A health care reform bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would require most Americans to buy insurance for themselves if they are not covered by their employer. It would place new restrictions on insurance companies. A weak government plan that individuals could buy in would also be created, but it is estimated the government plan would be more expensive than private insurance, ABC News. Full list of components of the House plan, Worcester Telegram. The bill passed 220 to 215 with only 1 Republican voting for the bill and 39 Democrats voting against, New York Times. Eyes are now on the U.S. Senate where two competing health care bills must be merged before the entire Senate will vote on a health care bill. If that bill passes, it will then be merged with the House bill and voted on by both chambers before going to President Barack Obama for his approval. In the Senate, Senate majority leader Harry Reid must put together a bill that will receive the support of 60 Senators in order to hold off a filibuster by Republicans, NPR.
21,000 people protested the presence of U.S. military bases in Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. has a deal to move the Futenma air base to a more remote part of the island but residents want to base off the island entirely. The U.S. is reorganizing its military presence in Japan and plans to move 8,000 military personnel to Guam. U.S. President Barack Obama will be visiting Japan later this week, BBC News.
Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the end of the Cold War. A good description of the events of November 9 and the history of the Berlin Wall, New York Times Upfront. Infographic of the physical security that made the Wall so difficult to cross, New York Times. Archive of coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall, New York Times. In October, a street performance company put on a production about the fall of the Berlin Wall using giant puppets, The Big Picture.