Archives for FUBAR

Here comes the ‘health care market’: Salvation or another mess?

Buying your own health insurance will never be the same. This fall, new insurance markets called exchanges will open in each state, marking the long-awaited and much-debated debut of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. The goal is quality coverage for millions of uninsured people in the United States. What the reality will look like is anybody’s guess — from bureaucracy, confusion and indifference to seamless service and satisfied customers. Exchanges will offer individuals and their families a choice of private health plans resembling what workers at major companies already get. The government will help many middle-class households pay their
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Court overturns yet another Gitmo conviction

A U.S. appeals court on Friday overturned the Guantanamo war crimes conviction of an al Qaeda videographer, a ruling likely to lead to dismissal of conspiracy charges in the pending trial of five men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia threw out the conviction of Yemeni prisoner Ali Hamza al Bahlul, ruling that the charges of which he was convicted – conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and soliciting murder – were not internationally recognized as war crimes when the acts were committed. Bahlul is serving a life sentence
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Smokers face little-known severe price penalty in Obamacare

Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation. The Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1. For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums. Younger smokers could be charged lower
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Lance Armstrong sued for fraud over ‘non-fiction’ books

Two California men have sued Lance Armstrong and his book publishers for fraud and false advertising, claiming that the cyclist’s best-selling memoirs, billed as non-fiction, were revealed to be filled with lies after he confessed last week to systematic doping. The class-action complaint was filed in federal court in Sacramento, California on Tuesday, five days after Armstrong ended years of vehement denial and admitted in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had cheated his way to a record seven Tour de France titles through the use of banned, performance-enhancing drugs. The named plaintiffs in the suit were Rob
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Recession, tech cost middle class Americans their jobs

Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over. And the situation is even worse than it appears. Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What’s more, these jobs aren’t just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren’t just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers. They’re being obliterated by technology. Year after
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Files reveal how Catholic church shielded child molesting priests

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to church personnel files. The confidential records filed in a lawsuit against the archdiocese disclose how the church handled abuse allegations for decades and also reveal dissent from a top Mahony aide who criticized his superiors for covering up allegations of abuse rather than protecting children. Notes inked by Mahony demonstrate he was disturbed about abuse and sent problem priests for treatment, but there also
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Worldwide, public trust in government, business at all-time low

Public trust in business, government and media leaders has fallen in the wake of financial and political scandals, according to a new global survey. Heads of financial institutions did particularly poorly, mainly in richer countries that have suffered financial crises and fined banks for, among other things, manipulating markets and facilitating money-laundering. The 2013 edition of the annual Edelman Trust Barometer found “a very significant crisis of leadership,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Chicago-based public relations firm Edelman. “Leaders are just not seen as leading.” A big problem is that people think their leaders “just can’t get around
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‘Gun Appreciation Day’ backfires, leaves five people wounded in ‘accidental shootings’

A publicity stunt cooked up by a Republican consulting firm to show support for unlimited gun ownership backfired Saturday when gun accidents injured five people in “accidental” shootings on Gun Appreciation Day. In Ohio, a 62 year old man went to the hospital with bullet injuries in his arm and leg after a firearms dealer accidentally discharged a gun purchased from an attendee to the gun show in Medina. In Indianapolis, an attendee at the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show shot himself in the hand while unloading a .45 caliber semiautomatic. And three people at the Dixie Gun and
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Finally, a little emotion from Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong finally cracked. Not while expressing deep remorse or regrets, though there was plenty of that in Friday night’s second part of Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. It wasn’t over the $75 million in sponsorship deals that evaporated over the course of two days, or having to walk away from the Livestrong cancer charity he founded and called his “sixth child.” It wasn’t even about his lifetime ban from competition, though he said that was more than he deserved. It was another bit of collateral damage that Armstrong said he wasn’t prepared to deal with. “I saw my son
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Armstrong admits doping, says he is ‘a flawed man’

He did it. He finally admitted it. Lance Armstrong doped. He was light on the details and didn’t name names. He mused that he might not have been caught if not for his comeback in 2009. And he was certain his “fate was sealed” when longtime friend, training partner and trusted lieutenant George Hincapie, who was along for the ride on all seven of Armstrong’s Tour de France wins from 1999-2005, was forced to give him up to anti-doping authorities. But right from the start and more than two dozen times during the first of a two-part interview Thursday night
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