Millions of Americans Will Face Poverty in Retirement, Study Finds

Workers and their spouses are expected to sink into poverty in their old age.

Two out of five older middle-class citizens working in the United States are expected to slide into poverty in retirement, a recent study has found.

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“Public policy that relies on the hope that people can work longer to make up for eroding pensions is not realistic,” labor economist and co-author of the study, Teresa Ghilarducci said in a series of Twitter post. “Hope is not a plan.”

Roughly 8.5 million Americans are at risk of living in poverty in their old age, according to the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School (SCEPA).

The study states that “if workers ages 50 to 60 retire at age 62,” which is the average age of retirement, “8.5 million people are projected to fall below twice the Federal Poverty Level.”

@tghilarducci "Most people do not have (retirement) money because they don’t have any opportunities to save...And we want to tell people there is no shame when the system lets them down." -@SCEPA_economics RA @sia_rdp at @IPT_info forum on investor education and protection.

Around 2.6 million are expected to be hit the worst with retirement incomes well below the poverty line at $11,700.

While the cost of living depends greatly on the town (or city), state, and region, the national average is about $53,000 US dollars.

Poor health and lack of employment options are two areas of concerns laid out by SCEPA.

Older populations receive the most medical care out of any other demographic in the U.S.

In 2010, healthcare costs for a person aged 65 and older added up to about $18,500 US dollars. It’s anticipated that by 2050, 83.7 million people will be 65 and older according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Around 2.6 million are expected to be hit the worst with retirement incomes well below the poverty line at $11,700.

While the cost of living depends greatly on the town (or city), state, and region, the national average is about $53,000 US dollars.

Poor health and lack of employment options are two areas of concerns laid out by SCEPA.

Older populations receive the most medical care out of any other demographic in the U.S.

In 2010, healthcare costs for a person aged 65 and older added up to about $18,500 US dollars. It’s anticipated that by 2050, 83.7 million people will be 65 and older according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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International court of Justice Orders US to Ease Iran Sanctions

The court's decision is seen as a victory for Tehran who argues that sanctions imposed since May by the U.S. administration violate the terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries.

The World Court ordered the United States on Wednesday to ensure that sanctions against Iran do not impact humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety.

Judges at the International Court Of Justice handed a victory to Tehran, which had argued that sanctions imposed since May by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump violate the terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries.

The ruling is likely to have at most limited practical impact on the implementation of sanctions, which Washington is reimposing and tightening after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with world powers.

The court order issued on Wednesday is temporary pending a resolution of Iran's full lawsuit against Washington by the ICJ, something that could take years.

The ICJ is the United Nations' highest court for resolving disputes between nations. Its rulings are binding, but it has no power to enforce them, and both the United States and Iran have ignored them in the past.

Washington argued last month that Iran's request was an attempt to misuse the court and that the 1955 treaty specifically ruled out using courts to resolve disputes.

The treaty was signed long before Iran's 1979 Revolution which turned the two countries into arch foes.

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Whereabouts of Over 1,200 Missouri Sex Offenders Unknown

he state auditor serves as Missouri's independent watchdog agency. The audit found that at least 794 of the 1,259 offenders committed offenses including rape, sodomy or child molestation.

Local authorities in Missouri do not know the locations of more than 1,200 sex offenders, including nearly 800 who would be classified as the most dangerous, according to a report by the state auditor released on Monday.

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Missouri law requires those convicted or found guilty of sexual offenses to register their name, address and other information with local law enforcement, the auditor's office said. The information is made public through a database and website maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

But because of local officials' inadequate enforcement of registration requirements, 1,259 registered sex offenders failed to follow the law, Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said.

"Law enforcement can't track the location of registered sex offenders if sex offender laws are not enforced," Galloway said in a statement. "This also takes away the ability of Missourians to effectively use the sex offender registry when making decisions to protect themselves and their families."

Failure to comply with registration requirements is a felony, but the audit showed that less than 10 percent of non-compliant offenders had an active arrest warrant.

The audit recommended that local authorities check the data in the registry. "The addition of these automated edits will help reduce but may never be able to identify all the 'human error' entries," Lieutenant Colonel Eric Olson, Missouri State Highway Patrol acting superintendent, said in a Sept. 5 letter to Galloway. The letter was included in the auditor's report.

Olson added that accuracy issues will be addressed in future training sessions for staff who register offenders.

The registry was implemented in 1995, the report said. Missouri was one of 18 states that initially required lifetime registration for all sex offenders, but the state later provided a process for certain registered offenders to petition for removal from the registry.

