Thursday February 9, 2012 Happening Now

Badr Mansoor - one of America's main Al Qaeda targets - was killed in U.S. drone strikes today in Pakistan.

Syria intensifying its attack on Homs.. raining rockets and missiles down on the city. It's become all=out civil war. The U.S. now reportedly considering "all options." We'll ask KT McFarland why we haven't acted in Syria like we did in Libya (or even Sarajevo).

Great article in Time Magazine today "The four ways the U.S. Could end up in a war with Iran before the election" NBC News meantime reporting on the assassinations of Iranian nuke scientists.. I'll send both those articles to the team.

This debate over funding birth control is exploding. In a nutshell, it is a provision of the new health care law that would force religious institutions to provide birth control benefits to their employees. Religious leaders (and some prominent lawmakers from both sides of the aisle) are outraged.. calling it an attack on their religious freedom. Some say it's about access to family planning and health care. A deal may be in the works, but in the meantime it's causing a lot of outrage. The issue may have brought the topic of religious freedom to the boiling point.

0930EST -- Reps Lowey, DeLauro, et al holds news conference on Supporting Contraceptive Coverage. LIVE

0930EST -- Catholic students hold presser in support of the regulations recently proposed by HHS for birth control coverage without co-pay or deductible, and on the subsequent outcry from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. LIVE

The issue may also be helping Rick Santorum in his quest for the White House.

Santorum is campaigning in Oklahoma today. Romney, Paul and Gingrich have no public events today. All three will be speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC tomorrow. CPAC kicks off today.

Clint Henderson is the Executive Producer for “Happening Now” and an avid traveler. Follow his adventures on Twitter, ClintPHenderson, and Instagram, clintpage1.