Browsing articles from "October, 2017"

Godflesh, The Mutants Of Industrial Metal, Return With ‘Post Self’

Oct 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Godflesh, The Mutants Of Industrial Metal, Return With ‘Post Self’

Godflesh’s Post Self comes out Nov. 17.

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Godflesh’s Post Self comes out Nov. 17.

VK/Courtesy of the artist

When we last left Godflesh, the mecha-mutants of industrial metal had returned after more than a decade with 2014’s devastatingly nasty A World Lit Only By Fire. It was one of those reunion albums that wasn’t only better than it should’ve been, but a reclamation and reinvention for Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green.

The duo today announces Post Self with the bruising title track. With a piledriver of a boom-bap drum-machine beat and swirling guitar riffs, it’s Godflesh through the atmospherically bleak post-punk lens of Killing Joke.

Post Self comes out Nov. 17 on Avalanche Recordings. Track list below:

“Post Self”
” Parasite”
“No Body”
“Mirror Of Finite Light”
“Be God”
“The Cyclic End”
“Pre Self”
“Mortality Sorrow”
“In Your Shadow”
“The Infinite End”

If You’re Shopping For Health Insurance, Make Sure You’re Paid Up On Old Plan

Oct 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on If You’re Shopping For Health Insurance, Make Sure You’re Paid Up On Old Plan

People hoping to get health insurance coverage in 2018 may need to make sure their 2017 premiums are paid.

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People hoping to get health insurance coverage in 2018 may need to make sure their 2017 premiums are paid.

Busakorn Pongparnit/Getty Images

The 2018 annual open-enrollment period for coverage on the health insurance marketplaces starts Wednesday. But if you don’t take care of lingering issues from your past coverage, they may come back to haunt you.

Unpaid Premiums

A new rule will allow some insurers to require you to pay any back premiums you owe for the 12 months prior to the effective date of your new coverage.

The rule, which became effective in June, generally applies only if you try to enroll in a plan with the same insurer, not if you choose coverage from another company. It’s up to insurers to decide whether to come after you for the money.

But in many parts of the country, there may be only one insurer offering coverage. In those cases, if you’ve fallen behind on payments, “you really won’t be able to escape this policy,” said Tara Straw, a senior health policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Insurers have to notify you before you miss premium payments if they plan to implement the rule.

The Affordable Care Act offers some protection for people who fall behind on their payments. Under the law, you have a 90-day grace period in which to catch up on unpaid premiums. Once that grace period ends, your coverage would be canceled retroactive to the end of the first month of delinquency and you’d be responsible only for your portion of the first month’s unpaid premium. (You wouldn’t be responsible for premium tax credits paid on your behalf to the insurer.)

But if you stop paying your premiums during the last three months of this year, you could get hit with a bill for a full three months of premiums if you re-enroll for 2018 coverage. This is because your 90-day grace period hasn’t ended.

“Effectively your coverage has never terminated, and therefore you owe for the full period,” said Timothy Jost, professor emeritus of law at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

If you want to drop a marketplace plan, it’s not enough to just stop paying premiums.

“Make sure you go to the marketplace and terminate your plan,” said Straw. “Otherwise you could be on the hook for these payments during open enrollment or during a special enrollment period if you try to sign up again.”

Unfiled Tax Documents

Most people who get marketplace coverage qualify for tax credits that provide money to help them pay their premiums. The assistance is available to consumers whose income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $48,000 for one person). If you had a marketplace plan in 2016, you were supposed to include a special document — IRS Form 8962 — when you filed your 2016 federal income taxes this year. This document reconciled how much you received in advance premium tax credits against how much you should have received based on your actual income for the year.

If you didn’t file the form with your taxes, you can still sign up for insurance coverage but you wouldn’t qualify for subsidies.

To fix that problem, you’ll generally have to file the Form 8962, along with the second page of your income tax Form 1040 and the 1095-A form you received from the marketplace showing your 2016 enrollment details, said Straw. If you want to receive premium tax credits starting in January, you’ll need to get that done before the open-enrollment period ends Dec. 15.

This issue will primarily affect people who are automatically re-enrolled in a plan for the following year, as were 31 percent of marketplace customers last year (see Table 2 on Page 6.)

