Pam Rotella's Vegetarian FUN page -- News on health, nutrition, the environment, politics, and more!
Week of 22nd to 28th of November 2009
Note that stories and photos from this week -- starting with "Obamas� Uninvited Guests Prompt an Inquiry" and ending with "Hundreds of icebergs drifting toward New Zealand" -- went missing after November 28th and weren't discovered as gone until December 9th. (I searched for the Cudahy fire story and couldn't find it, and then searched my daily backups for the past links.) This could have been an error, but with the amount of care taken to ensure accuracy, it isn't likely. Because my web site is generated from stored copies local to my computer and not online revisions, this means that documents stored on my computer may have been altered through the internet. You can take a look at the news articles in that group and decide for yourselves which ones they didn't want you to see.
If you notice any other stories disappearing from this web site (keeping in mind that weeks older than a few weeks may be archived), please send me an e-mail! - Thanks, PR
44.1mn Americans will become diabetic by 2034 [WRH]
The number of Americans living with diabetes will nearly double, from 23.7 million in 2009 to 44.1 million in 2034, say researchers.
Consequently, spending on diabetes will almost triple, rising from $113 billion to $336 billion, even with no increase in the prevalence of obesity, researchers at the University of Chicago reported.
"If we don't change our diet and exercise habits or find new, more effective and less expensive ways to prevent and treat diabetes, we will find ourselves in a lot of trouble as a population," said Elbert Huang, who led the study.
The new estimates are far more rigorous, and more troubling, than previous predictions, said Huang, who is assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago (U-C).
A 1991 study stated that the number of Americans with diabetes would double, from 6.5 million in 1987 to 11.6 million by 2030, which, as it turns out, is less than half the number of cases in 2009.
"These projections stress the importance of prevention and education," the authors declare. "The requisite change in life style, exercise, or nutrition habits will be more difficult than if a drug is developed for treatment."
PAM COMMENTARY: It's naive to think that ONLY diet and exercise are involved. There are many factors that could contribute to diabetes, including a high-cholesterol diet, lack of trace minerals, and radiation exposure. Diet and obesity often are a big part of it, but there are plenty of people with poor dietary habits and obesity who DON'T become diabetic.
Obamas� Uninvited Guests Prompt an Inquiry
Their counsel, Paul W. Gardner, �states emphatically that the Salahis did not �crash� this event,� the statement said. �We look forward to setting the record straight very soon.�
Mr. Gardner, an entertainment lawyer, did not respond to a message left at his Baltimore office.
Brian Williams, the anchor of �NBC Nightly News� and a guest at the dinner, saw the Salahis arrive when he was waiting in a line of cars to enter the East Gate of the White House. In interviews broadcast on NBC on Thursday, Mr. Williams said the couple�s vehicle was turned away, adding, �Actually the first ring of Secret Service security had worked.�
�After their vehicle was turned away, they hopped out,� Mr. Williams said. �What attracted our attention was there was at least one camera trailing them. And a makeup woman got out and fixed the woman�s hair and then started powdering the man�s forehead.�
The Salahis apparently then joined a line of dinner guests at an entrance for pedestrians. What happened at checkpoints at that entrance is the focus of the Secret Service investigation.
Not two hours after the party, Mrs. Salahi had on her Facebook page a dozen photos of her and her husband with Washington�s social elite.
PAM COMMENTARY: As far as I'm concerned, no one was hurt and it's just a personnel issue. Now the mainstream press is trying to hype this, and will probably demand that even more of our civil rights be violated to remedy a simple employee error.
Inquiry uncovers 80 new cases of child abuse by Catholic priests [WRH]
Eighty files are to be sent to the Republic's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) by a garda team investigating fresh complaints of clerical child abuse.
The complaints were made after publication in May of the Ryan report, which detailed horrific physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by members of religious orders.
The revelation comes as gardai turn their attention to investigating priests in the Dublin Archdiocese who are the subject of the Murphy report, which was published this week.
Bishops who served in the Dublin Archdiocese while children were being sexually abused were desperately resisting calls for their resignations last night.
Tiger Woods Injured In Car Accident (PHOTOS)
UPDATE, 7:23 PM: A source familiar with the situation tells the Huffington Post that Woods and his wife were arguing about his alleged affair prior to the accident.
UPDATE, 7:18 PM: SportsByBrooks has posted additional photos of Rachel Uchitel, Tiger Woods' alleged mistress.
PAM COMMENTARY: For some reason the Huff Post is following this story in great detail.
