Dec 26, 2013, 2:57 pm EDT
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is raising the price of first-class stamps in order to help the service recover from losses.
USPS has been losing money since the 2008 economic downturn and it is raising first-class stamp prices in an attempt to counteract these losses. The 3-cent price hike will take first-class stamp prices to 49 cents starting Jan. 26. The service said that this is only a temporary solution and prices will be taken back down to 46 cents two years later.
The move comes as USPS tries to recover from the $5 billion it lost in the last fiscal year. While USPS maintains that the move will be helpful for the service, companies and charities that use stamps for mass mailings are not happy with the move. Read
Dec 24, 2013, 9:53 am EDT
On Monday, the White House announced that the deadline to sign up for insurance coverage effective by Jan. 1 had been extended on more day.
Under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — commonly known as Obamacare — individuals must obtain health insurance coverage. The administration had already delayed the Obamacare enrollment deadline from earlier in December to Monday due to problems with the federal health insurance exchange website. Yesterday, that the Obamacare enrollment deadline was pushed back again — until Tuesday, Fox News notes.
A spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services indicated that while Monday remained official deadline for Obamacare enrollment, people who enrolled on Tuesday “will get coverage for Jan 1.” Read
Dec 23, 2013, 10:09 am EDT
Monday is the last day Americans without health insurance can sign up for coverage in order to avoid fines imposed by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Well, mostly.
The law — generally referred to as Obamacare — requires individuals not covered by insurance from employers or spouses to obtain coverage that starts by Jan. 1. However, due the technical glitches that prevent many people from enrolling in insurance coverage through the federal health exchange website, some people will be granted a “hardship” exemption. Those who try to enroll by the Obamacare signup deadline, but can’t due to the website issues, would avoid the penalty an unnamed senior Obama administration official told Reuters.
In some states with state-run exchanges, the Obamacare signup deadline has already been delayed beyond Dec. 23. Individuals whose prior insurance plans were cancelled because of Obamacare have additional exemption times. Read
Dec 20, 2013, 11:49 am EDT
On Thursday, the top court in New Mexico added the state to the list of places where gay marriage is legal in the U.S.
In an unanimous decision, the New Mexico Supreme Court determined that no existing state statute prevented same sex marriages. It also declared that forbidding gay marriages was discriminatory to gay people. The decision made New Mexico the 17th U.S. state where gay marriage is legal, Reuters notes.
A legal battle arose in New Mexico after several counties began issuing marriage licenses to same sex partners. Lower courts had upheld the licenses for same sex marriages. The state’s supreme court entered the debate after 33 county clerks asked it to decide the legality of gay marriage in the state. It ruled that civil marriage in New Mexico would now be defined as “the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.” Read
Dec 20, 2013, 11:11 am EDT
U.S. Major General Michael Carey was relieved of duty in October for his behavior during a trip to Russia earlier this year.
U.S. Major General Michael Carey’s trip to Russia included getting drunk, bragging about his position during a layover at an airport, and being late to delegations due to having been out with two women the night before. While at events with Russian officials, Carey acted out of line. At one point he attempted to fist bump a Russian official and even took to commenting on Edward Snowden and Syria. Syria is one of Russia’s allies and the country granted Snowden asylum earlier this year, reports CNN.
The details regarding U.S. Major General Michael Carey’s actions were made public on Thursday in an Air Force Inspector General report. The report states that Carey was dismissed for conduct unbecoming of an officer. The version of the report released tot he public also blurs out the names of witnesses to Carey’s actions, CNN notes. Read
Dec 18, 2013, 12:33 pm EDT
On Tuesday, the White House signaled its strong disapproval of recent anti-gay rights legislation in Russia by adding prominent gay athletes to the official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The delegation will include openly gay athletes including tennis champion Billie Jean King and hockey player Caitlin Cahow. No members of the First Family or senior U.S. cabinet secretaries will attend the opening ceremonies at the Russian Olympics. It will mark the first time that the U.S. delegation at an Olympics opening ceremony has not included a senior U.S. leader or First Lady in more than a decade, CNN notes.
Instead, a White House aide and the U.S. ambassador to Russia will lead the delegation. Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will also attend the opening ceremonies. Read