Crosby has 2 goals, 2 assists in NHL return after long recovery from concussion

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Pittsburgh Penguins would have accepted an average Sidney Crosby in his first game in nearly 11 months – a routine performance, a regular night at the office.

Instead, they got the extraordinary.

Crosby scored the game’s first goal on his first shot since Jan. 5, scored again in the third period and added two assists during the NHL’s most-awaited comeback game since Mario Lemieux’s return in 2000 as the Pittsburgh Penguins roughed up the New York Islanders 5-0 on Monday night.

Choose an adjective befitting the superlative, and it worked on this special night: Dazzling, exceptional, brilliant.

No one in the hockey world knew exactly what to expect as Crosby, hockey’s biggest star, played his first game in 321 days following his prolonged layoff with a concussion that caused him considerable discomfort for months. But few probably expected him to be this good, this fast, this dominant.

This much like the Sidney Crosby of old.

Even the score was the same as when Lemieux returned from a 44-month retirement to collect a goal and two assists against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 27, 2000, in the last NHL comeback to generated this much interest.

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The Penguins, already one of the NHL’s top teams, now have a superstar looking just like the player who was dominating the NHL scoring race at this time a year ago, when Crosby was on pace for the league’s highest scoring total in 15 years before he was hurt.

Crosby showed not a speck of rust from his extended absence and was the fastest player on the ice from the very start of a memorable night. He helped set up a Chris Kunitz shot off the crossbar on his very first shift – shades of Lemieux getting an assist only a half-minute into his comeback – and was a motivated and driven player from the start.

And who could have scripted this any better – Crosby grabbed a Pascal Dupuis pass in stride on his third shift, accelerated to the net and, while fending off defenceman Andrew MacDonald, lifted a hard backhander under the crossbar only 5:24 into the game. Islanders rookie Anders Nilsson, making his first NHL start, never had a chance.

It never got any better after that for the Islanders, who dropped their 12th game in their last 14 overall and their 13th in a row in Pittsburgh, a city that isn’t very hospitable to them even when Crosby isn’t playing.

Now Crosby is back and, based on Monday’s game, appears to have the same form that saw him to score 32 goals and pile up an NHL-leading 66 points in 41 games before he sustained a concussion in early January.

For Crosby, the first-place Penguins and the league that has long awaited the return of its signature star, it couldn’t have gone much better than this.

He also took a few hard hits – the kind that can’t be handed out in practice – with Travis Hamonic shoving him in the end boards during the first period. Crosby quickly jumped up, not shaken a bit.

The standing-room crowd of 18,571 in Consol Energy Center was predictably loud and supportive, holding up Welcome Back Sid: signs by the thousands while chanting “Crosby, Crosby” as a huge No. 87 was displayed on the scoreboard before the opening faceoff.

There were signs everywhere – one read “Merry Sidmas” – from a crowd that came prepared to welcome back Crosby no matter how well he played, and was rewarded with a performance that bordered on the otherworldly.

During the morning skate, Penguins forward Steve Sullivan warned it might take any player coming off an extended layoff a few games to regain his timing, his top speed and his game legs, even if he managed to play a game or two on adrenalin.

Crosby looked as if he hadn’t missed a shift, much less half of one season and one quarter of another. He showed his playmaking abilities as he set up the Penguins’ second goal following a four-minute break between shifts late in the first period. His backhander from the left wing boards found defenceman Brooks Orpik at the point for a one-timer that beat Nilsson to the stick side at 16:29.

The score was only 2-0 but, given the emotion and the energy generated by the Crosby comeback, it was all but over.

It was a difficult assignment from the star from Nilsson, whose only previous NHL playing time was a 40-minute stint during a 6-0 loss to Boston on Saturday night. Crosby’s comeback didn’t make it any easier.