Body of trapped Utah spelunker won't be recovered
SPANISH FORK, Utah (AP) � A Utah cave's narrow crevice that trapped and eventually killed a medical student will become his final resting place, and the dangerous cavern will be permanently sealed.
State and county officials said Friday that any effort to recover the body of 26-year-old John Jones from the cramped passage would be too dangerous.
Jones, of Stansbury Park, died just before midnight Wednesday � about 28 hours after getting wedged in a tight, unmapped passage with his head at an angle below his feet. Workers had tried feverishly to free him from the shaft about 100 feet below the surface and about 400 feet from the cave's entrance.
PAM COMMENTARY: Everyone knows I love caves, but I don't do the dangerous stuff. I stick to show caves, with lit walkways and tour guides.
Amy Goodman Gets Brilliant Story Idea from Canadian Border Guards [AJ]
On Wednesday night, American Journalist Amy Goodman, host of the independent radio show, Democracy Now, was crossing into Canada. She was scheduled to speak in Vancouver and Victoria, while on a tour promoting her new book Breaking the Sound Barrier, on the subjects of Iraq, Afghanistan, Medicare, and global warming � all sensitive issues that might make a patriotic border guard give pause.
So when Goodman told the border guards why she was coming to Canada, she was asked to pull over, brought inside and questioned for an hour and a half. Known for being bold and forthright, she was honest about the subject matter she'd be covering. When she said she'd be discussing Afghanistan, they said �What else?�
PAM COMMENTARY: Mess with Amy Goodman at your own risk. She may not have an audience quite as large as a major network, but she DOES have an international news organization listened to by an educated, active, and often powerful audience. Time for another flashback...
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) Condemns Police Intimidation of Journalists (FLASHBACK) [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: It was Minneapolis police, by the way, who arrested us, even though we�re here in St. Paul. Why is that?
REP. KEITH ELLISON: Well, because they brought in probably a number of jurisdictions to help their complement of officers who would try to do policing activity here for the RNC. So I wouldn�t be surprised if they have other jurisdictions besides Minneapolis. Might have a number of suburban districts and maybe even some from further away than that.
AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, National Guard.
REP. KEITH ELLISON: Yeah, no doubt about that. Secret Service.
AMY GOODMAN: And is there a fusion center here in the Twin Cities?
REP. KEITH ELLISON: You mean, a coordinating center? Yeah, I�m quite certain there is. I can�t give you details on that, because, quite frankly, I thought that it was going to be a relatively routine situation. But when you see some of the footage that I saw, it was anything but routine. It looked quite extraordinary, to tell you the truth.
And when you hear about journalists getting arrested, it�s very disturbing. I mean, the news gatherers�how can the people know, if they don�t have news gatherers to gather the news and show them? But when those folks are being intimidated and even roughed up, it�s pretty�it actually is a threat to democracy and the First Amendment.
AMY GOODMAN: Right, we don�t know if the Associated Press photographers have gotten out, if the Pepperspray videographers have gotten out. Even the New York Post guy, we don�t know what happened to him at this moment. And, of course, there are many, many people who are on the streets who get rounded up just by virtue of being there. When they move in with such a fast pincer move from all corners and surround a block�this was basically a parking lot�there is nowhere to go.
REP. KEITH ELLISON: Right. There�s nowhere to go. And, of course, they know that, as well. It�s not like they haven�t mapped out the whole area and don�t know exactly what forces are moving in which directions. They do know. And, of course, it�s pretty clear that Nicole and Sharif were making their status as press widely known, and it was easy to hear it; you know, clearly on the tape, it was easy to hear. So that�s pretty disturbing to me, and I�m actually pretty upset about it.
AMY GOODMAN: So you weighed in last night as they were in jail. You called the police commissioner.
REP. KEITH ELLISON: I called and let them�just provided the information. You know, this is who you have. This is the deal, stuff like that. So, you know, I just think it�s important to make sure that when journalists are trying to do their work, that they are allowed to do it.
PAM COMMENTARY: That's right, when Amy Goodman and her producers were put in jail for trying to cover the RNC, it was a US CONGRESSMAN who helped to get them out. A lot of Congressmen and other high-ranking government officials listen to her show daily. Notice that other journalists from mainstream news organizations still had their whereabouts unknown, but AMY GOODMAN was already out of jail and broadcasting.
Second brother sentenced in Cudahy fire (October)
Police say former Marine Joshua Popp provided the military-grade flare, which Kurtis Popp launched as the two were celebrating the Fourth of July.
