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Posts tagged ‘ABC News’

Harry Reid, Mike Lee Caught Up in Corruption Probe.


Image: Harry Reid, Mike Lee Caught Up in Corruption Probe

By Melanie Batley

The FBI and Utah state prosecutors working on a corruption investigation say they have uncovered accusations of financial wrongdoing by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP Sen. Mike Lee, but the Justice Department has so far declined to act on their recommendation for a full federal investigation.

Two district attorneys, one Democrat and one Republican, told The Washington Times, ABC News, and The Salt Lake Tribune this week that they have found evidence of possible financial wrongdoing by the lawmakers relating to suspect campaign contributions and other financial transactions.

“There are allegations, but they are very serious allegations and they need to be looked at by somebody,” Sim Gill, a Democrat and chief prosecutor in Salt Lake County, told The Washington Times. “If true, or even if asserted, they truly should be investigated and put to rest, or be confirmed.”

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“The most appropriate entity to review those types of things, if they would, would be the Department of Justice,” Davis County District Attorney Troy Rawlings, a Republican, told ABC News. “Basically to look at their own. To look at allegations of conduct or misconduct involving federal officials.”

Rawlings told the Times, “Based on what we know today, we were surprised that the DOJ ran away.”

And Gill told the Tribune, “We cannot fully do justice to the things we’re coming across. It clearly raises concerns that can only be addressed — either to confirm [the allegations] or to put them to rest — by other entities.”

Reid and Lee both have ties to the online poker world, the reports say, and the investigation is looking at whether both or either politician sought or received money or other benefits from donors, fundraisers, or both in connection with doing political favors or taking official actions, according to the Times.

Jeremy Johnson, an official at a St. George, Utah, bank that processes hundreds of millions of dollars for one of the world’s largest online poker companies, said he and others started arranging tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to state and federal political campaigns, including Reid’s, ABC News reported.

Johnson claims he was instructed by online poker figures to hide illegal contributions to the campaigns of Reid and Lee in 2010 by finding “straw donors” who were reimbursed from poker accounts in the bank for money they supposedly contributed.

He also claimed that online poker industry officials hosted a fundraiser for Reid at which he promised to introduce federal legislation to legalize online poker if he was re-elected, which he ultimately did, even though he had had a longstanding public opposition to the legalization of Internet poker. Reid’s aides dispute there was any link in the timing of when Reid shifted his position on the matter, according to The Times.

ABC calls Johnson a “controversial figure” who is awaiting trial on 86 internet fraud charges alleging he scammed consumers out of millions of dollars.

Prosecutors are also looking at whether Lee provided accurate information when he bought, then sold a Utah home to a campaign contributor and federal contractor, leaving his mortgage bank to absorb large losses, the Times reported.

The FBI and state investigators have collected more than 100,000 bank records, emails, and other documents and interviewed more than 200 witnesses as part of the bipartisan probe, ABC News reports.

People familiar with the probe told the Times that the FBI and local investigators have been frustrated for months by the Justice Department’s inaction on the matter, and the concerns were recently escalated to FBI headquarters.

The concerns have also prompted discussions about whether to seek a special prosecutor who would bypass the Justice Department and U.S. attorney’s office and look at the evidence independently. In the meantime, the FBI cannot use a federal grand jury to gather evidence without the permission of the Justice Department or a special prosecutor.

“In this case, DOJ risks creating the perception of a cover-up rather than let agents use the normal tools and follow the evidence wherever it leads — a Republican, Democrat, Senate or not,” a senior FBI official based in Washington told the Times.

The evidence that was uncovered came out during an investigation focused on former Utah GOP Attorney General John Swallow and state officials, which continue to be the focus of the case, according to ABC News. But the prospectors said they may be forced to consider expanding it to include issues on the federal level if the Justice Department doesn’t step in.

“If somebody commits crimes and there’s a nexus to the state of Utah and we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, it doesn’t matter who they are,” Rawlings told ABC News. “Even a U.S. senator. And no, we’re not afraid of that. That’s our job.”

