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States' Rejection Of Expanded Medicaid Could Leave 2 Of 3 Eligible Low-Income People In A Fix

WASHINGTON — Nearly 2 in 3 uninsured low-income people who would qualify for subsidized coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law may be out of luck next year because their states have not expanded Medicaid.

An Associated Press analysis of figures from the Urban Institute finds a big coverage gap developing, with 9.7 million out of 15 million potentially eligible adults living in states that are refusing the expansion or are still undecided with time running short.

That a majority of the neediest people who could be helped by the law may instead remain uninsured is a predicament seemingly unforeseen by Obama and congressional Democrats who designed a sweeping extension of the social safety net. The law's historic promise of health insurance for nearly all U.S. residents would not be fulfilled as envisioned.

It's the direct consequence of last summer's Supreme Court decision that gave states the right to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, combined with unyielding resistance to the law from many Republican state lawmakers.

Expanding Medicaid is essential to Obama's two-part strategy for covering the uninsured.



Hillary Clinton: China Damaged U.S. Relationship By Allowing Edward Snowden To Flee

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD 06/25/13

LOS ANGELES -- Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that China damaged its relationship with the U.S. by allowing National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to flee from Hong Kong, despite a U.S. request to arrest him for extradition.

"That kind of action is not only detrimental to the U.S.-China relationship but it sets a bad precedent that could unravel the intricate international agreements about how countries respect the laws – and particularly the extradition treaties," the former secretary of state and possible 2016 presidential contender told an audience in Los Angeles.

Clinton's remarks echoed criticism from White House officials that Hong Kong's refusal to detain Snowden had "unquestionably" hurt relations between the two countries. Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy from the rest of China, although experts believe Beijing probably orchestrated Snowden's exit in an effort to remove an irritant in relations with the U.S.

Clinton said the former CIA employee engaged in "outrageous behavior" by releasing sensitive documents that he contends show privacy violations by an authoritarian government. Snowden is now in Russia, and the White House wants him sent to the U.S. to face espionage charges.



Settlers Assault Israeli Human Rights Workers Near West Bank Outpost

Yesh Din personnel, who were in the West Bank doing the job that police simply aren’t doing, were attacked last week by settlers near Havat Gilad. And these are the people the defense minister wants to sign a deal with?

By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz)

Three Israelis – and yes, there is the necessary proof that they were Israelis – attacked a Yesh Din team near the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad on Tuesday, June 25. The assault came a day before the High Court of Justice was to hold a hearing about the evacuation of several illegal structures there. All this took place in the wake of a suggestion of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to legalize Havat Gilad in return for removing those structures.

Ironically, the attack was not divorced from the legal procedures: the Yesh Din team was there to document the illegal construction in Havat Gilad. After viewing the place and driving away, the team found its way blocked by three Israelis who arrived on the scene on two motorcycles. The Israelis, one of whom was armed, violently attacked the team’s vehicle, broke its windshield and stole its keys. Despite the attack, our team made it back safely to the village of Far’atha, and lodged an official complaint with the police.

So as not to give the police an excuse to destroy this investigation as well, we shall not provide more details about the incident. But some things must be said clearly, even though they have been said so often that they seem banal: the government of Israel is responsible for this violence.

The settlers of the Havat Gilad outpost have lived on a declared illegal outpost for over a decade. The outpost was mostly built on lands declared to be private by the Civil Administration, cultivated Palestinian lands. Most of the structures on it have been issued demolition orders that are rarely enforced.



New State Laws July 1: Hundreds Of New Laws Across US Go Into Effect July 1

Early July is about more than fireworks, cookouts and long weekends. It's also about hundreds of new state laws.

Around the nation, July 1 marks the start of new fiscal years and the date recently passed legislation goes into effect, although states often mark their independence by enacting new regulations on their own calendars.

The laws and effective dates vary somewhat from state to state, but an overview of legislation set to hit the books Monday shows that state lawmakers took positions on the following five topics of national debate:

- GUNS: State legislatures across the U.S. discussed gun laws in the wake of mass shootings that shocked the nation in 2012. Most efforts to pass restrictions faded amid fierce opposition. Only a handful of states enacted new limits, some of which go into effect Monday. Among them Colorado is notable for requiring background checks for private and online gun sales and outlawing high-capacity ammunition magazines. At least 18 states, however, have gone the other way and loosened gun laws. Kansas laws set to take effect will allow schools to arm employees with concealed handguns and ensure that weapons can be carried into more public buildings.

- TECH: Dozens of states examined technology laws. Recently passed legislation in eight states will prevent businesses from demanding passwords to social media sites as a condition of employment. The law in Washington state also stops employers from compelling workers to add managers as "friends" so their profile can be viewed. Four states updated tech laws to allow drivers to show proof of car insurance on an electronic device, such as a smartphone.

Read more: http://www.kypost.com/dpps/news/national/new-state-laws-july-1-hundreds-of-new-laws-across-us-go-into-effect-july-1_8623171#ixzz2XoZMwywA

Israeli Sesame Street Actors Protest Israel's Closure Pf Palestinian Puppet Theatre Festival

JERUSALEM - Puppeteers from the Israeli version of Sesame Street are protesting Israel's closure of a Palestinian puppet festival.

