08/22/2014 (3:48 pm)

Emerging-Market Shares, Copper Rise as Europe Stocks Slip - Bloomberg

Filed under: economics, stocks |

Emerging-market stocks climbed and European equities pared their biggest weekly advance since February before a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Copper rose for a third day, Italian bonds gained, and corporate bond risk in Europe slid for a second week.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index advanced 0.3 percent at 10:13 a.m. in London. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.2 percent, trimming its gain to 2.2 percent this week, while Standard & Poor

Looking for accurate and precise life insurance quotes that will help you choose the right policy? This is the site where you will find all life insuranceand senior life insurance.

08/21/2014 (4:28 am)

U.S. rescue mission in Syria failed earlier this summer

Filed under: USA, loans |

WASHINGTON—Amid global revulsion over the beheading of an American captive in Syria, the White House revealed Wednesday an audacious rescue attempt deep inside enemy territory earlier this summer ended in failure.

“Dozens” of U.S. soldiers shot their way into an undisclosed Syrian location in a Special Forces mission reminiscent of the raid that captured Osama Bin Laden, Pentagon sources confirmed.

But after killing several Islamic State fighters and sustaining one minor injury of their own, the American raiders came away empty-handed because no hostages were present.

White House officials confirmed the rescue attempt but declined to provide additional details, citing “the need to protect our military’s operational capabilities.”

The rescue attempt “should serve as another signal to those who would do us harm that the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people and will spare no effort to secure the safety our citizens and to hold their captors accountable,” the White House said in a statement attributed to Homeland Security and Counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.

The disclosure came as U.K. and U.S. investigators scoured digital clues in an effort to identify the British-accented executioner of American photojournalist James Foley, whose videotaped beheading continued to send shock waves.

The Guardian, citing unnamed sources, reported the killer was known as “John,” the de facto leader of three British jihadists known to Foley and other hostages as “The Beatles” because of their British accents.

British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a holiday, saying he was “deeply shocked” and urged “patience” as Scotland Yard works to unravel the role of possible British passport-holders in the grisly killing in Syria.

Obama interrupted a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to condemn Foley’s murder, saying, “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents.

“ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings,” said Obama. “They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbours and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to an empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behaviour personal loans for bad credit.”

With U.S. air strikes intensifying near the Iraqi city of Mosul — at least 14 more aimed at halting the march of the rampaging Islamic State fighters since the gruesome Foley video emerged online Tuesday — concern deepened for a second U.S. hostage, Time magazine freelancer Steven Sotloff.

Obama made no mention of Sotloff, who was shown in the same video as Foley as next in line for execution if the U.S. does not halt air strikes.

Foley’s bereaved parents, meanwhile, braved a media throng outside their home in Rochester, N.H., to praise their son as “the best of America” and to plead for mercy on behalf of Sotloff and other hostages.

John Foley said his son was “courageous to the end.” But in speaking earlier Wednesday with Obama, the elder Foley said he urged the president to “do whatever he could possibly do” to save the lives of Sotloff and others.

The family had held out hope for a breakthrough in the latter part of their son’s 444 days in captivity and was considering a fundraising drive to buy his freedom. But a week before his murder, hope faded with the arrival of an email from Islamic State intermediaries announcing the intention to kill their son.

Foley’s execution also is shining rare light on the murky world of kidnap negotiations and the mismatched ransom policies that see American hostages perish while others, including four French and two Spanish journalists released by Islamic State extremists in April, go free in exchange for large sums of cash.

David Rohde, a former New York Times journalist who managed to escape his Taliban captors without any exchange of money, called Wednesday for an end to secrecy over ransom payments.

“The payment of ransoms and abduction of foreigners must emerge from the shadows,” wrote Rodhe. “It must be publicly debated. American and European policymakers should be forced to answer for their actions.”

Source

Compare and purchase low cost car insurance rates from multiple auto insurance companies immediately online.

08/19/2014 (1:28 pm)

Patient advocates say insurers avoiding the sick

Filed under: stocks, technology |

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ending insurance discrimination against the sick was a central goal of the nation’s health care overhaul, but leading patient groups say that promise is being undermined by new barriers from insurers.