Reid’s spokesman, Adam Jentleson, called the statements by the district attorneys “a publicity stunt” and said Reid “has never been contacted in regards to this investigation.” He also said the questions about the investigation submitted by ABC News were “nothing but a fever-brained witch hunt.”

Lee’s office also said he had not been contacted about the investigation by the prosecutor’s office or the FBI.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

US Official: Malaysia Flight Likely Crashed in Indian Ocean.


A senior U.S. official tells CNN that missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 likely crashed in the Indian Ocean.

The network’s source says “there is probably a significant likelihood” the plane, which disappeared nearly a week ago with 239 people on board, turned west and flew over the Malaysian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean before crashing.

The network says Malaysian authorities have a record of several pings the aircraft’s engines made with satellites orbiting the earth after its transponder turned off. Their pattern indicates the plane turned west, flew across Malaysia, and above the Indian Ocean. Malaysian authorities, CNN’s source says, believe the plane flew for 4-5 hours after it lost contact with radar on the ground.

There were no pings that indicated an impact of any kind on land or in water.

ABC News, meanwhile, has two sources that say U.S. authorities believe the plane’s two communications systems were manually shut down from within the cockpit.  The system that reports data, officials believe, was turned off at 1:07 a.m. The transponder that tracks the plane’s location and altitude was shut down at 1:21 a.m.

Both systems were “systematically shut down,” U.S. investigators told ABC. The Americans, the report says, are “convinced that there was manual intervention” involved.

The USS Kidd, a Navy destroyer, is en route to the Indian Ocean to begin searching for the plane. It had been searching in areas south of the Gulf of Thailand with another destroyer, the USS Pinckney.

CNN’s source says his information is not 100 percent certain at this time. But the source says the United States is concerned that Malaysia is not sharing all the information it has related to the missing jetliner.

The White House said a new search may be started in the Indian Ocean, significantly broadening the potential location of the plane,

Expanding the search area to the Indian Ocean would be consistent with the theory that the Boeing 777 detoured to the west about an hour after take-off from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.

“It’s my understanding that based on some new information that’s not necessarily conclusive — but new information — an additional search area may be opened in the Indian Ocean,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in Washington.

Carney did not specify the nature of the new information and Malaysian officials were not immediately available to comment.

The disappearance is one of the most baffling mysteries in the history of modern aviation. There has been no trace of the plane nor any sign of wreckage despite a search by the navies and military aircraft of more than a dozen countries across Southeast Asia.

Satellites picked up faint electronic pulses from the aircraft after it went missing on Saturday, but the signals gave no information about where the jet was heading and little else about its fate, two sources close to the investigation said on Thursday.

But the “pings” indicated its maintenance troubleshooting systems were switched on and ready to communicate with satellites, showing the aircraft was at least capable of communicating after losing touch with air traffic controllers.

The system transmits such pings about once an hour, according to the sources, who said five or six were heard. However, the pings alone are not proof that the plane was in the air or on the ground, the sources said.

Malaysian authorities have said the last civilian contact occurred as the Boeing 777-200ER flew north into the Gulf of Thailand. They said military radar sightings indicated it may have turned sharply to the west and crossed the Malay Peninsula toward the Andaman Sea.

The new information about signals heard by satellites shed little light on the mystery of what happened to the plane, whether it was a technical failure, a hijacking, or another kind of incident on board.

While the troubleshooting systems were functioning, no data links were opened, the sources said, because the companies involved had not subscribed to that level of service from the satellite operator, the sources said.

Boeing and Rolls-Royce, which supplied the plane’s Trent engines, declined to comment.

Earlier, Malaysian officials denied reports that the aircraft had continued to send technical data and said there was no evidence that it flew for hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers early last Saturday.

“It’s extraordinary that with all the technology that we’ve got that an aircraft can disappear like this,” Tony Tyler, the head of the International Air Transport Association that links over 90 percent of the world’s airlines, told reporters in London.

Ships and aircraft are now combing a vast area that had already been widened to cover both sides of the Malay Peninsula and the Andaman Sea.

