News Briefs – Feb. 22, 2011
Compiled by Amber Sandlin
Feb. 22, 2011
Parnell refuses to implement health care reform
On Thursday, Feb. 17, Gov. Sean Parnell issued a statement refusing to accept federal dollars meant to fund a health care overhaul in Alaska. Parnell described the health care law, passed in the spring of 2010, as unconstitutional and cited the recent decision of a federal district judge in Florida as back-up for his position. According to the Anchorage Daily News, an estimated 14 percent of Alaskans are without health insurance year-round.
Protesters flood Wisconsin capitol
Tens of thousands of protesters crowded Wisconsin’s capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 16, to object to a vote on the new governor’s budget proposal. Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan is to cut the state deficit by curbing state employee benefits and putting tight restrictions on their collective bargaining rights. Wisconsin’s deficit is projected at $30 million for the remainder of the current year; a far greater shortfall of $1.5 billion is expected next year, according to state figures. All 14 Democratic state senators have left the state to prevent the vote from taking place. Democrats say that Gov. Walker turned a projected surplus into a projected deficit by signing two very large tax breaks for businesses.
Source: Washington Post
Three dead and 225 injured in Manama, Bahrain
Security forces stormed an encampment of protestors in the middle of the night, killing three and injuring more than 200. Pearl Roundabout, a landmark city circle in the center of the capital Manama, was filled with peaceful protestors when police stormed in and used excessive force, firing pellets, rubber bullets, and tear gas to force protestors out of the square. One 15-year-old boy received pellet wounds to his arms and abdomen while sleeping when the police charged in. Authorities in Bahrain defended their handling of protestors by saying they used a minimum of force needed and that their forces had suffered casualties in confrontations with demonstrators.