Europe: With its current lending capacity (which is at about €266 billion considering commitments to Ireland, Portugal and Greece), the EFSF cannot meaningfully support the euro area’s large government bond markets. This limits the EFSF’s role as an important pillar of the euro area crisis management strategy.
Africa: But here is what else I saw. Periodically, the police would sweep through the cities confiscating all the goods hawkers were trying to sell. Hundreds at a time would lose everything they had, because they didn't have permits to sell their goods. Nor did the legal system recognize their property rights. It was not unheard of for governments to send in bulldozers and level entire villages because no land titles were held.
Throughout the continent, farmers were told they had to sell their produce to a central marketing board run by politicians or their families. Farmers would get paid at rates below the market price. The board would resell at full market value, keeping the difference for the politicians and their friends. Farmers who wanted to sell to others were often arrested for it. Many simply resorted to producing what they needed for their families -- nothing more.
Health madness: Results of the survey detail for the first time the negative impact of Medicare enforcement and regulations on patients' access to care. Some findings:
*More than three-fourths (82%) report increased fear of prosecution or investigation in the past 3 years;
* 71% report making changes in their practice to avoid threat of prosecution, including greatly restricting services, i.e. more than one-third (34%) of all respondents restrict services to Medicare patients, such as surgery.
*20% report they do not accept new Medicare patients because of hassles and/or threats from Medicare. (Only 16% cite fees)
*Almost one-fourth (23%) DO NOT accept new Medicare patients. Of those who do, 9% do so only under special circumstances;
*More than one-third (34%) have difficulty finding physicians willing to accept referrals of their Medicare patients;
[...]AAPS can match each of those with a case of an honest practitioner unfairly prosecuted for inadvertent mistakes or victimized because of inconsistent interpretation of coding regulations.
Edgardo Perez-DeLeon of Michigan. Mr. Perez-DeLeon, former office manager for his wife's internal medicine practice was convicted of 12 felony counts of Medicaid False Claims and Health Care False Claims Offenses.
His crime? He coded patient visits that did not involve a physical examination as "office visits." The coding was the closest match available consistent with recommended manuals; contrary to testimony by a government witness, a physical examination is not necessarily required on every occasion.
His punishment? One year in jail, while the family house was threatened with foreclosure and their children were sent back to Puerto Rico to live with family because they couldn't afford to support them. To this date, Mr. Perez-DeLeon has not been able to get a clarification of the official interpretation of "office visit."
Swine flu: The Finnish government and major insurance companies announced Wednesday they will pay for lifetime medical care for children diagnosed with narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine.
Terrorism/murder: American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior U.S. government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to U.S. officials.
Tax realities: The 10 percent of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Medicare madness (after FDA discussion):