The U.S. Navy was sending an advanced P-8A Poseidon plane to help search the Strait of Malacca, separating the Malay Peninsula from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It had already deployed a Navy P-3 Orion aircraft to those waters.

India’s Defense Ministry has ordered the deployment of ships and  aircraft from the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. An Indian P8I Poseidon surveillance plane was sent to the Andaman islands on Thursday.

China, which had more than 150 citizens on board the missing plane, has deployed four warships, four coast guard vessels, eight aircraft, and trained 10 satellites on a wide search area. Chinese media have described the ship deployment as the largest Chinese rescue fleet ever assembled.

On the sixth day of the search, planes scanned an area of sea where Chinese satellite images had shown what could be debris, but found no sign of the airliner.

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference the images were provided accidentally, saying the Chinese government neither authorized nor endorsed putting them on a website. “The image is not confirmed to be connected to the plane,” he said.

It was the latest in a series of contradictory reports, adding to the confusion and agony of the relatives of the passengers.

As frustration mounted over the failure to find any trace of the plane, China heaped pressure on Malaysia to improve coordination in the search.

Premier Li Keqiang, speaking at a news conference in Beijing, demanded that the “relevant party” step up coordination while China’s civil aviation chief said he wanted a “smoother” flow of information from Malaysia, which has come under heavy criticism for its handling of the disaster.

Malaysian police have said they were investigating whether any passengers or crew on the plane had personal or psychological problems that might shed light on the mystery, along with the possibility of a hijacking, sabotage, or mechanical failure.

The Boeing 777 has one of the best safety records of any commercial aircraft in service. Its only previous fatal crash came last July 6, when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 struck a seawall with its undercarriage on landing in San Francisco, killing three people.

Reuters contributed to this report.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Newsmax Wires

Olympics-Bound Airlines Warned of Toothpaste Bombs.


Airlines bound for Russia and the Winter Olympics in Sochi are being warned to be on the lookout for toothpaste tubes that could contain bomb-making ingredients and may be smuggled aboard by terrorists, reports said Wednesday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, [the Department of Homeland Security] regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with international events such as the Sochi Olympics,” says an agency statement obtained by ABC News, NBC News and CNN.

“While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority,” the statement says.

“As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever-evolving threat environment.”

Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN that “anybody who wants to go to the Olympics, which are just a great event, should go. And we’re not telling people not to go.”

Kerry’s comments came before the advisory was reported, however.

A federal law enforcement source told ABC News the advisory is aimed at foreign airliners — and doesn’t relate to the United States. The Russian government has been informed.

But New York Republican Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, told CNN the threat should be a heads-up for U.S. travelers, the airlines and officials at the Olympic Games.

“Any type of explosive, concealed explosive, can be extremely damaging,” he said. “It could be enough to bring down a plane . . . This is the type of threat that we’re very concerned about.”

Security in Sochi has been tightened for months, with an eye on Islamic militants in the region. Last month, Russian authorities announced that no liquids would be allowed on planes to Sochi, ABC News reported.

The Games begin Friday.

Sochi is 300 miles from the north Caucasus region, where Islamic militancy is well known.

ABC News reported that Doku Umarov, known as “Russia’s Osama bin Laden,” reportedly told followers last summer that they should do what they could to disrupt the Games, which he called a “satanic dance” on the bones of their ancestors, ABC News reported.

On Tuesday, counter-terrorism official Matthew Olsen spoke before Congress on whether those Muslim fundamentalists could attack selected targets, CNN reported.

“There are a number of specific threats of varying degrees of credibility that we’re tracking,” he said. “And we’re working very closely with the Russians and with other partners to monitor any threats we see and to disrupt those.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy BurkeMuslim

McConnell Cools on Immigration Reform:


Image: McConnell Cools on Immigration Reform

By Elliot Jager

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that differences between the House and Senate on immigration reform are too big to bridge in 2014, The Hill reported.

The Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan immigration bill in June that would set a path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million people now in the U.S. illegally.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now 

McConnell said the differences between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-led House are “irresolvable,” the Hill reported.