The insurance industry responds that critics are confusing legitimate cost-control with bias. Some state regulators, however, say there’s reason to be concerned about policies that shift costs to patients and narrow their choices of hospitals and doctors.

With open enrollment for 2015 three months away, the Obama administration is being pressed to enforce the Affordable Care Act’s anti-discrimination provisions. Some regulations have been issued; others are pending after more than four years.

More than 300 patient advocacy groups recently wrote Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to complain about some insurer tactics that “are highly discriminatory against patients with chronic health conditions and may … violate the (law’s) nondiscrimination provisions.”

Among the groups were the AIDS Institute, the American Lung Association, Easter Seals, the Epilepsy Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Kidney Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy. All supported the law.

Coverage of expensive drugs tops their concerns.

The advocates also say they are disappointed by how difficult it’s proved for consumers to get a full picture of plans sold on the new insurance exchanges. Digging is often required to learn crucial details such as drugs covered, exact copayments and which doctors and hospitals are in the network.

Washington state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler, said “there is no question” that discrimination is creeping back. “The question is whether we are catching it or not,” added Kreidler, a Democrat.

Kansas’ commissioner, Sandy Praeger, a Republican, said the jury is out on whether some insurers are back to shunning the sick. Nonetheless, Praeger said the administration needs to take a strong stand.

“They ought to make it very clear that if there is any kind of discrimination against people with chronic conditions, there will be enforcement action,” Praeger said. “The whole goal here was to use the private insurance market to create a system that provides health insurance for all Americans.”

The Obama administration turned down interview requests.

An HHS spokeswoman said the department is preparing a formal response to the advocates and stressed that today’s level of consumer protection is far superior to what existed before President Barack Obama’s law, when an insurance company could use any existing medical condition to deny coverage.

The law also takes away some of the motivation insurers have for chasing healthy patients. Those attracting a healthy population must pay into a pool that will reimburse plans with a higher share of patients with health problems. But that backstop is under attack from congressional Republicans as an insurer “bailout.”

Compounding the uncertainty is that Washington and the states now share responsibility for policing health plans sold to individuals.

Although the federal government is running insurance markets in 36 states, state regulators are still in charge of consumer protection. A few states refuse to enforce any aspect of the law.

Kreidler said the federal government should establish a basic level of protection that states can build on. “We’re kind of piecemealing it right now,” he said.

Much of the concern is about coverage for prescription drugs. Also worrisome are the narrow networks of hospitals and doctors that insurers are using to keep premiums down. Healthy people generally shop for lower premiums, while people with health problems look for access to specialists and the best hospitals.

Before Obama’s overhaul, insurance plans sold on the individual market could exclude prescription coverage. Now the debate is over what’s fair to charge patients.

Some plans are requiring patients to pay 30 percent or more for drugs that go for several thousand dollars a month. HIV drugs, certain cancer medications, and multiple sclerosis drugs are among them.

Although the law sets an overall annual limit on what patients are required to pay, the initial medication cost can be a shock.

California resident Charis Hill has ankylosing spondylitis, a painful, progressive form of spinal arthritis. To manage it, she relies on an expensive medication called Enbrel. When she tried to fill her prescription the pharmacy wanted $2,000, more than she could afford.

“Insurance companies are basically singling out certain conditions by placing some medications on high-cost tiers,” said Hill. That “is pretty blatant discrimination in my mind.”

Hill, a biking advocate from the Sacramento area, has been able to get her medication through the manufacturer’s patient assistance program.

The insurance industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans says there’s no discrimination because patients have many options on the insurance exchanges. Gold and platinum plans feature lower cost-sharing, but have higher premiums. Standard silver plans generally require patients to pay a greater share of medical bills, but some have fairly robust drug coverage.

“There are plans on the exchanges that are right for people who have these health conditions,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the group.