Neither did the Penguins’ third goal, scored by Evgeni Malkin on a power play with Crosby assisting 3:17 into the second period. Crosby drove hard to the net after coming off the bench and was turned aside by Nilsson, but got the puck back and fed it to Kris Letang at the point, who in turn sailed a hard pass to Malkin near the left post for his 10th goal.

Crosby didn’t figure in Pittsburgh’s fourth goal, scored by Sullivan off Malkin’s set-up only 2 ½ minutes later. The big lead allowed coach Dan Bylsma to start trimming Crosby’s ice time a bit, given the Penguins play three more times in the next five days.

Not that Crosby was done.

He finished off the unforgettable night with his second goal, slamming a hard backhander off defenceman Steve Staios and by Nilsson after carrying the puck from behind to net to along the right-wing boards 2:06 into the third period.

With so much attention on Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury quietly went about putting together his 21st career shutout and second of the season, stopping 29 shots as the Penguins won their sixth in a row at home and improved to 12-6-4.

Now, for Crosby, it’s one game down, two goals scored and the rest of the season to go.

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Occupy Calgary protesters cool to city deal, ask for electric hookups

CALGARY – Talks between Occupy Calgary and city officials went cold Saturday as protesters wavered on a deal that would see them vacate Olympic Plaza.

Despite facing temperatures below minus 20 degrees, the campers vowed to continue their occupation. Protester Aaron Doncaster read the city’s proposal out loud during a general assembly on Saturday.

“Personally, if I had my own choice, I would light this on fire,” Doncaster said, holding a copy of the city’s offer.

Last Thursday, city officials presented protesters with an informal proposal that would allow them to host several public forums and establish an information booth somewhere near the plaza in exchange for the group leaving the park.

But protesters balked at the offer, citing several concerns including the proposal’s informal nature. Doncaster invited Mayor Naheed Nenshi and other city officials down to the camp for further discussions.

“They won’t even come down to our (general assemblies) and recognize us,” he said. “That is an open line of communication that needs to be acknowledged.”

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Saturday marked the fifth week the group has occupied Olympic Plaza. The city previously ticketed and threatened to evict the protesters, but has since taken a more neutral stance, citing constitutional rights to freedom of expression.

The movement seems to be waning in several Canadian cities. Protesters in Vancouver have been given until Monday to pack up and camps in Regina and Victoria have already been dismantled.

 

“Calgary’s said from the get-go we’re looking for a peaceful resolution,” said Bill Bruce, director of animal and bylaw services.

Several protesters called for access to electrical services before they’d continue talks with the city. Bruce said there is no plan to offer power to the camp.

“That’s not on the table from the city’s side,” he said. “Realistically, we’ve cautioned them about the weather.”

The idea of continuing without power didn’t sit well with all the occupiers. Anthony Hall, a University of Lethbridge professor who recently joined the movement, said they have the right to use electrical devices, such as laptops.

Hall would like to see city hall engage the group in a respectful discussion on the matter.

“We’re human beings,” he said. “He (Bruce) deals with bylaws and animals, and he’s dealing with us like we’re animals. We’re humans. It’s winter in Canada.”

Protesters say they hope to make a formal counter-offer to the city by next Saturday.

“The city is missing the point in that they don’t seem to understand that the way this group operates isn’t through demands or proposals,” said protester Arran Fisher.

However, Fisher didn’t have a solution as to how the two parties could reach a deal.

“I can’t think of an appropriate response apart from just letting it happen.”

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Mayor says his 5% tax plan is doable

CALGARY – Mayor Naheed Nenshi has released a roadmap to stick with a five-per-cent tax increase for 2012 by the end of this week’s budget debates, but he likely lacks the support to get there.

He is confident the police chief can handle 45 fewer officers at community and district desks and in other support services, feels transit won’t suffer with fewer service hours, and thinks less money for parks maintenance will prompt more efficient delivery of the service.

“On the face of it and on the facts, there is no reason we can’t do it,” Nenshi said of his tax plan.

He’s going to have a tough job convincing others on council.

