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16 January, 2015

January 16, 2015 8:45 AM
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Medicare’s Tavenner to step down after Obamacare error

Marilyn Tavenner, head of the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will step down at the end of February, Bloomberg reported, citing her e-mail to staff. In November, she acknowledged that her agency had made a mistake in its calculation of the number of people enrolled under Obamacare, with about 393,000 individuals with both health and dental coverage being “inadvertently counted twice.” Andy Slavitt, a former UnitedHealth Group Inc. executive who is the agency’s principal deputy administrator, will move into Tavenner’s job on a temporary basis.

The US led six more air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and five in Iraq since early Thursday, Reuters said. The strikes in Syria centered on the key border town of Kobani, according to the Combined Joint Task Force. In Iraq, the five strikes near Ramadi, al-Qaim, al-Asad and Mosul struck various fighting positions, the military said Friday.

West African leaders are considering creating a military force to fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist militants, Ghanaian President John Mahama said Friday. A regional summit is set to discuss the proposal next week. “We must find a way to act together, share information to synchronize strategies and pool our resources in order to rid the entire African continent of terrorism,” said Mahama, who chairs the regional body ECOWAS.

A woman who was allegedly raped by an Uber taxi driver in India’s capital is set to sue the online-hailing taxi service in US courts, Reuters reported. The financial executive, who is not named under an Indian law, has hired Douglas Wigdor, a prominent New York-based employment lawyer.

Chad’s parliament voted Friday to send troops to Cameroon and Nigeria to fight Boko Haram. The decision came a day after President Idriss Deby Itno announced his intention to join the fight against the Islamists. MPs in N’Djamena voted 150 to 0 to send an unspecified number of Chadian armed troops and security forces to assist Cameroonian and Nigerian soldiers waging war against the terrorists, according to a parliament statement.

All schools that were closed following the spread of Ebola in Guinea are to reopen Monday, AP reported. The action is being taken “because the situation has improved,” Health Minister Remy Lamah said in Accra, Ghana, during an ECOWAS summit. In Liberia, the schools will reopen “next month,” according to the charges d’Affaires of the Liberian Embassy in Ghana, Musu Ruhle. In Sierra Leone, where the outbreak has hit the hardest, schools will remain closed.

Another terror message has been found scribbled on the wall in the washroom of Mumbai Airport, TNN said. The message said that the “ISIS has planned a terror attack in Mumbai on January 26,” according to local media reports. The message, which was found scribbled on the wall of the men’s toilet in Terminal 1 of the domestic airport, is the second such message found in the toilet of Mumbai airport in recent days.

Saudi authorities have postponed the carrying out of a 1,000-lashes punishment for a liberal activist and blogger, the Telegraph said, citing an Amnesty International statement. Raif Badawi was due to receive the second of 20 batches of 50 lashes each after Friday prayers for criticizing the Saudi religious establishment on his blog. The flogging, which was due to be administered in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, had been postponed “for medical reasons,” according to Amnesty.


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