For 2015, the administration says it will identify plans that require unusually high patient cost-sharing in states where Washington is running the exchange. Insurers may get an opportunity to make changes. Regulators will collect and analyze data on insurers’ networks.

“People who have high cost health conditions are still having a problem accessing care,” said law professor Timothy Jost of Washington and Lee University in Virginia. “We are in the early stages of trying to figure out what the problems are, and to what extent they are based on insurance company discrimination, or inherent in the structure of the program.”

___

AP Business Writer Tom Murphy in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

Source

08/17/2014 (6:56 pm)

German man with record piercings denied entry to Dubai

Filed under: management, money |

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—A heavily tattooed German man whose face is embellished with horn implants and more than 100 piercings said Sunday he was refused entry to Dubai without reason, forcing him to skip a planned appearance at a nightclub.

His look may have been a step too far for the Gulf’s most liberal city, where a carefully cultivated reputation for tolerance and cutting-edge cosmopolitanism occasionally clashes with the region’s conservative Islamic values.

Rolf Buchholz, 55, was travelling to the Middle Eastern commercial hub for the first time last week to appear at a circus-themed venue that woos partygoers with over-the-top attractions such as sword swallowers and burlesque dancers.

He told The Associated Press that immigration agents initially stamped his passport and let him through, but that he was stopped again before he was able to exit customs. He soon found himself in a room with other deportees.

The club said in an emailed statement that airport authorities cited “security reasons” in denying him entry. Buchholz said airport workers told him officials were concerned he could be a practitioner of black magic, though authorities did not say so directly.

At the end I got an answer why I can’t enter Dubai: The Immigration thought I am Black Magic. Stupid people.

08/16/2014 (4:00 am)

Lehman unsecured creditors to get distribution

Filed under: USA, online |

NEW YORK (AP) — Unsecured general creditors of Lehman Brothers will get $4.6 billion in their first round of payouts from the bankrupt investment bank next month.

Lehman’s bankruptcy in September of 2008 marked the start of the global financial crisis and was a major catalyst of the financial meltdown. It was the largest ever bankruptcy in U.S. history, with Lehman listing $639 billion in assets at the time.

Trustee James Giddens filed a notice on Friday about the distribution, which is expected to start around Sept. 10.

Unsecured general creditors had to wait for their distribution as all customer claims were satisfied first. The claims of secured and priority general creditors also were fulfilled.

“That such a distribution is even possible represents an extraordinary achievement that was far from certain when the liquidation began,” Giddens said in a statement.

Lehman’s individual retail customers were repaid in the first few days of the brokerage’s liquidation payday loans. But it took several years of negotiations before Lehman Brothers Inc., its holding company Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and its European arm, Lehman Brothers International, could agree on how claims for larger customers of each unit, such as hedge funds or institutional investors, would be paid.

The three parts reached an agreement in 2012 and submitted it to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York in February 2013. Judge James Peck approved the agreements in April 2013, settling the disputes among the entities.

Giddens said in a statement that more distributions to unsecured general creditors are expected.

More than $110 billion will have been distributed from the Lehman estate when accounting for customer claims and the first distribution to unsecured general creditors.

Source

08/12/2014 (11:20 pm)

FDA approves lung preservation machine

Filed under: Homebuilders, online |

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators have approved a novel device that can preserve donated lungs outside the body for possible transplantation into critically ill patients.

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that the approval of the XVIVO Perfusion System could lead to more successful transplants of lungs for people with cystic fibrosis and other deadly respiratory diseases.

The device consists of a bubble-like chamber where the lungs are stored and connected to a series of pumps and filters that provide oxygen and a sterile cleansing solution. Lungs can be kept in the machine for four hours as doctors evaluate their suitability for transplant.

Only about one in five lungs currently donated meet the medical criteria for transplantation. By giving doctors more time to examine the organs, FDA officials say more lungs may ultimately be transplanted.

In 2012, 1,754 lung transplants were performed in the U.S. with 1,616 patients still on the national waiting list. Lung transplantation is often the only treatment for patients with end-stage lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

The device is made by Englewood, Colorado-based XVIVO Perfusion Inc.

