After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Pentagon said it would offer military IDs and extend the benefits that come with them to same-sex partners. But some states that don't recognize gay marriages have refused to issue the IDs to same-sex spouses of National Guard members.
A federal appeals court has sided with the Catholic owners of a business who fought a requirement in the 2010 health care law that employers provide insurance coverage for birth control. Federal courts have been split on the issue, which many expect to head to the Supreme Court.
Kraft will produce mac and cheese without artificial dyes, the food-processing giant says. But the change affects only a line marketed specifically for children. Aficionados will still be able to purchase the luridly orange "original" version. A petition had asked Kraft to remove dyes from all mac and cheese products.
An estimated 14 million families use these flexible spending accounts, or FSAs. Tied usually to employment at big companies, the accounts let people put aside money before taxes to help pay medical expenses insurance doesn't cover.
The GOP establishment's preferred candidate has an overwhelming cash advantage over the Tea Party favorite in Tuesday's Alabama special election.
Outside the Rightway Food Express in Baltimore a big sign reads “we accept food stamps.” Manager Erick Perez estimates about 40 percent of the store’s revenue comes from the program.
Starting today, his customers will have less to spend every month. A temporary increase in benefits leftover from federal economic stimulus efforts in 2009 expires today, reducing aid for more than 47 million people. For a family of four, that means living on about $36 less per month.
Perez takes out a pencil and, on a door in a back room, multiplies that by 100 customers. That’s $3,600 less that those families can spend. For a store like his, it adds up quickly.
“It’s going to impact everybody,” Perez says. “I know it’s a hard time right now, but it’s going to be hard.”
Small grocers aren’t the only ones doing the math. Larger chains like Wal-Mart are bracing for the change. In a conference call with analysts last week, Michigan-based Spartan Stores warned that the cuts could be “meaningful” to the company’s business.
And grocers aren’t the only businesses that might feel a pinch. Low-income families will face even tougher choices about their spending, says Stacy Dean with the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
“Do I pay the light bill, or do I buy milk for my kids?” she says. “I think that means that it won’t just play out as being an impact on retailers, but any number of the other kinds of businesses that low-income families frequent.”
Rightway customer Nicey Ross says the reduced benefits will make it harder for her to feed her family of five. “Why take them away when I really need food stamps to buy food?” she says.
The increase in benefits, part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was meant to be a temporary boost for families struggling in the recession. Asked if the economy has improved since then, Ross says “no.”
Congress is weighing even bigger cuts to the food stamp program. A version of the Farm Bill passed by the House would cut benefits by nearly $40 billion over 10 years.
You're not gonna see their names on the credits when you go to a movie. They don't amount to much on the red carpet. But arguably, marketing executives are some of the most important people in Hollywood. Nobody's gonna go see a movie they don't know about, right? That said, when things don't go well at the box-office, they're the ones that take the fall.
Sharon Waxman is founder and editor-in-chief of entertainment site The Wrap and she says "it's raining marketing chiefs in Hollywood."
Waxman notes that Sony, Relativity, Dreamworks Animation and Universal have all made changes to their marketing teams. To her, it signals a certain amount of nervousness and dysfunction at the studios. "When you change your marketing, that means the movies aren't working," Waxman says.
Waxman says that firing the marketing team is a way to show visible change to frustrated shareholders, but a lot of movies from these studios have still pulled in big receipts at the budget office.
"The question is," Waxman says, "what are the studios really trying to accomplish? Are they moving into some era of digital marketing, really changing the way they are presenting their movies to the public using Twitter and Facebook and social or is it more of a game of musical chairs."
A lone gunman opened fire Friday at Los Angeles International Airport, police say. Police fired on the alleged shooter, who is now in police custody. The attack left one TSA officer dead and at least seven people needing medical treatment (including the shooter), officials said. The shooting forced the evacuation of a terminal and more than 45 flights into and out of LAX have been cancelled.
Friday marked one month since the health care exchange marketplace opened. It's unclear how many people have actually enrolled in insurance, how much more the contractors who bungled the software will get paid and whether consumers will be satisfied with the plans they get.
Seven months into his papacy, Pope Francis is shaking up the Catholic world, with outspoken interviews and cold calls to ordinary people. But some Catholic conservatives are deeply uncomfortable and worried that the Vatican has lost control of the papal message.