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Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law


In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, preserving Obama's landmark legislative achievement.

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress's power to tax.

Roberts re-framed the debate over health care as a debate over increasing taxes. Congress, he said, is "increasing taxes" on those who choose to go uninsured.

UFO

Most Americans Believe Government Keeps UFO Secrets, Survey Finds

Survey for National Geographic finds extraterrestrial visits not that crazy an idea to most Americans


Either Americans don't trust their government, or they have a lot of respect for aliens' stealthiness.

Thirty-six percent of Americans think aliens have visited Earth, and almost 80 percent believe the government has kept information about UFOs a secret from the public, a new survey finds.

The survey, conducted ahead of National Geographic's new series Chasing UFOs, asked 1,100 Americans 18 and older for their extraterrestrial opinions.

Stormtrooper

Soldier Killed, Two Injured in Fort Bragg Shooting


Fayetteville, North Carolina - A soldier from the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade is dead and two others are wounded following a shooting incident at Fort Bragg on Thursday.

During a unit safety brief, a soldier shot another member of the unit and then turned the weapon on himself.

The shooter was injured and is in custody.

A third soldier who was in the area was also slightly wounded in the shooting.

"This is a tragedy for our community. We don't yet know the reasons for the shooting, but are working with the unit and the affected Families to help them through this difficult period," said Col. Kevin Arata, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Public Affairs Officer.

Airplane

Researchers find icy tomb on glacier of aircraft that crashed, killing all 52 on-board, SIXTY years ago

Wreckage found on an Alaskan glacier is the remains of a missing Air Force plane that crashed in the 1950s, killing all 52 people on board.

Authorities revealed today the site has been identified after it was discovered on Knik Glacier near Anchorage earlier this month.

It means the victims' families may finally get answers as to why their loved ones died nearly 60 years on from the tragedy.

Image
© Unknown
Specialised team: Team members from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and Northern Warefare Training Center, searches for aircraft wreckage on Knik Glacier near Anchorage, Alaska

Mr. Potato

Eight TSA airport screeners fired for SLEEPING in baggage rooms while on duty in latest in string of blunders

Image
© Getty Images
Hiccup: Airline travellers stand in line to get through security at Newark Airport last August
Eight Transportation Security Administration screeners were fired after they were captured by surveillance cameras sleeping on the job, or violating other standards.

The former employees, who all worked at the Newark Liberty International Airport, were caught napping in a baggage room

This is the latest round of firings in the trouble-ridden TSA, only weeks after seven workers in Philadelphia were fired for bribery.

'The decision to take disciplinary action, including the proposed immediate removal of eight individuals from the TSA reaffirms our strong commitment to ensure the safety of the traveling public and to hold all our employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability,' the statement read.

An organiser with the Association of Federal Government Employees Union said that they would appeal all eight of the TSA's terminations.

By request of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey), the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Homeland Security is looking into the TSA of Newark, following several security breaches at the airport.

Arrow Down

Dismantling public healthcare: Spain cuts subsidies for more than 450 medicines

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© Unknown
Spain's cash-strapped government is eliminating state subsidies for more than 450 medicines, ranging from cough remedies to the pain-killer codeine. The step is expected to save 440 million euros ($548 million), according to the text of a proposal published by Spanish media Wednesday, part of a scheme to find seven billion euros a year in health savings. Health Minister Ana Mato is to present the plan to cut subsidies for 456 medicines to the regional governments, which are responsible for health and education.

Patients who want the medicines will have to pay themselves. Health professionals and consumer groups warned that the measure may not result in the desired goal. "Many doctors will write prescriptions to replace them with medicines that will be reimbursed that are indicated for more serious illnesses and generally more expensive," said a statement by consumer association FACUA. It described the decision as a move towards the "dismantling of public health."

Ladybug

Superbug vs Monsanto: Nature rebels against biotech titan

superbug
© Reuters / Victor Ruiz
A growing number of root worms are now able to devour genetically modified corn specifically designed by Monsanto to kill those same pests. A new study shows that while the biotech giant may triumph in Congress, it will never be able to outsmart nature.

Western corn rootworms have been able to harmlessly consume the genetically modified maize, a research paper published in the latest issue of the journal GM Crops & Food reveals. A 2010 sample of the rootworm population had an elevenfold survival rate on the genetically modified corn compared to a control population. That's eight times more than the year before, when the resistant population was first identified.

Experts are also noting that this year's resistant rootworm populations are maturing earlier than expected. In fact, the time the bug's larvae hatched was the earliest in decades.

"The Western corn rootworm 'season' is underway at a pace earlier than I have experienced since I began studying this versatile insect as a graduate student in the late 1970s," entomologist Mike Gray wrote in The Bulletin, a periodical issued by the University of Chicago's Department of Crop Studies.

Studies in other states have also revealed that the rootworm population is becoming increasingly resistant to genetically modified corn. Last year, Iowa State University researcher Aaron Gassmann noted that a number of farmers reported discovering, much to their dismay, that a large number of rootworms survived after the consumption of their GM crops. Gassmann branded these pests "superbugs."

Attention

Miami Zombie Was Not High on Bath Salts, Toxicology Report Shows

Rudy Eugene, AKA the Miami Zombie, was not high on bath salts when he ate Ronald Poppo's face last month. The toxicology report found only marijuana in his system-- not the synthetic drugs the media was hoping for.

As I previously reported, the media's insistence that Rudy Eugene was high on bath salts stemmed from an uniformed police officer's speculation. His misrepresentation of facts then snowballed into dozens of false reports, claiming not only that Eugene was high on bath salts, but also that bath salts are a 'super-potent form of LSD' -- another lie. Now, the mainstream media must confront the fact that, despite all of their rumor-mongering and subsequent calls for a baths salts ban, Rudy Eugene was probably mentally ill.

Mental illness was always the most likely cause behind the "Miami Zombie" story. But pinning a tragedy to a drug scare is easier (and perhaps more lucrative) than explaining a non-existent safety net for the mentally ill. Bath salts, the mainstream media naively believes, can be banned and eradicated. Treating mental illness is a far more complicated story.

Dollar

Barclays Execs: No Criminal Charges for Manipulation of Interest Rates Involving Trillions of Dollars

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© telegraph.co.uk
Okay, so the Associated Press (AP) just reported that "Barclays and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay more than $450 million to settle charges that it tried to manipulate key global interest rates."

That might seem like a lot of money, but remember that this is basically the shareholders of the bank footing the bill for criminal actions of the bank officers

Pistol

Teaneck Man Pulled Gun on Neighbor for Farting

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© Teaneck PD
Daniel Collins
Teaneck, New Jersey - An elderly man was arrested Monday night after a neighbor's fart allegedly drove him to threaten him with a gun, police said.

Daniel Collins, 72, had been involved in an ongoing dispute with the unidentified neighbor for some time, Det. Lt. Andrew McGurr told NJ.com. The neighbor told officers that Collins pointed a revolver at him in the vestibule of their apartment building at 694 Cedar Lane at around 9:25 p.m.

Collins said he confronted the man after hearing him pass gas in front of his apartment door, but denied threatening him with a gun. He consented to a search, and officers recovered a .32 caliber revolver from his vehicle.

He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a firearm and making terroristic threats.

He was released after being processed, McGurr said.