Home News Roundup News Roundup: January 3, 2014

News Roundup: January 3, 2014

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Alaska News

Governor Sean Parnell’s decision to reject the federal Medicaid expansion means there is no relief coming for the chronically underfunded Alaska Tribal Health System. The 17,500 Native Alaskans who could have become eligible for Medicaid would have offered a major boost to the system, which gets over 50% of its funding from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance programs.

The Anchorage Assembly has reduced the amount of time that dogs are permitted to bark before it becomes a violation of municipal law.

Doctors say not enough Alaskans are getting flu shots – and as a result nearly 200 cases of swine flu have already been reported this season.

Over 16,000 credit and debit card numbers belonging to Alaskans were included in Target’s data breach. Local banks and credit unions are working hard to get replacements out to affected customers.

Era Alaska, an Anchorage-based collection of airlines, is changing its name to “Ravn Alaska.” The company claims that the name change has nothing to do with the November crash that killed four people near St. Mary’s.

Alaska has been chosen as a testing ground for exploring the integration of drones into the US airspace.

 

Federal News

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a merger between the two largest “death care” companies in the country, Service Corporation International and Stewart Enterprises. The new company will own approximately 1,613 funeral homes, 477 cemeteries, and 100 crematories.

A U.S. District Court judge in New York has upheld the government’s right to search electronic devices at border crossings without reasonable suspicion. This contradicts a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision from March 2013, where the court (which covers Alaska and other Western states) found that the government does require reasonable suspicion to perform such a search.

A new poll found that Americans have very little faith in the federal government, and 70% seriously doubt its ability to make progress in the coming year.

 

International News

All 52 passengers have been rescued from the Akademik Shokalskiy, a Russian research vessel that became stranded in Antarctica on December 24th. The ship’s 20 crew members stayed on board to continue work on escaping the ice.

In stark contrast to U.S. policy, the Israeli government has announced that its national health system will cover abortion services for women ages 18-33 starting this year, and hopes to expand its coverage to include all women in the future.

 

On the Internet

The usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchat users in the US and Canada were leaked through a security breach last week.

If you’re worried about a Sriracha shortage, the LA Times shared a recipe for a homemade version.