Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | November 1 SNAP Cut Will Hit Veterans in Every State

Count low-income veterans — thousands in every state, according to a new Center analysis — among the nearly 48 million people whose nutrition benefits will be cut later this week. As we’ve previously explained, the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits ends on November 1, which will result in a benefit cut for each of the program’s recipients.

The 2009 Recovery Act temporarily boosted SNAP benefits as a form of effective economic stimulus and to reduce the hardship that low-income families faced during the recession. This benefit increase is set to expire on November 1. The coming benefit cut will reduce SNAP benefits, which are already modest, for all households by 7 percent on average, or about $10 per person per month. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2014 will average less than $1.40 per person per meal.

For low-income veterans, who may be unemployed, working in low-wage jobs, or disabled, SNAP provides an essential support that enables them to purchase nutritious food for their families.

Our new analysis, which uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, finds that thousands of veterans lived in SNAP households in every state between 2009 and 2011. For instance, more than 100,000 veterans lived in SNAP households in two states: Florida (109,500) and Texas (105,700).

This benefit cut hits as the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are beginning their conference committee negotiations on the Farm Bill, which includes a reauthorization of — and proposed cuts to — SNAP. The House version of the bill would cut SNAP by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years, denying benefits to about 3.8 million people in 2014 and an average of 3 million people each year over the coming decade.

via Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | November 1 SNAP Cut Will Hit Veterans in Every State.

WHO reports millions of TB/MDR-TB patients missed by health care system | Vaccine News Daily

WHO reports millions of TB/MDR-TB patients missed by health care system | Vaccine News Daily. The report estimates that roughly three million people are currently infected with TB without access to quality medical care; it is believed 75 percent of this population is concentrated in 12 countries. The WHO also reports that treatment for those with MDR-TB infections must be improved, as the disease continues to gain strength.

“The WHO Global TB report highlights the very big gains the global community has made in the fight against tuberculosis,” Osamu Kunii, head of the Strategy, Investment and Impact Division of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said. “We are now at a crucial moment where we cannot afford to let these gains go into reverse. We need the commitment of the international community to address the significant funding gap to fight this disease.”

WHO reports millions of TB/MDR-TB patients missed by health care system | Vaccine News Daily

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BBC News – Syria hands in chemical weapons destruction plan

Syria has handed in a plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons to the watchdog monitoring the process.

In a statement, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW) said the declaration was submitted three days ahead of schedule.

OPCW inspectors are also due to complete visiting the last four of 23 weapons sites declared by Syria.

The OPCW\’s mission was set up following outrage at a chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital in August.

Sixty inspectors have been in Syria since 1 October. The OPCW, which is based in The Hague, said on Friday that its team in Syria had visited 19 of the 23 sites disclosed by Syria.

via BBC News – Syria hands in chemical weapons destruction plan.

TERENA> Webcam> Koningsplein webcam, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Live stream with sound.

The camera is mounted on the outside of our office, on the 4th floor. The office is in central Amsterdam above the Singel canal and the busy junction between the flower market (off-screen right) the roads that run between the shops, hotels, cinemas and restaurants at Leidseplein (bottom right corner) and the popular shopping areas of Spui (top left) and Kalverstraat (top centre). Check the Contact page for details and a photo of the office building. To be specific, the camera is located below the turret, a little to the right.

via TERENA> Webcam> Koningsplein webcam, Amsterdam.

Aquaponic Farm Grows Produce Year-round and Creates Jobs for Young Adults with Autism

Since the launch of Green Bridge Growers almost 15 months ago in South Bend Indiana, the organization has focused on growing produce sustainably with aquaponic methods while recruiting young adults with autism to work at the farm.

Jan Pilarski, co-founder and CEO at Green Bridge Growers, started the organization with the aid of her son, Chris Tidmarsh, who has autism.

“My son Chris and I share an interest in growing food sustainably, but came to that independently and by different paths,” Pilarski said. “In the workshops and conferences we participated in three years ago related to food justice and sustainable farming, we were exposed to aquaponics. That model of sustainable, year-round growing appealed to us both.”

via Aquaponic Farm Grows Produce Year-round and Creates Jobs for Young Adults with Autism.

BND to spend €100 mln on internet spying – The Local

Spy vs Spy being revived as comic, comic opera and TV show? Angela will take Natasha’s part and toss up who will be the new Boris – but Putin wants the job?

The money is to be spent on new technology and on hiring as many as 100 new employees, the service wrote. The €100 million is to be spent over a five year period, but the federal government has already released €5 million for the first phase.

The BND is moving forward with its plans despite criticism over the US spying programme. The agency, like the US National Security Agency, wants to be sure that it can survey cross-border data traffic.

The story said that German law allows for spy agencies to monitor as much as 20 percent of communication between Germany and other countries, but due to technical limitations only five percent of such traffic is being monitored.

These include emails, telephone calls, Facebook postings and Skype conversations.

In contrast to the US, which can make a record of suspicious communications, German spies have tighter restrictions. Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is calling for a loosening of those regulations.

Friedrich also defended the US from German criticism of the recently revealed spying program, saying “That’s not how you treat friends who are our most important partner in the fight against terrorism. He made his comments to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Friedrich said Germany is dependent on information delivered from the US and Der Spiegel noted that there has been a considerable exchange of information between Germany and the US and that many attacks in Germany have been prevented, in part, by US information.

via BND to spend €100 mln on internet spying – The Local.