Tag Archives: Bill Clinton

President Obama to Deliver Key Health Care Reform Speech Tonight

U.S. President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress to discuss his goals for health care reform tonight at 8pm EDT, Reuters. The speech will be broadcast live online on C-SPAN.

A major question is whether President Obama will push for the “public option”- a government run plan that people could buy instead of the private insurance that’s available now. Conservatives have criticized the public option saying it is tantamount to systems where health care is entirely government-run. Other reform options include requiring private insurance companies to stop using “preexisting conditions” as a reason to drop coverage. The Senate Finance Committee, under Chair Max Baucus, is working on a “moderate” bill that would not include a public option but would provide a plan that individuals under the age 25 could buy for “catastrophic illnesses” and would expand the number of people with low-incomes eligible for Medicaid coverage, New York Times.

What to look for in Obama’s speech, New York Times.

A look at health care systems worldwide, CNN.

A comprehensive series, including an examination of America’s health  care of last resort: the ER, USA Today.

An investigation of health care insurance industry CEO salaries, Daily Kos.

A review of President’s Bill Clinton’s 1993 speech calling for health care reform, CBS Political Hotsheet.

Bill Moyers interview of former health insurance industry executive Wendell Potter who discusses how market forces push the industry to put profit over health.

Bill Moyers on the controversy surrounding reform.

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Confusion over Taliban Successor

A meeting of Taliban members to decide on a replacement for Baitullah Mehsud, the top Taliban leader who is believed to have been killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan this week, may have ended in a deadly shoot-out. Reports surfaced yesterday that Hakimullah Meshud and Wali ur Rehman were both killed in a meeting in South Waziristan but today Wali ur Rehman told Reuters by phone that both men are alive, Al Jazeera.

A British contractor in Iraq, Danny Fitzsimmons, fatally shot two of his colleagues and wounded an Iraqi man inside of the heavily-secured Green Zone in Baghdad. The incident is being investigated but officials said the contractors got into an argument while drinking, Washington Post.

In the closely watched question of succession in North Korea, it appears that state media is building up the accomplishments of Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, who has been given credit for arranging for Bill Clinton to travel to North Korea to retreive two American journalists, Yonhap.

One million people in southeast China have fled the area ahead of Typhoon Morakot. One child has died when a house collapsed, BBC News. Video of the destruction from BBC News.

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Freed Journalists Return to U.S. Safely

The two journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who have been released from North Korean prison after former President Bill Clinton obtained a pardon from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, have landed safely on U.S. soil and have been reunited with their families, Washington Post. The U.S. had diplomatic relations agreed to normalize relations with North Korea in the early 1990s under the George H.W. Bush administration, but the agreement was broken off after the George W. Bush administration called North Korea a member of an “axis of evil.” Relations were again picked up in 2007 when North Korea agreed to be part of the “Six Party Talks.” Though it is stressed his visit was not official, Clinton’s visit may be a sign that the U.S. is willing to resume talks.

A U.S. drone has struck the home of a family member of Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s most wanted Taliban leader. It is unknown if Mehsud was in the home at the time, but there are reports that his wife was killed in the airstrike, BBC News.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was officially sworn in for his second term as Iran’s president, Reuters.

New information is available on the tragic shooting at an LA Fitness gym in Pennsylvania last night. We know that George Sodini, a 48 year-old white man, who was a member of the gym, entered a Latin dance class around 8pm last night, turned off the lights, and fired about 50 rounds from handguns. He then fatally shot himself. Three women are dead and 9 are injured, ABC News. ABC News has a link to Sodini’s online diary, Gerogesodini.com.  According to the diary, he had originally planned the shooting for January 6, 2009, but did not go through with it. Viewing the source code for the page shows that Sodini included a paragraph about his interest in a woman at the gym and his feeling that if he could strike up a relationship with her, he would not go through with the shooting. Update: The death toll is reported to now be six, including Sodini, UPI.

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American Journalists Pardoned in North Korea

President Bill Clinton is currently en route to Los Angeles with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had been held in North Korea on charges of illegally entering the communist country. They are expected to be reunited with their families shortly. The two were pardoned today after being imprisoned for almost five months, AP.

Three more men have been arrested today in connection with an Australian terror plot. Four were arrested yesterday and are accused of plotting to attack an army base in Sydney. Officials say all seven men are believed to be a part of the Somali-based al-Shabab group, BBC News.

Hot Topic: The Risk And Reward In Clinton’s N. Korea Mission.

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Bill Clinton in North Korea to Release Journalists

Former US President Bill Clinton flew to North Korea last night on an unannounced visit to negotiate the release of two American journalists who were convicted of trespassing on North Korean soil earlier this year. Laura Ling and Euna Lee are sentenced to 12 years in prison in North Korea. North Korea asked that in return for their release the US make an apology which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has done and that a high-profile American come to North Korea. Clinton is expected to return with the journalists released, ABC News. Profile of the jailed women, BBC News.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the release of three Americans being held in Iran. Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal were said to be hiking in the mountainous area on the border between the Kurdish region of Iraq and Iran when they were arrested for crossing the border into Iran. The United States has no diplomatic relationship with Iran and does not have an embassy in the country so the Swiss embassy is working on the release, CNN.

The Palestinian political group Fatah  is holding a conference, their first in 20 years. Fatah is the political party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. The conference got off to a rocky start after Hamas, the group that controls much of the Gaza Strip, refused to allow 400 Fatah members to join the conference. Fatah is hoping to bring younger people into the party and to update its positions on the peace process, Al Jazeera.

The US Senate will begin debate on the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court. The National Rifle Association has come out hard against her nomination but the Democratic majority is expected to confirm her this week. Watch the debate live on CSPAN2 starting at 10am EDT.

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UK House Speaker First to Resign Since 1695

Michael Martin, Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons, will step down due to his handling of the MP expense scandal. The scandal stems from questionable charges to the expense accounts of members of parliament. Sources say Martin tried to block release of information relating to the scandal. Martin will be the first speaker to be forced out since 1695, BBC News.

Former president Bill Clinton will be named Special UN envoy to Haiti, NPR.

A national campaign by privacy advocates will try to remove “whole body imagining” machines from airports. The millimeter wave machines, which are used in 19 airports in America and are faster than a physical pat down, generate an image showing what is behind a person’s clothes, CNN. Video of the technology in action.

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