If you sign into your marketplace account to update your income and other personal information — as everyone should — you’ll be asked whether you’ve filed and reconciled your taxes. That is a signal the issue needs to be addressed.

Some policy analysts are concerned that this filing requirement will be particularly challenging for people whose annual income is below the usual threshold required to file an income tax return (about $10,000 for one person or $20,000 for a married couple) but who must do so now because they receive premium tax credits paid in advance.

“It’s confusing enough, and many people don’t remember that they now have to file an income tax form,” said Mara Youdelman, managing attorney at the National Health Law Program, which has been working to ensure people receive proper notification that their benefit may be at risk if they don’t comply with filing requirements.

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Follow Michelle Andrews on Twitter: @mandrews110.

The Unsettling Sound Of Tritones, The Devil’s Interval

Oct 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on The Unsettling Sound Of Tritones, The Devil’s Interval

Frans Francken’s Death Playing the Violin. In music theory, the tritone came to be known as the devil’s interval.



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Everyone knows the sounds of Halloween: creaky floorboards, howling winds, the amplified sound of a beating heart. But back in the day, the devil was said to exist in a particular musical tone. For centuries, it was called the devil’s interval — or, in Latin, diabolus in musica. In music theory, it’s called the “tritone” because it’s made of three whole steps.

“The reason it’s unsettling is that it’s ambiguous, unresolved,” says Gerald Moshell, Professor of Music at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. “It wants to go somewhere. It wants to settle either here, or [there]. You don’t know where it’ll go, but it can’t stop where it is.”

There used to be rules against writing music that contained this interval. Moshell says that during the Renaissance, all music had one purpose: to be beautiful and express the majesty of God. Anything otherwise was studiously avoided. But once music was no longer shackled to the church, it was free to express all kinds of tension. The devil’s interval was ideal for that.

From classical to jazz to rock and even Broadway musicals, the tritone conveys feelings ranging from forbidden love and longing to fear and defiance. Listen below to a selection of songs that contain this unsettling tritone and hear the radio version at the audio link above.

  • Richard Wagner, ‘Tristan und Isolde’ Prelude

    Richard Wagner used the tritone to convey forbidden love and longing in his opera Tristan und Isolde.

  • Miles Davis, “Walkin'”

    “In jazz, people embraced the tritone as a way to challenge the audience in a way they didn’t so much [do] in swing,” says Hankus Netsky, head of contemporary improvisation at New England Conservatory.

  • Pearl Jam, “Even Flow”

    In rock, the tritone can be a sound of defiance. “It’s a gesture that is very confrontational,” Netsky says. “[It] really makes people pay attention, and sounds a little violent.”

  • Leonard Bernstein, ‘West Side Story’ Prologue

    The tritone makes an appearance in multiple places in Leonard Bernstein’s music for West Side Story.

  • Camille Saint-Saëns, ‘Danse macabre,’ symphonic poem in G minor, Op. 40

    Finally, in Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre, the tritone is used simply to build tension.

Inspired By A Super Mario Speed Whiz, ‘Warpless Run’ Has Tera Melos Playing Catch Up

Oct 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Inspired By A Super Mario Speed Whiz, ‘Warpless Run’ Has Tera Melos Playing Catch Up

“Speedruns” are a weirdly enthralling piece of video game culture, wherein a gamer takes on titles, often older ones like Super Metroid or Sonic The Hedgehog, using every trick in the book to beat their chosen game as fast as possible.

Brad “Darbian” Myers currently holds the Super Mario Bros. speedrun world record, completing the classic in four minutes, 56 seconds. Tera Melos guitarist and singer Nick Reinhart recalls one of Darbian’s recent live streams as “the closest thing I’ve ever felt to being a real sports fan,” he tells NPR. “My heart was racing and I was yelling at my phone screen.”

When Darbian mentioned having to skip worlds three and six (“the coolest looking levels that we never see because we’re all too busy trying to beat the game as fast as possible”) in order to beat Super Mario Bros. in record time, “that really resonated with me,” Reinhart says. “So we wrote a song about it — and we got [Pinback guitarist and vocalist] Rob Crow to be a part of it!”

