- Created on 04 December 2013
Anton Gunn (l) and Keli Goff (r) (NewsOne Now)
Though the wrinkles are being smoothed out of the insurance sign-up experience on healthcare.gov, many people are confused about their options and the upcoming deadlines.
Critics say the Obama administration should have done a better job of getting the word out in the months that led up to the launch of the health insurance exchanges on Oct. 1. But Anton Gunn, from the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, insists what's important is that the administration is now getting the messaging right for the people who need it.
"People focus on what's important and right in their face," said Gunn, speaking on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin. "If you can't enroll in a plan, which you couldn't do before October 1, again, effectively, no one was paying attention to what was different. But now that you can enroll in coverage, more people are paying attention. That's why we had such a demand when we opened enrollment on October 1. Four million people [visiting] in the first day or so. And we've seen that continue to grow."
Journalist Keli Goff, who participated in a roundtable discussion with Gunn, was unwilling to let him off the hook. Effective advance communication was vital, she said. "It is completely the fault of the administration if you couldn't get your base to mobilize around this issue until after October, or [reach] the people who use this and see why they couldn't use it."
Looking ahead, Gunn shared what happens after the current open enrollment period for 2014 ends on March 31. "There are some special circumstances — if you lose a job, or if you get married, you have a life event — you can enroll into a special enrollment period that happens after March 31. But for everybody else, the next open enrollment period starts that following October... and it goes until the end of the year."
Listen to the entire exchange in the clip here.
- Created on 03 December 2013
Photo by AP/ Hoover Police Department
A woman charged with killing a fellow Alabama fan after the end of last weekend's Iron Bowl football game was angry that the victim and others didn't seem upset over the Crimson Tide's loss to archrival Auburn, said the sister of the slain woman.
Adrian Laroze Briskey, 28, was charged Monday with murder in the killing of 36-year-old Michelle Shepherd.
Hoover police Capt. Jim Coker said both Birmingham women were Alabama fans and at the same party for the annual game between intrastate rivals. With no time left on the clock, Auburn returned a missed Crimson Tide field goal more than 100 yards for a 34-28 victory, dashing any hopes of Alabama playing for a third straight national championship.
The victim's sister, Nekesa Shepherd, said she witnessed the killing and had no doubt it was about football, even though it was unclear to investigators whether the violence was motivated by the game.
"That's one of the things we are investigating," Coker said Monday.
Nekesa Shepherd said Briskey flew into a rage when she saw the sisters and others joking that the Crimson Tide's loss wasn't as bad as if the NBA's Miami Heat had lost a game.
"She said we weren't real Alabama fans because it didn't bother us that they lost. And then she started shooting," Shepherd told The Associated Press.
Shepherd said she and her sister were invited to the party by a mutual friend who also invited Briskey. About two dozen people were on hand.
Shepherd, the mother of three, was shot to death in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover and the women did not know each other before the party, Coker said.
Court records were not available to show whether Briskey has a lawyer. She has only had a couple of speeding tickets in the past, records show.
Coker said alcohol might have been involved, but investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to make a determination.
Shepherd said Briskey drank multiple shots of liquor during the game and "went crazy" when she heard people joking after 'Bama lost.
"It was over a football game," said Shepherd. "I'm never going to forget it because she died in my arms."
For more information about this story, click here.
- Created on 02 December 2013
Photo by Youtube
One by one, each of Connie's three children died before her eyes in the 1980s from a relentless disease she had suspected was HIV, but didn't have the "courage" at the time to find out.
Today, the grieving mother is working to make sure that no parent makes the same tragic decision.
In Zambia, where Connie lives, and other parts of the sub-Saharan Africa -- HIV and AIDS still carry a pervasive stigma, a stigma so strong that it keeps people from even getting tested.
To read the rest of this story, click here.
- Created on 03 December 2013
Did you know that the first View-Master was introduced at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair? Like its ancestor the stereopticon, which allowed people to view 3-D pictures of faraway places, the View-Master was originally intended for viewing images of exotic locations and travel postcards, according to "Toy Time." It took off as a toy for children in the 1950s and is still marketed to toddlers.
Editor's note: What's your favorite childhood toy? Share your memories in the comments or on CNN Living's Facebook page.
(CNN) -- Most of us have a favorite toy from childhood that still has the power to make us smile, whether it's a Barbie doll, a Micro Machine or the board game Operation.
What makes them memorable is the subject of a new book, "Toy Time! From Hula Hoops to He-Man to Hungry Hungry Hippos," a collection of some of the most beloved toys of the 20th century.
Author Christopher Byrne crowd-sourced the compilation from readers of the popular website TimetoPlayMag.com and came up with more than 100 beloved toys. The book includes not just the most popular choices, such as Big Wheels and the Etch a Sketch, but also those that prompted the most compelling memories, serving as "a catalyst for the imagination," Byrne said.
Most of our favorite toys came into our lives when we were developing our identity and figuring out the world, he said. Some, like the rampaging dinosaur King Zor (1962), have faded from the cultural landscape, while others, like View-Master and Nok Hockey (which both hit the mass market in the 1940s), have been passed down through generations.
The toys that stick with us are those that allowed us to explore new worlds and create experiences.
"Ultimately, play is something that happens in the imagination," said Byrne, content director of TimetoPlayMag.com. "What makes each Barbie doll unique is how a little girl creates and projects her sense of self and her fantasies onto that piece of plastic."
Other toys create strong memories simply because of their nostalgic appeal.
"Some, just by looking at them, reflect the design sensibility of the time, becoming almost works of art," he said. "We identify with them in the cultural context of their time."
So, how can you tell if a toy will be a hit for your child? When it comes to gift-giving for children, the most important rule of thumb is to know who you're shopping for, Byrne said.
"The hot toys are only hot if they're hot for your child," he said. "The toys that become memorable are the ones that connect with our interests."
- Created on 01 December 2013
A Black Los Angeles Superior Court judge has filed a complaint against the University of California, Los Angeles police squad for excessive force after a stop for a traffic violation. Judge David S. Cunningham III (pictured) was stopped Nov. 23 leaving a gym where he says a UCLA officer roughed him up for not wearing a seat belt.