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  1. 5 дней назад
    Fri Jul 12 04:46:30 2019

    -image-A federal appeals court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs must pay retroactive disability payments to thousands of Vietnam vets.

    The payments must date to when veterans initially applied for benefits under a law that allowed them to do so beginning Sept. 25, 1985.

    Because of a complicated rule-making procedure, the government said the cancer victims could not receive benefits until Nov. 7, 1996, if they filed a claim after Jan. 4, 1994.

    The appeals court nullified that government interpretation, which affects an estimated 1,200 veterans, said Barton F. Stichman, executive director https://www.cvkr27dw.online of the National Veterans Legal Services Program.

    Also undermined by the ruling was the government's position that veterans suffering from adult onset diabetes could not get benefits until July 9, 2001, if they filed a claim between Jan. 4, 1994, and July 9, 2001, Stichman said.

    "All I can tell you is for the last 20 years the VA has dragged its feet on the Agent Orange issue. They try every way they can to come up with theories to why they shouldn't give benefits," said Stichman, who filed suit in 1986.

    Phil Budahn, a Veterans Affairs spokesman, said the government had not seen the decision and could not immediately comment.

    Between 1962 and 1971, the United States sprayed 19 million gallons of herbicides over southern Vietnam to destroy jungle cover for communist troops. About 55 percent of that was Agent Orange.

    Over the years, the government has added a host of diseases associated with Agent Orange entitling veterans to disability benefits. Those include several cancers, including cancer to the lung, larynx and trachea. Last year, the government recognized adult onset diabetes.

    The ruling puts prostate cancer and adult onset diabetes in line with the other diseases acknowledged by the government to have links to Agent Orange, meaning disability benefits would be paid from when a claim was first filed.

    For many veterans, the government has paid retroactive benefits while litigation continued. The government reserved the right to take back the benefits if it won the lawsuit.

    Clifford Nash, a Vietnam veteran with prostate cancer, said the court decision will allow him to keep about $11,000 in benefits that he may have had to return had the court ruled the other way.

    "I've heard some veterans say we fought there and now we got to fight for what's right and ours," said the 71-year-old Nash, of West Enfield, Maine. "Everything seems to be taking a turn for the better."

    By David Kravets

  2. Fri Jul 12 03:21:36 2019

    A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found the death and destruction of the terrorist attacks caused about 69 percent of Americans to have some insomnia during the period immediately after Sept. 11. A survey a year earlier found only 51 percent experiencing insomnia.

    James Walsh, president of the foundation and a sleep researcher at St. Luke's Hospital Sleep Medicine & Research Center in Chesterfield, Mo., said Sept. 11 affected the sleep poll figures for https://www.mdfbjfn875.online all of 2001 and suggests a generalized increase in sleeplessness.

    "Last year's figure was 51 percent for insomnia, and this year it is 58 percent for the entire year," said Walsh. "All the terrorist activities are one of the major stresses in our lives now."

    The poll found that women tended to lose more sleep after Sept. 11 than did men. For women, 78 percent reported some insomnia, compared with 59 percent for men.

    More poor sleepers also are seeking pharmaceutical help.

    "Other studies have shown that the use of sleeping pills and the use of antidepressants went up for a couple of months," Walsh said. "That reflects the overall anxiety in the country."

    People who always have been poor sleepers are now having even more trouble, Walsh said.

    More people who do not sleep well, he said, "are now attributing it to these worries than to other things."

    The sleep survey is based on polling of 1,010 randomly selected adults, interviewed by telephone between Oct. 1 and Dec. 10 last year. The margin of error for the poll is 3 percent.

    Asked to rate the quality of their sleep in the days after Sept. 11, 47 percent of those polled said theirs was only fair or poor. This compares to 27 percent in polling not linked to Sept. 11.

    The poll found that fewer people than last year are getting eight hours sleep, the recommended minimum. The mean sleep per night of those polled was 6.9 hours, compared with seven hours last year, and only 30 percent said they got eight or more hours, compared with 38 percent last year.

