preborn babyA pre-born infant may not be a legal person under current law, but some New Hampshire legislators want pre-borns who are killed by someone other than their mothers and their mothers' physicians classified as homicide victims. A bill in the New Hampshire House would allow criminal prosecution of persons whose actions result in the death of an "unborn child." It would make the death of the unborn an additional crime in cases where a pregnant woman is assaulted, for example, or is hit by a drunk driver. The bill exempts actions taken by the pregnant woman or her physician, however, so abortions would not be affected. Still, testimony at a public hearing in Concord on February 17 showed the usual division on the abortion issue, with abortion opponents supporting the measure and "pro-choice" advocates fearful of the implications of a bill that describes an "unborn child" as someone between conception and birth.

Jose PadillaOn February 17, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, seated in Charleston, South Carolina, dismissed a lawsuit filed by Jose Padilla against Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other Bush administration officials for their participation in violating his constitutional rights.

TSAThe Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has once again found itself embroiled in controversy, as two of its agents were discovered stealing $39,000 from passengers’ checked luggage, and were charged Wednesday. A law enforcement source reports that TSA agents Couman Perad and Davon Webb both admitted to looting a total of up to $160,000 from a variety of passengers in a period of several months at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, and that the two agents committed the theft of $39,000 on January 30, the same day the investigation into their theft began. According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as reported in the New York Post:

Scott WalkerWisconsin Governor Scott Walker has taken sharp exception to President Barack Obama's criticism of the Republican Governor's proposed emergency legislation that would limit collective bargaining agreements affecting most public employees. Obama called the plan an "assault" on unions. Walker has said the legislation is made necessary by the state's runaway deficit. The governor told Fox News Friday morning that the President would be well advised to concentrate on budget and deficit problems in Washington, D.C. rather than Madison, Wisconsin.

In what could become the mother of all Big Bird battles, or Armageddon for the Aardvark, congressional supporters of public television labored into literally the eleventh hour Wednesday night to save the federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But eliminating that subsidy, which supporters say is vital to maintaining programs of the Public Broadcasting System, remains part of legislation being pushed by House Republicans to cut no less than $61 billion from the federal budget for the current fiscal year, which began last October 1.