First Exoplanet Found around Sun-like Star

Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet orbiting a star much like the Sun, the European Southern Observatory (ESO), located in Chile’s northern desert, said on Wednesday.

Three planets orbiting stars have been discovered in the cluster Messier 67, which contains about 500 stars. The cluster lies about 2,500 light years away in the constellation of Cancer, where one of the planets orbits a star very similar to our Sun, the ESO said in a statement.

english.cri.cn

Climate change expert’s fraud was ‘crime of massive proportion,’ say feds

NBC News National Investigative Correspondent
The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.

John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his lies were a “crime of massive proportion” that were “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA.

Beale’s lawyer, while acknowledging his guilt, has asked for leniency and offered a psychological explanation for the climate expert’s bizarre tales.

nbcnews.com

BP oil spill claims system shut down

A federal appeals court has halted BP settlement payments for oil spill damages to businesses “whose injuries are not traceable to the spill.”
The ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals basically instituted a stay on payments by Patrick Juneau, the court-appointed settlement claims administrator, and follows many legal maneuvers by BP to change the way claims are being paid.
Area businesses with claims totaling millions of dollars face a six- to 12-month delay in payment, said Kevin McLean, a Tampa lawyer specializing in handling BP claims.

http://www.bizjournals.com

Is Obamacare on the rebound? Media turn to positive stories.

Bit by bit, the media narrative around the travails of Obamacare and its main enrollment vehicle, HealthCare.gov, is starting to look up. Or to put it more precisely, it is no longer so crushingly negative.

After weeks of stories about website crashes and canceled health plans – and an extraordinary mea culpa from President Obama – a competing story line is starting to emerge. Slowly but surely, people are navigating the exchanges and getting insurance – for some, cheaper and better than what they had. Last week, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times touted a “surge” in enrollment figures, especially in states that have their own exchanges.

This week, a Washington Post story described almost an Obamacare nirvana – people in rural Kentucky lining up and getting coverage, some for the first time in their lives.

RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about health-care reform? Take our quiz!

http://www.csmonitor.com

Almost 80 million with employer health care plans could have coverage canceled, experts predict

Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, several experts predicted.

Their losses would be in addition to the millions who found their individual coverage cancelled for the same reason.

Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute said that in addition to the individual cancellations, “at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans as well.” There are approximately 157 million employer health care policy holders.

Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute added, “the administration estimated that approximately 78 million Americans with employer sponsored insurance would lose their existing coverage due to the Affordable Care Act.”

Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

nypost.com

Medicare paid millions to dead patients, illegal immigrants, probe finds

Medicare paid $23 million for dead patients in 2011 and $29 million for drug benefits for illegal immigrants from 2009 to 2011, according to a report Thursday from the Health and Human Services inspector general.
The investigators said Medicare has safeguards to try to stop payments to dead patients, but it still ended up sending out the $23 million anyway.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/31/medicare-paid-millions-dead-patients-illegals/#ixzz2jJrrivqt
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

‘I Don’t Work For’ People Who Want Me to Resign… “This Bitch”

Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded moments ago to questions about whether she will resign in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s problematic rollout. Her response is raising some eyebrows.

“My goal is to actually get the website up and running,” she told reporters. “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”

A group of 33 House Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama calling for her resignation. ”The scope of the problem is so great that, were this a private company or military command, the CEO or general would have been fired,” they wrote. “We are, therefore, calling on you to hold Secretary Sebelius accountable for the fiasco that is HealthCare.gov and ask for her resignation.”

www.nationalreview.com