Business & Commerce: Health Care Sites Need Work; Germany Wants Europeans; Greenpeace vs. Russia

By: ap
By: ap

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's not the sign the Obama administration wants people to see on its health overhaul website: Down for repairs.
Using overnight hours this weekend to debug the system, the Health and Human Service Department hopes to fix the technological problems that overwhelmed the launch of new health insurance markets.
Glitches have frustrated millions of consumers unable to complete their applications.
HHS says enrollment functions of the site will be unavailable during off-peak hours this weekend. The department hasn't released a schedule for hours of operation, but a spokeswoman says the site will be taken down at 1 a.m. EDT each night for a few hours.
The website will remain open for general information.

BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her country needs skilled workers from abroad to plug a labor shortage that threatens to harm Germany's competitiveness.
But in her weekly online address Saturday Merkel said immigrants should mainly come from other European countries.
Germany has been accused of taking advantage of high unemployment rates elsewhere in the European Union to poach skilled workers.
A recently introduced "blue card" system to encourage people with specialist skills from outside the 28-nation EU has met with limited success.
Last year, less than 2,600 people from outside the EU came to Germany using this system.
Experts say Europe's biggest economy needs tens of thousands of qualified engineers, doctors and care-givers each year because of its aging and dwindling population.

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Greenpeace International's director says Russia's seizure of its ship "Arctic Sunrise" and the arrest of its crew is the worst "assault" on the group's environmental activism since its flagship "Rainbow Warrior" was bombed in 1985.
Russia seized "Arctic Sunrise" after a Sept. 18 protest at a Gazprom oil drilling platform located in the Arctic circle, and last week charged all 30 people on board with piracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Kicking off global Greenpeace protests Saturday, international director Kumi Naidoo said "we will not be bullied and intimidated into silence." He demanded the release of the activists, who come from 18 countries.
French secret operatives blew up the "Rainbow Warrior" in New Zealand because it was going to protest against French nuclear tests. One person died.

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