NEW YORK (AP) -- A global index reflecting economic security, health and other factors - and not deducting for cold winters - ranks Norway and Sweden with the highest level of well-being for older people. Of the 96 nations in the index, Afghanistan ranked last.

The Global AgeWatch Index, released on Tuesday, was compiled by HelpAge International, a London-based nonprofit with affiliates in 65 countries. Its mission is to help older people challenge discrimination, overcome poverty and lead secure, active lives.

The 13 indicators measured in the index include life expectancy, coverage by pension plans, access to public transit, and the poverty rate for people over 60. 

Scores of countries were not ranked due to lack of data for some of the criteria, but HelpAge said the countries included in the index are home to about 90 percent of the world's 60-plus population.

Switzerland, Canada and Germany joined Norway and Sweden in the top five. The United States was eighth, Japan ninth, China 48th, Russia 65th and India 69th.

According to HelpAge, there are now about 868 million people in the world over 60 - nearly 12 percent of the global population. By 2050, that's expected to rise to 2.02 billion, or 21 percent of the total, the group said. In dozens of countries 

- including most of eastern Europe - the over-60 segment will be more than 30 percent of the population.

HelpAge launched the index in 2013. Among the changes for 2014 were the inclusion of five more countries, and Norway replacing Sweden with the highest ranking.

The new report devotes special attention to the issue of pensions and their role in helping older people remain active and self-sufficient. It praised several Latin American nations, including Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, for steps to extend pension coverage even to older people who did not contribute to pension plans when they were younger. Peru's government established a means-tested pension program in 2011 that gives the equivalent of about $90 every two months to older people living in extreme poverty.

According to HelpAge, only half the world's population can expect to receive even a basic pension in old age. It urged governments to move faster to extend pension coverage as their elderly populations swell.

Release of the Index was timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons on Wednesday. Various events were planned in dozens of countries to call on governments and civic institutions to better address the needs of older people.
Follow David Crary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CraryAP
© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

EBay is spinning off PayPal

EBay has announced that it will separate PayPal into its own business. Next year, eBay and PayPal will be independent publicly-traded companies, Fortune reports.

Activist investor Carl Icahn advocated for the separation in January. The tax-free spinoff will be completed in late 2015.

Fortune notes that the split will "allow the separated businesses to focus more on their distinct core competencies: e-commerce and payments." In a statement, eBay said that while the businesses have done well together, the company found that "keeping eBay and PayPal together beyond 2015 would clearly become less advantageous to each business strategically and competitively."

Dan Schulman, an American Express executive, is PayPal's new president, and he'll be PayPal's CEO after the separation. Devin Wening, the president of eBay Marketplaces, will become eBay's CEO after the split. 

Wisconsin Reporter Was Sent to Cover Michelle Obama’s Speech and What She Says an Aide Told Her Had Her ‘Creeped Out’


Meg Kissinger is a seasoned reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin’s well-known newspaper. She’s seen a lot in her days. But what she said happened at a speech by Michelle Obama in the state on Monday left her utterly “creeped out.”
Kissinger took to her Facebook and Twitter page to describe what happened. In short, she said, aides for both the first lady and Wisconsin Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Burke, told her she was banned from talking to members of the crowd.
Kissinger was in Hudson, Wisconsin, covering the first lady’s speech in which she was stumping for Burke.
“[A]ssigned to cover Michelle Obama’s speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House that I could not speak to the people in the crowd,” she said on her Facebook page. “To say that I was creeped out is an understatement. This is what reporters do in America: we speak to people. At least that’s how I’ve been doing things — at all kinds of political events — since 1979.”
(Source: Facebook)
(Source: Facebook)
In a follow-up comment to her post, she added that she’s “never seen anything like it in 35 years as a reporter”:
(Source: Facebook)
(Source: Facebook)
She recounted the same events on Twitter:
(Source: Twitter)
(Source: Twitter)
The odd encounter did make it into her story for the Journal Sentinel [emphasis added]:
At the Burke event, a number of people in the crowd were upset about a lack of seating. Several people, including a woman using two canes, complained that she had nowhere to sit.
Reporters and photographers were cordoned off in a central area with chairs and tables. Several people in the crowd asked if they could have extra chairs reserved for the media — but reporters were initially forbidden from handing them over. Eventually, some of the Burke staff gave the extra chairs to attendees.
Burke and White House staff also told reporters not to talk to people in the crowd before the event.
Kissinger’s encounter bolsters charges by the media that the administration is one of the most guarded ever.

Inventor of World Wide Web warns of threat to internet

London (AFP) - The British inventor of the World Wide Web warned on Saturday that the freedom of the internet is under threat by governments and corporations interested in controlling the web.
Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist who invented the web 25 years ago, called for a bill of rights that would guarantee the independence of the internet and ensure users' privacy.
"If a company can control your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go to, then they have tremendous control over your life," Berners-Lee said at the London "Web We Want" festival on the future of the internet.
"If a Government can block you going to, for example, the opposition's political pages, then they can give you a blinkered view of reality to keep themselves in power."
"Suddenly the power to abuse the open internet has become so tempting both for government and big companies."
Berners-Lee, 59, is director of the World Wide Web Consortium, a body which develops guidelines for the development of the internet.
He called for an internet version of the "Magna Carta", the 13th century English charter credited with guaranteeing basic rights and freedoms.
Concerns over privacy and freedom on the internet have increased in the wake of the revelation of mass government monitoring of online activity following leaks by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
A ruling by the European Union to allow individuals to ask search engines such as Google to remove links to information about them, called the "right to be forgotten", has also raised concerns over the potential for censorship.
"There have been lots of times that it has been abused, so now the Magna Carta is about saying...I want a web where I'm not spied on, where there's no censorship," Berners-Lee said.
The scientist added that in order to be a "neutral medium", the internet had to reflect all of humanity, including "some ghastly stuff".
"Now some things are of course just illegal, child pornography, fraud, telling someone how to rob a bank, that's illegal before the web and it's illegal after the web," Berners-Lee added.

Rick Perry: White House must address beheading

Rick Perry said on Monday that the Obama administration will have to address the beheading of an Oklahoma woman in what the Texas governor noted closely resembles an act of terrorism.
“At some point in time, the administration does have to address this as what is appears to many people that it is — and that is an act of violence that is associated with terrorism,” Perry said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
On Thursday, Alton Nolen, 30, allegedly attacked two women at a Vaughan Foods plant in Moore, Oklahoma. During the attack, one woman was beheaded. Investigators have discovered that Nolen had recently converted to Islam and had made radical Islamic comments on social media. According to two FBI officials who spoke to The Washington Post, the incident is being treated as an act of “workplace violence.”

“I think Americans are confused about what this is,” Perry said. “This is a clear case of an individual going in and doing something that does not meet their definition of ‘workplace violence,’ so I think any rational thinking American is going to look at this and go, ‘This is more than just normal workplace violence.’”

During the interview, Fox News’ Steve Doocy said that if the incident was not connected to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, after the group had released its own beheading videos, then “it’s the craziest connection ever.”

Perry said the act “seems to fall into that type of activity” but said to “give the appropriate time to really do the investigation to make sure that this is in fact the case.”

On Monday, Moore police officers will officially present murder and “other charges” against Nolen to the district attorney, according to The Associated Press.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/rick-perry-oklahoma-beheading-111419.html#ixzz3EjjX3LyC

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