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Tags: Weather-Channel | Founder | Dismisses | Global-Warming | Hispanics Impact Moot in Midterms | Kerry Meets With the sultan of Brunei | Hassanal Bolkiah

Weather Channel Founder Dismisses Global Warming; Hispanics' Impact Moot in Midterms

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 02:44 AM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Few Hispanic Voters in Midterm Swing States
2. Kerry Meets With Ruler Who Enforces Shariah Punishments
3. Nearly Half of Doctors Give Obamacare Poor Grades
4. Fewer Than 1 in 5 Colleges Require a US History Course
5. Minister: Revoke Citizenship of Israeli Arabs in ISIS
6. Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming Science 'Not Valid'


1. Few Hispanic Voters in Midterm Swing States

A record number of Hispanics are eligible to vote in November's midterm elections, but their numbers will have less impact in states with the closest Senate races.

This year 25.2 million Hispanics are eligible to vote, up 3.9 million from the 2010 midterms.

Yet in eight states with close Senate races, an average of just 4.7 percent of eligible voters are Latinos, according to an analysis of Census Bureau figures by the Pew Research Center.

Hispanics make up less than 5 percent of eligible voters in six of the eight states, and only in Colorado does the Hispanic share exceed the national average of 10.7 percent.

"As a result, the impact of Latino voters in determining which party controls the U.S. Senate may not be as large as might be expected given their growing electoral and demographic presence nationwide," Pew noted.

In Kentucky, where Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is in a tight race with Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Hispanics comprise just 1.6 percent of eligible voters.

In Iowa, where most polls show a close race to fill an open Senate seat, Latinos are just 2.7 percent of voters.

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is fighting for re-election in Louisiana, where Hispanics account for only 2.8 percent of eligible voters.

In Arkansas, where Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor is in a tough battle with U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, just 2.9 percent of eligible voters are Hispanic.

Other close Senate races are in North Carolina, where 3.1 percent of eligible voters are Hispanic, Alaska (4.8 percent), Kansas (6 percent), and Colorado (14.2 percent).

Those numbers do not bode well for the Democrats, since Hispanics have most often favored Democratic candidates over Republicans. In the 66 congressional districts with at least 100,000 Latino voters, 49 incumbents are Democrats.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.

Pew also reported that in the 36 states with gubernatorial elections this year, nine have close races, and in these states Hispanics on average account for 7.9 percent of eligible voters, compared to 10.7 percent nationally. Three states have Hispanic voter shares below 5 percent — Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine.

Another factor weighing against Democrats is Hispanics' usually low turnout rate in midterm elections. In 2010, 31.2 percent of eligible Hispanics voted, compared to 44 percent of blacks and 48.6 percent of whites.

Furthermore, Democrats are facing a backlash from disillusioned Latinos, the Los Angeles Times reported. President Barack Obama has angered many Hispanics by failing to follow up on his vow to push through a comprehensive immigration package.

Editor's Note:


2. Kerry Meets With Ruler Who Enforces Shariah Punishments

In a move that surely could be seen as ironic, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to promote an anti-ISIS campaign by meeting with a Muslim leader who has introduced a Shariah-based penal code, including the death penalty for apostasy.

The sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, in May enacted a strict Shariah law similar to the code the jihadist Islamic State (ISIS) enforces in areas under its control.

A State Department official told reporters that ISIS would be at the top of the agenda when Kerry met in Jakarta, Indonesia, with leaders from Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia on Oct. 20.

The official said Kerry would stress "the effort to combat violent extremism, to block recruitment, and to protect against the solicitation of foreign fighters, terrorist fighters from Southeast Asia to the Middle East," CNS News reported.

Brunei is a small former British protectorate located on the island of Borneo, with a population of about 415,000. It gained its independence in 1984.

Brunei's new Shariah code, which is being implemented in several stages, includes the death penalty for adultery, extramarital sexual relations, and sodomy, in addition to apostasy — abandoning Islam.

Theft of goods with more than a certain value is punishable by amputation of a hand, and anyone convicted of denigrating the Koran can face lashing and a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Other crimes that can bring imprisonment or fines include drinking alcohol in a public place, wearing "indecent" clothing, and committing "indecent behavior" in public.

The penal code states that "indecent behavior" is "anything that tarnishes the image of Islam, depraves a person, brings bad influence, or causes anger to the person who is likely to have seen the act."