The flare landed on the roof of the Patrick Cudahy plant, causing a fire that lasted for days and forced the evacuation of hundreds of Cudahy residents. Most of the plant's 1,800 employees were idled, and the fire caused more than $50 million in damage.
No one was injured by the fire.
Cimpl rejected an argument by Kurtis Popp's attorney, Julius Kim, who said his client was less culpable than Joshua Popp because he had no military training and did not comprehend the flare's potential danger.
Cimpl said Kurtis Popp should have recognized the recklessness of launching a military-grade flare in a residential neighborhood.
"What you are being sentenced for," Cimpl told Popp, "is being stupid."
PAM COMMENTARY: Sorry I didn't post this sooner -- actually happened about a month ago.
Obese air passenger in economy seat has picture taken [R]
The picture, posted on an aviation blog, was reportedly taken by a flight attendant to illustrate to airline managers the difficulty of dealing with passengers who cannot fit into seats.
It is unclear if the man was aware his picture was being taken or whether the flight, on US carrier American Airlines, took off with the passenger spilling out of his seat.
Airlines already offer extended seatbelts to larger passengers to comply with safety rules but a number of carriers now insist obese customers buy an extra seat.
PAM COMMENTARY: No matter what the problem, the answer is always paying more money somehow.
Hundreds of icebergs drifting toward New Zealand [WRH]
The alert comes three years after cold weather and favorable ocean currents brought dozens of icebergs to within 25 km (15.5 miles) of New Zealand's southern coast for the first time since 1931.
�Measuring up to 200 meters (650 feet) across and 30 yards (meters) tall, the icebergs are part of a "flotilla" of icebergs that can be seen on satellite images, said Australian glaciologist Neal Young.
�It is rare for whole icebergs to drift so far north before melting,� said this article on Yahoo, "but a cold snap around southern New Zealand and favorable ocean currents have again combined to push the towering visitors to the region intact.�
Blackwater�s Secret War in Pakistan: Jeremy Scahill Reveals Private Military Firm Operating in Pakistan Under Covert Assassination and Kidnapping Program [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill, talk about who Blackwater is working for, or working with in Pakistan. Of course, Pakistan a country the United States has not declared war on.
JEREMY SCAHILL: Right. One interesting thing that happened in the course of this story, I talked to a former Blackwater executive that is familiar with Blackwater�s operations in the region. And when I asked them to confirm for me what the military intelligence sources said, namely that the Blackwater guys are not doing the actual killing in Pakistan, he told �That is not entirely accurate,� then proceeded to tell me about an arrangement that Blackwater had made with a Pakistani company called Kestral, that is headed by a man named Ali Bagg. The Blackwater executive told me, that Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, is close with the owner of this Pakistan firm that is sort of like a Blackwater and logistical firm wrapped up into one. This is a company the works for Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and Pakistan the government and does a very robust business in war contracting and servicing the war in Afghanistan as well.
And my understanding is that Blackwater is working for this company on a subcontract in a configuration that has Blackwater operatives going out technically as advisers with these paramilitary style forces from this company, and that they are doing as you said in the intro, border interdictions in the Northwest frontier province and elsewhere and the former Blackwater executive told me the line often gets blurred and that you do have Blackwater guys and other westerners that act the participate in operations that are the portrayed in the international media as Pakistan forces carrying them out.
And the agency that Blackwater forces are supporting is a federal paramilitary force in Pakistan that�s under the Ministry of the Interior there, called the Frontier Corp. The military intelligence official confirmed the Blackwater executives account ,or at least the specific allegation that Blackwater is working with the Frontier Corps. The benefit of this is it allows the Pakistani government to say, �We�re not using any Western forces to do these things,� because the technicality is that there subcontracted by a Pakistani firm that is working with the official Pakistan forces.
�Almost all the camping grounds within 100 miles of Los Angeles are now filled with people living in them.� [AJ]
There were not many people packed in to the Los Angeles "town hall" meeting who had heard of the foreign woman with the unfamiliar title who had come to listen to their tales of plight. But many took it as a good sign that she had worried the last American government enough for it to keep her out of the country.
Deanne Weakly was among the first to the microphone. The 51-year-old estate agent told how a couple of years ago she was pulling in $80,000 (�48,000) a year from commissions selling homes in LA's booming property market.
When the bottom fell out of the business with the foreclosure crisis, she lost her own house and ended up living on the streets in a city with more homeless than any other in America. She was sexually assaulted, harassed by the police and in despair.