    Young people are more apt to wake up tired or to have trouble falling asleep than are the elderly, the poll found. Among people aged 18 to 29, 49 percent said they awoke unrefreshed from sleep, and 33 percent said they had trouble falling asleep. For those aged 30 to 64, the numbers were 41 and 24 percent. For those 65 and over, only 25 percent felt tired upon awakening, while just 19 percent said they had trouble falling asleep.

    Walsh said the fall-to-sleep recommendations of the foundation have not changed since Sept. 11. He said people need to limit caffeine, avoid naps late in the day, don't depend on alcohol for sleep and keep a regular bedtime routine and schedule.

    Also, said Walsh, people need to set aside time in the day to worry instead of taking their blues to bed with them.

    "We actually assign worry time to people so they don't lie in bed at night worrying about things," he said. "They can say tell themselves `I've already thought about that, and I have a plan of action.' These techniques can reduce anxiety when you're lying in bed at night."

    The poll also found an increase in irritability and anger among sleepyheads.

    "In sleep deprivation, one of the first things that changes is a person's mood," Walsh said. "They become more irritable and short-tempered."

    Walsh said the poll also suggested that people favor more sleep for professions that are important to safety, such as doctors, pilots and truck drivers.

    When asked the maximum time that doctors and pilots should work daily, the majority wanted to limit it to 10 hours.

    By Paul Recer

  3. Fri Jul 12 01:47:29 2019

    The goal is to motivate the young people to walk at least 10,000 steps a day in line with the U.S. Surgeon General's recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.

    -image-More than half the adult population in Colorado is obese and 20 percent of the state's children should lose weight, health officials said. Childhood obesity has gone up 11 percent nationwide since 1994.

    Pedometers are instruments that record the distance a person covers on foot by responding to the body's motion at each step.

    "It appears with a pedometer, people are more likely to stick with exercising and stick with walking," said Lee Stiffler-Meyer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "Most kids aren't doing that."

    Doctors and pediatric psychiatrists say the problem of childhood obesity is complicated and https://www.xdmc0erk5.online/ can't be blamed just on video games or the prevalence of fast food in middle and high schools.

    Some cite a growing fear by parents that walking to and from school, even just a few blocks, isn't safe anymore. Others blame more rigorous academic loads, which robs time from after-school sports, or even the lack of home-cooked meals.

    "There is unprecedented access to food by children and more money to buy it," said Dr. Nancy Krebs, a pediatrician who runs an obesity clinic at Children's Hospital in Denver. "And the frequency of eating out is another factor. There would be excessive intakes via excessive portion sizes."

    State officials aren't yet sure which schools will get the pedometers or how old the test group will be.

    The program is being launched with federal funding.

  4. Fri Jul 12 01:17:55 2019

    The bill proposed by state Sen. Deborah Ortiz — one of the first in the nation to target sugary sodas as a root cause of kids putting on too many pounds — would offer schools incentives to drop lucrative contracts to sell certain soda brands on their campuses.

    -image-"It is not my intention to demonize soda," Ortiz, a Democrat from Sacramento, said in a statement sent Wednesday, adding that moderate soda pop consumption was not harmful.

    "The problem is that Americans have lost sight of moderation, and fail to recognize how many additional calories soda adds to their diets."

    A number of U.S. states, including Arkansas, Virginia and Washington, currently impose excise taxes on soft drinks. But most use the proceeds to fight litter, not the "epidemic" of overweight children in U.S. schools.

    Ortiz's bill, due to be taken up by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on April 10, would charge manufacturers and https://www.twopad.kr/ distributors 21 cents per 1 gallon) of bottled drinks and $2 per gallon of syrup used to create soft drinks in soda fountains.

    Consumers could be expected to absorb the additional cost, about two cents per 12-ounce can, according to Ortiz, a Democrat who represents Sacramento.

    The bill would raise an estimated $342 million a year, about half of which would be used to fund school health programs as well as after-school activities which some school districts now pay for with money earned through exclusive soft drink sales agreements.

    The rest of the money would be used to fund public health and childhood obesity prevention programs outside of school.

