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Morocco Getting the Most from Coupons Selective Service Veteran's Health Care America's Allies Financial Aid Eligibility Benefits Choices

Issues Motivate Tea Party Members

(NAPSI)—By February 2009, Ken Campbell had had enough. The Lincoln, California horse rancher caught the now famous economic “rant” by CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli, who said on national TV, “We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up at Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.” Santelli didn’t start organizing a local tea party but Campbell did.

Campbell, who spent more than 20 years in local Republican Party politics, “kind of dropped out” of the GOP as the Great Recession began to take hold, explaining, “I was fed up. I was not gonna help these Republicans wasting my tax money.” With that, Campbell engaged with other frustrated Californians at the 2009 Tax Day Tea Party rally at the state capitol in Sacramento. Since then, his involvement has grown across northern California.

Campbell’s story is not much different from that of millions of other people who have joined Tea Party Patriots, a national grassroots organization of more than 3,400 chapters across the country. It’s the local nature of the group that Campbell says makes Tea Party Patriots so important. “You see a lot of people with a lot of different ideas and we all want to save the country,” said Campbell.

Cindy Wilkerson of Laurel, Mississippi, shares Campbell’s appreciation for the grassroots emphasis of Tea Party Patriots, and saw it in full force during the group’s 2010 Tax Day rally in the nation’s capital. “I was just amazed and in awe that in such a short time, they’d been able to go from just a word-of-mouth organization to put on a massive rally in Washington, D.C.,” said Wilkerson, who was among the estimated 1.3 million people attending the event that day.

Many Tea Party Patriots members are concerned about fiscal issues such as government spending, rising taxes and a growing national debt, which now exceeds $17 trillion. But for Wilkerson, there was another concern. “It was more than just taxes for me. It was really health care,” said Wilkerson, a former health care professional who holds a degree in social work from Mississippi College.

“I knew that ObamaCare was coming and I knew what it was going to do,” said Wilkerson. “I saw a lot of issues in hospice care, the rationing of health care, and it was deeply concerning to me.” Wilkerson also sees Tea Party Patriots as an active government watchdog. “Absolutely, I think they keep politicians honest,” said Wilkerson. “I think we really scare them.”

Holding officials accountable is just as important to Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tea Party Patriots member Lenny Scaletta. “We’re not afraid to stand in front of them and ask them serious questions,” said Scaletta. A local organizer for the group, Scaletta’s approach to engaging citizens includes planning lunch and supper events designed to begin a conversation among local residents, and fostering teamwork among them. “I just encourage people to get busy, to get out there and do things.”

Scaletta, a Vietnam-era Navy veteran, started his local chapter two years ago because “I wanted to get the word out that I was part of Tea Party Patriots and I agreed with what they were saying.” Motivated by issues like fighting terrorism, health care and the need to stop illegal immigration, Scaletta said, “I just want to get out and try to teach people and to get them involved.” According to Scaletta, it’s working in west central Iowa. “Even with Democrats, we agree on a lot of things,” said Scaletta.

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Religious Moderates Are Keeping Extremism At Bay

(NAPSI)—A moderate version of Islam is proving to be a key element of a successful approach to keeping religious extremism in check.

That’s the word from Morocco, a country that has had success in containing religious extremism by addressing the underlying causes of radicalization and by expanding and strengthening its own open, more moderate form of Islam.

The rise of religious extremism is an important issue in the aftermath of the political and social changes that have come to be known as the Arab Spring.

Recently, King Mohammed VI was asked by the leaders of several African countries to provide training in Morocco for hundreds of religious leaders (imams) and preachers (morchidines and morchidates) from Mali, Libya, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, the Maldives and Nigeria.

In May, a key step in establishing this program was taken when the King launched the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morchidines, and Morchidates in Rabat, welcoming students from Morocco, Africa and the Middle East to promote religious moderation and tolerance in the region, and instill a culture of understanding and dialogue across faiths.

