May, 2021 – Lani Labs

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Medicare Supplement Plans are types of medical coverage that are provided to senior citizens through private, government-operated insurance companies. Medicare Supplement Plans covers items that Medicare does not provide, but Medicare Part A and Part B also provide coverage for certain “Medicare-eligible” items. Medicare Supplement Plans were created to fill in the gaps left by Medicare coverage and are not available directly from the government. Each year, Medicare Supplement Plans is updated and new supplement plans are offered to address current Medicare needs. There are five basic categories of Medicare supplement plans that cover various aspects of the Medicare program. Source –

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There are two premium Medicare supplement plans available to citizens. The most common, called Medicare Part A, requires no deductible. Medicare Part A premium payments are made according to your Medicare benefit level. There are also Medicare Part A and B options. Medicare Part A covers skilled-care and outpatient care, and Medicare Part B offers coverage for inpatient care, rehabilitation, and other hospital care.

There are supplemental plans available for those who did not receive Medicare as an option when entering the system. Medicare Advantage Plans is similar to Medicare supplement plans. These plans are also available without a Medicare supplement premium and can cover out-of-network providers. Medicare Advantage Plans is subject to federal laws and regulations, including eligibility and pricing. Medicare Supplement Plans can be thought of as an alternative to Medicare, and are an important part of ensuring the continuation of healthcare coverage for seniors.

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Israeli warplanes have unleashed a series of heavy airstrikes at several locations of Gaza City.

Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes early Monday.

The airstrikes were heavier, on a wider area and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier in which 42 Palestinians were killed. That attack was the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel ad the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.

In a brief statement, the Israel Defense Forces says only that “IDF fighter jets are striking terror targets in the Gaza Strip.”


— Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flatten three buildings and kill at least 42 people on Sunday

— An AP reporter documents the terrifying final minutes of leaving the Gaza office before it is blown up by the Israelis

— An Israeli airstrike destroys a high-rise building that housed The Associated Press office in the Gaza Strip despite urgent demands by the news agency to halt. AP’s top editor called for an independent investigation into the airstrike.

— Protesters in major US cities urge Israelis to halt attacks on the Gaza Strip

— French police use tear gas to quell pro-Palestinian march that was banned in Paris

RABAT, Morocco — Moroccans have taken to the streets in the capital and other cities to protest Israeli air raids on Gaza during clashes with the Hamas extremist group that rules the Palestinian territory.

Sizeable demonstrations were held Sunday across the North African kingdom, including in Casablanca, the country’s largest city, where thousands waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans denouncing Israel’s military actions. Protesters also gathered outside the Parliament building in Rabat.

In December, Morocco announced it had resumed relations with Israel as part of a U.S. brokered deal. As part of the agreement, the United States agreed to recognize Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara region.

On Friday, Moroccan King Mohammed VI ordered forty tons of aid to be be shipped to the West Bank and Gaza in solidarity with Palestinians in the wake of recent clashes.

UNITED NATIONS — The three U.N. Security Council nations trying to get the U.N.’s most powerful body to take action on the escalating violence between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers say they are still trying to get the U.S. to support a statement including a call to end the fighting.

China, Norway and Tunisia tried unsuccessfully at closed meetings Monday and Wednesday to get agreement on a council statement. Diplomats say the U.S. argued such a statement could interfere with diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation.

There also was no agreement at Sunday’s first open meeting on the violence.

The ambassadors of China, Norway and Tunisia issued a joint statement on the Gaza conflict demanding an immediate end of all acts of violence, provocation and destruction.

Arizona Republicans say the voter restrictions they’re pushing after President Joe Biden’s win in the state last year are designed to strengthen the integrity of future elections.

To some, the changes will make voting more difficult than it already is.

The bills, some signed into law this past week by Gov. Doug Ducey, are worrisome for Native Americans who live in remote areas, other communities of color and voters whose first language isn’t English.