    The bill has generated controversy in Sacramento as beverage industry representatives and some Republican lawmakers accuse Ortiz of "demonizing" popular soft drinks and pushing government too far into the lives of school children and their parents.

    "The senator's desire to improve the health of children in California is commendable. The problem is her approach is misguided," said Sean McBride, spokesman for the National Soft Drink Association in Washington, D.C..

    "It is too simplistic to say that if we just ban or restrict certain foods in the diet, then our children will be healthy and obesity will go away."

    Ortiz's bill is among the latest efforts by state lawmakers to battle rising obesity in California children — many of whom have been offered a menu of sweet drinks and high-fat foods at their school cafeterias.

    Physical exams conducted by schools last year showed that 30 percent of California children in the fifth, seventh and ninth grades are overweight, reflecting national trends which show that over the last 20 years, the overweight and obesity rates among U.S. children have doubled while the number of overweight adolescents has almost tripled.

    Many public health specialists target soft drinks as a primary culprit. An average can of soda has about 150 calories and overall soft drink consumption has almost doubled over the past 20 years.

    Health educators worry that the rise in child obesity levels spells trouble ahead as these children mature into overweight adults more at risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

    Last year California's state legislature passed a new law aimed at limiting the availability of "junk food" in elementary and middle schools, and this month a Democratic state assemblywoman proposed adding an additional "junk food tax" to help pay for children's dental care.

    Both the junk food and soft drink tax proposals come as a growing number of U.S. states look for new ways to boost flagging state revenues, including raising so-called "sin" taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

  5. Fri Jul 12 00:40:03 2019

    The goal is to motivate the young people to walk at least 10,000 steps a day in line with the U.S. Surgeon General's recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.

    -image-More than half the adult population in Colorado is obese and 20 percent of the state's children should lose weight, health officials said. Childhood obesity has gone up 11 percent nationwide since 1994.

    Pedometers are instruments that record the distance a person covers on foot by responding to the body's motion at each step.

    "It appears with a pedometer, people are more likely to stick with exercising and stick with walking," said Lee Stiffler-Meyer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and https://www.phcti5d7d.online Environment. "Most kids aren't doing that."

    Doctors and pediatric psychiatrists say the problem of childhood obesity is complicated and can't be blamed just on video games or the prevalence of fast food in middle and high schools.

    Some cite a growing fear by parents that walking to and from school, even just a few blocks, isn't safe anymore. Others blame more rigorous academic loads, which robs time from after-school sports, or even the lack of home-cooked meals.

    "There is unprecedented access to food by children and more money to buy it," said Dr. Nancy Krebs, a pediatrician who runs an obesity clinic at Children's Hospital in Denver. "And the frequency of eating out is another factor. There would be excessive intakes via excessive portion sizes."

    State officials aren't yet sure which schools will get the pedometers or how old the test group will be.

    The program is being launched with federal funding.

  6. Thu Jul 11 21:08:14 2019

    The bill proposed by state Sen. Deborah Ortiz — one of the first in the nation to target sugary sodas as a root cause of kids putting on too many pounds — would offer schools incentives to drop lucrative contracts to sell certain soda brands on their campuses.

    "It is not my intention to demonize soda," Ortiz, a Democrat from Sacramento, said in a statement sent Wednesday, adding that moderate soda pop consumption was not harmful.

    "The problem is that Americans have lost sight of moderation, and fail to recognize how many additional calories soda adds to their diets."

    A number of U.S. states, including Arkansas, Virginia and Washington, currently impose excise taxes on soft drinks. But most use the proceeds to fight litter, not the "epidemic" of overweight children in U.S. schools.

    Ortiz's bill, due to be taken up by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on April 10, would charge manufacturers and distributors 21 cents per 1 gallon) of bottled drinks and $2 per gallon of syrup used to create soft drinks in soda fountains.

    Consumers could be expected to absorb the additional cost, about two cents per 12-ounce can, according to Ortiz, a Democrat who represents Sacramento.

    The bill would raise an estimated $342 million a year, about half of which would be used to fund school health programs as well as after-school activities which some school districts now pay for with money earned through exclusive soft drink sales agreements.