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Iran warns U.S., Israel of revenge after parade attack

LONDON (Reuters) - The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned U.S. and Israeli leaders on Monday to expect a “devastating” response from Tehran, accusing them of involvement in an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.

Thousands of people packed the streets of the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz to mourn the victims of Saturday’s assault that killed 25 people, including 12 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

The assault, one of the worst against the most powerful military force of the Islamic Republic, struck a blow at its security establishment at a time when the United States and its Gulf allies are working to isolate Tehran.

“You have seen our revenge before ... You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done,” Hossein Salami said in a speech before the funeral of the victims in Ahvaz, broadcast live on the state television.

Iran’s intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, said a large network of suspects had already been arrested in connection with the attack, the judiciary’s news agency Mizan reported.

Iran has declared Monday a national day of mourning. Public offices, banks, schools and universities will be closed in Khuzestan province.

Four assailants fired on a viewing stand in Ahvaz where Iranian officials had gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.

Islamic State’s Amaq agency posted a video of three men in a vehicle who it said were on their way to carry out the attack.

A man wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with what appears to be a Revolutionary Guard logo discussed the impending attack in Farsi in the video.

“We are Muslims, they are kafirs (non-believers),” the man says. He adds: “We will destroy them with a strong and guerrilla-style attack, inshallah (God willing).”

Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, also claimed responsibility.

Senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel, and backed by America.

But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly.

The Guards could put on a show of strength by firing missiles at opposition groups operating in Iraq or Syria that may be linked to the militants who staged the attack.

They are also likely to enforce a tight security policy in Khuzestan province, arresting any perceived domestic opponents including civil rights activists.

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Venezuela Rejects False News on 'Humanitarian Crisis,' Migration

The Venezuelan Vice president and the minister of communication presented data debunking the alarmist coverage of Venezuelan migration in the region.

The Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez and the Minister of Communications and Information Jorge Rodriguez addressed the country Monday to denounce the coalition made by foreign countries and media about the "false humanitarian crisis" in the nation, that has been used to deepen the attacks against the government of Nicolas Maduro.

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The data presented by the Venezuelan officials argued Delcy Rodriguez, serve to "dismantle the fake news and diplomatic tools against the country," which are aimed at using “a political issue to turn the flow of migration into an international intervention."

In this regard, the Minister of Communications Jorge Rodríguez said that in the last 30 days, 140,599 posts on Twitter were related to "Venezuela" and "humanitarian crisis", while only 29,989 tweets, related to terms like "Syria" and "crisis humanitarian," considering that, unlike Venezuela, the Arab country is in a deep war and a brutal destruction.

In that sense, Rodriguez denounced the media attack against Venezuela, revealing campaigns through social networks and media that seek to increase xenophobia and hatred of Venezuelan immigrants.

To back such assertions, he showed as an example, headlines from Colombian newspapers that affirmed the growth of infidelity in the country, supposedly a product of the arrival of Venezuelans.

Delcy Rodríguez used statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to affirm that Venezuela is the second country in South America to receive migration and the country with the fewest volunteer migrants in the continent.

"The Venezuelan policies are of integration to the migratory flow and, mainly, for the displaced as a result of internal conflicts in Colombia," she said, remembering that currently, 5 million 600 thousand Colombians live in Venezuela.

She indicated that Colombia, one of the main aggressor countries, is the top nation in the world with the largest number of internally displaced persons, a figure that increased after the signing of the Peace Accords.

"From 2014 to 2017, the production of cocaine increased, making Colombia the first producer of this drug in the world, according to UN figures and recognized by the Colombian government. (...) The Plan Colombia increased cocaine production and violence," said the Venezuelan vice president.

The ex-chancellor also said that the United States already has 46 million dollars contributed to the region to cover the expenses of the other countries in response to the "supposed humanitarian crisis", charging Washington as the main country responsible for the media war against Venezuela.

 

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Russia to stop ferrying US astronauts to ISS from April 2019

Russia’s contract with NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) will expire in April next year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov has said.

Under the current contract, American astronauts avail of seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft in order to reach the ISS and return home. The US lost its capacity for manned space missions after the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, and is about to finalize a replacement in the form of a manned SpaceX Dragon capsule.

The cost of the ISS ferry service has varied over the years, with NASA paying about $81 million per seat in 2018, up from the cheapest price of $21.8 million in 2007 and 2008.