As early as 2006, as part of a comprehensive “counter-radicalization” strategy following the 2003 Casablanca bombings, Morocco began to train morchidates, or female preachers. In addition to counseling against extremism through religion itself, the objective of the strategy was to provide more empowerment and economic opportunities, including for youth.

The morchidates are trained to work with imams in mosques and communities across Morocco, providing counsel and “spiritual security” to counter the potential appeal of extremism. The program was recognized as “pioneering” by the U.S. State Department’s 2009 report on terrorism.

During his visit to Morocco last April, Secretary of State John Kerry praised King Mohammed VI and Morocco for “playing an essential leadership role” in the region, noting that Morocco “plays a very important role in facing extremism, and it also disseminates cooperation with African countries in the religious domain at a moment where Africa needs this spiritual support to face terrorism based on these values, the values of tolerance.”

This information is conveyed by Beckerman on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Further information is available at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Know Before You Go—Tips On Getting The Most From Your Coupons

(NAPSI)—Whether you are a committed clipper or you have a more laid-back relationship with coupons, there’s good news.

Investing a little time and effort can produce big dividends when it comes to using coupons and other discounts to help you get more for your money.

To help, here are some tips from All You, America’s smart shopping brand, whose mission it is to help women live well for less in every area of their life.

• Sign up for grocery-store loyalty cards. It takes only a couple of minutes and can be well worth the effort. Once you are enrolled in the store’s loyalty program, you can usually get the discount prices on that week’s sale items even if you forget your card. Simply give your phone number at checkout.

Plus, if you don’t want to carry around all your loyalty, rewards and membership cards, you can consolidate them all on your smartphone with the CardStar app, which is available for free.

• Playing favorites can have its benefits. If you’re a regular customer at a grocery store such as Kroger, Publix, Stop & Shop or Target, it might start mailing you coupons for the products you buy most. This can be a great way to get coupons for fresh meat and produce.

• Take advantage of special discounts. Many chains designate one day a month when seniors or members of the military can receive extra discounts. If you or a family member fits the criteria, go for it.

• Use all the discounts and coupons that are fit to print. Newspaper inserts account for more than 90 percent of all coupons issued—and half of what are actually redeemed. If your Sunday paper is a gold mine for you, buy extra copies or buddy up to your local librarian and ask if you can clip a few coupons from the inserts in the library’s newspapers.

• Be sure to search before you leave home. Before you head to the market, it can pay to take a few minutes to scan websites such as coupons.allyou.com, smartsource.com and redplum.com.

Search for items you buy on a regular basis, narrowing your search by category. You might find coupons for some of your favorite brands.

What’s online is a fraction of what’s available in newspapers and at the store, but digital coupons are just as valuable. Plus, they’re easy to search for and remain online until the supply runs out. If you find a match, print it.

• It can pay to use a high-tech approach—literally. Joining the website SavingStar (savingstar.com) can result in a payout when you buy products from one of the companies it partners with. Buy the item, swipe your loyalty card at checkout and the value of each SavingStar coupon will be credited to your account. You can choose to receive your payout in a PayPal payment, a bank deposit or an Amazon gift card.

In addition, the websites for stores such as Kroger, Publix, Safeway and others will list what’s on sale alongside available manufacturer’s coupons for those items. Just register, log on, quickly review the list and load paperless digital coupons directly onto your rewards account. When you use your card at checkout, the coupon is applied automatically.

• There’s an app for that. There are free rebate apps, such as Checkout 51 and Ibotta (both available in Android and Apple formats), that send offers on items to your smartphone. With Ibotta, shoppers perform tasks, such as taking a poll or watching a video, to gain the rebate. You then send a photo of the receipt of the item purchased from any of 80 retailers.

Checkout 51 lets you buy from any store, after which you snap a shot of the receipt and upload it. Once you hit a certain amount ($20 for Checkout 51), you get a rebate.

