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News roundup: October 6, 2011

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Republicans are working toward eliminating 50 years of progress for women's health, according to the Department of Health and Human Services' Kathleen Sebelius. By crusading against the Affordable Care Act, advocating cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and eliminating services provided by Planned Parenthood, the GOP has targeted women's health in a negative way. Sebelius ended her Chicago speech by pledging the Obama administration's support for improving health care for everyone.

After Democrats passed major Wall Street reform with the Dodd-Frank Act, many Republicans have vowed to repeal the legislation. The Democratic National Committee has launched a new ad targeting Republicans who have advocated for repeal and blocked President Obama's attempts at creating a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The ad identifies and challenges Republicans who have partnered with Wall Street instead of protecting Main Street.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of civil rights leader Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth yesterday. Shuttlesworth helped organize such momentous events as the two weeks of protest in Birmingham in 1963 and the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. His tireless efforts directly influenced the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965, and his lifelong pursuit of social justice deserves special recognition.

Today, the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics is holding its second meeting and will include Dr. Jill Biden and pop singer Shakira. The initiative was founded to find ways to expand academic excellence and improve educational opportunities for Hispanics by providing advice to the President and THE secretary of education. You can also watch day two of the meeting live here from 1–5 p.m. ET on Friday.