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John Oliver wants the National Flood Insurance Program fixed since people are too stupid to move to safer ground

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Many of the people who lost their homes after the hurricanes this summer did so due to the flooding. While the hurricane caused the flooding, many times that isn’t enough for homeowners insurance to actually cover the cost of the damage to a home.

People love to live on the beach despite the risks, which include “flooding or stepping on pointy sea shells, or mistakenly giving a Tostito to a seagull without realizing that means you’ll spend the rest of your life haunted by a Tostito-addicted seagull,” John Oliver said Sunday. Anyone choosing to live near the water runs the risk that they’ll end up being flooded at some point in their home ownership. Perhaps that’s why so many beach houses seem to be built on stilts.

“But while floods are often referred to as natural disasters, the truth is, the damage they do often, to some extent, within our control,” he explained, “because we have made certain decisions that put and keep people and property in the path of flooding. And that is what this story is about.” To make matters worse, municipalities are choosing to pave over naturally absorbent areas that could have easily soaked in the flood waters if a highway wasn’t in its place.

According to Oliver, anyone who purchased their home using a federal home loan is insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The whole purpose of the program was to lessen the cost of disaster relief.

When it was crafted in the 1960’s, it was supposed to simply be a temporary fix for families. The hope was people would move away from flood-prone areas because it puts their lives and property at risk. Instead, cities like Miami are seeing a huge housing boom as ocean waters are slowly creeping up to city roads. As former Vice President Al Gore said in his updated documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” we need to look no further than Miami for proof of sea levels rising.

Floods have hit the same areas so frequently that the federal government is now in a position that they’re forced to repair the same home over and over again. They consider them “repetitive loss properties,” and admittedly, some of them are often second homes of wealthy people seen on HGTV trying to find the perfect place on the beach. Oliver showed a clip of two brothers looking at a home on the beach. One brother had concerns, so the other brother replied, “that’s what insurance is for.”

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Today, people aren’t using the NFIP to move to higher ground and rebuild their lives. In large part because, “that’s not how people work,” Oliver said. In fact, “huge risks to our personal safety for the sake of a discount — that was the entire premise behind the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.”

The program’s incentives and execution need to be retooled, Oliver explained. “For insurance companies, the bigger the disaster, the more they stand to profit,” and only a few houses will get a “shockingly big chunk” of the program’s benefits.

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Here’s how Trump’s latest comments dredge up his nasty treatment of John McCain

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Speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition on Wednesday, President Donald Trump once again made comments revealing he has little interest in treading sensitively around his feud with the late Sen. John McCain.

He lamented that fact that, during his first two years as president, he struggled to get the votes he wanted for his agenda because he only had 51 (initially 52) Republicans in the Senate.

"And sometimes, you know, they had a little hard time with a couple of them, right?" Trump added, referring to GOP senators who didn't bow to his will. “Fortunately they’re gone now. They have gone on to greener pastures. Or perhaps far-less-green pastures. But they are gone. They are gone ... I’m very happy they are gone.”

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Is San Francisco’s vaping ban backed by science?

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San Francisco has decided to ban the sale of e-cigarettes in 2020, hoping to curb a surge in vaping among adolescents. But is the policy backed up by the available evidence?

- How harmful is vaping? -

Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not "burn." The devices, which have been available in the US since 2006, work instead by heating up a liquid that then turns into vapor and is inhaled.

Because of this, e-cigarette users don't get exposed to the estimated 7,0000 chemical constituents present in combustible cigarettes, and vaping is generally believed to be safer than smoking.

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Greenpeace sounds alarm over shark overfishing in North Atlantic

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Thousands of endangered sharks are killed each year in the North Atlantic due to a lack of protection against overfishing in international waters, Greenpeace said Thursday.

Fishing vessels dedicated primarily to catching swordfish in the area collectively caught four times more sharks than swordfish by weight with their long lines loaded with thousands of hooks, the environmental group said in a report based on findings from Greenpeace ship Esperanza which visited the region earlier this year.

"It is absolutely immoral to kill sharks and other wildlife with these terrible fishing practices," said Will McCallum, of Greenpeace?s Protect the Oceans campaign, in a statement.

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