Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#HEADLINES: White House Allows DACA Extensions, Obama to Ease Student Debt, Iranian Support Nuclear Compromise, Wasserman Schultz Says Pot Proposal 'Too Broad', Qatar World Cup Scandal, Medicare to Cover Gender Confirmation Surgery, CA Voters Approve $600 Million for Homeless Vets

Jim Lo Scalzo / European Pressphoto Agency
White House allows young immigrants to extend deportation waivers -- Los Angeles Times
"More than half a million young immigrants who were granted temporary deportation waivers can apply for a two-year extension, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday, in what may be a template for more sweeping White House action before the midterm election.

"Under a program that President Obama announced in 2012, about 560,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as children have been granted temporary work permits and two-year deportation deferrals. The first permits will expire in September."


AP Photo
Obama Plans Steps to Ease Student Debt -- New York Times
"Mr. Obama's main action will be to expand on a 2010 law that capped borrowers' repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. The intent is to extend such relief to an estimated five million people with older loans who are currently ineligible — those who got loans before October 2007 or stopped borrowing by October 2011. But the relief would not be available until December 2015, officials said, given the time needed for the Education Department to propose and put new regulations into effect.

"Also, Mr. Obama will announce that the department will renegotiate contracts with companies that service federal loans to give them additional financial incentives to help borrowers avoid delinquency or default. The Education and Treasury Departments are to work with the nation's largest tax-preparation firms, H&R Block and Intuit Inc., to ensure that borrowers are aware of repayment options and tax credits for college tuition."


Majid Asgaripour / Mehr News Agency / Reuters
Bitten by sanctions, Iranians support nuclear compromise -- Reuters
"After years of tough sanctions over Iran's nuclear program, many in the country now say they want the government to make compromises that could satisfy world powers and allow a semblance of prosperity to return.

"Although many Iranians still fervently believe in their country's right to all aspects of a civilian nuclear program, including those regarded with suspicion in the West, they are increasingly tired of the high economic price.

"That weariness will form the backdrop on June 16 when Iran's political leaders send negotiators to Geneva for talks with six world powers aimed at hammering out an agreement that swaps concessions on uranium enrichment for sanctions relief."


Daniel Acker / Bloomberg
Wasserman Schultz says pot proposal 'too broad' -- Sun Sentinel
"'I have concerns that it is written too broadly and stops short of ensuring strong regulatory oversight from state officials,' she said. 'Other states have shown that lax oversight and ease of access to prescriptions can lead to abuse, fraud, and accidents. Also, given Florida's recent history in combating the epidemic of "pill mills" and dubious distinction as having among the highest incidents of fraud, I do not believe we should make it easier for those seeking to abuse the drug to have easy access to it.'

"Wasserman Schultz's opposition to the state constitutional amendment puts her squarely in the camp of Republicans, a position unusual for the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Indeed, the DNC is already distancing itself from its chairwoman's view. 'She was speaking as a mom and a member of Congress on her personal concerns on a local issue,' DNC press secretary Mike Czin said. 'The DNC has not taken an official position on this ballot initiative. We leave it to the good people of Florida to make that decision.'"


Rex
Qatar World Cup 2022 scandal: Bill Clinton's fury at vote triggered global search for truth -- Telegraph
"In March this year, The Telegraph disclosed that Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, and his family were paid almost £1.2million by a Qatari firm linked to the World Cup bid. This newspaper also revealed that the 10-year-old daughter of a Brazilian Fifa executive who participated in the 2010 decision had more than £2 million put into a savings account set up in her name.

"The Sunday Times has been given millions of leaked documents that appear to show a further £2 million in bribes that were paid to Fifa members in a plot allegedly organised by Mohamed Bin Hammam, Qatar’s most senior football official at the time.

"Mr Bin Hammam is alleged to have used ten secret slush funds to make dozens of payments, many of them to accounts controlled by the heads of 30 African football associations who could lobby the continent’s four executive members over how to vote."


Medicare Can Pay For Transgender Recipients' Gender Confirmation Surgeries: Feds -- Huffington Post
"Transgender people receiving Medicare may no longer be automatically denied coverage for sex reassignment surgeries, a U.S. Department of Health and Services review board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures as a medically necessary and effective treatment for individuals who do not identify with their biological sex.

"Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency's Departmental Appeals Board ruled that a three-decade-old HHS rule excluding such surgeries from the procedures covered by the national health program for the elderly and disabled was unjustified."


Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
California voters support plan to spend $600 million for homeless veterans -- Reuters
"California residents have voted for a plan to spend $600 million to build houses for homeless veterans in the state with the highest number of ex-servicemen without a roof in the United States.

"Under the plan backed by voters in a primary election on Tuesday, the state will sell bonds to build apartments and temporary shelters for qualifying veterans or those recovering from physical injuries or mental health issues.

"California has about 25 percent or 19,000 homeless veterans, according to the Coalition for Veterans Housing support group.

"With the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of those returning need housing, employment, and mental health and drug treatment."

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