first_imgMIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Jean Newman is hardly afraid of challenges. The 73-year-old Cuban native came to the United States as a teen, worked for years as a substitute teacher and volunteered in the Israeli army well into her 50s. But when it comes to the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, she is at a loss. “The whole thing is so confusing. It might as well be in Chinese,” Newman said. Millions of senior citizens will become eligible for the benefit Jan. 1, but but many don’t know whether it will save them money, or which private insurance plan they should choose among the dozens that have bombarded their mailboxes with ads in recent months. Many don’t know how to apply or whether they are even eligible. And many are asking: Will the medications I need be covered? AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake The clock is ticking. Those who fail to sign up by May 15 may not get coverage until 2007. Not surprisingly, the people who seem to know the most tend to be the more educated and more affluent – the ones least likely to need the new coverage. About 42 million people are eligible for the Medicare drug benefit. As of mid-December, nearly 20 million were enrolled in some form, but the vast majority of them were automatically switched over from other benefit programs, including Medicaid. Only about 1 million had joined voluntarily. Newman spends about $150 a month on Prozac and the thyroid supplement Levoxyl. She applied for the low-income assistance but was rejected. Now she is unsure whether she is eligible for any of the coverage. (She is.) “There’s a thousand different forms of confusion, but almost everyone’s confused,” said Robert Hayes, head of the Medicare Rights Center, a consumer group. The government has touted its Web site, www.medicare.gov, where senior citizens can compare plans on spreadsheets, and it has urged people to consult their families and their doctors. Hayes said its unrealistic to expect doctors to shoulder the burden of explaining the plans. “In an ideal world, which is long past in this economy, physicians could sit down and become experts and counsel their patients. That doesn’t happen today because there’s so much time pressure on every doctor,” he said. Federal and local health officials and insurance companies have tried to provide workshops on the new program. The Philadelphia Senior Center has hosted about a dozen workshops and seminars over the past couple of months, but not many people have been enrolling in the program, said executive director Tamara Moreland. She said she suspects they prefer to keep their current coverage. “I hope it isn’t that they don’t understand it,” she added. Philadelphia senior center counselor Gloria Mack said she herself was confused by the training she received on the program. “Oh, my God,” Mack recalled thinking. “I’m confused, and I’m not a senior.” At the Clairemont Friendship Senior Center in San Diego, confusion ran high even after Medicare officials held a briefing there in November. Several elderly people said their private insurers automatically signed them up for a plan, but they did not know whether they were getting the best deal. “The government should have just said, ‘You pay so much and all your drugs are covered,”‘ said Dorothy Morrill, 70, whose PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.’s SecureHorizons plan signed her up for coverage with a $44 monthly premium. Nearby, at Allen Pharmacy in San Diego, owner Roger Fetterly said he worries that some of his customers will find that their plan does not cover the drugs they need. “We have a group of people who either don’t open their mail or open and don’t read it,” Fetterly said. “They just don’t know anything about what’s going on.” Others say they are not good with computers or do not want to burden their children by asking for advice. Those who have done their homework are finding that the new program doesn’t always offer advantages. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img6 July 2005New immigration regulations which came into effect this month are designed to attract the foreign skills and investment necessary for South Africa’s economic growth, says Home Affairs spokesperson Nkosana Sibuyi.They also reflect South Africa’s commitment to human rights and the security of those living within the country’s borders.Sibuyi said the amended immigration regulations will discourage illegal migration, especially of people from poverty-stricken countries, by creating a wider array of permits to legalise entry.“As a country we have an obligation to regulate or facilitate movement of people, goods and services into and outside South Africa,” Sibuyi said.Relevant permits“If somebody wants to visit South Africa, he or she must have a passport and apply for a visa if so required.“A potential investor, tourist, student or diplomat should apply for a relevant permit to legalise his or her stay in the country.”Sibuyi explained that under the new regulations, if a foreigner wants to start a business, he or she is expected to apply for a business permit and should have R2.5-million to invest.Applicants without these funds must convince the government that the business will be viable in South Africa.“We need to strike a balance in terms of scarce skills,” Sibuyi said. “We must capacitate our own people first before we attract skills from foreigners, so that we get a cross-pollination of ideas to empower our country.”He said the regulations would create an enabling environment for direct foreign investment in South Africa, and attract skills needed by the country’s economy.TrainingThe new National Immigration Branch, launched in April, has trained 106 officials to control the entry, stay and departure of foreigners in the country, as regulated by the Immigration and Refugee Acts.“The training takes at least a year,” Sibuyi said. “We want our officials to understand the Act, immigration regulations and how to fill forms so that travellers do not have to go through this burden at immigration offices.“We want to ensure that people who come to the country can do so conveniently.”The new regulations also clamp down on marriages of convenience, where foreigners pay local people to marry them and then use the marriage certificates to apply for citizenship.“The amended Act makes it a requirement that any foreigner who wishes to marry a South African and thereby obtain permanent residence in the country should have a marriage in good faith to such a South African citizen for at least five years before the status can be granted to them.“This will help our fight against the problem of fraudulent marriages,” he said.Almost 2 000 marriages were recently denied legality following a department investigation into marriages of convenience.With the new regulations, students from Africa will no longer be required to pay deposits before getting study permits, provided their governments submit written undertakings to pay deportation expenses for such students should this become necessary.New costsEntry and transit visas, renewal of visitors’ permits, study permits and medical treatment permits will now cost R425.Business permits, work permits and permanent residence permits each cost R1 520. The certificate of confirmation of permanent residence is R100.The amended Act also benefits workers from neighbouring countries: they will no longer have to leave the country immediately after being retrenched or dismissed from their jobs.