January 26, 2007

Nation: Jan. 18-24

Redwood Protections Run Deep

Protections woven into the deeds on 200,000 acres of old-growth redwood trees in Northern California may come in handy now that their owner, Pacific Lumber, has filed for bankruptcy. Taxpayers put up $480 million in 1999 to protect the smaller Headwaters Grove, but the deal came with extensive habitat protections covering the rest of the property.

U.S. Attorneys “Fired” by White House

Sen. Dianne Feinstein says the federal attorneys who prosecuted the BALCO steroids case and the bribery trial of Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham have been forced to resign. She blames a provision of the Patriot Act that allows the president to replace U.S. attorneys at any time, and seeks its repeal.

Christians-Only Health Plan Stands

A cost-sharing medical program that covers 19,000 churchgoers, and collected $42.8 million in monthly premiums in 2005, can continue to operate in Kentucky. A court rule that the plan is not health insurance, does not guarantee payment of medical bills, and is not subject to regulation. Critics say this may be confusing to some customers, the Associated Press reports.

Sources:

“Redwood protections expected to stand”
San Jose Mercury News, January 21, 2007

“U.S. attorney was forced out, Feinstein says”
San Francisco Chronicle, January 19, 2007

“Judge says Christian health plan OK in Ky.”
Associated Press, January 19, 2007

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