A 2014 budget measure inspired by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., could leave President Barack Obama's health care reforms on the rocks, by making it impossible for the administration to fund critical "risk corridors" that shield insurers from initial losses. Rubio's measure blocked officials from dipping into Medicare funding or other resources to top up its risk-corridor fund, leaving the administration without the cash needed to keep paying insurers. "I think this is one of the most effective things they've done so far in terms of trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act," says health care law expert Tim Jost.
Two turkeys named Honest and Abe will be pardoned by President Barack Obama today, as part of a tradition that's also a carefully staged lobbying event run by the National Turkey Federation. This year's turkeys have been picked for their personalities, says Foster Farms Manager Joe Hedden. "We want to present the president with a well-mannered and socially skilled turkey that's going to act right on the big day," he says.
A number of Republican groups, including the influential Club for Growth, are working to derail Donald Trump's candidacy through an attack-ad blitz and anti-Trump fundraising effort. Party insiders fear that Trump's enduring presence on the primary campaign trail could cause permanent damage to the GOP brand, and make it impossible for the party to win over Hispanic and black voters. "The stark reality is that unless something dramatic and unconventional is done, Trump will be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton will become president,” said Liz Mair, who will runs the anti-Trump group Trump Card LLC.
Sixty-four percent of President Barack Obama's Medal of Freedom awardees are men, compared with about 85% of recipients under President George W. Bush. Both presidents have honored white and black Americans at roughly the same rates, but Obama has been notably more inclined to honor activists, and less inclined to confer the medals on academics.
Wealthy people living in states with high levels of economic inequality tend to give less than those with moderate incomes, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Toronto and Stanford University. The study found income inequality can result in "the belief that one is more important and deserving than others," said its authors. Center for the Study of Inequality Director Kim Weeden said that if greater inequality makes people less generous, philanthropists need to develop a system for giving that doesn’t rely on altruism and generosity alone.
The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation will give $7 million to nonprofits in Western New York. Hunter's Hope and the Western New York Amateur Football Alliance will each receive $500,000, and the donation includes a philanthropic partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The foundation, founded by former Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, plans to distribute all of its assets over the next 20 years.
Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a day when the world needs to recognize that gender violence is not "acceptable" or "inevitable" and that it is "preventable," writes Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women. The Sustainable Development Goals contain explicit goals to reduce gender violence. "[W]e will eventually achieve a more equal world -- a Planet 50-50 -- where women and girls can and will live free from violence," she writes.
Children, especially those in low-income countries, will be more affected by climate change than adults, says a report by UNICEF. The report urges world leaders to agree emissions reductions to prevent temperature increases. "Today's children are the least responsible for climate change, but they, and their children, are the ones who will live with its consequences," says Anthony Lake, UNICEF's executive director.
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, is asking the UN Security Council to approve the deployment of 600 police and 500 UN peacekeepers to help maintain security in South Sudan. The UN mission has 12,500 peacekeepers in the country. The Security Council must vote on extending the South Sudan peacekeeping mandate by Dec. 15.
Efforts to halt the AIDS pandemic are succeeding, with new infections and deaths down and and nearly 16 million people worldwide being treated for HIV, says UNAIDS. "Today we can say we move from despair to hope," says Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS executive director.
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