“Now that there so many permits, there is no need for people – especially those from neighbouring states – to come to South Africa illegally,” Sibuyi said.He said the Southern African Development Community was currently discussing free movement within member states, referring to the recent agreement between South Africa and Mozambique to waive visa requirements.RefugeesOn the question of asylum-seekers, he said South Africa was guided by United Nations policies and the African Union Convention on Refugees.“We do not expect asylum-seekers to come to here with all the required documents, because of the conflicts in their countries,” Sibuyi said. “When they come here they should go to the nearest refugee reception and apply for asylum.”Refugee smart cards printed by Home Affairs will be given to refugees.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_imgMrs Mpumalanga second runner-up 2017 – Lucia Ochan, is playing her part whilst in the running for the prestigious crown of Mrs Africa 2019. As a prominent businesswoman, founder and patron of the Lucia O Foundation. Mrs Ochan is making strides towards a better future for all in her community, this through her Emphakatsi – INdlovukati (She Elephant) – Women in leadership and rural women empowerment series project.The project will be launched in partnership with rural women in order to uplift, empower and develop the community positively.“The reality is that many rural people are rendered second-class citizens in their own countries,” said Ochan, adding, “They are often far removed from urban economic nodes and live under extreme measures of poverty often without basic amenities such as clean drinkable water, sanitation, housing, electricity, schools, etc.” The launch will consist of a Creative Masterclass for upcoming young fashion designers (youths between the ages of 18-26) in the morning and provide insights into the clothing, textile and jewellery industry. Brand South Africa through its Constitution awareness programme, fully supports initiatives that seek to ensure that the values enshrined in the widely admire constitution, are indeed a lived experience by all parts of our society. “Through our Play Your Part programme, Brand South Africa pursues to celebrate those amongst the community who take it upon themselves to initiate positive social change. We hope this programme inspires other members of the community to get involved and ensure young people can be fully engaged in their right to education”, said Brand South Africa’s Stakeholder Relations Manager; Ms Toni Gumede. Programme and Details: Date: 15 November 2018Venue: Nutting House, MbombelaTime: 11h00 – 15h00last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Some plants don’t have much of a root system while others show a beautiful root system with no shoot.  What is going on? In each case I have looked at this year, each farmer was using more than 30 pounds of total nitrogen (N) (28% plus 10-34-0) and/or sulfur in a 2×2 system. These reduced stands appear to be caused by fertilizer injury burn.Urea ammonium nitrate (28% UAN) is made up of 50% urea, 25% ammonium, and 25% nitrate. When urea volatilizes, it turns into ammonia (the same type of ammonia in anhydrous ammonia) and is lost to the air. That’s why we need to work in urea (or stabilize it) within a few days after application if we are using it as a N source. As a starter, stabilizing N is not recommended and is not normally a problem.So what made urea volatilize faster this year?Volatility of urea is microbial driven, so warmer temperatures make this reaction occur more quickly. Urea can volatilize within two days in warmer temperatures. If the corn plant took up water slower (due to drying conditions, soil type, or planting depth), then the root system looks burned. If the plant took up water more quickly, then the root system developed and the coleoptile was burned off.Soils that are drying out cause the ammonia gas to move away from the 2×2 band, so moist soils followed by drying conditions cause more volatility. This is the same reason why anhydrous ammonia is injected 7 to 8 inches deep, because the ammonia gas will move up from the point of injection until it hits water. As the soil dries the ammonia will move up faster.Urea volatility is enhanced by higher pH. Unfortunately, the conditions that cause us to have higher yields can also increase volatility (both are due to enhanced microbial activity).Higher rates of N in a 2×2 band has the potential to volatilize more anhydrous, thus causing more burn. This, along with higher temperatures and drying soils, is the reason why farmers who are applying higher rates of a starter may see more damage.last_img read more

first_imgPune: A former soldier and his wife and children were found brutally murdered in Shevgaon village in Ahmednagar district, 200 km from here, on Sunday morning.According to the police, the murders occurred between midnight and the early hours of Sunday. The victims, Appasaheb Govind Harvane (58), his wife, Sunanda (48), their daughter, Snehal (18), and son, Makarand (15), bore multiple knife wounds, the Shevgaon police.The incident came to light after the milkman, finding no response to his calls, alerted the family’s neighbours.Motive unclear“The motive behind the killings is yet to be ascertained. We are investigating whether it was a botched robbery or some family rivalry. However, none of the valuables appear to be touched … but it is too early to say anything,” inspector Suresh Sakpale of the Shevgaon police station told The Hindu.After completing his service in the Army, Harvane worked as a security guard with the district land records office, according to sources.last_img read more

first_imgzoom Switzerland-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) plans to enhance its New Kiwi Service operating between Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand, by adding a new port of call into Bell Bay, Tasmania. The New Kiwi Service has been running in its current format since February 2015, with fixed weekly port calls into Bell Bay.The company is now offering two fixed port calls in Bell Bay each week and the service is linking Tasmania directly to Noumea and New Zealand.The first vessel to call at Bell Bay via the upgraded service will be the 2005-built boxship Malte Rambow on December 8, 2016.The port rotation of the New Kiwi Service will be as follows, with round trip transit times remaining unchanged: Sydney, Brisbane (Australia), Noumea (New Caledonia), Tauranga, Auckland (New Zealand), Bell Bay, Melbourne, Bell Bay, Sydney (Australia).Image Courtesy: MSClast_img read more