    The rest of the money would be used to fund public health and childhood obesity prevention programs outside of school.

    The bill has generated controversy in Sacramento as beverage industry representatives and some Republican lawmakers accuse Ortiz of "demonizing" popular soft drinks and pushing government too far into the lives of school children and https://www.phhm6ajt.online their parents.

    "The senator's desire to improve the health of children in California is commendable. The problem is her approach is misguided," said Sean McBride, spokesman for the National Soft Drink Association in Washington, D.C..

    "It is too simplistic to say that if we just ban or restrict certain foods in the diet, then our children will be healthy and obesity will go away."

    Ortiz's bill is among the latest efforts by state lawmakers to battle rising obesity in California children — many of whom have been offered a menu of sweet drinks and high-fat foods at their school cafeterias.

    Physical exams conducted by schools last year showed that 30 percent of California children in the fifth, seventh and ninth grades are overweight, reflecting national trends which show that over the last 20 years, the overweight and obesity rates among U.S. children have doubled while the number of overweight adolescents has almost tripled.

    Many public health specialists target soft drinks as a primary culprit. An average can of soda has about 150 calories and overall soft drink consumption has almost doubled over the past 20 years.

    Health educators worry that the rise in child obesity levels spells trouble ahead as these children mature into overweight adults more at risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

    Last year California's state legislature passed a new law aimed at limiting the availability of "junk food" in elementary and middle schools, and this month a Democratic state assemblywoman proposed adding an additional "junk food tax" to help pay for children's dental care.

    Both the junk food and soft drink tax proposals come as a growing number of U.S. states look for new ways to boost flagging state revenues, including raising so-called "sin" taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

  7. Thu Jul 11 20:58:54 2019

    The goal is to motivate the young people to walk at least 10,000 steps a day in line with the U.S. Surgeon General's recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.

    -image-More than half the adult population in Colorado is obese and 20 percent of the state's children should lose weight, https://www.ldklwe2qh.online health officials said. Childhood obesity has gone up 11 percent nationwide since 1994.

    Pedometers are instruments that record the distance a person covers on foot by responding to the body's motion at each step.

    "It appears with a pedometer, people are more likely to stick with exercising and stick with walking," said Lee Stiffler-Meyer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "Most kids aren't doing that."

    Doctors and pediatric psychiatrists say the problem of childhood obesity is complicated and can't be blamed just on video games or the prevalence of fast food in middle and high schools.

    Some cite a growing fear by parents that walking to and from school, even just a few blocks, isn't safe anymore. Others blame more rigorous academic loads, which robs time from after-school sports, or even the lack of home-cooked meals.

    "There is unprecedented access to food by children and more money to buy it," said Dr. Nancy Krebs, a pediatrician who runs an obesity clinic at Children's Hospital in Denver. "And the frequency of eating out is another factor. There would be excessive intakes via excessive portion sizes."

    State officials aren't yet sure which schools will get the pedometers or how old the test group will be.

    The program is being launched with federal funding.

  8. Thu Jul 11 20:55:53 2019

    As trade tensions between Washington and Beijing intensify, https://www.fqphhcan4.online China's state media on Wednesday suggested it may play a new card -- restricting U.S. access to "rare earths," the chemical elements that are widely used in everything from mobile phones and other consumer electronics to wind turbines, MRI machines and military hardware.

    China dominates global exports of the 17 elements that constitute rare earths, accounting for almost 80 percent of America's imports last year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts. Other countries that supply rare earths to the U.S. include Australia, Estonia, France and Japan.

    Here's a look at what rare earths are and why they could play an important role in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

    The 17 elements defined as rare earths aren't as rare as their moniker suggests -- gold, copper and platinum are more abundant and easier to mine, for instance. By contrast, rare earths are ubiquitous in modern life, and their use is likely to spread as technology advances. 

    Cerium, used in compounds for catalytic converters in automobiles, is the most abundant and is more common in the earth's crust than copper or lead, according to the USGS.