At least one councillor who reluctantly joined Nenshi’s push to keep property tax hikes to the rate of population and civic cost growth now wants to go higher – six per cent, perhaps – to prevent service reductions for police, transit or snow clearing.

“We’re going to have to add. I just don’t see places where we can cut,” Jim Stevenson said Sunday, the day before council begins a likely marathon stretch of hearings and debates on the 2012-2014 city fiscal plan.

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When council gave city managers pre-budget direction on taxes in June, Stevenson was one of nine members who initially backed finance committee chairman Councillor Gord Lowe’s plan for an eight-per-cent increase in 2012, and six points in the next two years.

He was then one of the three councillors who switched their stances after Nenshi pitched hikes of 5.0, 5.1 and 5.5 per cent in successive years.

Lowe plans to bring back his eight-point tax proposal, and colleagues have eyed many department budgets to shore up.

A plan to add no new transit routes outside the west LRT corridor and cut $1 million in transit service in 2013 has won few fans other than the mayor, who argues the new LRT line will offset the need for more bus service.

The police commission has many members in their corner – including Stevenson – calling to reverse the planned elimination of 45 officers this year, and hire additional police.

“I’m so happy with what (Chief) Rick Hanson has done over the years. I just don’t agree we should hamstring them,” the Ward 3 member said.

Nenshi supports the idea for new officers as the population grows but will ask council to await word on possible aid from the Redford government.

Many also oppose a $5.7-million clawback to parks maintenance over three years, and there’s apparent unanimity against a $3.5-million cut to the roads budget that would end the newly upgraded plowing strategy for side streets.

To staunch that problem, Nenshi will propose taking $7 million from the rainy day reserve to start a snowy-day fund so the city can draw from it in tough winters, and add to it in lighter winters.

Civic Camp, a group of urban activists which Nenshi helped form, will appeal today for the higher tax hike that Lowe endorses and the mayor is against.

There’s streamlining to be done, but even the city’s own pre-budget consultations showed Calgarians favour enhanced services, Civic Camp organizer Peter Rishaug said.

“They are willing to pay more for certain services, if they are reliable and improve quality of life,” he said.

There will also be public speakers coming out for operational dollars to further the cycling strategy, which got short shrift in a budget that cuts back in most areas.

“It will result in savings that exceed its costs many times. The benefits include improved health, long term transportation cost savings, more vibrant street life and increased tourism,” said Bike Calgary’s letter to Nenshi and council last week.

For support on a more modest tax hike, Nenshi can likely count on Councillors Dale Hodges and Andre Chabot, as well as Peter Demong, who wants a four-per-cent hike. But they’re aware of the long odds.

“I don’t think council will have the intestinal fortitude to get it below six per cent,” Chabot said.

On top of tax rates and service levels, council will also tackle user fees. Many members will try to alter the draft plan to hike the senior’s annual transit pass to $55 next year and $96 by 2014, from the present deeply discounted $35 (low-income seniors would still pay $15 a year).

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New breast cancer screening guidelines advise against mammograms for women in 40s

TORONTO – Most women age 40 to 49 should not have routine mammograms and those 50 to 69 can wait slightly longer between the tests than previously recommended, updated Canadian breast cancer screening guidelines advise.

And for the first time, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care that developed the guidelines says that women aged 70 to 74 should be getting mammograms on the same schedule as those 50 to 69.

The revamped guidelines, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, apply to women with an average risk of developing the disease. They include those with no previous breast cancer, no history of the disease in a first-degree relative like a mother or sister, no known BRCA genetic mutation and no previous exposure to radiation of the chest wall.

In its previous set of guidelines penned in 2001, the expert panel made no recommendations for average-risk women in their 40s as to whether they should have routine screening or not.

But the task force now advises against the practice for that age group, saying the potential harms from false positives and unnecessary subsequent cancer treatment outweigh the possible benefit – a slight reduction in the number of deaths from the disease.