“I don’t see how you get to an outcome this year with the two bodies in such a different place,” said McConnell.

McConnell is facing off against tea party opponent Matt Bevin in Kentucky’s GOP primary. Bevin has taken a hard-nosed anti-immigration stance.

Republican strategists including William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, and Erick Erickson, the editor-in-chief of RedState, have argued that this is not the time to tackle immigration. Doing so, they say, would call attention to divisions within the party and take attention away from the failures of President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

House Republican leaders led by Speaker John Boehner had issued a statement of principles on immigration, in conjunction with the recent House retreat, that would revamp the country’s immigration laws a little at a time and in a way that non-tea party conservatives could live with.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who helped to craft the principles, said he does not know if an immigration law can be passed. “That is clearly in doubt,” he told ABC’s “This Week” and depends on whether Democrats were willing to “secure the border,” and “agree to not having an amnesty,” The Hill reported.

Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of California who supports immigration reform, said that the House leadership has not given up,  according to Breitbart. 

“I think leadership’s focus and my focus is to get [immigration] done as early as possible. It’s part of our conference agenda right now. It doesn’t go on the agenda without scheduling bills and scheduling time on the floor,” Denham said.

Meanwhile, Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who backed the Senate immigration bill, said that McConnell was probably right about prospects for immigration reform.

“The Democrats want amnesty and the Republicans would like to solve this problem, but in the House they’re not about to give amnesty,” he said.

Editor’s Note: 5 Reasons Stocks Will Collapse . . . 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

2 Years Into Kim Jong Un’s Reign, Deeper Darkness Settles Over North Korea.


Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party politburo in Pyongyang. (Reuters/KCNA )

It began with a media frenzy. Six months into Kim Jong Un’s new reign over North Korea, the Internet was filled with images and video of the smiling new leader waving to his beloved people.

ABC news reported the “youthful supreme leader” was “attempting to forge a new image for himself and his country” by allowing women to wear pants and endorsing banned foods like French fries and pizza. A few months before, on Jan. 1, 2012, the newly minted leader of the world’s most militant regime had publicly called for an end to the almost-50-year-old confrontation between the two Koreas.

The facade was not to last. Even as International Christian Concern (ICC) pointed out, the lack of any significant reforms to the regime’s despotic policy toward religious minorities, the Kim Jong Un government was pumping more resources into expanding its horrific system of political prison camps, known as “Kwan-li-so.”

On Dec. 4, Amnesty International released new satellite images of the camps where generations of families, many of them Christian, are sent to starve or work themselves to death. The images revealed that rather than close or curtail the growth of the nightmare camps, Kim Jong Un was working on their expansion.

All of this news, though, paled in comparison with the sheer brutality of the report ICC received last month on Nov. 11. According to a South Korean news source, at least 80 people were publicly executed in seven cities across North Korea on the same day. Their so-called “crimes” included watching South Korean movies, distributing pornography and the “possession of Bibles.” At least one of those Bible owners was tied to a post in the center of a sports stadium, a bag placed over their head, as they were torn apart by machine gun fire until their body was “hard to identify afterwards.” Families of the “criminals” were reportedly sent to the Kwan-li-so.

The executions were widely viewed as a move by the only 30-year-old leader to consolidate his grip on the populace.

One source intimately familiar with the reclusive nation told ICC, “It just shows that Kim Jong Un is still trying to consolidate power, and I think this is an indication of his failure to do so.”

As to why Christians were among those executed, the source said, “I am sure all those executed knew information from the outside and [among them] were certainly Christians. The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of North Korea] has always considered Christians their greatest threat.”

Any doubts remaining that Kim Jong Un was determined to secure his position at all costs died last week when the state-controlled media announced that Kim’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, had been publicly removed from his position of authority and executed only days later.

Jang was widely believed to be untouchable as the second most powerful figure in the country. Within a week of his execution, massive purges were erasing all references to Jang Song Thaek from North Korea’s history books.

What all of this repression means for Kenneth Bae, a U.S. missionary who recently became the longest-serving American prisoner in North Korea since the end of the Korean War, is anyone’s guess.

