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Newsflash: Germanwings Pilot Hides Doctor’s Note, Indiana Gov. Signs Anti-Gay Bill, Congressional Votes Indicate GOP Obstinacy

Uprising’s guest expert Cristina Mislan, Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies at the Missouri School of Journalism, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

The 27-year old pilot of the fatal Germanwings crash, Andreas Lubitz, apparently had a doctor’s note to take a sick day but hid it from his employer. Lubitz locked out his co-pilot and deliberately crashed his plane into the French Alps killing himself and all 150 people on board. German authorities are investigating his psychological and medical background and whether he had any personal or financial problems to explain his motivation. French authorities are in the process of deciding whether to classify the incident as “criminal,” “crazy” or “suicidal.” German investigators say they have yet to find any kind of suicide note or anything of a “political or religious” nature. Click HERE for a NY Times article on this story.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has just signed a controversial bill into law that claims to protect the religious freedom of his state’s residents, but has prompted fears of legalizing discrimination particularly against the LGBT community. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is designed to allow private corporations to defend themselves if sued for discrimination that they say is based on their religious beliefs. Indiana’s law is the first of a rash of similar bills in more than 20 states around the nation, that has been signed into law. But outrage over the law is only beginning – several businesses announced they would be boycotting Indiana over the law. In California, State Attorney General Kamala Harris is taking a stand against an even more disturbing initiative, launched by an Orange County attorney, called the Sodomite Suppression Act which calls for executing gays. Click HERE for an msnbc.com and HERE for a Guardian report on this story.

And finally, the Republican-controlled Senate stayed up all night to discuss and vote on a federal budget that was passed at 3 am this morning. The budget predictably hands tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, and cuts more than $5 trillion in services that most ordinary American need and rely on. Meanwhile, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada just announced he’s retiring. The liberal Democrat had been targeted for years by Tea Party activists and his announcement is likely to set off an election frenzy. And, in an extremely rare show of bipartisan-ship, the House yesterday approved major changes to Medicare that rewards doctors financially for the quality of their care rather than quantity, and expands a popular child health insurance program. The historic 392 to 37 vote was so rare that President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner to congratulate him. Click HERE for a NY Times, HERE for a Common Dreams and HERE for a CNN.com report on this story.