The U.S. House of Representatives passed an historic health care reform bill last night. The bill must also be approved by the U.S. Senate, where it is expected to pass, before it can be signed into law by President Barack Obama, BBC News. Political implications of the health care reform bill, Reuters. Factbox on immediate and long terms changes that will be implemented if the bill is passed through reconciliation and signed by President Obama, Reuters.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to address the controversy over the building of new settlements in Jerusalem. Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. this week, Christian Science Monitor.
After a small eruption over the weekend, Iceland is preparing for larger volcanic eruptions, Times Online.
The U.S. and the United Nations have spoken out against Israel’s plan to construct some 900 houses in occupied East Jerusalem. The houses will be built against Palestinian wishes and the U.S. is afraid the plans will hurt peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Israel insists East Jerusalem is their territory, but Palestine wishes the area be the capital city of their future state, Voice of America.
Five people have been sentenced to death in Iran after being arrested during post-election protests. The total may include three people who were sentenced to death in October, but it is not clear. 81 of 86 arrested since the June election have received jail sentences ranging from six months to 15 years. Iranian TV reports stated those given the death penalty were convicted for being members of “terrorist and opposition groups,” BBC News.
Two Rwandan Hutu leaders have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of committing crimes against humanity in Congo. The two are suspected members of the FDLR, a group made up of Rwandan refugees who fled to Congo after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which a half million Tutsis were killed, New York Times.
More charges have been filed against six men of the same family in Missouri. Police say at least one of the men forced a child to kill a kidnapped man and held another child, who became pregnant, captive in a basement. The eldest charged, 77-year-old Burrell Mohler Sr., allegedly buried the infant in a box in the basement. The six men were arrested last week and charged with sexually abusing multiple family members, CNN.
Hot Topic: Velvet Revolution’s Roots Obscure 20 Years Later.