2012-02-17 14:15:05

Democracy Now! Friday, February 17, 2012

In a dramatic scene on Capitol Hill, several Democrats walked out of a congressional hearing on the Obama administration’s rule that would require health insurance plans, including those provided by Catholic-affiliated hospitals and universities, to offer free contraceptives for health-related issues and birth control. The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid has died at the age of 43. Shadid died of an apparent asthma attack on Thursday while covering the conflict in Syria. An American of Lebanese descent who spoke fluent Arabic, Shadid captured dimensions of life in the Middle East that many others failed to see. His exceptional coverage won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and 2010 for international reporting while covering the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The Florida State Senate has defeated a measure to privatize at least 27 prisons, which would have created the largest corporate-run prison system in the country. Despite the vote, Republican Gov. Rick Scott could still privatize the prisons through executive authority. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of prisoners being added to privately run jails is outpacing the overall prison population by 17 percent compared to 4 percent. Democracy Now!, a daily independent newshour.

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