courtroom sketch of Ahmed GhailaniDefense lawyers for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee have won a partial victory in opening up the torture at secret CIA prisons around the world during the Bush administration.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on July 1 released preliminary data for insurance coverage in America during 2008. According to the data, the percentage of Americans with private health coverage has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. The percentage of Americans with private insurance in 2008 was 65.4 percent, a drop from 66.8 percent in 2007.

Obama at healthcare town meetingPresident Barack Obama on July 1 continued to push his healthcare reform plans at a town hall meeting at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia. The meeting included online participants who asked questions via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. A transcript has been posted at the White House website, and a video is available on YouTube.

Al FrankenIt’s not funny, but former Saturday Night Live comedian Al Franken is officially the new senator from Minnesota. Franken was recently declared the winner in the long-contested Senate race by a mere 312 votes over incumbent liberal Republican Norman Coleman. Franken will become the 60th Democrat in the United States Senate, which will give congressional Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Obamacare

Some state lawmakers, in preemptive mode, are considering ballot initiatives for the 2010 election which would allow them to opt out of Obama care, if the voters so choose.