One codifies the existing practice of giving voters who didn’t sign mail-in ballots until 7 p.m. on Election Day to do so, defying a recently settled lawsuit that would have given voters additional days to provide a signature. Another will result in potentially tens of thousands of people being purged from a list of voters who automatically get a ballot by mail.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said Ducey’s actions belittle tribes and fail to recognize the unique challenges Native Americans face when casting ballots. That includes driving hours to reach polling places, unreliable mail service and the need for more Native language translators.

“This is an assault to the election process for people of color throughout this country,” he said. “Here in Arizona, it’s pushing back on the voters of tribal communities, and we came out in big numbers to vote our candidate of choice, which is President Biden.”

The bills’ sponsor, Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, said claims of retaliation or voter suppression were “outrageous” and “unfounded.” Elections aren’t a surprise, she said, and voters want them to be run efficiently with timely results.

“Not everything has to do with Biden and Trump,” she said. “These are important cleanups and fixes. It makes sense.”

Arizona is among several states controlled politically by Republicans that are tightening election rules this year, primarily around early and absentee voting. Democrats say the new rules will disproportionately affect minorities and lower-income voters. Florida, Georgia and Iowa already have enacted voting restrictions, and Texas is debating its own set of tighter rules.

In March, Biden issued an executive order creating a Native American Voting Rights Steering Group. It’s tasked with consulting with tribes nationwide to address barriers to voting, among other things.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, voter turnout on swaths of tribal land in Arizona surged in 2020 compared with the 2016 presidential election, helping Biden to victory in a state that hadn’t supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996. Former President Donald Trump and a legion of his supporters have refused to accept his loss in Arizona and other battleground states, resulting in a partisan review of the ballots cast in the state’s most populous county.

The Navajo Nation sued the secretary of state and county officials in 2018 to force changes in election procedures for the tribe’s voters. The complaint alleged that more than 100 ballots cast by Navajos were rejected because they didn’t have signatures on the envelope or they had mismatched signatures.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs agreed to insert language into the elections manual that would give all mail-in voters up to five days after an election to fix their ballots — the same as voters whose signatures don’t match the one on file.

The attorney general and Ducey didn’t sign off on the changes. The Democratic Party has since sued seeking a five-day curing period for mailed ballots. A U.S. District Court judge initially agreed, but the decision was challenged. Oral arguments are scheduled for July in federal appeals court.

Nez said the ballot signature measure just signed into law undermines the settlement in the tribe’s lawsuit. It is evaluating the language and has not yet decide on its next step.

“We have to deal with the federal government on broken promises. Now we have the state breaking promises on a settlement we thought we all agreed upon,” Nez said.

The secretary of state doesn’t have final say over the elections manual, and Ugenti-Rita said promises shouldn’t have been made that couldn’t be kept. She said the Navajo Nation’s anger is wrongly directed at the Legislature.

Before the pandemic, Native Americans made voting a social event on many reservations. It was one of the few times a year where they’d meet with old friends and chat about the government, community needs and their families. Tribal leaders give voters time off to cast a ballot and help get others to the polls. Campaigns courted voters with traditional food.

Even when they receive mailed ballots, many Native Americans prefer to drop them off on Election Day at their polling site, no matter how distant. Unless poll workers check for a signature on the spot, voters would have no chance to fix it.

Patty Hansen, the recorder in the state’s largest county by size, said she’s disappointed with the new law because it treats voters differently based on the error they’ve made.

“We were headed in the right direction,” she said. “Now it’s being reversed.”

Submitting mailed ballots earlier without a signature could mean an hours-long trip to make the fix, said Democratic state Rep. Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, who is Navajo. The new law says county officials have to make a reasonable effort to contact voters. Blackwater-Nygren said that could be problematic if Navajo translators, for example, aren’t available.

The other change in Arizona affects the list of voters who automatically receive a mailed ballot. Voters who sit out all elections — municipal, primary and general — for two election cycles will be mailed a notice asking if they want to remain on what had been known as the permanent early voting list.

If they respond, nothing will change. If they don’t respond within 90 days, they will be dropped from the list but will remain a registered voter.

They can rejoin what will now be called the active early voting list at any time, request a mailed ballot for a single election or vote in person. But a ballot won’t automatically arrive in their mailboxes.