 
© Shamil Zhumatov

Reporting on the state of the Russian space industry on Friday, Yury Borisov, who is responsible for overseeing military and space matters in the Russian cabinet, said that the landing of a Soyuz-MS spaceship in April next year “will finalize the fulfillment of our obligation under a contract with NASA.”

The discontinuation of the Space Shuttle program seemed like a minor inconvenience in 2011, when the US and Russia were on relatively good terms. Today, however – amid a bitter political stand-off between the two nations – the fact that the US has to rely on Russia in some aspects of its space exploration is considered humiliating by some people in America.

The late Senator John McCain was among the most vocal critics of the situation, in which the US pays Russia millions of dollars each year in return for space engines and rides to the ISS. Vice-President Mike Pence last week pledged that the US will “very soon” be able to take people into space without Russia’s help and will return to the moon by 2024.

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US & allies can have missiles ready to strike Syria within 24 hours – Russian Foreign Ministry

It will take the US and its allies just 24 hours to ready its missile-strike group for an attack against Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The statement comes amid warnings of a possible false-flag chemical attack.

The coalition strike group has around 70 delivery vehicles deployed to the Middle East, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters at her news briefing on Thursday. The arsenal includes nearly 380 cruise missiles, and US Navy missile destroyers ‘Karni’ and ‘Ross’ deployed to the region, each carrying 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

 
Earlier, the Pentagon denied Moscow’s claim that Washington was building up military forces in the region. One of the US warships, USS ‘The Sullivans,’ left the Persian Gulf after media reports about an increased American military presence in the area, according to Zakharova.

While rejecting news of its growing presence in the region, the “US military forgot to mention that they can build up missile capabilities to strike Syria in just 24 hours. The strike group of the United States, France and the UK currently consists of planes, strategic and tactical aircraft at bases in Jordan, Kuwait, Crete,” Zakharova said.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that a false flag chemical weapons attack is being planned in Syria's Idlib province to frame Damascus and use as a pretext for a new strike. Eight canisters of chlorine were delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city, and a group of militants, trained in the handling of chemical weapons by the British private military contractor Olive Group, arrived in the area, according to Defense Ministry. 

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the planned provocation is aimed only at preventing the expulsion of terrorists from the de-escalation zone in Idlib. He also accused the US of trying to get rid of another “dissident regime” in Syria, as was the case in Iraq and Libya.

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US plans to use fake chemical weapons attack to strike Syria – Russian MoD

The US may have plans to use a fake chemical attack in Syria to hit government forces with airstrikes, the Russian Defense Ministry has said. Washington is already building up strike capability in the Middle East, it said.

The warning comes a day after the Russian military said it had information about a looming provocation in Syria’s Idlib governorate, which would involve a staged chemical weapons attack. The US earlier warned it would respond to a chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces with retaliatory strikes, which would be stronger than those conducted by the US, the UK and France in April.

 
FILE PHOTO White Helmets in Syria © Omar Haj Kadour

In a statement published on Monday, the Russian MoD said it noted the deployment to the Mediterranean last weekend of the missile destroyer USS Ross carrying 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles on board. It came after a similar move of the USS The Sullivans to the Persian Gulf and the rebasing of a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber to an air base in Qatar. The Russian ministry said the “preparations are the latest evidence of the US intention to use the” expected provocation.

The statement reiterated that the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militant group, previously known as Al-Nusra Front, was preparing a staged chlorine attack in a city in Idlib. It alleged that a group of jihadists, trained in the handling of chemical weapons by the British private military contractor Olive Group, has already arrived in Jisr al-Shughur. The group will “stage decontamination of victims of a staged chemical weapons attack posing as members of the notorious White Helmets group,” the ministry claimed.

“The implementation of this provocation, which is being conducted with the assistance of the British intelligence services, is meant to serve as the latest pretext for the US, Britain and France to deliver a missile strike against state and economic facilities in Syria,” said General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.

On August 22, US National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that “if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time.”

READ MORE: WWII relics & cutting-edge US drones: Spoils of Syrian war displayed in Russia (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In April, a reported chlorine attack in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta neighborhood served as justification for the US, UK, and France to attack what they claimed to be sites involved in a clandestine Syrian chemical weapons program. The missile attacks came just as a team of international inspectors was set to arrive at the scene to collect evidence of the supposed attack.

Later, residents of the area told journalists that the footage of the treatment of the alleged victims of the attack was filmed by the White Helmets group after they orchestrated a panic at a local hospital. The patients there were not poisoned by chlorine, local medics said. The footage was presented by the mainstream media as proof that an attack took place.

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