Archive for October, 2009

Afghans generally upbeat, survey finds

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27 (UPI) — A survey of the national sentiment of citizens across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan finds most feel their situation and the country are improving.

The Asia Foundation, a U.S-based think tank with offices in Kabul, surveyed more than 6,000 Afghan adults chosen by a random sample from June 17 to July 6.

The 231-page report on the results of the survey finds 42 percent of the respondents felt the country was headed in the right direction. In 2004, that sentiment was held by 64 percent of the population, though that level dropped to 38 percent in 2008.

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The labor-backed Working Families Party has engaged in “an audacious scheme to violate the law” to help the party’s favored political candidates get elected, a sweeping new lawsuit charges.

The first-of-its-kind suit says the WFP created a political outfit, Data and Field Services, that it is using to “circumvent state election and local campaign finance laws.”

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Corruption from top to bottom:

The government’s legal aid program for the poor has agreed to recover taxpayer money that it spent inappropriately on a decorative Italian-stone wall, but lawmakers in Congress are now pressing for an investigation into new whistle blower concerns about the program.

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Newswise — A Complaint filed October 22, 2009 in Federal District Court in Tampa, Florida alleges that Bank of America was at the center of yet another Ponzi scheme. The operator of this scheme, 27 year-old Beau Diamond, defrauded hundreds of investors from Florida and around the country of at least $37 million. He claimed to be an experienced trader in off exchange foreign currencies. In truth, he had no such experience and was not registered to sell securities or trade foreign currencies for others.

via Bank of America Implicated in a Fourth Ponzi Scheme – Mozilla Firefox.

An estimated $40 billion tax on the medical device industry, proposed in the health system reform bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee Oct. 13, would result in a doubling of the tax burden already faced by these companies and would likely contribute to a growth in overall health costs. That’s according to a new analysis released by the Advanced Medical Technology Assn., a device company trade group based in Washington, D.C.

The analysis, released by AdvaMed on Sept. 30, concludes that the tax will divert economic resources away from the medical device industry and likely result in its contraction, which would have detrimental effects on the output of innovative technologies.

On Sept. 16, Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D, Mont.) introduced his version of a health system reform bill, and language proposing the 10-year tax on the medical device industry stayed in the final bill passed by the committee.

“These disturbing findings reaffirm that the $40 billion tax on medical devices over the next decade is neither sound health policy nor tax policy, will result in higher costs for patients and will cost jobs in this sector,” said Stephen J. Ubl, AdvaMed’s president and CEO. “We urge Congress to reject the $40 billion tax.”

This tax includes such frivolous luxuries as pacemakers, stents, artificial heart valves, defibrillators, automated wheelchairs, mechanized artificial limbs, replacement hips and knees, surgical gurneys, laparoscopic equipment, and the like.

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