A day before the open enrollment deadline for private health coverage under Obamacare, some consumers were unable to submit applications because of "intermittent issues" with income verification, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday. It said in a statement that it had worked with the Internal Revenue Service to fix the problem. The department said consumers who were affected should log into their account on the HealthCare.gov website and click on their 2015 application to finish it and complete their enrollment for coverage. The department said anyone who was unable to submit an application because their income could not be verified due to this or any other technical problem will receive an extension for enrollment.
A day before the open enrollment deadline for private health coverage under Obamacare, some consumers are unable to submit applications because of "intermittent issues" with income verification, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday. A senior U.S. health official said last week that nearly 7.5 million people had signed up for 2015 Obamacare health plans through the federal exchange, and that demand was increasing as the Feb. 15 deadline approached.
A gunman killed at least one person and wounded three police officers after opening fire Saturday on a cultural centre in Copenhagen as it was hosting a debate on Islam and free speech. Swedish artist Lars Vilks -- the author of controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons that sparked worldwide protests in 2007 -- was among those at the debate targeted by the gunman, who fled the scene after a shootout with police. Danish Prime Minister Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt described the assault as "a terrorist attack" as Danish television showed the windows of the Krudttonden cultural centre pock-marked by multiple bullet holes.
President Barack Obama has asked Labor Secretary Tom Perez to travel to California to help spur an agreement in talks with the dockworkers' union that have led to closed ports along the U.S. West Coast, the White House said on Saturday. "The negotiations over the functioning of the West Coast Ports have been taking place for months with the administration urging the parties to resolve their differences," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. "Out of concern for the economic consequences of further delay, the president has directed his Secretary of Labor Tom Perez travel to California to meet with the parties to urge them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table." Perez has been in contact with the parties and will keep Obama updated, he said. Negotiators for the union representing 20,000 dockworkers at 29 ports and management's bargaining agent, the Pacific Maritime Association, have agreed to a federal mediator's request for a 48-hour news blackout after a bargaining session on Thursday, which was the parties' first face-to-face meeting in nearly a week.
By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - For renowned international architect Zaha Hadid, something in Miami never added up: the architecture didn't match the city. The city lacked residences to back up its diverse, international population and burgeoning reputation for high-end culture, including Art Basel, a large, annual contemporary fair.With that in mind, she recently broke ground on her luxury tower on Miami's downtown bayfront. Employing her trademark sinewy curves and column-free spaces, the structure will twist over 700 feet into the sky to provide views reaching across Biscayne Bay and past Miami Beach to the Atlantic Ocean. Billed as offering a "six--star lifestyle" with a private rooftop helipad, scented ambiances and an indoor aquatic center, it seeks to set a new standard in Miami's growing number of luxury residencies with prices starting at $6 million.
Fighting has raged on in Ukraine, throwing doubts on a ceasefire deal due to take effect over the weekend, with the US saying Russia is still deploying heavy arms and Kiev warning that shelling of civilians had intensified. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday that the continuing bombardment of civilians in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatist rebels was already undermining the peace plan reached in Minsk a day before. "Unfortunately after the Minsk agreement, Russia's offensive has significantly increased.
(Reuters) - Another winter storm was taking aim at the winter-weary U.S. Northeast on Saturday, threatening blizzard conditions and severe cold in parts of New England already buried under six feet (1.8 meters) of snow, forecasters said. The latest storm was tracking east across the Great Lakes and was expected to gather strength as it approaches the Atlantic coast, spreading a blast of arctic air and snow from Virginia to southern Canada, the National Weather Service said. The most severe weather was poised for the New England coast from Saturday into Sunday, the National Weather Service said. Blizzard conditions are also expected in Rhode Island, eastern Connecticut, New Hampshire and coastal Maine, AccuWeather predicted.
By Camilo Smith HOUSTON (Reuters) - Arson investigators from the Houston Fire Department are probing a blaze that destroyed a building at an Islamic institute in the city on Friday, officials said. There has been no official determination yet of what caused the fire at the Quba Islamic Institute in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, fire officials said, adding no one was injured. In a video on the institute's Facebook page, Ahsan Zahid, son of the imam, said fire officials told him the fire appeared intentional. Zahid urged the Islamic community and supporters not to assign blame until the investigation concluded.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October. Obama's letter suggested the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State if a nuclear deal was secured, the paper said, quoting the diplomat. Khamenei's letter was "respectful" but noncommittal, it quoted the diplomat as saying.
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California public health officials have confirmed three more cases of measles in an outbreak that began in late December, bringing to 113 the total number of people believed to have been infected in the state. Health officials in Arizona, where seven cases of measles have been documented, said the outbreak would likely be considered over in that state if no further infections were reported over the weekend. Across the United States, more than 150 people have been diagnosed with measles, many of them linked to an outbreak that authorities believe began when an infected person from out of the country visited Disneyland in late December. The California Department of Public Health said 39 of the 113 people who contracted measles in the state were believed to have been exposed while visiting Disneyland.