Story continues below

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“Before there was no recommendation for or against, and clinical practice followed that lead,” said task force chair Dr. Marcello Tonelli of the University of Alberta. “Most organized screening programs don’t recruit women aged 40 to 49 years as a result.

“The biggest change of all is probably in the way in which we frame all of our recommendations, that breast cancer screening has risks and it has benefits, and how women weigh those up will influence their personal decision to be screened or not.”

In the 2001 guidelines, women 50 to 69 with an average risk of breast cancer were advised to have mammography every two years. But the new guide extends that period, saying such tests can be done every two to three years.

The panel now suggests women age 70 to 74 should also have mammograms every two to three years.

“In routine practice, one of the challenges in producing guidance and then implementing it in real life is that patients don’t turn up for screening or any other service on the anniversary of their last test,” said Tonelli.

“So the intent here was to give a range so that someone who is appearing for screening at two years and a day is still falling within recommended practice (and) even after two years and six months,” he said from Edmonton.

“We also wanted to signal that since the last set of guidelines were produced, there has been some evidence produced that longer screening intervals, like every three years, might be just as good as every year.”

The new guidelines have grown out of an intensive review of international clinical trials, which looked at the risk of developing breast cancer in the various age groups and the potential harms inherent in the breast X-ray that can arise from misdiagnosis.

“Specifically, the harms could range from a woman being told she has an abnormality on a mammogram and being asked to repeat the mammogram, being asked to go for a biopsy of her breast, being asked to have part or all of her breast removed, and all the way up to surgery and radiation and chemotherapy.

“These are the spectrum of possible harms, so if you don’t have breast cancer, but you have your breast removed and have surgery, I think we’d all agree that’s a harm of screening.”

The task force determined that screening 2,100 women every two to three years for about 11 years would prevent just one death from breast cancer. However, it also would result in 690 women having false-positives that would lead to unnecessary followup testing, including 75 women having unnecessary breast biopsies.

“For every woman that had cancer found with mammography, there are many more that have had a false positive result or a scare,” Tonelli said.

While no primary studies looked at the risk of overdiagnosis specifically among women 40 to 49 years, “data from our systematic review show that for every 1,000 women aged 39 years and older who are screened using mammography, five will have an unnecessary lumpectomy or mastectomy,” the authors write.

“In addition to unnecessary intervention, false-positive results can lead to fear, anxiety and distress.”

Dr. Cornelia Baines, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s foremost experts on breast cancer screening, lauded the task force’s recommendations, calling them “completely warranted.”

“All in all, I think it’s a superb set of guidelines that really are very, very carefully drawn, carefully thought out and totally justified on the basis of existing evidence.”

Still, she predicted they will be greeted with the same indignation and criticism that occurred in 2009 when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force presented similar recommendations, which also advised women to defer routine mammograms until age 50.

The switch from the previous recommendation that American women in their 40s have a mammogram every year or two like their older sisters caused a firestorm of controversy.

If Baines has any criticism about the revamped Canadian guidelines, it is that they could have been clearer in illustrating the potential harms arising from false-positive results, which could “serve as a disincentive to wanting screening.”

“They don’t say it in a way that really hits home,” she said, noting that for women age 40 to 49, there is a one in three chance of having a false-positive result, and one in every 200 will be falsely diagnosed with breast cancer and unnecessarily treated.

“I had breast cancer,” said Baines. “I can’t imagine how I would feel if I thought there was a major chance that all the emotional upheaval, all the miseries of treatment, all the misery of followup, all the misery of diagnostic labelling was all useless because I didn’t really have breast cancer.

“I do know for a fact that only a minority of women who get breast cancer die of it.”

This year in Canada, an estimated 23,600 women overall will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 5,100 will die of the disease.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has endorsed the new guidelines, as has the Canadian Cancer Society.

Gillian Bromfield, director of cancer control policy for the Canadian Cancer Society, said they reinforce the organization’s own breast-screening recommendations, which suggest women 50 to 69 should have a mammogram every two years.

