The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday pushed for wider in-flight use of electronic portable devices during airplane flights, The Hill reports. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices” during flights in a letter sent Thursday to Michael Huerta, the acting administrator of the FAA. The FAA launched a study group this summer to review its policies and guidance on in-flight use of electronic devices as people have increasingly turned to mobile phones and tablets to connect with one another. To the chagrin of most passengers, the FAA said the study would not consider allowing “voice communications” during flights. In recent years, the agency has approved rules that allow people to surf the Web on wireless networks during flights.
Aetna Inc, the third-largest U.S.health insurer, has agreed to pay as much as $120 million to settle nationwide litigation over how it pays claims for services by out-of-network providers., Reuters reports. The accord calls for Aetna to pay $60 million into a general settlement fund, plus as much as $60 million more depending on how many people submit claims. Aetna said it will take a $78 million after-tax charge in the current quarter for the settlement, and that the charge will not affect operating earnings. It expects to pay for the settlement over the next one to two years. The settlement requires approval by U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler in Newark, New Jersey. According to a court filing, the plaintiffs said Aetna improperly used databases provided by Ingenix Inc to systematically underpay claims involving services and supplies provided to members by out-of-network providers. The litigation also challenged other methods by which the Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer calculated out-of-network reimbursement rates, as well as its disclosures for how it calculated those rates.
George Zimmerman is suing NBC, claiming he was defamed by the network when it edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like Zimmerman was racist, CBS news reports. The former neighborhood watch volunteer filed the lawsuit seeking an undisclosed amount of money on Thursday in Seminole County, outside Orlando. The lawsuit claims NBC edited his phone call to a dispatcher last February. In it, Zimmerman describes following Martin in the gated community where he lived, just moments before he fatally shot the 17-year-old teen during a confrontation. According to a statement on Zimmerman’s defense website, the suit alleges that, “NBC News saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.” Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder but pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground law.”
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been found in contempt of court and ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, her attorney said Thursday. The flamboyant basketball player known for his off-court antics was sentenced to informal probation, his ex-wife’s attorney, Mary Ann Noiroux, told City News Service. Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson warned Rodman could face jail time if he doesn’t pay the child support, she said. Rodman’s attorney, Linnea Willis, didn’t return an email from The Associated Press and a phone number did not take messages. Another attorney for Rodman’s ex-wife argued in court that Rodman owed his ex-wife, Michelle Rodman, about $850,000, but Linnea Willis, the former NBA standout’s attorney, challenged that figure, Noiroux said.