Tahrir intensifies, BP spill over in 2012?, free birth control

by Taryn Wobbema

Your Daily Digest for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 from editor Katherine Lymn:

Egyptian officials have apologized for and vowed to investigate the deaths of five protesters over the last 24 hours, CNN reports. Sounding more and more like a battlefield, Tahrir Square was host to gunfire, fires, barricades, charging camels and protesters that rushed perceived enemies as pro-Mubarak protesters came out to fight Wednesday. Egypt’s Nile TV reported that on top of the deaths, 836 protesters were injured. Journalists have also become targets in the last day or so, as mobs surround and attack television crews like that of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the New York Times reported. Mohamed Abdel Dayem of the Committee to Protect Journalists claimed the Egyptian government was “employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses to their actions” with “deliberate attacks.”

To put all this into context, check out this graphic and these photos.


The administrator of the BP oil spill victims fund said Wednesday that the gulf would recover from its dousing of oil by the end of 2012. Not only will most have the physical effects have “dissipated,” but the economy will also have picked up after the dip it saw in connection with the spill by then, Gulf Coast Claims Facility Administrator Kenneth Feinberg told the Guardian. Based on this estimated timeline, officials will pay claimants twice the documented 2010 payments minus what has already been paid out.


Amidst a Senate rejection of the health care appeal, the Obama Administration is looking into whether birth control can be free with the law. The Senate Democrats “mounted a party-line defense” of Obama’s policy, defeating the attempt to repeal by 51 to 47 votes. Regardless, the repeal attempt is will almost certainly end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, officials are looking into whether the law’s mandate to cover “preventative health services” for free translates into providing birth control to women free-of-charge, the Times reports. The push to take down the barrier, against which many women’s rights groups have fought for years, has to weather the republicans’ attempted repeals of the entire law and the Roman Catholic Church’s expected protests. Currently, the Dept. of Health and Human Services is commissioning a experts to identify types of women’s preventative care must be covered under the law. The study should be complete in August.