U.S. troops won't enter Afghan homes unless American soldiers' lives are at stake.
Past raids have killed innocent Afghans and fueled anger among the population.
And Karzai says the U.S. should acknowledge these past mistakes.
But is that tantamount to an apology for U.S. actions in the 12- year war?
I honestly don't know where the idea of an apology started, but let me be clear:
President Karzai didn't ask for an apology, there was no discussion of an apology.
It oil boils down to semantics:
U.S. officials in the past have offered some form of apology for civilian deaths, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General John Allen who led U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.
Even the draft agreement expresses regret for Afghan suffering and the loss of innocent lives, language one of President Obama's top advisors repeated Wednesday.
We have, of course, throughout the war always indicated regret when there are instances of civilian casualties.
But I think the Afghan people understand the great sacrifices that Americans have made on behalf of their security.