News on the go: Oct. 31, 2013

Carrie Blazina

Kathleen Sebelius, United States Health and Human Services Secretary, defended the U.S. health care website’s problems before Congress on Wednesday, but she was confronted there with a memo from Medicare officials saying they are concerned with its security. The officials chastised Sebelius for accepting “a risk on behalf of every user” by only getting a temporary security certificate for the website, but Sebelius said the website will get a permanent one when all of its crashing problems are resolved.

Three British editors pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally eavesdropping on voicemails at Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World. A prosecutor said Wednesday during the opening of the trial that there was a phone-hacking conspiracy that “involved a significant number of people.” In 2007, the tabloid’s employees were revealed to have listened to the voicemails of celebrities, politicians and crime victims while seeking stories.

Israel announced Wednesday that it plans to build more than 1,500 homes in Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. The announcement was a setback to recent peace efforts with Palestine, whose officials said Israel was undermining Palestine’s plan to build settlements on the lands where they hope to establish a new state. U.N. and U.S. officials also condemned the move, which came hours after freeing 26 Palestinian prisoners as a part of the efforts to restart the peace talks.

A federal judge began considering Wednesday whether to allow an Ohio funeral director to remain on a lawsuit that seeks to recognize gay marriages on Ohio death certificates. The addition of Cincinnati funeral director Robert Grunn expanded the lawsuit to include all gay marriages in Ohio rather than the one gay couple who initially filed the suit. State attorneys argue Grunn has no standing or rights related to the gay-marriage ban, but Grunn said he wants to do what is right when he is filling out death certificates.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].