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Adding a baby to health plan not easy
Written by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press   
Friday, 03 January 2014 07:09

WASHINGTON (AP) β€” There's another quirk in the Obama administration's new health insurance system: It lacks a way for consumers to quickly and easily update their coverage for the birth of a baby and other common life changes.

With regular private insurance, parents just notify the health plan. Insurers will still cover new babies, the administration says, but parents will also have to contact the government at some point later on.

Right now the HealthCare.gov website can't handle such updates.

It's a reminder that the new coverage for many uninsured Americans comes with a third party in the mix: the feds. And the system's wiring for some vital federal functions isn't yet fully connected.

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Florida population on verge of surpassing New York State's
Written by MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press   
Friday, 03 January 2014 07:08

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) β€” Sometime this year, Florida will surpass New York in population, becoming the nation's third-most populous state, and sun-seeking seniors are not driving the growth.

The milestone is validation of the sometimes messy but increasing influence of the Sunshine State as it approaches being home to 20 million residents at a time that historians may one day say was pivotal in the country's history. Once Florida passes New York, only California and Texas will have more residents.

"Florida is kind of an icon of the 21st century in terms of the shifting population and the growing role Latin America is playing in transforming the country," said James Johnson, a business professor at the University of North Carolina. "I think it's going to be for the 21st century what California or New York was for the 20th century."

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'Breaking Bad' winner arrested on drug charges
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 02 January 2014 14:28

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) β€” Authorities say a Florida man who won a raffle to watch the series finale of AMC's "Breaking Bad" with the cast has been charged with running a drug distribution operation.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office reports that Ryan Lee Carroll sold synthetic marijuana and shipped it across the U.S. from his Fort Myers home with two other men. He was arrested on New Year's Eve.

Authorities seized more than $1 million in synthetic marijuana during the bust.

According to deputies, the suspects used a cement mixer to create the drugs. The drugs were shipped through the U.S. Postal Service.

Investigators also seized a souvenir Hazmat suit signed by "Breaking Bad" cast members. The TV show follows a former high school teacher who produces and sells meth with a previous student.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford files to run again
Written by CHARMAINE NORONHA, Associated Press   
Thursday, 02 January 2014 14:37

TORONTO (AP) β€” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has put his name on the ballot to run for another term, defying repeated calls for him to step down after admitting he smoked crack "in a drunken stupor."

Ford was the first candidate to show up at City Hall when registration opened Thursday for the city's municipal election Oct. 27.

He promised "Ford more years," the Toronto Star reported. He also called himself "the best mayor this city has ever had."

"If you want to get personal, that's fine," Ford told reporters, according to the Star. "I'm sticking to my record, and talk is cheap. You're going to see action like you've never seen before."

He was more restrained on Twitter, tweeting a photo of himself signing up to run again and saying simply, "Just filed my paperwork for the 2014 election. Vote on October 27th."

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All 52 passengers rescued from icebound Antarctic ship
Written by ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press   
Thursday, 02 January 2014 09:36
Antarctica_Pool_rotator
In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, passengers from the trapped Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy, seen at right, prepare to board the Chinese helicopter Xueying 12 in the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) β€” A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday.

The Chinese helicopter carried the scientists and tourists from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy in groups of 12 to an Australian icebreaker, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre, which oversaw the rescue. The Aurora Australis will now take the passengers to the Australian island state of Tasmania, a journey expected to last two weeks.

"I think everyone is relieved and excited to be going on to the Australian icebreaker and then home," expedition leader Chris Turney told The Associated Press by satellite phone from the Antarctic.

All 22 crew members stayed with the icebound vessel, which is not in danger of sinking and has weeks' worth of supplies on board. They will wait until the ice that surrounds the ship breaks up.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 January 2014 10:09
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