progress is not the elimination of struggle, but rather a change in its terms’ - Aneurin Bevan

good news day

I give you:
US unions lauded the passage of health-care legislation on Monday that will provide coverage to 32 million of the poorest residents in the country as a "momentous step forward" after the law finally passed through the US Congress on Sunday.

A century-long quest for universal health-care coverage moved one step closer, the 219-212 vote handing President Barack Obama a huge victory with the passing of the most progressive social legislation in the US since the civil rights laws of the 1960s.

Republicans had hoped that by blocking the legislation they would be able to thwart the president's ambitious domestic agenda, including immigration reform and climate change legislation, but now Mr Obama's health-care success is set to reshape US politics in the run-up to mid-term elections in November.

"I want to thank every member of Congress who stood up tonight with courage and conviction to make health-care reform a reality," Mr Obama declared. [1]
 In France:
Final results released on Monday from France's local elections on Sunday revealed a decisive win for the centre-left as voters delivered President Nicolas Sarkozy one of the worst defeats of his political career.

The opposition Socialists and their allies received 56 per cent of the vote, compared to only 37 per cent for Mr Sarkozy's UMP.


Although the Socialists fell short of their goal of taking every one of France's 22 metropolitan regions, leaving just the eastern department of Alsace in conservative hands, vote totals for the opposition soared across the country compared to the last elections held four years ago.

The results represent one of the largest victories for the centre-left in modern French history, and could propel Socialist Party head Martine Aubry into the front ranks of candidates for the 2012 presidential elections.

Ms Aubry said that the results amounted to a public repudiation of Mr Sarkozy's government by voters who wanted "no more of these ineffective and unfair policies."

In her victory speech, she emphasised that the Socialists would continue to campaign against the president on the issues of unemployment, the cost of living, pensions and housing - issues that she insisted had caused the conservatives' rout. [2]
 Here in the UK:

Gordon Brown set out plans on Monday to ensure super-fast broadband for every home - a development he claimed could slash billions from public-service costs and create more than 250,000 jobs.

The Prime Minister pledged a "radical" package of internet-led measures - coupled with funding to be announced in Wednesday's Budget - to transform Britain by 2020.

Some £30 million would be allocated to create an Institute of Web Science, headed by internet inventor Sir Tim Berners Lee and leading scientist Professor Nigel Shadbolt. [3]
 Says the Labour leader:
We have the courage to invest in that future and secure the growth and jobs it offers not just today but for generations to come.

We have the determination to harness the new digital technology to shake up Whitehall and drive a radical reshaping of government - focused on giving people a greater say over the policies that affect their lives and the services on which they depend.

And above all - we have the resolve to make sure that the immense opportunities that Britain’s digital future offers us are available to all - not just to some. [4]

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