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It’s September, which means the enrollment period to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is practically around the corner. If you're signing up later this fall, you should consider this: despite provisions under the health law to guarantee coverage for all, some insurance policies are still designed to keep the sick away. We all know thanks to the ACA, the days when insurers denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions are over. Cherry picking the healthiest among us is one of the ways many insurers used to make their money. Even though the law has changed, former state insurance commissioner Joel Ario says some companies haven’t. “We have not eliminated discrimination from insurer DNA yet. So you are still going to see remnants of insurers using strategies that are trying to drive away risk than manage risk,” he says. One of those strategies is to make drugs for high cost conditions like HIV or multiple sclerosis more expensive through hefty deductibles. Another is to limit the network of doctors and hospitals. If consumers want somebody out of that network, they pay through the nose. The University of Pennsylvania’s Tom Baker says to thrive in today’s insurance climate companies must accept that sick people are part of the mix. “The health insurance companies that are trying to have fewer of those people, just want to have fewer,” he says. Baker says the insurers who find the sweet spot between healthy and less healthy will be the ones at the top of the industry.

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BANGALORE/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Factory activity in Europe and Asia cooled in August after a strong July, as new orders dwindled in the face of escalating tensions in Ukraine and a patchy recovery in China, purchasing managers indexes showed.

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Federal Financial co-founder Karen Shaw Petrou argues that we’re in for poor results, and that G-20 negotiations could suffer as a resultWe still have a good six weeks before the European Central Bank (ECB) reports back on stress test results, but following the Banco Espirito Santo SA (ELI:BES) bailout, expectations are already riding low, and… The post ECB Stress Test Could Reveal Widespread Weakness appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Growth By John Mauldin | Sep 01, 2014 Correlation Is Not Causation The Limits of Economic Models The Source of Growth The Real Driver of Growth Labor Day, San Antonio, and Washington DC “It’s said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things… The post The Limits of Dynamic Multivariate Economic Models appeared first on ValueWalk.

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PRAGUE (Reuters) - Polish manufacturing activity shrank for a second straight month in August and Czech expansion slowed more than expected, adding to signs weaker euro zone economies and crisis in Ukraine are cooling growth in the EU's east.

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Not long after I posted my Marketplace story about the 25th anniversary of the Tian’anmen Square protests on LinkedIn, the company sent me an email: Australian journalist Fergus Ryan received this email, too. His post, a story he did about artist Guo Jian being detained in the run-up to the Tian’anmen anniversary, was also removed. “I felt outraged, really. Because professionally, as a journalist, I feel that this is why a lot of people would follow me on LinkedIn," says Ryan. LinkedIn says it did not come to its decision to censor posts from its members in China lightly. “It is difficult," says LinkedIn's Director of Communications Hani Durzy. "We are strongly in support of freedom of expression. But it was clear to us that to create value for our members in China and around the world, we would need to implement the Chinese government’s restrictions on content.” But LinkedIn isn't just blocking this content inside China. The company is removing these posts from its site worldwide. In LinkedIn’s email to me, the company explains it does this to "protect the safety of our members that live in China." “Yeah, well, I mean, bullshit,” says Chinese social media expert Jeremy Goldkorn. “Their Chinese members should be able to choose what they should post and they know better than a foreign company how to protect themselves from the government.” LinkedIn got help from Shaun Rein, director of China Market Research, to develop its China strategy. Even he’s disappointed in the company’s censorship policies. “A lot of western players, they so want to make money that they actually do more to heed what they think the authorities want," says Rein. LinkedIn seems to have recognized this. Durzy says his company will continue to block sensitive content inside of China, but:,"after talking to a number of people, we recognized that it may be better if we were to change our policy and allow that content and profile to be viewed outside of China,” he says. Which leaves me wondering what will happen when I post this story to LinkedIn.

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GENEVA (Reuters) - Both Islamist fighters and Iraqi government forces have killed civilians and committed atrocities in three months of fighting, senior U.N. officials said in an emergency debate on the conflict on Monday.

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KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and open aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffer major reverses in the war with pro-Moscow separatists.

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's foreign ministry on Monday summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires, currently Washington's most senior diplomat in Ankara, over a media report that the United States had spied on Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.

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 Two of Atlantic City’s casinos, the Revel and the Showboat, closed down this past weekend, bring the total closures to three this year. Five thousand people lost their jobs, and a fourth casino – Trump Plaza – will shut down in two weeks. “We’re trying to ease the blow,” says Ben Begleiter, an analyst with UNITE HERE Local 54, the union which represents many casino workers in Atlantic City. The union booked the convention center to get resources to people laid off. “We want to make sure that people have unemployment benefits, health benefits, utility and food assistance.” Atlantic City is experiencing something that many cities have experienced before it. It hitched itself to a star, and that star faded. “Atlantic City was predicated on being an east coast monopoly in the casino industry now there’s no monopolies any place,” says James Hughes, dean of the school of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. All the neighboring states have casinos now, allowing those states to retain their own gamblers and poach some of New Jersey’s.  Despite that, Atlantic City still draws millions of visitors and some of its casinos are still quite profitable. But, says Hughes, “it’s going to have a permanently smaller economy.”  Gambling revenue is still half what it was in 2006. “The big question is what Atlantic City does in the future to rebuild and diversify,” says Oliver Cooke, professor of economics at Stockton College. “There’s a whole countless litany of proposals that have been put forward,” he says, from expanding resort offerings to making the city a concert destination.  The future of Atlantic City will be the topic of a forum hosted by Governor Chris Christie, on Sept. 8. 

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There is a famous British comedy sketch called the “Four Yorkshiremen,” performed at various times by some or all of the cast of Monty Python. Four well-heeled fellows chat as they smoke cigars talking about the bad old days. They are competing for who can spin the worst tale of hardship from their childhoods. One gentleman claims that when he was a lad, for supper he had to make due with just a cup of tea. Another says he had to make due without milk, sugar…or tea. Another says all he had was a cracked cup. Another says things were so hard when he was a kid, a cup would have been a luxury, because in his household you had to suck tea from a damp cloth. The tales get worse from there. We misremember the past, and inflation is part of the reason. My dad likes to tell the tale of how little he was paid early in his career. We didn’t suck tea out of a damp cloth, but he once mentioned to me how in 1968, he was paid an annual salary of $8500 in his job as a college professor. At first blush, that number seems shocking. True, we only had one modest car, didn’t own a home, and our TV was a 14 inch black and white model from Sears, but I was in no way deprived. One reason is inflation. We stare at the raw number, but we constantly forget to factor in the general erosion of the value of a dollar over time. My dad’s $8500 salary in current dollars, is worth $58,193. That’s not a king’s ransom for someone with a BA, an MA, and a PhD, but it is what some professors get paid today. One defining feature of inflation is that in the past, you might not have been paid as much, but things do often (but not always) cost less. When my father remembers paying a nickel for a New York City subway ticket when he was ten in 1944, his recollection is spot on. The fare wasn’t hiked to a dime until 1948. But let’s not forget to factor in inflation. If you turn a 1944 nickle into 2014 money, that subway ride costs the equivalent of 68 cents, which remains an amazing bargain when you note the actual cost of a 2014 subway ticket in New York these days is $2.50. This fall on Marketplace we are going to have some fun examining inflation. We have chosen as our time frame changes in prices over the last quarter century, if for no other reason than this year is Marketplace’s 25th anniversary. You may be amazed what got cheaper. You may be outraged what got much more expensive beyond the rate of inflation. Embedded in this inflation topic are crucial questions about our society: For instance, does a low-income family living at the margins care if a DVD player gets radically cheaper if the cost of eating a decent breakfast is spiking? When I started out in the radio business as a teenager in 1976, I was paid $2.25 an hour as an announcer on a local radio station. That was minimum wage at the time. Using this meager number, I have tried to impress my own children with the austerity of my youth. In doing so, I have again failed to compensate for inflation. $2.25 an hour is $9.42 in today’s money. That is rather higher than current federal minimum wage of $7.25, but don’t tell my kids. 

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More and more often, kids have access to tablet computers--They share their parents' devices, have their own, or their school hands them out.   Sure, some parents use iPads as little more than distraction devices to keep kids quiet during a dinner out.   But for many educators and parents, the hope is that tablets could be a tool to help kids learn to read. Right now, only about a third of 4th graders have reading skills that are considered proficient. Could iPads and other tablets help? There's reason to be hopeful.   Michael Levine from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop says strong literacy and reading apps can be an improvement on boring learning devices--like flashcards.   But, he says, tablets are still only a tool. Teaching kids literacy skills will always require caring and responsive adults.    

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KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Monday its forces were battling a Russian tank battalion for control of a vital airport in the east of the country as President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of "direct and open aggression" against his country.

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and Australia are leaning towards a multibillion-dollar sale by Tokyo of a fleet of stealth submarines to Canberra's military in a move that could rile an increasingly assertive China, people familiar with the talks said.

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police used pepper spray to disperse pro-democracy activists on Monday as the Asian financial center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision to rule out full democracy.

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani soldiers and paramilitary forces entered the headquarters of the state television channel PTV in Islamabad on Monday after a crowd of protesters stormed the building and took the channel off the air.

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A man with a knife killed three children and injured several in a primary school in China on Monday, the first day of a new school term after the summer holiday, state media said.

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani protesters pushed closer to the prime minister's house in central Islamabad on Monday in their bid to force his removal and closed down national television after clashes turned violent over the weekend.

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