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More states sharply limiting Medicaid hospital stays

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

More states sharply limiting Medicaid hospital stays 24 Oct 2011 A growing number of states are sharply limiting hospital stays under Medicaid to as few as 10 days a year to control rising costs of the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Advocates for the needy and hospital executives say the moves will restrict access to care, force hospitals to absorb more costs and lead to higher charges for privately insured patients. States defend the actions as a way to balance budgets hammered by the economic downturn tax cuts for the wealthy and corpora-terrorists and the end of billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds this summer that had helped prop up Medicaid, financed jointly by states and the federal government.

15 Occupy Philadelphia protesters arrested after blocking Eighth Street

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

15 Occupy Philadelphia protesters arrested after blocking Eighth Street 24 Oct 2011 Philadelphia police arrested 15 people associated with Occupy Philadelphia on Sunday after blocking Eighth Street near Race Street just outside Police Headquarters. The sit-in began about 17 hours earlier as a protest march against police brutality nationwide. They were the first arrests since the movement began in the first week of October.

Occupy arrests mount in Chicago, Cincinnati

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

Occupy arrests mount in Chicago, Cincinnati 24 Oct 2011 Anti-Wall Street demonstrators of the Occupy Chicago movement stood their ground in a downtown park in noisy but peaceful defiance of police orders to clear out, leading to 130 arrests early Sunday, authorities said. Occupy Chicago spokesman Joshua Kaunert vowed after the arrests that protests would continue. Elsewhere, police reported 11 arrests overnight in the Occupy Cincinnati protests.

Portland high schools set to permit anti-war protesters to recruit students alongside military

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

Portland high schools set to permit anti-war protesters to recruit students alongside military 23 Oct 2011 The Portland school board is set to adopt a rule Monday to give "counter-recruiters" skeptical about the value of joining the military the same access to high school students that military recruiters enjoy under federal law. Instead of standing out on the school sidewalk waving signs and offering fliers, as they have done regularly outside Portland high schools, anti-war activists will be able to staff recruiting tables and hand out pamphlets in the school career center or cafeteria, just like military recruiters in uniform.

Medical help for illegal immigrants could haunt Mitt Romney

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

Medical help for illegal immigrants could haunt Mitt Romney --On the Republican campaign trail, he derides any such public aid. But the healthcare law he signed as Massachusetts governor allows it. 23 Oct 2011 The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance. Uninsured, poor immigrants can walk into a health clinic or hospital in the state and get publicly subsidized care at virtually no cost to them, regardless of their immigration status.

Occupy Oakland shuts streets, defy eviction order

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

Occupy Oakland shuts streets, defy eviction order --'We're not leaving.' 23 Oct 2011 Hundreds of activists with the Occupy Wall Street movement marched Saturday from Oakland City Hall, snaking their way through downtown and around Lake Merritt while they flouted an eviction order. They closed thoroughfares and freeway ramps, invaded one bank and temporarily shut down another as they spread their message against economic inequality. But after three hours, they returned to City Hall, where they cooked food over open flames, danced and slid back into their tents.

Occupy Chicago protesters to spend second evening behind bars

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

Occupy Chicago protesters to spend second evening behind bars 24 Oct 2011 A group of Occupy Chicago protesters arrested Saturday is expected to spend a second night behind bars. Police confirmed Sunday that some of the protesters arrested Saturday night were also taken in to custody in the first round of Occupy Chicago arrests last weekend. Those individuals are being held for violating the conditions of their bail bond, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien. The protesters arrested for a second time are expected to remain in jail until they go before a judge, police said.

Pakistanis protest US drone strikes

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

Pakistanis protest US drone strikes 22 Oct 2011 Hundreds of Pakistanis have taken to the streets in the northwestern city of Peshawar to protest continuing non-UN-sanctioned US drone strikes in the country's tribal regions, Press TV reports. The latest protests were organized by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, the country's religious-political party. The protesters chanted anti-US slogans and condemned civilian deaths in US drone strikes. "We strongly oppose US drone attacks on our country. This is in violation of our sovereignty. I feel the military operation against Taliban militants is no solution, we should hold dialogue with Taliban militants," rally organizer Qazi Ayaz said.