“Warpless Run” comes from Tera Melos’ first new album in four years, Trash Generator. This frenetic prog-punk wallop contains a guitar solo that twitches like a Tron lightcycle careening off a cliff, and switchback time signatures crammed into a weirdly poppy song.

For the song’s video, Reinhart and Tera Melos doubled down on the geek worship.

“We had this wacky idea to try and recreate one of Darbian’s speedruns with a made-up Tera Melos-style video game,” Reinhart says. “Then I wondered: ‘It would be pretty cool if we could actually get Darbian in the video.’ I figured there’s no harm in asking, so I sent him a message. He was into it! Next thing you know [Tera Melos’ longtime visual collaborator] Behn Fannin sends us this video game he had made from scratch, plus a duplication of Darbian’s live Twitch stream layout. It blew our minds. And finally, we got to have the legendary Darbian speedrun our own video game, in which the soundtrack is one of the weirdest songs we’ve ever written.”

So here it is: the world-record holder for fastest Super Mario Bros. speedrun plays Mr. Slug 2: Slimed! — possibly the slowest video game — real or fake — ever made, with a coda sung by Pinback’s Rob Crow.

Trash Generator is out now via Sargent House (physical, digital). Tera Melos is currently on tour with Speedy Ortiz.

Rep. Adam Schiff On Manafort Indictment: ‘This Is No Small Fish’

Oct 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Rep. Adam Schiff On Manafort Indictment: ‘This Is No Small Fish’

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff talks to Rachel Martin after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort surrenders himself to federal law enforcement.

Kenya Declares President Kenyatta Winner Of Disputed Election

Oct 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Kenya Declares President Kenyatta Winner Of Disputed Election

President Uhuru Kenyatta casts his vote during the general elections. Kenyatta was the declared the winner of the disputed rerun of Kenya’s presidential election.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta casts his vote during the general elections. Kenyatta was the declared the winner of the disputed rerun of Kenya’s presidential election.

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Despite about 10 percent of Kenyans not being able to cast a vote because of violence, Kenya’s electoral commission has declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of a re-run of the country’s presidential election.

Kenyatta received 98.26 percent of the vote in an election that was boycotted by the opposition and has rekindled the deep tribal divisions that have in the past led to serious outbreaks of violence.

Before the making the announcement Monday, Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, called for a moment of silence for the dozens of men and women who have been killed during the course of these elections.

Chebukati, who less than two weeks ago said he could not conduct a fair election because of political meddling in his commission, said he believed in the future of Kenya’s democracy. But, he said, Kenya also has to deal with problems that are easier “swept under the rug.”

“Democracy is about hope; it’s about a future that is greater than the present. It’s about creating an environment and institutions that inspire a Kenyan dream,” he said. “It’s about knowing without a shadow of doubt that they are part of the Kenyan story.”

Back in August, the country’s Supreme Court threw out the results of the first presidential elections citing vast irregularities. At that moment, the court asserted its independence and Kenya was hailed a beacon of democracy in East Africa. It was the first time an African supreme court had annulled the victory of a sitting president.

But the history of the moment and what it meant for Kenya’s maturing democracy, quickly faded. It was marred by the politicization of two key institutions — the IEBC and the Supreme Court — and the tribalization of the violent street protests. In the end, only about 38 percent of registered voters went to the polls, a long way from the 75 percent who did so in August.

A new poll was set for Oct. 26, but opposition leader Raila Odinga said too few changes had been made to correct the mistakes of the first election, so he pulled out. Bouts of violence shook Kenya’s opposition strongholds and as elections officials tried to do their jobs, they were attacked.

A top elections official fled to the United States and raised questions about the fairness of the process. And the day before the Supreme Court was set to hear an important challenge to the elections, the deputy chief justice’s bodyguard was shot. The next day, only two judges showed up for the hearing — not enough to form a quorum.

In a statement, the European Union called the lack of quorum “highly unusual” and said it “raised serious questions … about possible political interference.” The Carter Center urged President Kenyatta and Odinga to dialogue so the IEBC could conduct a credible election.

