News stories the mainstream media missed 10/17/09

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* New rules from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury department mandate that “genetic information [can not be] used adversely in determining health care coverage.” On the website, it says the “Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)… group health plans and issuers in the group market cannot: increase premiums for the group based on the results of one enrollee’s genetic information; deny enrollment; impose pre-existing condition exclusions; or do other forms of underwriting based on genetic information. In the individual health insurance market, GINA prohibits issuers from using genetic information to deny coverage, raise premiums, or impose pre-existing condition exclusions.” That’s wonderful news! Right now, since the medical repair and adjustment of DNA is in its’ infancy, the only thing thorough DNA testing can do at this time is discriminate. Unfortunately, good news doesn’t sell like bad news does. [HHS – HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES]

* AH-NOLD does it again! This week, he signed a law that “requires gun shop owners to thumbprint people who buy handgun ammunition, as well as record their identification and provide that information to police.” What, exactly, is this law going to do? All the people who get thumbrinted will say is that they resold their ammo if the police come knocking looking for it. And since that’s not illegal, what’s the point? And the bad guys you are trying to stop from buying ammo will just drive a truck across state lines to pick up a palette of their choice and drive it right back into California! Brilliant work, governor! What’s your next trick?  [NEWS 10 – CA]

* Acai Berry : the new wonder drug! Truth or Scam? Well, it is indeed a fruit. And, as such, it works just as well as other fruits at keeping you healthy. Sorry about that. Next month, APPLES : The new wonder drug! [FOOD BUSINESS NEWS]

* Saudi Arabia is trying to gather support to demand that “if wealthy countries reduce their oil consumption to combat global warming, [these countries] should pay compensation to oil producers” for lost revenue. BWA HA HA!!!! I’m sorry. That was completely unprofessional of me. My answer on behalf of the United States is NO. You want a second opinion? OK. Hows about HELL NO! [NEW YORK TIMES]

* A man finds a Dragon surface-to-surface missile launcher in his backyard. He calls the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Sheriff’s Department. Nobody wants to pick it up! Hijinks ensue. OK, Dude… the first rule of missile club is that you don’t talk about missile club! [SAN ANTONIO NEWS]

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved “Folotyn (pralatrexate), the first treatment for a form of cancer known as Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma (PTCL), an often aggressive type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.” What’s going to make this reeeeeal interesting is that “Folotyn was approved under the FDA’s accelerated approval process, which allows earlier approval of drugs that meet unmet medical needs.” Hmmm… definitely good news / bad news kind of thing here. This kind of cancer is very bad, bad news. But an untested drug is another problem in and of its’ own. [FDA]

* An artificial electromagnetic black hole for microwave frequencies was just invented by scientists. OK, that was an awesome sentence! Anyhow, scientists are trying to push this invention further along so it can trap visible light to harness solar energy in solar cells more efficiently. Holy crap. A solar panel full of baby black holes to power homes. Ammunition will be illegal, but ownership of black holes will be acceptable. Welcome to the future! [NEW SCIENTIST]