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La Niña causes mass penguin deaths in New Zealand

by Neil Sands CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) – “You’re a bit grumpy aren’t you mate,” says conservationist Shirleen Helps as she expertly handles a squawking penguin doing its best to peck her unprotected fingers. The tiny bird, angry at the indignity of being transported in a cat box, was found…

WI Repub lives outside district with mistress, says wife

Protesters who marched at the home of Wisconsin state senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) were met with something of a surprise on Saturday. Mrs. Hopper appeared at the door and informed them that Sen. Hopper was no longer in residence at this address, but now lives in Madison, WI with…

Justice Department accuses Michigan Blue Cross of inflating hospital prices

The Justice Department alleged Monday in a lawsuit that Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield is discouraging competition by engaging in practices that raise hospital prices — conduct an assistant attorney general vowed to challenge anywhere it is found in the United States. The suit targets “most favored nation” clauses between Michigan Blue Cross…

US sues Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield

US alleges Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield discourages competition, raising hospital prices The Justice Department alleged Monday in a lawsuit that Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield is discouraging competition by engaging in practices that raise hospital prices, conduct an assistant attorney general vowed to challenge anywhere else it is found…

Democratic ‘budget hawks’ champion expensive tax cuts for wealthy

With Congress poised for a showdown over the Bush tax cuts, 24 members of the Blue Dog Coalition – a group of House Democrats who tout “fiscal responsibility” as their core belief – are championing the extension of $70-billion-per-year tax cuts for the highest income-earners. The Democrats voiced their positions…

Some insurers stop writing new coverage for kids

Some major health insurance companies will no longer issue certain types of policies for children, an unintended consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, state officials said Friday. Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said several big insurers in his state will stop issuing new policies that cover children…

Blue Cross parent hiked rates after paying out $39 million in bonuses

California’s Anthem Blue Cross justified its whopping 39 percent insurance premium hike by citing rising medical costs. But, it turns out, its parent company Wellpoint, Inc. has been spending tens of millions on large executive bonuses and fancy retreats. According to congressional investigators, Wellpoint dished out over $1 million in…

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