Afghan minister survives assassination attempt

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

Afghan minister survives assassination attempt 23 Oct 2011 Afghanistan's Interior Minister Bismullah Khan has survived a failed assassination attempt in an area north of the capital, Kabul. Security guards have shot dead the suicide bomber responsible for Sunday's attempted assassination in Parwan, AFP reported. According to officials, the attacker attempted to detonate the explosives on a convoy of vehicles sent in advance of Khan's car heading towards Panjshir Valley.

US-led soldier killed in S. Afghanistan

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

US-led soldier killed in S. Afghanistan 23 Oct 2011 A militant attack has killed at least one US-led soldier in troubled southern Afghanistan, the Western military alliance, NATO, says. This is the second US-led soldier who has died today in what NATO calls a Taliban attack in Afghanistan.

TSA VIPR Checkpoints Across Tennessee to 'Fight Terrorism'

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

TSA VIPR Checkpoints Across Tennessee to 'Fight Terrorism' --Agents recruiting truck drivers into First Observer Highway Security Program to 'say something, if they see something' 21 Oct 2011 TSA agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR). Tuesday, Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state. The Tennessee Highway Patrol checked trucks at the weigh station with drug and bomb sniffing dogs during random inspections.

U.S. rating likely to be downgraded again: Merrill

October 24, 2011 by legitgov

U.S. rating likely to be downgraded again: Merrill 23 Oct 2011 The United States will likely suffer the loss of its triple-A credit rating from another major rating agency by the end of this year due to concerns over the deficit, Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts. The trigger would be a likely failure by Congress to agree on a credible long-term plan to cut the U.S. deficit, the bank said in a research note published on Friday. A second downgrade -- either from Moody's or Fitch -- would follow Standard & Poor's downgrade in August.

McCain raises prospect of military option in Syria

October 23, 2011 by legitgov

McCain raises prospect of military option in Syria 23 Oct 2011 US Senator John McCain raised the prospect Sunday of possible armed intervention to protect civilians in Syria. "Now that military operations in Libya are ending, there will be renewed focus on what practical military operations might be considered to protect civilian lives in Syria," McCain told a World Economic Forum meeting in Jordan. McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's "regime should not consider that it can get away with mass murder." [Right, only the US can do that.]

Afghan forces will take over in 3 years -- US general

October 23, 2011 by legitgov

Afghan forces will take over in 3 years -- US general 21 Oct 2011 The Afghan security forces will be prepared to take the leading role in their country's security when foreign troops withdraw in around three years' time, a top US military official said yesterday. Lieutenant General William Caldwell, commander of the Nato Training Mission in Afghanistan, told a small group of journalists in Dubai yesterday that after December 2014 the role of international troops will become more advisory and supporting. [Hopefully, the foreign troops will be forced out long before then.]

NORAD intercepts two planes near US capital

October 23, 2011 by legitgov

NORAD intercepts two planes near US capital 23 Oct 2011 US Air Force fighter jets intercepted two civilian planes flying in restricted airspace near Washington in separate incidents Saturday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said. The breaches occurred within 72 minutes of one another, according to NORAD, the bi-national US-Canadian command responsible for the air defense of North America and responding to unknown or unauthorized air activity.

Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal

October 22, 2011 by legitgov

Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal 21 Oct 2011 The US suffered a major diplomatic and military rebuff on Friday when Iraq finally rejected its pleas to maintain bases in the country beyond this year. Barack Obama announced at a White House press conference that all American troops will leave Iraq by the end of December, a decision forced by the final collapse of lengthy talks between the US and the Iraqi government on the issue.