At least 20 percent of Brunei's inhabitants are not Muslim, but many of the penalties in the code affect non-Muslims as well.

Brunei is one of 11 nations negotiating the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

More than 100 members of the U.S. Congress urged Kerry in June to make Brunei's participation in the TPP negotiations contingent on the country addressing the rights violations in the new penal code, according to CNS News.

The office of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights has also criticized Brunei's new law, saying stoning to death — Brunei's punishment for adultery — "is clearly prohibited" under international law.

Editor's Note:


3. Nearly Half of Doctors Give Obamacare Poor Grades

An extensive survey of 20,000 American physicians asked the doctors to grade the Affordable Care Act, and nearly half of them gave the law an F or D.

In the 2014 Survey of America's Physicians conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation, 24.7 percent of respondents gave Obamacare an F, and 21.1 percent gave it a D, for a total of 45.8 percent grading it poorly. Just 3.7 thought it deserved an A grade, while 21.7 percent gave it a B and 28.8 percent a C.

Older doctors gave the ACA lower grades than younger physicians. Among doctors age 46 and over, 50.8 percent gave Obamacare an F or D, including 24.7 percent who gave it an F, while 37 percent of those 45 or younger gave it an F or D.

Female doctors were more supportive of Obamacare than male physicians. Just 17.6 percent of female doctors gave the ACA an F, compared to 28.2 percent of their male counterparts. Still, just 4.1 percent of the female respondents graded it with an A.

Doctors who own their own practices were more displeased with Obamacare than those who are employed by a medical service — 34 percent of owners gave it an F compared to 19.8 percent of the employed doctors. A paltry 1.8 percent of owners gave it an A.

Slightly more than 30 percent of primary care physicians gave the ACA an A or B, while 22.4 percent of specialists rated it that highly. Among the specialists, 26.9 percent gave Obamacare an F, as did 20.5 percent of primary care physicians.

Jeffrey A. Singer, who practices general surgery in Arizona and is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, says a major reason that Obamacare is unpopular with many doctors is that it has disrupted patients' relationships with their physicians.

Many of his patients saw their insurance plans canceled because they didn't meet Obamacare's minimum requirements, and they had to move into new plans that did not include Singer in their network.

Some patients were moved from private plans into Medicaid, which Singer accepts, but he has found it difficult to coordinate with other physicians because so many of them do not accept Medicaid patients, Singer laments in an article that first appeared in The Hill.

He also cites the "deluge" of paperwork and reporting requirements under the healthcare reform law.

These are among the reasons that "doctors disapprove of Obamacare by nearly a 2-1 margin," he writes. "Until the law stops failing our patients, we won't stop giving it a failing grade."

Other pertinent findings of the Physicians Foundation survey include:

  • Physicians now spend 20 percent of their time on non-clinical paperwork.
  • 81 percent describe themselves as overextended or at full capacity.
  • 72 percent believe there is a physician shortage.
  • 29 percent would not choose medicine if they had their careers to do over, but 50 percent would recommend medicine as a career to their children or other young people.
  • 25 percent of doctors do not see Medicare patients or limit the number of Medicare patients they see, while 38 percent deal with Medicaid patients that way.
  • 39 percent of physicians say they will accelerate their retirement plans due to changes in the healthcare system.

Editor's Note:


4. Fewer Than 1 in 5 Colleges Require a US History Course

Of the 1,098 American colleges and universities studied for a new report, just 23 received the highest grade for the diversity of subjects students are required to take to receive a degree.

The sixth annual "What Will They Learn?" report was compiled by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit organization that advocates for accountability at U.S. institutions of higher education.

Faring worst among seven core subjects the ACTA believes should be included in a student's curriculum was economics, with only 3 percent of colleges requiring students to take at least one course in the subject.

Only 18 percent of colleges require a course in American history or government.

Just 13 percent of colleges require students to take at least three semesters in a foreign language or two semesters in each of two ancient languages; at taxpayer-supported public universities, that figure falls to only 8 percent of students.

According to the ACTA, 38 percent of colleges require a course in literature, 60 percent require a college-level math course, 83 percent require composition, and 87 percent require a science course.

"No 18-year-old, even the brightest, should be given the task of determining which combinations of courses comprise a comprehensive education," the report states.

