The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi has set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun. Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and Vacca was shot in the head.
The number of Arkansas residents signing up for federal disability benefits has dropped 19 percent since October 2013, which some state officials are attributing to expanded Medicaid eligibility. First-time applicants decreased from 17,497 to 14,160 through Tuesday, according to the state’s Social Security determination agency. Nationwide, 8.4 million individuals receive Supplemental Security Income benefits. There has not, however, been an overall dip in SSI enrollments across the country.
Insurers can no longer reject customers with expensive medical conditions thanks to the health care overhaul, but there's still wiggle room for them to discourage the sickest and costliest patients from enrolling. Consumer advocates and industry insiders warn that insurers are using tactics like excluding well-known cancer hospitals or specialists to limit their coverage of the sick, which can make it difficult for the people who need insurance the most to find the right plan.
Gov. Bobby Jindal filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally manipulating federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards. The Department of Education has used a $4.3 billion grant program and federal policy waivers to encourage states to adopt uniform education standards and testing. The legal challenge puts Jindal, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, at the forefront of a dispute between conservatives and Obama, bolstering the governor's profile.
In an incredible piece by writer Ruth Conniff, the burgeoning private education industry is given a thorough scolding for its inability to deliver on promises made to students. Excess and wrongdoing call the character of all charter schools into question. In recent months there has been a flood of FBI raids on charter schools across the country and the unregulated nature of these schools is finally being openly debated by the public. What were once small operations are now cogs in a big business cartel complete with ALEC memberships for the largest players.
A New York Times piece (8/24/14) about Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager shot dead in Ferguson this month by police officer Darren Wilson, has been the subject of harsh criticism because of its declaration that Brown was "no angel." In the version that ran in today's print edition, the Times' John Eligon writes: