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News Blog

Alternate Realities Roundup 12/20

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2013-12-20 -

A court in Canada has ruled that Ecuadorean farmers and fishermen can try to seize the assets of oil giant Chevron for Amazon pollution.

Top of Alty Utah

“Indigenous Groups Win Right to Seize Chevron’s Canadian Assets over $18 Billion in Amazon Pollution”--Democracy Now!

Sarah Palin inserts herself into the free-speech debate over Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson with hilarious results.--Rolling Stone

An FBI agent left a sensitive interrogation manual with the Library of Congress, where anyone with a library card could check it out.--Mother Jones

A panel has called for sweeping reforms to the NSA's spying apparatus.--The Nation

Top of Alty Utah

Salt Lake City Weekly lists the top five ways House investigators have called out former Attorney General John Swallow as a liar.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Journalist and activist Jesse Fruhwirth was detained by Salt Lake City police for filming pollution coming out of a refinery.--Ut4ps

Longtime Democrat Rep. Jim Matheson, D-UT, has announced he will not run for reelection in 2014.--Utah Political Capitol

Santa handed out air masks to inversion-choked Utah shoppers as part of “12 Polluted Days of Christmas” protest.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Rantosphere

James Catano reflects on the Salt Lake City ticket-writing, revenue-making machine.

“I’ve also run afoul of city hall on two other counts. One was for being two days late getting a license-renewal sticker on my parked car that was waiting for a part to pass inspection. Since then, I’ve discovered from others that parking enforcement seems to be running a special shooting-fish-in-a-barrel sting. They apparently send meter maids (and guys) into certain residential areas at the beginning of each month. From what I can tell, they target the lower-income neighborhoods, where there’s lots of on-street parking. In more genteel areas, you’re probably safe, but near Liberty Park, I witnessed one “maid” write two tickets in less than three minutes.”--Salt Lake City Weekly

The Long View

ProPublica looks at how poor safeguards allow fraud to flourish in Medicare.

“Fraud rings use an ever-evolving variety of schemes to plunder the program. In one of the most popular, elderly, broke, disgraced or foreign-trained doctors are recruited for jobs at small clinics. Their provider IDs are used to write thousands of Medicare prescriptions for patients whose identities also may have been bought or stolen. Once dispensed, the drugs are then resold, sometimes with new labels, to pharmacies or drug wholesalers. In other schemes, investigators say, pharmacies are active participants, billing Medicare multiple times for prescriptions they never fill. Doctors can readily disavow the prescriptions as forged, investigators say. And because the schemes don't always involve painkillers, a law-enforcement focus, they can escape notice.”--ProPublica

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