Ariel Doron, who plays Elmo on the Israeli version of the children's television show, created a Facebook group named Puppets4All calling on Israel to permit the festival.

He said Monday his initiative was private and not co-ordinated with Sesame Street.

Other puppeteers from Israeli Sesame Street and fellow Israeli actors have uploaded photos to the Facebook group, holding puppets and signs protesting the closure.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Israeli+Sesame+Street+actors+protest+Israels+closure/8601722/story.html#ixzz2XoRxY74X

Girls Coming To Boy Scout Jamboree For First Time

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (AP) -- Make room, guys. The girls are coming to the Boy Scouts of America's national jamboree.

For the first time, female participants will be among the more than 40,000 Scouts and leaders attending the national gathering that occurs every four years. The jamboree runs July 15 to 24 at the Summit outdoor adventure site in southern West Virginia.

The girls are part of the Scouts' youth development program called Venturing. It started in 1998 and involves members of both sexes ages 14 to 20. Many of their activities involve physical challenges and travel, making it especially attractive to older teens.

"Yes, it's a big deal," said John R. McGhee Jr., a Charleston attorney and board member of the Boy Scouts' local Buckskin Council. "It speaks well for the future of scouting. It brings a whole new segment of the population into the program."

About 2,000 Venturers are signed up this year, and National Jamboree director Larry Pritchard estimates about half of them are females.



Republicans Paint Clinton as Old News for 2016 Presidential Election

WASHINGTON — Stuart Stevens, the top strategist for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, declared to an audience of reporters at a breakfast last month that electing Hillary Rodham Clinton would be like going back in time. “She’s been around since the ’70s,” he said.

At a conservative conference earlier in the year, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, ridiculed the 2016 Democratic field as “a rerun of ‘The Golden Girls,’ ” referring to Mrs. Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is 70.

And Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, seizing on the Fleetwood Mac song that became a Clinton family anthem, quipped to an audience in Washington, “If you want to keep thinking about tomorrow, maybe it’s time to put somebody new in.”

The 2016 election may be far off, but one theme is becoming clear: Republican strategists and presidential hopefuls, in ways subtle and overt, are eager to focus a spotlight on Mrs. Clinton’s age. The former secretary of state will be 69 by the next presidential election, a generation removed from most of the possible Republican candidates.

Despite her enduring popularity, a formidable fund-raising network and near unanimous support from her party, Mrs. Clinton, Republican leaders believe, is vulnerable to appearing a has-been.



Thousands Expected At Texas Capitol As Sweeping Abortion Bill Returns

Thousands of Texans on both sides of the abortion divide will descend on the state capitol in Austin on Monday, at the start of a special legislative session designed to pass a bill that would sharply restrict abortion services in the state.

More than 5,000 people have signed up to a “Stand With Texas Women” rally, to be staged at noon on the steps of the Capitol. The rally is being billed as a continuation of the dramatic scenes last week, when 400 pro-choice advocates staged a loud protest in the state senate chamber following Wendy Davis’s epic 10-hour filibuster that blocked the controversial bill, SB 5.

Anti-abortionists will stage their own rally in support of the new legislative session that the Texas governor, Rick Perry, called shortly after Davis’s filibuster ended. Some 700 pro-life campaigners have signed up to the rally called by Texas Alliance for Life.

Though emotions are running high even before the new special session begins, there is unlikely to be a quick resolution to the bitter dispute as the Texas assembly will need time to reprocess a revised bill. That bill, reconfigured as House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 9, has already been filed in the assembly but its text has yet to be made public. The terms of the revised bill are likely to be the same in all important points as the one that fell last week. It will limit abortion to 20 weeks, force the mothballing of at least 37 out of the state’s 42 active abortion clinics, and make it more difficult for doctors to operate.



Oil Rises on Manufacturing Data Amid Middle East Tension

By Moming Zhou - Jul 1, 2013

West Texas Intermediate crude rose for a fifth time in six days on signs of economic growth in the U.S. and Europe and amid concern than mass protests in Egypt might spread, affecting Middle Eastern oil supplies.

Prices gained as much as 1.7 percent as U.S. manufacturing rebounded last month, the Institute for Supply Management’s index showed. Euro-area manufacturing output contracted less than estimated, London-based Markit Economics said. Protesters stormed the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood as masses poured into Egypt’s streets demanding that President Mohamed Mursi step down.

“We are seeing signs of growth in the U.S. and it’s good for oil demand,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “We did get some strong data out of Europe. The protest in Egypt is making people concerned about oil supplies.”

WTI for August delivery advanced $1.52, or 1.6 percent to $98.08 a barrel at 10:04 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 10 percent below the 100-day average.



New York Flights Delayed as Storms Bring Tornado Warning

By Mary Jane Credeur and Leslie Picker - Jul 1, 2013

Flights at New York City-area airports, the busiest U.S. travel market, face delays of as long as two hours as severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes sweep through the region.

Planes leaving New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport, a United Airlines (UAL) hub, are being held for about two hours, and the waits may increase, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on its travel website. New York’s LaGuardia airport, where Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) and American Airlines dominate flights, had similar delays.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for northeast New Jersey and said severe thunderstorms with possible flash floods were likely in the New York City area through this afternoon local time.


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