The ACTA gave a college an A grade if it requires at least six of those seven core subjects; a B for four or five subjects; a C for three subjects; a D for two subjects, and an F for zero or one subject.

While only 23 colleges or 2.1 percent received an A — including the service academies — 98 received an F. ACTA awarded a B to 389 colleges, a C to 329, and a D to 259.

Among the colleges receiving an F is Vassar College in New York, which costs more than $47,000 a year in tuition and fees. The U.S. Air Force Academy, which is free, received an A.

Baylor University in Texas got an A, while another Texas school, Rice University ($38,000 a year), got an F.

One Ivy League school, Brown University, got an F.

The paucity of required courses in U.S. history and government is reflected in surveys commissioned by the ACTA, which found that 62 percent of American college graduates — yes, graduates — did not know that U.S. congressmen serve two-year terms.

The ACTA also reported that 39 percent did not know that Franklin Roosevelt was president during World War II, one-third did not know that FDR spearheaded the New Deal, and more than three in five did not know he was elected four times.

Editor's Note:


5. Minister: Revoke Citizenship of Israeli Arabs in ISIS

A minister in the Israeli government has written a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding the revocation of citizenship for Israelis enlisting with the Islamic State (ISIS).

Tourist Minister Uzi Landau said Israeli security agencies estimate that more than 30 Israeli citizens have joined the Islamic jihadist organization.

"These are people who live in Israel as citizens, and as such they enjoy a long list of rights as well as access to . . . sensitive information," Landau wrote. "It is just a question of time until these people, living among us, become a lethal weapon directed against us.

"This is a phenomenon of the utmost severity, which could gain momentum and transform into a sword over our heads. It is our duty as a society and as a state to take action to eradicate this from our midst."

Landau also said he is imploring Netanyahu not to let these Israeli Arabs back into the country, the Jerusalem Post reported.

He added in his letter: "Every Israeli citizen must know that the State of Israel will act relentlessly against the activity of the ISIS organization, and in doing so will act meticulously."

He wrote to the prime minister days after reports surfaced that three more Israeli Arabs from a village in Galilee had joined ISIS in Syria.

The father of one of the boys told an Israeli television channel: "We still don't know what happened. Maybe they brainwashed him."

The Post also reported that an Israeli-Arab doctor who joined ISIS had been killed fighting for the jihadist group.

Othman Abdal-Kian, 26, had been doing his residency at a medical center in Ashkelon, Israel, since February. He reportedly traveled from Israel to Turkey and then into Syria.

His family confirmed to an Israeli media source that Abdal-Kian had been killed fighting for ISIS.

Editor's Note:


6. Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming Science 'Not Valid'

Meteorologist John Coleman, who co-founded The Weather Channel, says the claim that human activity is leading to global warming is no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, the "little evidence" there is for rising global temperatures points to a "natural phenomenon," Coleman asserts.

In an open letter to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he wrote: "There is no climate crisis. The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number.

"Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms.

"I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environmental agenda item, but the science is not valid."

Coleman says he based his views on the findings of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (not to be confused with the U.N. panel), a body of scientists and scholars who assess the science of global warming.

"There is no significant man-made global warming at this time. There has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future," says Coleman, who was the original meteorologist on "Good Morning America."

"Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed.

"There has been no warming over 18 years."

The U.N.’s IPCC argues that their research shows man-made global warming will lead to extreme weather events becoming more frequent and unpredictable, the Express in Britain reported.

Climate expert William Happer, a professor at Princeton University, expressed support for Coleman's claims.

"No chemical compound in the atmosphere has a worse reputation than CO2, thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control [of] energy production," Happer said.

"The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science."

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Editor's Note:


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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Few Hispanic Voters in Midterm Swing States 2. Kerry Meets With Ruler Who Enforces Shariah Punishments 3. Nearly Half of Doctors Give Obamacare Poor Grades 4. Fewer Than 1 in 5 Colleges Require a US History...
Weather-Channel, Founder, Dismisses, Global-Warming, Hispanics Impact Moot in Midterms, Kerry Meets With the sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, Nearly Half of Doctors Give Obamacare Poor Grades, Fewer Than 1 in 5 Colleges Require a US History Course, Minister Revoke Citizenship of Israeli Arabs in ISIS
Monday, 27 October 2014 02:44 AM
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