Another option is to sign up at cartwheel.target.com for savings of 5 percent to 50 percent. Choose from hundreds of offers and add them to your Cartwheel list.

Print or send the bar code to your phone. It’s scanned at checkout and the discount is applied. Because you can combine it with coupons from the manufacturer and store, it’s like triple stacking your discount.

Another useful resource for savvy shoppers is the largest online grocery database in the country. Called Grocery Deal Finder, it compiles circulars from retailers nationwide for a smart shopping experience. It is only available at AllYou.com.

For more smart shopping tips like these, please pick up a copy of All You or visit www.AllYou.com.

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Noncitizens And Selective Service

(NAPSI)—Many people in other parts of the world still see the U.S. as a place where they can enjoy the opportunity for greater freedom and prosperity. Both these benefits of living in the U.S., however, come with certain obligations.

For example, practically all male noncitizens are required to register with the Selective Service System. This includes legal and undocumented residents, permanent residents, and refugees.

The general rule is that if a male noncitizen resides in the U.S. anytime between ages 18 and 25 for more than 30 days, then he must register with Selective Service.

The exceptions are few. Noncitizens who are in the U.S. on student or visitor visas, and men who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission and their families, are not required to register.

It is important to note that Selective Service does not collect any registration information that would indicate a person’s immigration status. A Social Security number is not required to register. Also, dual nationals of the U.S. and another country are required to register, regardless of where they live, because they are U.S. nationals.

Penalties Can Be Severe

Failing to register can bring significant penalties. For instance, if prosecuted and convicted, failing to register carries a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years.

In addition, a man who fails to register with Selective Service before turning age 26 may find that some opportunities are permanently closed to those who do not register.

For example:

• Men must be registered to qualify for federal student loans or grant programs.

This includes Pell Grants, College Work-Study, Guaranteed Student/PLUS Loans and National Direct Student Loans.

Required For Citizenship

Registration with Selective Service is a requirement for U.S. citizenship if the man first arrived in the U.S. prior to his 26th birthday.

Another opportunity, the federal job training act—called the Workforce Investment Act—is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.

Plus, men must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the executive branch of the federal government and the U.S. Postal Service.

In fact, many states now require proof of registration to get a driver’s license. Registration is easy. Go to your local U.S. post office and pick up a Selective Service registration form, or register online at www.sss.gov.

For additional questions, call (888) 655-1825 toll free.

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Veterans: Health Care Updates You Need To Know

(NAPSI)—Health care and health insurance are complex for most people, but for veterans even more so. Veterans have different and unique health care options that make decision making even more challenging. If you or a loved one has served in the military, it’s important to be aware of recent health care changes and the range of health coverage options available to veterans.

“Many veterans will be able to access more than one source of coverage,” said Hector De La Torre, executive director of the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS). “In fact, one in four veterans has more than one source of health care coverage.”

VA health care is the most widely known health benefit for veterans, made available by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Of the more than 21 million veterans in the United States, around 9 million are enrolled in VA, and over 5 million accessed VA care last year. However, the VA is only one of many options available to veterans and their families seeking access to health care and health insurance.

The national nonprofit TCHS has developed the Veterans Health Coverage Guide to help veterans understand and successfully navigate the complexities of health care. The following overview of health coverage options, as well as detailed information on how different types of coverage interact with each other, can be found at http://bit.ly/1s5Z2hS.

1. VA Health Care

VA health care, put simply, provides health care services exclusively for veterans. Health services are mostly provided in VA medical facilities, although there is a regional option through Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3). VA benefits may be received in conjunction with other health insurance or as stand-alone coverage. Enrollment in VA is optional and can be terminated or reinstated. It is generally available to veterans of any age who were honorably discharged from active military service after at least two years, and reserve members who completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty. Costs vary depending on years of service, income, and the nature of the care. All service-related care is free within the VA system.