Bae is serving out a 15-year sentence of hard labor after being arrested in late 2012 for allegedly trying to overthrow the hyper-paranoid state. Bae, who has been described as a “devout Christian,” was providing legal tours into North Korea while conducting quiet humanitarian work. Of course, in a nation where as many as 70,000 Christians are interned in the modern-day equivalent of concentration camps for simply being Christians, Bae’s sentence is tragically unsurprising.

Yet even as a deeper darkness appears to be settling over North Korea, there is some cause for hope. For the first time ever, and thanks in part to Christian advocates, the United Nations has a “Commission of Inquiry” into the atrocities being committed in the country. Its ultimate goal: to conclude if North Korea has committed “crimes against humanity” (a foregone conclusion for many).

Testimony given to the commission this year by defectors and survivors of the Kwan-li-so has already raised the profile of North Korean crimes substantially, giving hope that significant international pressure on the regime will soon be brought to bear.

Most notable, and perhaps even more significant in this author’s opinion, is that after 65 years of total war directed at Christianity, an unbelievably determined remnant of believers still free inside the country continues to hold fast to their faith.

In late October, new and exceedingly rare footage of underground believers quietly praying and singing in their homes was released by a Christian nongovernmental organization. The footage, which may have cost some believers the ultimate price to obtain, is emphatic proof that no amount of totalitarianism has been able to completely extinguish the fire that faith ignites.

If China’s current unprecedented revival is any indication, the final death knell of the modern world’s most evil regime (whenever it comes) may herald in an era of spiritual renewal led by a core of Christian leaders whose faith survived insurmountable odds. One day, Pyongyang may even earn again its old title, “Jerusalem of the East.”

This article originally appeared on persecution.org.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Hillary Clinton: ‘I Haven’t Made Up My Mind’ on 2016.


Image: Hillary Clinton: 'I Haven't Made Up My Mind' on 2016

By Lisa Barron

Hillary Clinton says she has not yet decided whether to make another bid for the White House in 2016.

“I haven’t made up my mind. Obviously, I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year,” Clinton told Barbara Walters Wednesday night on the ABC News special “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013.”

“It’s such a difficult decision, and it’s one that I’m not going to rush into . . . and I don’t think we should be looking at the next election,” she continued. “I think we should be looking at the work that we have today. Our unemployment rate is too high. We have people getting kicked off food stamps who are in terrible economic straits. Small business is not getting credit.

“I could go on and on, so I think we ought to pay attention to what’s happening right now,” added Clinton, whom Walters has named her “most fascinating person of 2013.”

As for what her husband, former president Bill Clinton, wants her to do, the former secretary of state said, “He wants me to do what I think is right.”

Whether or not that means running for president, Clinton does think there should be a woman in the Oval Office.

“It matters. It matters because we have half the population that has given so much to building this country, to making it work, raising children and, of course, I want to see women eventually in the White House.”

While Clinton claims not to have made up her mind yet, her supporters have clearly made up theirs.

Ready for Hillary, a super PAC aimed at building support for a potential 2016 run, ispulling out all the stops, increasing the number of fundraisers and informational meetings, reports CNN. In the past several days, the political action committee has organized events promoting a Clinton candidacy across the country, from California to Washington, D.C.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Peter King Warns of Grave Terrorist Threats.


Image: Peter King Warns of Grave Terrorist Threats

By Drew MacKenzie

Rep. Peter King is warning that the United States is in greater danger from terrorists than ever before.

The New York Republican, who is reportedly interested in a presidential bid, said during a fund-raising swing through New Hampshire that the biggest threat comes from off-shoots of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, according to the Concord Patch.

King, a member of both House committees on Homeland Security and Intelligence, said al-Qaida has “morphed and metastasized and we have now have eight or nine different components around the world.”

He also fears “lone wolves” in the U.S. affiliated with international terrorist organizations.

The outspoken congressman, who revealed in July that he’s seriously mulling over a run for the White House, said that “in many ways” the threat is more grave than before September 11 crisis, and that 15 potential attacks on New York alone since that day have been stopped.

