News on the go: Nov. 15, 2013

Carrie Blazina

President Barack Obama said Thursday that people with health care plans tagged for cancellation should be allowed to renew them. Obama said the Affordable Care Act would no longer require insurance companies to cancel plans that fall short of the minimum coverage standards. At Thursday’s press conference, Obama took responsibility for the glitches in the health care program, which signed up 106,000 people in October.(read full story)

Former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was sentenced to prison Thursday for the rest of his life for his murderous control of the city’s Irish mob in the 1970s and ’80s. Many people who testified during his sentencing hearing Wednesday were related to people killed by Bulger or his henchmen and said he was a “terrorist,” a “punk” and “Satan.” Bulger was convicted in August of racketeering and 11 of the 19 killings of which he was accused.

Ohio Gov. John Kesich postponed the execution of a death row inmate Wednesday after the convicted killed asked for his organs to be donated. Ronald Phillips, who was convicted of killing and raping a 3-year-old, was scheduled to be lethally injected Thursday before the postponement. The case raises ethical and medical questions. Some medical experts said a lethal injection could render organs unusable. They also were disturbed by the idea that a murderer’s organs could be donated, even if it does help ease the shortage of organ donors. (read full story)

Workers in the city of Tacloban in the Philippines on Thursday filled a mass grave with victims who died in Typhoon Haiyan last week. The bodies were unidentified and were buried together without any ritual; the official death toll from the massive storm is at 2,357, but that total is expected to rise. Officials saw some progress Thursday in providing food, water and medical aid to the 500,000 people whom the storm displaced, and blocked roads started being cleared to let relief trucks through.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].