“For women age 50 to 69, all the major health organizations are quite consistent that this is the age group that should be getting screened on a regular basis,” she said. “When you get outside of that age range, that’s where you start to see a bit more inconsistency.”

Among women in their 40s, for example, the evidence isn’t particularly strong that routine mammograms help to save lives, Bromfield said. Even so, some women will still want screening and should talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks.

Indeed, that is the overriding advice of the guidelines, Tonelli stressed.

“They say: ‘Here is what you can expect to get in the way of benefits from screening and here’s what you might expect in the way of harms. And based on what you, yourself, feel about your trade-off of those risks and those benefits, you together with your doctor can make a decision that’s right for you.’”

In a related commentary, Dr. Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, calls the new guidelines “more balanced and more in accordance with the evidence than any previous recommendations.”

Gotzsche writes that scientific evidence does not support mammography screening and he argues that it could even be harmful because it can lead to unnecessary mastectomies.

“The main effect of screening is to produce patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would have remained free of breast disease for the rest of their lives had they not undergone screening.”

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Bomb plot suspect’s mom apologizes to NYers; questions arise about lack of US involvement

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The mother of a “lone wolf” accused of plotting to attack police stations and post offices with homemade bombs apologized to New Yorkers on Monday, even as questions arose about why federal authorities – who typically handle terrorism cases – declined to get involved in what city officials called a serious threat.

The mother of Jose Pimentel spoke to reporters outside her upper Manhattan home the day after her son was arraigned in state court on terrorism-related charges.

“I didn’t raise my son in that way,” Carmen Sosa said.

Officials with the NYPD, which conducted the undercover investigation using a confidential informant and a bugged apartment, said the department had to move quickly because Pimentel was about to test a pipe bomb made out of match heads, nails and other ingredients bought at neighbourhood hardware and discount stores.

Federal authorities were aware of the probe, but under the circumstances, “it was appropriate to proceed under state charges,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in announcing the arrest late Sunday.

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Two law enforcement officials said Monday that the NYPD’s Intelligence Division had sought to get the FBI involved at least twice as the investigation unfolded. Both times, the FBI concluded that he wasn’t a serious threat, they said.

The FBI thought Pimentel “didn’t have the predisposition or the ability to do anything on his own,” one of the officials said.

The officials were not authorized to speak about the case and spoke on condition of anonymity. The FBI’s New York office and the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan both declined to comment on Monday.

Pimentel’s lawyer, Joseph Zablocki, said his client was never a true threat.

The arrest marked the second time this year that the police department took the unusual step of working with a state prosecutor to bring a terrorism case. In May, two men were indicted on charges they told an NYPD undercover detective about their desire to attack synagogues.

A grand jury declined to indict Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh on the most serious charge initially brought against them – a high-level terror conspiracy count that carried the potential for life in prison without parole. They were, however, indicted on lesser state terrorism and hate crime charges, including one punishable by up to 32 years behind bars.

Attorneys for Ferhani said hate crime charges and a rarely used state terrorism law were misapplied to what they have called a case of police entrapment.

State prosecutors insist that there’s ample evidence that Pimentel went well beyond merely talking about terrorism – and that he was acting on his own initiative.

At an arraignment where Pimentel was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said investigators have “countless hours” of audio and video in this case. And in a criminal complaint, an intelligence division detective alleges Pimentel told him after the arrest that he was about an hour away from finishing the bomb and felt Islamic law obligates all Muslims to wage war against Americans to avenge U.S. military action in their homelands.

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New breast cancer screening guidelines advise against mammograms for women in 40s

TORONTO – Most women age 40 to 49 should not have routine mammograms and those 50 to 69 can wait slightly longer between the tests than previously recommended, updated Canadian breast cancer screening guidelines advise.

And for the first time, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care that developed the guidelines says that women aged 70 to 74 should be getting mammograms on the same schedule as those 50 to 69.