She turned to the city and California state governments for help. "No one wanted to listen. They blame you for being homeless in the first place," she said.
Others followed, recounting in English or Spanish, sometimes Korean, their personal crises. Some shouted their anger, others laboriously recounted details of losing homes, families forced into overcrowded shelters, life on the streets.
The United Nations special rapporteur, Raquel Rolnik, listened to it all patiently, occasionally taking notes, nodding encouragement.
White House crashers named in 16 civil suits
Washington (CNN) -- The Virginia couple accused of crashing President Obama's first White House state dinner on Tuesday are named in at least 16 different civil suits in Fauquier County, sometimes as plaintiffs, sometimes as defendants.
A trawl through court records on Thursday revealed a more complete picture of Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who have left an extensive paper trail in federal bankruptcy and state court filings.
The couple was spotted rubbing elbows with the likes of Vice President Joe Biden and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at Tuesday's dinner, but the Secret Service says they were not invited.
A Secret Service checkpoint "did not follow proper procedures" to determine if the two were on the guest list, said Edwin M. Donovan, a Secret Service special agent, in a statement.
Exclusive: Secret Service at Oasis Winery in search for Salahi�s
Warren County Report has confirmed that U.S. Secret Service agents were at Oasis Winery less than one hour ago looking for Tareq and Michaele Salahi to question them about their uninvited appearance at Tuesday�s White House State Dinner.
According to Oasis Winery manager Diane Weiss, two SUV�s were waiting near the entrance gate when Weiss arrived to open the winery at about 11am today for tastings.
Weiss said one SUV was at the entrance and the other was further up the road.
When Weiss arrived, two agents�one male and one female�said they wished to speak with Tareq and Michaele Salahi. Weiss said she told the agents that they did not live there and hadn�t since 2006. The agents asked why they had a mailbox there. Weiss explained that it is an ongoing issue and that they do receive mail and list Oasis Winery as their home address on their driver�s license but actually reside in a house in Linden.
Some spending strength seen in early Black Friday reports
Shoppers began storming stores and websites on Thanksgiving, and the throngs continued through Black Friday, according to retailers and website traffic-tracking companies.
While there were no reports of significant problems like those that marred Black Friday last year -- including a death at a Walmart -- the day wasn't without angst for shoppers and retailers.
A post-Thanksgiving message from Pam: OK people, I saw your crazy driving today! Stop that traffic weaving! No cutting people off! Getting to the store 2 minutes faster isn't worth killing yourself or someone else, or even the hours wasted dealing with your insurance company after a small fender bender. You think it's fun being in an accident? You'd slow down if you knew what it was like to have injuries to deal with for years to come!
Merck's Vioxx scandal widens: Drug maker knew Vioxx was deadly for years before risk was made public (opinion) [AJ]
The Vioxx scandal widened this week as new research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that Vioxx maker Merck held data for three years that proved Vioxx caused an alarming increase in the risk of heart attacks and strokes. And yet Merck chose not to release that data. In fact, it took three more years of patients dying from heart attacks before Vioxx was pulled off the market, and even then, Merck insisted the drug was not dangerous.
This new study was based on a meta-analysis of several unpublished studies that Merck obviously didn�t want to see published in medical journals. Drug companies routinely engage in this subterfuge: They cherry-pick which studies they want published while burying the rest. They also choose which studies to forward to the FDA, all while claiming the whole charade is based on �evidence-based medicine.�
It is, sort of. If you add the word �selective� in front of the phrase, making it: �Selective evidence-based medicine.�
So how were the authors of this new study able to find these unpublished studies that Merck would much prefer remained hidden? They were disclosed in court proceedings against Merck. So many people were harmed by Vioxx, you see, that some of them decided to sue. And in that legal process, many �secret� studies were revealed. Some smart-minded researchers decided to analyze the data in those studies and that�s what reveals Merck knew Vioxx raised the risk of heart-related side effects by 35 percent and yet did nothing to warn the public about those risks.
In essence, these documents prove that Merck knowingly and maliciously allowed a deadly drug to continue to be sold to patients for years. It�s a clear case of profits before patients from a drug company mired in one scandal after another. (Merck is also the maker of Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine.)
Polanski could be out of jail in coming days; Swiss justice minister sees �no reason� to appeal court�s bail approval
The court last month rejected Polanski's first bail offer of his Gstaad chalet as collateral, which the director claimed made up more than half of his personal wealth and would definitely guard against his flight because he has two children he must support through school.