Afghanistan to back Pakistan if wars with U.S.: Karzai

October 22, 2011 by legitgov

Afghanistan to back Pakistan if wars with U.S.: Karzai 22 Oct 2011 Afghanistan would support Pakistan in case of military conflict between Pakistan and the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview to a private Pakistani TV channel broadcast on Saturday. "God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan," he said in the interview to Geo television.

Iraq, Exxon Mobil Agree to Build Oil Field Water Injection Plant

October 22, 2011 by legitgov

Mission accomplished! Iraq, Exxon Mobil Agree to Build Oil Field Water Injection Plant 19 Oct 2011 Iraq has agreed with oil majors to build a multi-billion-dollar oil field water injection plant in the south of the country... a senior Iraqi official said Wednesday. Exxon Mobil Corp. was picked on behalf of foreign oil firms to lead the mega water-injection project, needed to boost crude oil production rates from Iraq's southern oil fields. International oil companies have expressed willingness to set up the common water injection project, and include U.K. super major BP PLC, Russia's OAO Lukoil Holding, Italy's ENI SpA and U.K.-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which is expected to join in later.

Drivers face drug checkpoints on highways near Flint

October 22, 2011 by legitgov

Drivers face drug checkpoints on highways near Flint 21 Oct 2011 (MI) Motorists driving on expressways around Flint are getting surprised by a stunning tactic that the Genesee County sheriff has been using to fight the flow of illegal drugs -- one that legal experts said will not withstand a court challenge. At least seven times this month, including Tuesday, motorists have said they have seen a pickup towing a large sign on I-69 or U.S.-23 that depicts the sheriff's badge and warns: "Sheriff narcotics check point, 1 mile ahead -- drug dog in use."

Global temperatures in September were eighth warmest on record

October 22, 2011 by legitgov

Global temperatures in September were eighth warmest on record --Annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent second smallest ever recorded 13 Oct 2011 The Earth experienced its eighth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880. The annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent was reached on September 9 and ranked as the second smallest extent since satellite records began in 1979.

Polar bears accumulate 'cocktail' of toxins, study finds

October 22, 2011 by legitgov

Polar bears accumulate 'cocktail' of toxins, study finds 18 Oct 2011 A Danish study of Greenlandic polar bears has found a sinister "cocktail of environmental toxins" accumulating in their bones and tissues, according to a story posted this week by University of Copenhagen. Christian Sonne, a senior scientist at Aarhus University, examined the results of polar bear contaminant research between 2000 to 2010, and then analyzed bone and tissue samples from 100 bears living in eastern Greenland, all as part of his doctoral thesis. The stubborn accumulation of organic pollutants produced by humans and transported on air and ocean currents into the Arctic has become one of the Far North's most pressing ecological concerns.

30 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in NY

October 22, 2011 by legitgov

30 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in NY 22 Oct 2011 Police in New York arrested about 30 protesters including veteran civil rights activist Cornel West during a demonstration by the Occupy Wall Street movement. A New York Police Department spokesman said the protesters were arrested on Friday because they were "blocking the entrance" of the local police precinct in New York's Harlem neighborhood. They were charged with "disorderly conduct."

Seven months on, Japan yet to set evacuation plans

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

Seven months on, Japan yet to set evacuation plans 21 Oct 2011 Japanese nuclear experts are considering widening the evacuation zone in the event of a nuclear disaster, more than seven months after the world's worst such disaster since Chernobyl. Japan faced widespread criticism over its slow response in evacuating residents near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which suffered fuel rod meltdowns after the events on March 11 and is still leaking radiation. A committee under Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission is considering creating a 30-kilometer (18-mile) radius around nuclear power plants where residents should be ready to take shelter or prepare to evacuate, a draft document compiled by the NSC secretariat and released by the NSC on Thursday showed.

Clinton increases pressure on Pakistan

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

Clinton increases pressure on Pakistan 21 Oct 2011 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has held "extremely frank" talks with Pakistan aimed at stepping up pressure on Islamabad to dismantle Taliban safe havens on its soil. Accompanied by CIA director David Petraeus and top US military officer Martin Dempsey, Clinton met for four hours with Pakistan's senior military and civilian leaders at Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's residence in Islamabad on Thursday.

