VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
NEW BLOW FOR ADMIN ON HEALTHCARE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Move over, website woes. Lawmakers confronted the Obama administration Tuesday with a difficult new health care problem - a wave of cancellation notices hitting individuals and small businesses who buy their own insurance.
At the same time, the federal official closest to the website apologized for its dysfunction in new sign-ups and asserted things are getting better by the day.
Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner said it's not the administration but insurers who are responsible for cancellation letters now reaching many of the estimated 14 million people who buy individual policies. And, officials said, people who get cancellation notices will be able to find better replacement plans, in some cases for less.
The Associated Press, citing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, reported in May that many carriers would opt to cancel policies this fall and issue new ones. Administratively that was seen as easier than changing existing plans to comply with the new law, which mandates coverage of more services and provides better financial protection against catastrophic illnesses.
While the administration had ample warning of the cancellations, they could become another public relations debacle for President Barack Obama's signature legislation. This problem goes to the credibility of one of the president's earliest promises about the health care overhaul: You can keep your plan if you like it.
FATHER OF NFL PLAYER KILLED IN UTAH BUS CRASH
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A tour bus driver killed in a crash near the Utah-Nevada border was the father of Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata, officials said Tuesday.
The Utah Highway Patrol said 53-year-old Pita Asiata of Bountiful was impaled by a drilling device Monday evening when the bus collided with a utility truck on Interstate 80. Three of the 50 bus passengers were critically hurt.
Matt Asiata, 26, attended Hunter High School in West Valley City and played football for the University of Utah before joining the NFL. He has played sparingly this season and missed the last game with a shoulder injury.
"This is heartbreaking news for Matt and his family," the Vikings said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "We are here to support the Asiata family in any way possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Asiata family."
Pita Asiata became a driver for Le Bus in February 2009 and since then had only one minor accident, when his bus struck a parked car, Brown said.
"Obviously, our first concern is for the family of our bus driver, for all who were injured and their families, and for each of the other passengers on our bus," the company said in a statement.
The company said it was investigating the accident.
MYSTERY BARGES ON 2 COASTS SET TECH WORLD ABUZZ
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Three mysterious structures that appeared on the water in California and Maine have the tech world abuzz.
Each of the boxy structures sits atop a barge and looks like a four-story building made up of metal boxes. Little is known about them, but they appear to have been registered by someone familiar with geek speak - and with a sense of humor.
The structures are registered with a Delaware corporation as BAL0001, BAL0010, BAL0011 and BAL0100. In binary code used in computing, the numbers spell out "one," "two," "three" and "four." Currently, Nos. 1 and 2 are on the water in San Francisco and No. 3 is in Portland Harbor.
Online speculation has focused on Google Inc., which has a patent for a floating data center that uses ocean water for cooling. Neither Google nor the company outfitting the vessel shed any light on the matter Tuesday.
Sharon Gaudin, a writer for Computerworld, told the Portland Press Herald that the way the vessels were named suggested a technology origin or use.
"That's a little telling," she said.
Also, the Delaware company to which they're registered is called Buy and Large, a likely joking reference to "Buy N Large," the fictional mega-corporation in the 2008 film "WALL-E."
While the floating structures may one day have a high-tech purpose, their construction appears to be fairly low tech. They consist of shipping containers welded together and placed atop barges.
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