2. TRICARE

TRICARE is health insurance provided by the Department of Defense for active-duty personnel and their families. TRICARE is available to active-duty service members, military retirees (those who completed 20 years of service) and their dependents. It may be used in conjunction with other health insurance or as stand-alone coverage. To enroll, veterans must also be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Veterans may enroll in Medicare or Medicaid while also receiving VA or TRICARE, but cooperation between the programs varies.

3. Employment-Based Insurance

Veterans in the civilian workforce are able to access insurance offered through their employer the way any other employee would. Employment-based insurance is the largest source of coverage for veterans under age 65. Veterans are able—but not required—to receive both employment-based coverage and VA benefits. For veterans who have both private employment-based insurance and VA, the VA can bill private insurance for the care they receive at VA facilities.

4. State Health Care Exchanges

Exchanges are new health insurance marketplaces in each state. Veterans will be able to purchase a health care plan through one of the health care Exchanges. However, an individual must be completely uninsured in order to qualify for a lower-cost marketplace plan. Enrollment in the VA Health Plan makes veterans ineligible for subsidies in the Exchange. In order to qualify for a subsidy or discount, a veteran must end enrollment in the VA plan and experience a gap in coverage between terminating VA benefits and enrolling in a marketplace plan. Should a veteran wish to return to VA benefits in the future, eligibility may change. Enrollment in the VA plan does not affect the ability of a veteran’s family to receive Exchange subsidies if they otherwise qualify. The next open enrollment period in the Exchange begins on November 15, 2014, continuing through February 15, 2015.

5. Medicaid

Medicaid is the largest source of medical and health-related services for people with low incomes (typically up to $12,000/$16,105 per year for an individual) in the United States. Eligibility varies by state. Medicaid is free or low cost (for co-pays), depending on income. Medicaid does not cover any health services at VA facilities, but for those with both Medicaid and TRICARE, Medicaid acts as the secondary payer. Unlike most other sources of insurance, Medicaid has no open enrollment period, which means veterans can enroll at any time.

6. Medicare

Medicare is health insurance provided by the federal government to individuals age 65 and older, as well as some adults with disabilities. All U.S. citizens and permanent residents 65 and older are eligible. To ensure the lowest monthly premiums, veterans must enroll within three months before or after their 65th birthday. Medicare and TRICARE work together—there is a branch of TRICARE called “TRICARE for Life” that becomes available when you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (basic Medicare). Medicare becomes your primary insurance and TRICARE pays for any co-insurance and deductible. Medicare and VA benefits, however, do not work together. Medicare does not pay for any care received at VA facilities, but it will cover care at a non-VA facility.

For the complete Veterans Health Coverage Guide or for more information on the Transamerica Center for Health Studies, visit www.transamericacenterforhealthstudies.org/affordable-care-act/veterans.

The Transamerica Center for Health Studies® is a division of the Transamerica Institute®, a nonprofit, private foundation. The Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) is focused on empowering consumers and employers so that they can achieve the best value and protection from their health coverage, as well as the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness. Although care has been taken in preparing this material and presenting it accurately, TCHS disclaims any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of any material contained herein and any liability with respect to it.

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A Good Friend To America Is A Good Neighbor To Africa

(NAPSI)—Government officials and business leaders from nearly 50 African countries gathered in Washington, D.C. on August 4-6 for the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

The event not only signaled President Obama’s commitment to building a stronger relationship between the U.S. and Africa; it also demonstrated his belief that “Africa’s growth depends, first and foremost, on continued reforms in Africa by Africans,” as he stated.

A shining example in this regard is Morocco. Throughout the meetings, programs and events, the North African Kingdom demonstrated that it plays a key role in promoting economic development and stability among its neighbors on the continent.

Morocco has signed cooperation agreements with a number of African nations on everything from agriculture to security to telecom to energy. The Kingdom offers scholarships for African students to study in Moroccan universities; provides several African countries with training for religious leaders and teachers—both men and women—to promote moderate Islam; and will be offering security training as well.