“I see the threats from the inside out and the outside in,” he said about his briefings on both committees. “And this is a constant level of danger we are at.

King was using his trip to New Hampshire, an early voting state, to announce the formation of a Political Action Committee called American Leadership Now, which will be aimed at supporting moderate Republicans like himself, as opposed to what he perceives as extreme conservatives who are hurting the party. He lumps tea party-affiliated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in that group.

“I want to create a presence for those like myself who feel Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are out of touch with the American people,” King told ABC News. “This is highlighted by the government shutdown, which was one of the worst political disasters we’ve ever had.”

King, who calls Republicans like himself “blue collar conservatives,” has previously voiced his concerns about the GOP becoming “too isolationist and extreme.”

His new PAC is being seen as another indication that he plans to run in 2016.

“I believe we need candidates who are not isolationists, who believe in a strong national defense, who don’t believe in shutting down the government,” King told ABC News.

King, making his fifth visit to New Hampshire this year, was headlining a fundraising event in Concord to help the GOP raise money to take back the Senate next year.

He blasted President Barack Obama for “constantly apologizing for American power” and declared that he “wasn’t telling the truth” on the troubled Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature healthcare reform law, according to the Patch.

“The plan itself is bad enough,” he said. “The program itself is bad enough. But to have a president mislead the American people the way he did is absolutely inexcusable.”

King urged Republicans to reconnect with “rank-and-file people” while claiming that “the media and the so-called elites” would not be supporting Republicans in the future.

Before meeting with Republican activists in the state, King said he plans to decide on a White House bid within the next 18 months.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Paul Ryan: Running for President ‘In Back of My Mind’.


Image: Paul Ryan: Running for President 'In Back of My Mind'

By Courtney Coren

Running for president in 2016 is “in the back of my mind,” says Paul Ryan, but he isn’t making decisions about his current job based on his political ambitions.

“People always say, Well this could hurt your future ambitions,’” the House Budget chairman told ABC News, in reference to budget deal he helped craft that passed in the House Thursday night.  “If I’m not good at this job, why should I ask somebody for another job?”

The Wisconsin Republican congressman and former vice presidential candidate has been criticized by tea party groups over the budget deal he worked on with the Democratic Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray.

The critics say the deal didn’t cut spending enough and Ryan compromised too much.

The House Budget Committee chairman said that this budget agreement was necessary to avoid another government shutdown.

“We don’t think government shutdowns are a good idea,” he said.

Ryan also said that in a divided government, “you’re not always going to get what you want every time . . . You have to make some common ground decisions to get things done.”

“My job is not to cloud my judgement with personal ambition,” the Ryan said. “My job is to do my job and that is things like this. If I have to stop my self from doing what I think is right to become president, then I don’t want to be president.”

“But for all these people who say I’m hurting my political ambitions, that’s just not my concern,” Ryan said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Store Mannequins With RFID Tracking Now Recording Everything You Do (VIDEOS).


A well-dressed, picture-perfect mannequin stands still in a middle of a department store. She looks like any other life-size figure you’ve seen, except she can see and hear you.

It has cameras for eyes, audio recording capabilities, an embedded computer to analyze shoppers’ faces, and a modem to upload the data to a server. Called the EyeSee Mannequin, it’s meant to provide more data to retailers and department stores about shoppers, says its creator.

department-store-mannequins-using-facial-recognition-technology-to-track-customers-rfid-mark-of-the-beast

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH SOME VERY CREEPY VIDEOS NOW

“The EyeSee can tell if a shopper is male or female, his or her age range, how much time you spent looking at it and its outfit,” Max Catanese, the CEO of Almax, told ABC News. The EyeSee can also tell the ethnicity of shoppers.

click-here-to-read-the-rest-of-this-story-on-before-its-news-from-now-the-end-begins-nteb-geoffrey-griderThe goal, as you might assume, is for stores to know more about who is shopping and looking at the displays. How long you looked at one mannequin versus others, how many types of shoppers come into the store, etc. The computer inside the mannequin captures data about each of the shoppers it sees and then uploads that to a portal, so that the store can see the statistics. source – ABC News.

by NTEB News Desk

Latest Obamacare Glitch: One-Third of Enrollees May Not Get Insurance.