The FDA approved the new device based on two studies of patients who received non-ideal lungs preserved with the XVIVO Perfusion System or ideal lungs preserved with conventional cold storage techniques. The studies showed that patients from both groups had similar survival rates up to a year after undergoing transplant.

Source

08/09/2014 (4:16 pm)

US wholesale inventories grow at modest pace in June for 2nd month, as sales slow

Filed under: finance, money |

WASHINGTON (AP) — US wholesale inventories grow at modest pace in June for 2nd month, as sales slow.

Source

08/08/2014 (2:32 am)

Captain John’s unlikely to be moved by Aug. 22

Filed under: Homebuilders, marketing |

It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Captain John’s Restaurant will be gone from its prime slip at the foot of Yonge St. by the court-imposed deadline of August 22, says the ship’s new owner.

James Sbrolla was still scrambling Thursday evening to make final payments of about $30,000 for the rusting relic and sort out the logistics and potential costs of what’s turned out to be a far more complicated investment than anticipated.

The Toronto entrepreneur, a risk-taking investor in recycling and clean technology companies, was the top of three bids for the rusting relic July 31, with an offer of $33,051.

Since then he and his brother, John, have spent hours on the phone and Internet trying to sort out how to best move the ship, as well as fielding calls from potential buyers or partners and doing a hours-long tour with an environmental engineer.

“We’re trying every possible way to save it, but at this point in time it looks like it’s destined for scrap,” said Sbrolla. “The state of repair of the boat is a tragedy.”

But moving the former floating restaurant a foot could be hugely costly and complicated.

Sbrolla says even disconnecting the hydro to the ship, which has a working transformer, may delay any move beyond the August 22 court deadline: “You cannot just pull the plug.”

A Toronto Hydro spokesperson said work on the “high-risk power line” to the ship has been tentatively scheduled for Aug. 23, pending clarification of who is paying. But it’s also conditional on weather – temperatures can’t be above 24C – and being done in a low-demand period when other area businesses tied into the same system can be transferred to other power lines.

Plus, Sbrolla has yet to firm up a destination — in essence, the required “flight plan” for the ship — be it dry dock for an massive overhaul, or a scrapyard to be broken up.

As the 4 p.m. Thursday deadline for payment came and went, there were growing concerns that Sbrolla might just walk away from his $3,000 deposit.

All he would say late Thursday is that he’d made arrangements with the Toronto Port Authority to hand over a cheque as late as midnight.

Source

08/04/2014 (9:52 pm)

U.S. Borrowing Needs Hit 7-Year Low on Stronger Growth - Bloomberg

Filed under: loans, online |

The U.S. Treasury said its borrowing needs this quarter declined to the lowest level for the period since 2007 as stronger economic growth boosts tax receipts.

Treasury plans to borrow $192 billion in the July-September period, about $22 billion more than it projected three months ago, with an end-of-September cash balance of $150 billion, the Treasury said today in Washington. Next quarter, Treasury plans to borrow $187 billion, with $140 billion in cash Dec. 31.

The U.S. economy grew at a 4 percent annualized rate from April through June, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, the Commerce Department said July 30. The budget gap so far this fiscal year is the smallest since 2008.

08/01/2014 (4:00 pm)

Harley recalls bikes for ignition switch problem

Filed under: Uncategorized, term |

DETROIT (AP) — Ignition switch problems that have plagued General Motors and Chrysler have now turned up in the motorcycle business.

Harley-Davidson is recalling more than 3,300 FXDL Dyna Low Rider bikes because engine vibration can turn the switches from “run” to “accessory.”

The recall covers motorcycles from the 2014 ½ model year. If the motorcycles have been modified to rev higher than 5,600 RPMs, an engine mount bracket can vibrate excessively, causing the problem.

If the switch goes to “accessory,” the engine can shut off while being driven and potentially cause a crash us fast cash. The company says there have been no crashes or injuries reported from the problem.

Dealers will replace the bracket assembly and ignition switch knob for free. Harley began notifying owners in late July.

Source

Next Page »