The country’s strong presence in Africa was mirrored by the Moroccan delegation at the Summit, with Moroccan delegates attending more than 70 events that resulted in a number of public statements and signed agreements on counterterrorism, business, education and more. Among them, Morocco’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mbarka Bouaida signed a framework of cooperation with the U.S. to identify and support Moroccan security training experts and for the U.S. and Morocco to provide joint training for civilian counterterrorism forces throughout the region.

Another key development was a memorandum of understanding that Morocco signed with Wells Fargo bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to expand lending to small and medium-size enterprises in Morocco through Attijariwafa Bank.

President Obama also announced that the next Global Entrepreneurship Summit will be held in Morocco. Now in its fifth year, the event is an extension of Mr. Obama’s emphasis on entrepreneurship as a pillar of U.S. global engagement and serves as a platform of exchange between global business leaders and entrepreneurs.

The Summit was an opportunity for African countries to showcase their diversity, strength and dynamism. It also demonstrated how Morocco, with its stability and robust economic growth at home and strong, established relationships throughout the continent, can work with the U.S. to build success and increase its engagement in one of the fastest- growing areas of the world.

This information is conveyed by Beckerman on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Further information is available at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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A Quick Selective Service Quiz

(NAPSI)—Many are surprised when they learn they don’t know as much about the Selective Service and the law as they thought they did. To help, here is a quick quiz with some fast facts.

Q) Who must register with the Selective Service?

A) Young men are required to register when they turn 18.

Q) Does this also apply to immigrants?

A) Yes. It also applies to male immigrants residing in the U.S., regardless of their immigration status.

Q) Are there any benefits to registering?

A) Those who register remain eligible for student financial aid and federal job training programs, and those who want to become a citizen will have to show proof of registration. Also, some states now require it when applying for a driver’s license.

Q) Are there significant penalties for not registering?

A) Yes. Those who don’t comply face fines of up to $250,000, a prison sentence of up to five years or both.

To learn more, visit www.sss.gov.

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Take Time To Understand Your Benefits Choices

(NAPSI)—Choosing the right health insurance plan is one of the most important decisions that Americans make every year, but most spend more time planning a vacation or shopping for a computer.

Survey Discoveries

In fact, the 2014 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey found that 41 percent of workers spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options during open enrollment and 24 percent spent five minutes or less.

Yet, according to the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Survey, they typically spend:

• 10 hours researching new car purchases.

• Four hours shopping for new computers.

• Two hours deciding what television to buy.

Workers who don’t set aside time to research their insurance options may make hasty decisions and end up wasting money. For instance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey, employees spend an average of $4,565 a year in premiums for employer-sponsored health plans. Even though life circumstances change and benefits options may change, according to the Aflac survey, the majority (90 percent) of workers choose the same benefits year after year.

By not taking the time to understand their benefits choices, workers may be faced with a financial crisis and unprepared to cope with unexpected medical expenses. In fact, the Aflac survey found that 42 percent of workers estimate they waste up to $750 each year on mistakes with their insurance benefits.

The survey also found that 73 percent of workers say they sometimes, rarely or never understand everything that is covered by their policy; and 64 percent say they sometimes, rarely or never understand the changes in their policies. It’s important for people to educate themselves about their health care options to ensure they select the right insurance coverage.

Money-Saving Suggestions

Consider these four tips to avoid making costly mistakes:

1. Carefully review and compare all available benefits information. Take time to look up terms you don’t understand, such as voluntary insurance, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses and others.

2. Understand the financial implications your choices have on your budget.

3. Ask your employer to arrange meetings with health care insurance agents or brokers to answer questions.

4. Attend on-site seminars, participate in webinars and read the relevant education materials.

Learn More

For more information, visit www.AflacWorkForcesReport.com.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Z140862 This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a solicitation 9/14
This piece is approved in accordance with insurance advertising regulations. This approval is valid for one year from the stamped date, or until the content changes, whichever occurs first.

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