    The glass industry is the largest consumer of rare earths, which are used for polishing, additives for color and other special optical properties . One rare earth element, lanthanum, makes up as much as 50 percent of digital camera lenses, including cell phone cameras.

    Rare earths don't get their name because of their scarcity; rather, they got that label in the 18th and 19th centuries because of their relative imperviousness to heat compared with other mined materials.

    Rare earths are found in such low concentrations around the world that they are harder to extract and refine, and not always found in commercially mineable quantities. As a result, a handful of countries account for the bulk of extraction, including China, Australia, Japan and Malaysia.

    China, which has roughly 40 percent of the global reserves of rare earths, accounted for almost 80 percent of U.S. imports of the elements last year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. One reason China is the global leader -- it's been pulling rare earths out of the ground for a long time. The country spent a century perfecting the refining method for extracting and refining rare earths in large enough quantities to keep costs manageable. 

    Chinese president Xi Jinping last week visited the country's biggest rare-earths producer in an appearance that was broadcast on Chinese national television. The visit followed a U.S. crackdown on technology giant Huawei by President Donald Trump's administration earlier this month, and was interpreted by experts as a signal that the Chinese government is weighing restrictions on rare-earth exports.

    China will try to meet global rare-earths demand as "long as they are used for legitimate purposes," stated a commentary in the Xinhua news agency, a mouthpiece for Beijing. But later it added that "if necessary, China has plenty of cards to play."  

    Hu Xijin, editor in chief of China's Global Times newspaper, was blunter, saying in a tweet on Tuesday that the country is "seriously considering restricting rare exports to the U.S."

    JJ Kinahan, chief marketing strategist at TD Ameritrade, said China's threat to use rare earths as a weapon against the U.S. is worrisome. "What it shows to me is that there is a little bit of a worsening relationship here," he said. "They went pretty deep in the bag to throw out something that would hurt."    

    Despite China's dominance in producing rare earths, implementing a total ban on exports to the U.S. might not be in its favor. For one, cutting off supplies of a critical material used in products around the world could undermine Beijing's efforts in recent years to portray itself as a responsible actor on the global stage -- and make it harder to bash the Trump administration for its hardball stance on trade. 

    Meanwhile, a Chinese ban risks inviting other countries to rev up rare-earths production. The last U.S. source for rare earths, the Mountain Pass Quarry in California, closed in 2015. The U.S. could shift demand for some metals to places like Malaysia or re-start domestic processing, although that could prove difficult because of regulations designed to prevent widespread environmental damage. 

    If China does clamp down, they are likely to be selective in which elements to target because the country wants to be seen as playing by World Trade Organization rules, said Arthur Kroeber, head of research at Gavekal Economics and editor-in-chief of China Economic Quarterly, on a call with clients this week. China's goal is to paint the U.S. as a "lawless actor" that disrupts economic growth, he said.

    "I really think that they have a problem [in] that none of the options are very good and all of them involve very significant costs to China," Kroeber said. "So if they're going to do any of them they have to do them extremely carefully, and I think quite selectively."

    Still, it wouldn't be the first time China tried to use its dominance in rare earths as part of a trade conflict. China blocked some rare-earth exports to Japan after a maritime dispute in 2010. That led some countries to search for alternatives -- and a protest by Japan with the WTO, which ruled in 2014 that the restrictions on rare-earth exports were illegal.

    It also led some companies to cut their use of rare earths and to find alternatives for things like the element dysprosium, used in electric car magnets, the Bank of America analysts noted.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  9. Thu Jul 11 20:50:24 2019

    -image-Officials at South Texas Regional Medical Center said the nurse admitted taking drugs from the hospital's dispensary, and may have hid the thefts by refilling vials with saline using the same syringe she used to inject herself.

    Allan Smith, chief executive of the hospital in Jourdanton, about 25 miles south of San Antonio, said the nurse was fired Jan. 4, the day she admitted taking the drugs and revealed her HIV status.

    Smith said fewer than 200 patients were treated in the intensive care and surgical units while the woman worked there, from June to January. However, he said, the hospital sent letters to all 1,100 patients who received the drug Demerol during that time to ask them to get their blood tested.