Image: Latest Obamacare Glitch: One-Third of Enrollees May Not Get Insurance

By Melissa Clyne

Up to one-third of the 149,000 individuals who have been able to sign up for Obamacare — 44,700 people — may not have health insurance after all come Jan. 1, even though HealthCare.gov accepted their applications and confirmed coverage.

In yet another acknowledged blunder, administration officials have admitted that people “might not be officially signed up with their selected issuer, even if the website has told them they are,” ABC News reports.

Editor’s Note: New ‘Obamacare Survival Guide’ Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, policies are not considered in effect until purchasers have paid at least the first monthly premium.

The latest round of problems with the beleaguered website include a system glitch that fails to notify insurers about new customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the same person, incorrect information about family members, and mistakes involving federal subsidies, The Washington Post reports.

The laundry list of failures has been growing since Oct. 1 launch of HealthCare.gov, even as administration officials repeatedly have promised that things were getting better.

It further underscores criticisms by Obamacare opponents and shatters the already fractured credibility of a president who has continued to over-promise and under-deliver.

The White House set a Nov. 30 deadline to have the site fully functional, and publicly congratulated itself early Sunday with assurances that the site was at least 90 percent effective. The latest revelation brings that statistic down to at least 66 percent.

The new glitches reveal problems with the system’s back end, where an applicant’s personal information is transferred to the insurance carrier. The White House lays the blame for many of the errors on users, who may have clicked twice on the confirmation button or toggled backward and forward on the site, according to The Washington Post.

Insurance companies, the Post reports, have been worried about problems with enrollment records for weeks and had voiced those concerns to government officials.

After weeks of trying, a 61-year-old Georgia man thought he finally had broken through the system and successfully enrolled through the federal marketplace, according to ABC News. But days later, Bob Shlora said, he learned the carrier, Humana, had no record of the transaction, even though Shlora received a policy ID number from HealthCare.gov.

“I feel like this: My application was taken … by a bureaucrat, it was put on a conveyor belt and it’s still going around, and it’s never going to leave the building,” he told ABC. “I’ve lost hope. If it happens, great.”

A spokeswoman for CMS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, places the onus on consumers, recommending they contact the insurance company to make sure they have coverage.

CMS’ Julie Bataille said that a bug causing “about 80 percent” of the errors with transferring the information to insurance carriers has been fixed. Similar bugs, such as one that caused inaccurate coding of family relationships — a child showing up as a spouse, for example — also have been repaired, she said.

Despite watered-down promises that by Dec. 1 the improved site would be able to handle 50,000 simultaneous users, people were sent to virtual waiting rooms after that number reached just 35,000, according to National Public Radio. About 375,000 people visited the site on Cyber Monday, twice as many as on an average Monday.

In an effort to extinguish a firestorm on another issue, the administration has offered to compensate insurers as an incentive for them to extend individual policies that were to have been canceled Jan. 1.

“The administration said it could provide financial assistance to certain insurers through a program under which the government will share in (insurers’) losses and profits for the next three years,” The New York Times reports.

That financial boost would be on top of an estimated $1 trillion in federal subsidies the government already plans to pay insurance carriers to make coverage more affordable for low- and middle-income people.

The administration did not provide the Times with an estimate of the cost to assist insurers, explaining that it didn’t know how many people would stay on existing plans or enroll in new ones.

Constituents and politicians became enraged after learning President Barack Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” mantra was inaccurate. In response, Obama allowed Americans to extend their individual policies for a year, though insurers maintain that doing so could collapse the industry.

Insurance companies fear they will be saddled with sicker, more-expensive customers via the federal healthcare marketplace because healthier Americans will keep their existing plans for another year.

Premiums were set based on the original Affordable Care Act guidelines, and now, supporters say, changing things could annihilate the market.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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