The revamped guidelines, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, apply to women with an average risk of developing the disease. They include those with no previous breast cancer, no history of the disease in a first-degree relative like a mother or sister, no known BRCA genetic mutation and no previous exposure to radiation of the chest wall.

In its previous set of guidelines penned in 2001, the expert panel made no recommendations for average-risk women in their 40s as to whether they should have routine screening or not.

But the task force now advises against the practice for that age group, saying the potential harms from false positives and unnecessary subsequent cancer treatment outweigh the possible benefit – a slight reduction in the number of deaths from the disease.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“Before there was no recommendation for or against, and clinical practice followed that lead,” said task force chair Dr. Marcello Tonelli of the University of Alberta. “Most organized screening programs don’t recruit women aged 40 to 49 years as a result.

“The biggest change of all is probably in the way in which we frame all of our recommendations, that breast cancer screening has risks and it has benefits, and how women weigh those up will influence their personal decision to be screened or not.”

In the 2001 guidelines, women 50 to 69 with an average risk of breast cancer were advised to have mammography every two years. But the new guide extends that period, saying such tests can be done every two to three years.

The panel now suggests women age 70 to 74 should also have mammograms every two to three years.

“In routine practice, one of the challenges in producing guidance and then implementing it in real life is that patients don’t turn up for screening or any other service on the anniversary of their last test,” said Tonelli.

“So the intent here was to give a range so that someone who is appearing for screening at two years and a day is still falling within recommended practice (and) even after two years and six months,” he said from Edmonton.

“We also wanted to signal that since the last set of guidelines were produced, there has been some evidence produced that longer screening intervals, like every three years, might be just as good as every year.”

The new guidelines have grown out of an intensive review of international clinical trials, which looked at the risk of developing breast cancer in the various age groups and the potential harms inherent in the breast X-ray that can arise from misdiagnosis.

“Specifically, the harms could range from a woman being told she has an abnormality on a mammogram and being asked to repeat the mammogram, being asked to go for a biopsy of her breast, being asked to have part or all of her breast removed, and all the way up to surgery and radiation and chemotherapy.

“These are the spectrum of possible harms, so if you don’t have breast cancer, but you have your breast removed and have surgery, I think we’d all agree that’s a harm of screening.”

The task force determined that screening 2,100 women every two to three years for about 11 years would prevent just one death from breast cancer. However, it also would result in 690 women having false-positives that would lead to unnecessary followup testing, including 75 women having unnecessary breast biopsies.

“For every woman that had cancer found with mammography, there are many more that have had a false positive result or a scare,” Tonelli said.

While no primary studies looked at the risk of overdiagnosis specifically among women 40 to 49 years, “data from our systematic review show that for every 1,000 women aged 39 years and older who are screened using mammography, five will have an unnecessary lumpectomy or mastectomy,” the authors write.

“In addition to unnecessary intervention, false-positive results can lead to fear, anxiety and distress.”

Dr. Cornelia Baines, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s foremost experts on breast cancer screening, lauded the task force’s recommendations, calling them “completely warranted.”

“All in all, I think it’s a superb set of guidelines that really are very, very carefully drawn, carefully thought out and totally justified on the basis of existing evidence.”

Still, she predicted they will be greeted with the same indignation and criticism that occurred in 2009 when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force presented similar recommendations, which also advised women to defer routine mammograms until age 50.

The switch from the previous recommendation that American women in their 40s have a mammogram every year or two like their older sisters caused a firestorm of controversy.

If Baines has any criticism about the revamped Canadian guidelines, it is that they could have been clearer in illustrating the potential harms arising from false-positive results, which could “serve as a disincentive to wanting screening.”

“They don’t say it in a way that really hits home,” she said, noting that for women age 40 to 49, there is a one in three chance of having a false-positive result, and one in every 200 will be falsely diagnosed with breast cancer and unnecessarily treated.

