Category: Cronkite News

Flake bill would let U.S. military strike ‘non-state actors’ like ISIS

Ben Moffat Thursday, May 25, 2017 Flake bill would let U.S. military strike ‘non-state actors’ like ISIS WASHINGTON – Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a use-of-force resolution Thursday that would let the president take military action against “non-state actors” like al Qaeda, ISIS and other terror groups. The last time Congress voted for an authorization for use of military force – or AUMF – was shortly after the 9/11 attacks, and they let the president act against nations and organizations that carried out, planned or aided in those attacks. But Flake, a Republican, and Kaine, a Democrat, said sovereign states are no longer as much of a threat as terror groups like ISIS, al Qaeda and the Taliban. “Rarely do we now declare war against sovereign state,” Flake said. “We’re dealing with non-state actors – non-state actors that move and morph.” Kaine agreed that the landscape has changed since the current military authorizations were passed. “We need to think about the last 16 years and operating both under the 2001 authorization and under the 2002 authorization,” Kaine said. “And if we can’t learn from that, then we’re doing something wrong.” Their bill would not cover state actors like North Korea, and it does not provide authorization for offensive or deterrent measures. It would not have applied to President Donald Trump’s April 6 order to...

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CBO: GOP health bill could cost 23 million coverage; 400,000 in Arizona

Brianna Stearns Thursday, May 25, 2017 CBO: GOP health bill could cost 23 million coverage; 400,000 in Arizona WASHINGTON – The Republican plan to replace Obamacare will force as many as 23 million Americans off health insurance over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported, with local experts predicting more than 400,000 of those will be in Arizona. The long-awaited CBO “score” said the GOP’s American Health Care Act would save federal funds by cutting deeply into Medicaid, which one report said covers up to one in five Americans, many of them children. Democrats and supporters of the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – pounced on the report, which they said shows the GOP plan would “leave millions uninsured, roll back basic coverage, and increase premiums for the most vulnerable populations” to fund tax cuts. “About 20 million people nationally are going to lose their coverage if this budget goes through, like I said over 400,000 of them are here in Arizona,” said DJ Quinlan, a spokesman for the Arizona Alliance for Healthcare Security. “And we think that affect will be pretty devastating to Arizona working families.” But Republicans dismissed the CBO report, saying it does not take into account improvements at the state level that will offset the cuts under their bill and noting that the CBO has been wrong before in its predictions about Obamacare....

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HHS: Arizona health insurance premiums almost tripled since 2013

Joe Gilmore Thursday, May 25, 2017 HHS: Arizona health insurance premiums almost tripled since 2013 WASHINGTON – Health insurance premiums nearly tripled in Arizona between 2013 and 2017, the fourth-biggest increase among the 39 states that participated in healthcare.gov, according to new data from the Department of Health and Human Services. Arizona’s 190 percent increase meant a monthly premium increase of about $400 to a consumer in the state, to $611, under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The average monthly increase for all marketplace states was 105 percent, or $244, according to the HHS numbers released this week. The report does not mention the tax credits that many low-income consumers received under Obamacare, which made the coverage affordable. But Republicans, whose plan to replace Obamacare took a harsh hit in a Congressional Budget Office assessment released Wednesday, quickly seized on the HHS numbers to support what they say is the urgent need to replace the Affordable Care Act. “This is exactly why we are on a rescue mission,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, waving a copy of the report during a news conference Thursday. “Between premiums surging up and choices going away, Obamacare is on an unsustainable path.” But Democrats said Republicans were merely looking for cover for their plan, the American Health Care Act, after the CBO report that said the GOP proposal would cause up to...

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Cosplay industry grows rapidly, Arizona benefits from pop culture phenomenon

Charlie Clark Thursday, May 25, 2017 Cosplay industry grows rapidly, Arizona benefits from pop culture phenomenon TUCSON – When Dustbunny first learned about cosplay in high school, she viewed it as just “dress up.” But now, the 29-year-old Los Angeles resident considers herself a semi-professional cosplayer. She served as the special guest for Tucson’s recent Con Nichiwa anime convention, and she travels across the country to serve as a panelist and cosplay judge. Dustbunny still has a full-time job, so she mostly does convention appearances on weekends. That hasn’t stopped her from garnering a large following. Her Facebook page has nearly 300,000 likes, and she’s witnessed the hobby she loves dramatically leap from obscurity into the mainstream. “Cosplay has changed so much. Let me say I have an alias for a reason,” Dustbunny said. “I thought I didn’t want employers to know because I thought they’d think it was weird. But now, cosplay is so mainstream in a sense, there (are television shows) ‘Cosplay Melee’ now and ‘Heroes of Cosplay.’” Dustbunny, a semi-professional cosplayer, runs her booth at Con Nichiwa in Tucson. (Photo by Megan Bridgeman/Cronkite News) “Cosplay” comes from the combination of the words “costume” and “play” and involves people dressing up as characters from video games, television shows, anime, movies or books. They may decide to act in character while in costume as well, making it more...

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Farmers markets bloom as vendors educate, bring local produce to customers

Graham Bosch Thursday, May 25, 2017 Farmers markets bloom as vendors educate, bring local produce to customers PHOENIX – Farmers markets are gaining more attention from Valley residents, helping small businesses reach customers and find their footing in a competitive market. “I think that we’re seeing another beginning growth, a bloom of markets, and we’ll be seeing more of that,” Dee Logan, senior coordinator for the Arizona Community Farmers Markets Group , an association that organizes several farmers markets in the Phoenix area. At least two dozen farmers markets are sprawled across the Valley, with more operating statewide, drawing thousands of tourists and residents. “I think that they are a growing trend everywhere, hopefully,” said Bo Mostow, owner and manager of Uptown Farmers Market in Phoenix. “But Arizona especially, because we are able to grow year-round. So many other states can’t.” Markets in the Phoenix metropolitan area host anywhere from 40 to 160 vendors, but average numbers fall between 70 and 100 booths at mid-sized farmers markets. Some struggle to survive, but many serve as startups for small businesses, encourage buying, preparing and cooking locally grown food and educate customers about farming and sustainability in Arizona. “We’ll always be a part of the farmers markets no matter what happens,” said Pauline Pimienta, one of the owners of The Tamale Store in Phoenix. “I feel like they just keep growing...

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