Climate risk to polar bear habitats

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

Climate risk to polar bear habitats 20 Oct 2011 Climate change Global warming is set to drive a dramatic reduction in polar bear habitats in coming decades, conservationists have warned as they called for action to help the species. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), recent trends for the extent and thickness of the marine sea ice that polar bears rely on suggests it is set to dramatically shrink over the next 50 to 100 years. The Arctic could see annual sea ice decline by between 10% and 50% by 2100, hitting polar bear populations, the IUCN said.

FirstEnergy Falls After Report of Nuclear Reactor Cracks

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

FirstEnergy Falls After Report of Nuclear Reactor Cracks 13 Oct 2011 FirstEnergy Corp. fell after a report that engineers discovered cracks in the concrete shell of its Davis-Besse nuclear plant. FirstEnergy fell 2.8 percent to $43.76 at the close in New York. The Akron, Ohio-based power company had earlier dropped 5 percent, its biggest intraday decline since Aug. 8, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Contractors on Oct. 10 discovered a hairline crack measuring about 30 feet (9.1 meters) long as they sliced a hole into the plant's outer shell in order to install a new reactor vessel head, said Jennifer Young, a FirstEnergy spokeswoman.

Obama announces end to US war in Iraq

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

Obama announces end to US war in Iraq 21 Oct 2011 US President Barack Obama declares a full withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year, as agreed in a security pact signed with Baghdad under his predecessor George W. Bush. Obama announced the decision on Friday to end months of speculation about whether the US would retain its military presence in Iraq beyond 2011. "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," he told reporters after a private video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. [Yeah, since those oil contracts are already set, he's going to 'need' them for Libya, Iran, and Pakistan (for Blackwater's sake). --LRP]

Nuclear refrigerator found dumped near Coal City

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

Nuclear refrigerator found dumped near Coal City --Bomb squad requested to respond --Refrigerator reportedly found wrapped in nuclear tape, giving off radiation readings 14 Oct 2011 (Coal City, IL) At about 3 p.m. Friday, the Grundy HazMat team responded to a report of a small refrigerator giving off radiation readings near Coal City. The refrigerator was found in a ditch along the side of Spring Road, west of Carbon Hill Road, near Coal City. At about 3 p.m. Friday, the Grundy HazMat team responded to a report of a small refrigerator giving off radiation readings near Coal City. The refrigerator was found in a ditch along the side of Spring Road, west of Carbon Hill Road, near Coal City. ...At approximately 4:20 p.m., the Kane County Bomb Squad was again called to the scene.

Russia Warns of Libya Conflict After Qaddafi's Death, RIA Says

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

Russia Warns of Libya Conflict After Qaddafi's Death, RIA Says 20 Oct 2011 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's special envoy warned of persistent conflict in Libya even if the news of Muammar Qaddafi's death is confirmed, RIA Novosti reported. "A guerrilla war against the National Transitional Council is possible even without the involvement of the colonel, and NATO can't continue bombing endlessly," the state news service cited Mikhail Margelov as saying. [That's right. Actual resistance fighters will wage a battle against the US-backed mercenaries who executed a(nother) coup for Exxon Mobil and BP.]

Senate blocks votes on jobs bills

October 21, 2011 by legitgov

Senate blocks votes on jobs bills --'Every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct.' 21 Oct 2011 Democrats and Republicans tried to force versions of a jobs bill through the Senate late Thursday, but both fell short of the 60 votes [due to GOP obstruction of every bill] they would have needed to bring their proposals to the floor. In a 50-50 vote, senators blocked a component of President Barack Obama's jobs bill -- $35 billion for states and localities to hire more teachers and first responders while preventing current ones from being laid off. The funding would have been paid for by a 0.5% tax increase on people earning more than $1 million a year. Republicans opposed the tax increase.

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