The court demanded cash instead, and this time looked favorably on Polanski's offer of a bank guarantee and the threat of sacrificing his family's home if he fled justice.
"Cash is king," said Peter Cosandey, a former Zurich prosecutor. Still, he said he could "hardly remember a case where bail is granted to someone who isn't even a full-time Swiss resident." A decision on extraditing Polanski to Los Angeles is still pending, and would also be subject to appeals.
Polanski was accused of raping the 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and a Quaalude pill during a modeling shoot in 1977. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy.
Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. The evaluator release Polanski after 42 days, but the judge said he was going to send him back to serve out the 90 days.
Polanski then fled the country on Feb. 1, 1978, the day he was to be sentenced and has lived in France since.
Winfrey gives an 'O, yes!' to kinky new TV sex-fest [R]
Oprah Winfrey's getting her kink on with a steamy new cable series about a sexually curious LA housewife.
TV's touchy-feely daytime queen will get down and dirty with the HBO series, which revolves around a married woman who suddenly leaves her husband and kids to act out her secret fantasies in LA's seamy underbelly, according to Variety.
The news comes just days after Winfrey announced she's leaving her top-rated "Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011 after 25 years to focus on her new cable network -- and endeavors like this one, taking her far afield from her goody-goody daytime image.
Eating 30 percent less meat good for health, planet [BF]
LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters Life!) - Cutting meat production and consumption by 30 percent would help to reduce carbon emissions and improve health in the most meat-loving nations, scientists said on Wednesday.
Using prediction models, British and Australian researchers found that improving efficiency, increasing carbon capture and reducing fossil fuel dependence in farming would not be enough to meet emissions targets.
But combining these steps with a 30 percent reduction in livestock production in major meat-producing nations and a similar cut in meat-eating, would lead to "substantial population health benefits" and cut emissions, they said.
The study found that in Britain, a 30 percent lower intake of animal-source saturated fat by adults would reduce the number of premature deaths from heart disease by some 17 percent -- equivalent to 18,000 premature deaths averted in one year.
Toyota to replace gas pedals on 3.8 million recalled vehicles [R]
WASHINGTON - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it will replace accelerator pedals on 3.8 million recalled vehicles in the United States to address problems with the pedals becoming jammed in the floor mat.
Toyota, the world's largest automaker, announced the massive recall in late September and told owners to remove the driver's side floor mats to prevent the gas pedal from potentially becoming jammed.
A Toyota Canada spokeswoman said at the time the move was a precautionary measure.
The company said Wednesday that Toyota will have dealers shorten the length of the gas pedals beginning in January while the company develops replacement pedals for their vehicles.
New pedals will be available beginning in April, and some vehicles will have brake override systems installed as a precaution.
570,000 pager messages from 9/11 released; Activist group is publishing texts, many of them from government officials
The New York police and fire departments said they could not confirm that the messages were actual department communications. But a pager company, USA Mobility, said it was troubled to learn that messages appear to have been intercepted.
Many of the messages are completely unrelated to the Sept. 11 attacks, but others are clearly from people at the scene, responding or trying to contact people at the World Trade Center. Examples include:
8:53:44 AM: "NYPD Ops Div" <|1 PCT WORLD TRADE CENTER|--- 1 PCT - WORLD TRADE CENTER - POSSIBLE EXPLOSION WORLD TRADE CENTER BUILDING. LEVEL 3 MOBILIZATION TO CHURCH AND VESSY.
Why Canned Soups Can Be Dangerous to Your Health [R]
The food processing world is reeling right now one day after a shocking new series of tests released by Consumer Reports revealed that many leading brands of canned foods contain Bisphenol A (BPA)�a toxic chemical linked to health risks including reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.
BPA is used in the lining of cans and the toxin leaches from the lining into the food. According to Consumer Reports just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed scientific limits on daily exposure for children.
Insurance price-fixing [BF]
Once the antitrust exemption is repealed and cases are brought, change comes. The legal process of discovery, subpoena of documents and questioning of insurance executives in depositions and court testimony under oath will reveal why premiums are so high and why so many consumers suffer monopoly-style abuse.
When evidence in antitrust cases is made public, the voter outrage will be so immense that the pending public option will be mild compared to the consumer protections voters will demand.
The healthcare bill will have little impact for years. Repealing the antitrust exemption will have impact within weeks on companies that continue aggressive premium increases.