But the two men have yet to meet and election day was marked by violence as opposition supporters barricaded streets and battered polling stations with rocks. In opposition strongholds in western Kenya, the threat of violence was so bad, officials called off elections, saying some of their staff had been “hijacked and … tortured.”

About 10 percent of Kenyans never got the chance to vote. Kenya’s electoral commission decided to go ahead and announce results anyway. Kenyatta’s lead was so large, Commissioner Consolata Nkatha said, that those votes would not matter.

A Western diplomat, who asked not to be named so he could speak candidly, said both sides had engaged in “undemocratic activities.” The opposition stopped people from voting; the ruling party passed legislation through parliament that tried to curb the power of the Supreme Court.

“This is about powerful men thinking they can do whatever they want,” the diplomat said.

When asked whether his country would recognize these elections as free, fair and credible, he said,”What we’ve seen so far, certainly calls into question the credibility.”

The Kenyan government says it went through with the elections because the constitution calls for fresh elections to be held within 60 days of an annulment.

“There will be no changes of government in a manner outside the constitution,” said Korir Sing’Oei, a legal adviser for the country’s deputy president. What the opposition leader was doing, he said, was inviting Kenya “to set aside the constitution for an indeterminate processes that no one knows where it was going.”

Martin Kimani, the government’s counterterrorism chief, said the opposition or anyone with a grievance is also free to petition the Supreme Court once again and ask it to throw out this repeat election and demand a third one.

Songs We Love: Gingerlys, ‘Let Down’

Oct 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Songs We Love: Gingerlys, ‘Let Down’

Gingerlys’ self-titled album is out Nov. 17.

Andrew Wilchak/Courtesy of the artist


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Gingerlys’ self-titled album is out Nov. 17.

Andrew Wilchak/Courtesy of the artist

Some of us are verbal processors, who feel like certain vexing issues just can’t be solved until we’ve exhaustively enunciated every angle. The hope is that the act of explaining a problem aloud will draw out a perspective previously unseen; sometimes you just have to start a sentence to see where it will lead. On “Let Down,” from the four-member Gingerlys, Jackie Mendoza and Colin O’Neill’s call-and-response vocals feel like two sides of a conversation with the self, an attempt to sketch the contours of tangled relationship in search of a way out.

The song comes from Gingerlys’ forthcoming self-titled sophomore album, full of dream-pop melodies and jangled guitars. The band is based in Brooklyn, but there’s something vaguely West Coast and seaside in its sunny hooks and instrumental glimmer. The album feels decidedly drenched in late autumn sunshine, nostalgic yet optimistic; Mendoza’s voice is dreamy, never rushed and occasionally speckled with a hint of rock angst.

“‘Let Down’ has a call-and-response dichotomy that brings to life the idea of a relationship growing apart from itself,” Matthew Richards, the band’s guitarist and the song’s writer, tells NPR Music. Throughout the song, Mendoza and O’Neill trade off between singing evidence of a perhaps troubled relationship (“Fill my head with your thoughts … / Taking my time behind the phone”) and repeating the line “I was waiting to be let down.” “As the song progresses,” Richards says, “Jackie sings ‘You can say it’s over now;’ the idea being that throughout the course of this song, anger, sadness, atonement, solace and forgiveness can all be felt and understood.” As the two vocalists continue their back-and-forth over a dream-rock landscape, the narrative feel less circular and more like a spiral, closing in on a distant truth.

Gingerlys’ self-titled album is out Nov. 17 via Babe City and Topshelf.

Among Charges Against Manafort Is ‘Conspiracy Against The United States’

Oct 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Among Charges Against Manafort Is ‘Conspiracy Against The United States’

NPR’s Ryan Lucas talks to Rachel Martin about the charges being laid against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

The AUMF: An Everlasting ‘Zombie Authorization’

Oct 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The AUMF: An Everlasting ‘Zombie Authorization’

Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution talks with Lulu Garcia-Navarro about whether it’s time to replace the post-Sept. 11 authorization that’s been used for anti-terror operations.

Food Safety After Flooding

Oct 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Food Safety After Flooding

Historic flooding in Texas after Hurricane Harvey has raised questions about food crops touched by flood waters, which the FDA says are not safe to eat. Some farmers argue that guidance is too broad.

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