    "We feel we've done the right thing to ensure the safety of the public," he said Wednesday.

    So far, Smith said, there was "no evidence that any patient has received any medication that might have been tainted by this nurse."

    The nurse has said she didn't use the same syringe, hospital officials said. But Smith said the hospital fears the nurse refilled single-dose vials of Demoral with saline, using a syringe containing a small amount of her blood. Those vials may have been given to patients.

    Demerol, a brand name for https://www.mfclfnb4v.online the narcotic meperidine, is a potent and widely prescribed painkiller that can be addictive.

    Dr. F. Blaine Hollinger, a professor of virology at Baylor College of Medicine, said the odds of developing HIV from a direct needle stick with contaminated blood are minimal, and the risks in this case are even less. He said, though, that blood tests were still warranted

    Smith said the hospital detected a problem with missing Demerol around the end of last year, and all nurses in the intensive care unit were given blood tests.

    He said no charges have yet been filed against the nurse who was fired, but the case has been referred to law enforcement agencies.

    The nurse's name was not released.

  10. Thu Jul 11 15:35:23 2019

    The bill proposed by state Sen. Deborah Ortiz — one of the first in the nation to target sugary sodas as a root cause of kids putting on too many pounds — would offer schools incentives to drop lucrative contracts to sell certain soda brands on their campuses.

    "It is not my intention to demonize soda," Ortiz, a Democrat from Sacramento, said in a statement sent Wednesday, adding that moderate soda pop consumption was not harmful.

    "The problem is that Americans have lost sight of moderation, and fail to recognize how many additional calories soda adds to their diets."

    A number of U.S. states, including Arkansas, Virginia and Washington, currently impose excise taxes on soft drinks. But most use the proceeds to fight litter, not the "epidemic" of overweight children in U.S. schools.

    Ortiz's bill, due to be taken up by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on April 10, would charge manufacturers and distributors 21 cents per 1 gallon) of bottled drinks and $2 per gallon of syrup used to create soft drinks in soda fountains.

    Consumers could be expected to absorb the additional cost, about two cents per 12-ounce can, according to Ortiz, a Democrat who represents Sacramento.

    The bill would raise an estimated $342 million a year, about half of which would be used to fund school health programs as well as after-school activities which some school districts now pay for with money earned through exclusive soft drink sales agreements.

    The rest of the money would be used to fund public health and childhood obesity prevention programs outside of school.

    The bill has generated controversy in Sacramento as beverage industry representatives and some Republican lawmakers accuse Ortiz of "demonizing" popular soft drinks and pushing government too far into the lives of school children and their parents.

    "The senator's desire to improve the health of children in California is commendable. The problem is her approach is misguided," said Sean McBride, spokesman for the National Soft Drink Association in Washington, D.C..

    "It is too simplistic to say that if we just ban or restrict certain foods in the diet, then our children will be healthy and obesity will go away."

    Ortiz's bill is among the latest efforts by state lawmakers to battle rising obesity in California children — many of whom have been offered a menu of sweet drinks and high-fat foods at their school cafeterias.

    Physical exams conducted by schools last year showed that 30 percent of California children in the fifth, seventh and ninth grades are overweight, reflecting national trends which show that over the last 20 years, the overweight and obesity rates among U.S. children have doubled while the number of overweight adolescents has almost tripled.

    Many public health specialists target soft drinks as a primary culprit. An average can of soda has about 150 calories and overall soft drink consumption has almost doubled over the past 20 years.

    Health educators worry that the rise in child obesity levels spells trouble ahead as these children mature into overweight adults more at risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

    Last year California's state legislature passed a new law aimed at limiting the availability of "junk food" in elementary and middle schools, and this month a Democratic state assemblywoman proposed adding an additional "junk food tax" to help pay for children's dental care.

    Both the junk food and soft drink tax proposals come as a growing number of U.S. states look for https://www.mram8wcex.online new ways to boost flagging state revenues, including raising so-called "sin" taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

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