Police: Facebook site may have led to beating of 12-year-old
The redheaded boy was beaten up by a group of seventh and eighth graders at A.E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas in two separate incidents Friday, according to a statement released Sunday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
A Facebook page stating that Friday was "Kick a Ginger Day," referring to redheads and possibly inspired by an episode of the "South Park" series, may have sparked the injuries at the middle school, authorities said.
China executes 2 over tainted milk scandal; Scam by dairy farmer, salesman left 6 children dead, sickened 300,000
BEIJING - China executed a dairy farmer and a milk salesman Tuesday, the only two people sentenced to death in a scheme to water down infant formula with an industrial chemical that left at least six children dead and sickened more than 300,000.
The contamination of the milk powder with melamine was one of China's worst-ever food safety scandals, and Beijing is eager to prove it has responded swiftly and comprehensively to eliminate the problem � one in a string of food safety scares. When the scandal came to light in September 2008, there were accusations that the government had prevented the news from breaking until after the Olympic Games in Beijing ended.
Dairy farmers and the middlemen involved in the scam conspired to increase profits by watering down milk and milk products before they sold it, fooling inspectors testing for protein content by adding melamine � used in the manufacture of plastics and fertilizers. Melamine, like protein, is high in nitrogen.
USDA: States Struggle to Administer Food Stamps
Several states have run the program in a way that is ''problematic and resulted in a more complex and difficult enrollment process,'' the department said in a letter to state administrators dated Nov. 20 and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. The letter, signed by Kevin Concannon, the department's undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, says practices in those states ''have not served our clients or our taxpayers well.''
The letter comes as the department released an annual report on food stamp enrollment and eligibility showing that just 18 states enrolled 70 percent or more of those eligible for food stamps in 2007, the time period covered by the report. Dozens of states failed to reach some of the country's most needy citizens, the report stated.
Food stamp programs ''are essential to good nutrition and well-being, especially in tough economic times,'' Concannon said in a statement commenting on the report.
Two states -- Wyoming and California -- had fewer than 50 percent of those eligible enrolled to receive food stamps. Many of the states that struggled were among the most populous, including New York, where 61 percent of eligible citizens participated; Florida, where 57 percent participated; and Texas, where 55 percent were enrolled.
The most successful state was Missouri, where nearly 100 percent of those eligible received government aid. Maine, Michigan, Tennessee and Oregon also had participation rates of 87 percent or higher.
Still, the department's letter was a sharp rejoinder to states with high numbers of eligible citizens and low participation rates. It specifically criticized states where private firms, rather than state workers, processed enrollment.
''We believe that the outsourcing of key ... processing duties to for-profit organizations is an unwise use of state and federal resources that undermines program accountability,'' Concannon wrote.
FBI searches for detective who worked on Madeleine McCann case
However, Halligen is now wanted by the FBI following an indictment issued by US authorities in connection with allegations that he defrauded a London law firm of money that was supposed to be used to lobby for the release of two executives from the Dutch company Trafigura, arrested in the Ivory Coast.
He is accused of using the money to buy a mansion in Great Falls, Virginia, that sources close to the McCanns believe may also have been funded by money intended to be spent on efforts to find Madeleine.
Michael Jackson Moonwalk glove auctioned for $350,000
Prices for Michael Jackson memorabilia now outstrip those for items belonging to Elvis or Marilyn Monroe, he added.
"It's a tribute to his life and career - he's truly an amazing artist," said Mr Julien.
The glove was bought by Hong Kong businessman Hoffman Ma on behalf of a hotel in Macau China, where it will now go on display.
Including taxes and fees, the final amount paid was $420,000.
Three Mile Island radiation leak investigated
(CNN) -- Authorities at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear plant were investigating what caused a weekend radiation leak that resulted in 150 workers being sent home, officials said Sunday.
An airborne radiological contamination alarm sounded about 4 p.m. Saturday in the Unit 1 containment building, according to a statement from Exelon Nuclear, which operates the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania. The unit had been shut down since October 26 for refueling, maintenance and steam generator replacement, the company said.
"A monitor at the temporary opening cut into the containment building wall to allow the new steam generators to be moved inside showed a slight increase in a reading and then returned to normal," the company said. "Two other monitors displayed normal readings."
Three Mile Island was the scene of the worst U.S. nuclear accident, a partial meltdown in 1979 that resulted in the plant's second reactor being shut down permanently.
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Sources (if found on major news boards):
[AJ] - InfoWars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, or other Alex Jones-affiliated sites
[BF] - BuzzFlash.com
[DN] - DemocracyNow.org
[R] - Rense.com
[WRH] - WhatReallyHappened.com