About 75 percent of registered voters in the state are on the early voting list. That includes some 38,000 Indigenous people, most of whom are concentrated in the competitive but Democratic-leaning 1st Congressional District. The district takes in several tribes in the northern and and eastern parts of the state, including the Navajo Nation.

Voter rolls regularly are purged elsewhere, including on the Navajo Nation, but advocates contend the change will result in more people being disenfranchised.

Blackwater-Nygren said she often hears from Republicans that tribal members know what to expect when it comes to voting. That’s true, she said, but the vast distances, spotty phone service and lack of home mail delivery on some reservations also pose challenges not found elsewhere.

“We’re saying we don’t have the same access to polling locations, and that message seems to get lost,” she said.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says the country is “past the halfway point” on gas deficiencies following a ransomware cyberattack that constrained a closure of the country’s biggest gas pipeline.

Issues topped Thursday night, and administration should get back to business as usual in many zones before the weekend’s over, Granholm said Friday in a meeting with The Associated Press.

“Fortunately … corner store blackouts are down about 12% from the top” starting at Friday evening, with around 200 stations getting back to support each hour, she said. “It’s actually going to deal with the framework throughout the following not many days, yet we ought to have returned to typical decently soon.”

A cyberattack by programmers who lock up PC frameworks and request a payoff to deliver them hit the Colonial Pipeline on May 7. The programmers didn’t assume responsibility for pipeline tasks, yet the Georgia-based organization shut it down to forestall malware from influencing modern control frameworks.

The Colonial Pipeline extends from Texas to New Jersey and conveys about 45% of the fuel burned-through on the East Coast. The closure has caused deficiencies at the siphons all through the South and exhausted stations in the Washington, D.C., region.

President Joe Biden said U.S. authorities don’t really accept that the Russian government was included, however said “we do have solid motivation to accept that the hoodlums who did the assault are living in Russia.”

As Colonial announced making “considerable advancement” Friday in reestablishing full help, two individuals informed on the matter affirmed the organization had paid a payment of about $5 million.

Granholm, as other Biden organization authorities, encouraged drivers not to frenzy or crowd fuel.

“Truly, the fuel is coming,” she said. “In the event that you take an excess, it turns into an unavoidable outcome as far as the deficiencies. How about we share a smidgen with our neighbors and everyone should realize that it will be alright in the following not many days.”

Granholm’s organization is driving the government reaction to the ransomware assault. She said the episode shows the weakness not just of U.S. foundation, yet in addition PCs. Her kid mother as of late endured a ransomware assault on her iPad, Granholm said.

“So it’s simply happening all over,” she said. “Every one of these cybercriminals see a chance in the cloud and in our network. Thus we as a whole must be exceptionally watchful. That implies we must have security frameworks on our gadgets and exclusively we shouldn’t tap on any email with connections from individuals you don’t have the foggiest idea. I mean it’s simply around us.”

Biden marked a chief request on network safety this week, and the Energy Department and different organizations are attempting to ensure basic foundation, she said.

A large part of the U.S. pipeline framework, similar to Colonial, is exclusive. The administrator of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which supervises highway pipelines, said for the current week that the U.S. ought to set up required network safety norms for pipelines like those in the power area.

“Essentially promising pipelines to deliberately embrace best practices is a lacking reaction to the consistently expanding number and complexity of vindictive digital entertainers,” said FERC Chairman Richard Glick.

“We unquestionably need to take a gander at it,” Granholm said Friday, adding that pipeline associations have deliberate principles. “Despite the fact that it could be exclusive, the public uses it. So I think we need to see that, ensuring that they comply with the best in class.”

John Stoody, a representative for the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, declined to remark on Glick’s proposition. The business verifiably has gone against government commands on network protection.

The ransomware assault should assume a part as Congress considers Biden’s $2.3 trillion framework proposition, Granholm said.

“Clearly pipelines ought to be viewed as a feature of that,” she said. “Online protection ought to be viewed as a feature of that. Energy foundation, including transmission networks, ought to be essential for that. We need to update in all cases, and ideally there will be some interest in a bipartisan design to see an overhaul in the country’s framework.”…

May 2021

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