“I had breast cancer,” said Baines. “I can’t imagine how I would feel if I thought there was a major chance that all the emotional upheaval, all the miseries of treatment, all the misery of followup, all the misery of diagnostic labelling was all useless because I didn’t really have breast cancer.

“I do know for a fact that only a minority of women who get breast cancer die of it.”

This year in Canada, an estimated 23,600 women overall will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 5,100 will die of the disease.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has endorsed the new guidelines, as has the Canadian Cancer Society.

Gillian Bromfield, director of cancer control policy for the Canadian Cancer Society, said they reinforce the organization’s own breast-screening recommendations, which suggest women 50 to 69 should have a mammogram every two years.

“For women age 50 to 69, all the major health organizations are quite consistent that this is the age group that should be getting screened on a regular basis,” she said. “When you get outside of that age range, that’s where you start to see a bit more inconsistency.”

Among women in their 40s, for example, the evidence isn’t particularly strong that routine mammograms help to save lives, Bromfield said. Even so, some women will still want screening and should talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks.

Indeed, that is the overriding advice of the guidelines, Tonelli stressed.

“They say: ‘Here is what you can expect to get in the way of benefits from screening and here’s what you might expect in the way of harms. And based on what you, yourself, feel about your trade-off of those risks and those benefits, you together with your doctor can make a decision that’s right for you.’”

In a related commentary, Dr. Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, calls the new guidelines “more balanced and more in accordance with the evidence than any previous recommendations.”

Gotzsche writes that scientific evidence does not support mammography screening and he argues that it could even be harmful because it can lead to unnecessary mastectomies.

“The main effect of screening is to produce patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would have remained free of breast disease for the rest of their lives had they not undergone screening.”

Online:

Guidelines: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.110334

Commentary: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.111721

Canadian Cancer Society: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cancer.ca

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect spelling for Bromfield

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New breast cancer screening guidelines advise against mammograms for women in 40s

TORONTO – Most women age 40 to 49 should not have routine mammograms and those 50 to 69 can wait slightly longer between the tests than previously recommended, updated Canadian breast cancer screening guidelines advise.

And for the first time, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care that developed the guidelines says that women aged 70 to 74 should be getting mammograms on the same schedule as those 50 to 69.

The revamped guidelines, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, apply to women with an average risk of developing the disease. They include those with no previous breast cancer, no history of the disease in a first-degree relative like a mother or sister, no known BRCA genetic mutation and no previous exposure to radiation of the chest wall.

In its previous set of guidelines penned in 2001, the expert panel made no recommendations for average-risk women in their 40s as to whether they should have routine screening or not.

But the task force now advises against the practice for that age group, saying the potential harms from false positives and unnecessary subsequent cancer treatment outweigh the possible benefit – a slight reduction in the number of deaths from the disease.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“Before there was no recommendation for or against, and clinical practice followed that lead,” said task force chair Dr. Marcello Tonelli of the University of Alberta. “Most organized screening programs don’t recruit women aged 40 to 49 years as a result.

“The biggest change of all is probably in the way in which we frame all of our recommendations, that breast cancer screening has risks and it has benefits, and how women weigh those up will influence their personal decision to be screened or not.”

In the 2001 guidelines, women 50 to 69 with an average risk of breast cancer were advised to have mammography every two years. But the new guide extends that period, saying such tests can be done every two to three years.

The panel now suggests women age 70 to 74 should also have mammograms every two to three years.

“In routine practice, one of the challenges in producing guidance and then implementing it in real life is that patients don’t turn up for screening or any other service on the anniversary of their last test,” said Tonelli.

“So the intent here was to give a range so that someone who is appearing for screening at two years and a day is still falling within recommended practice (and) even after two years and six months,” he said from Edmonton.

“We also wanted to signal that since the last set of guidelines were produced, there has been some evidence produced that longer screening intervals, like every three years, might be just as good as every year.”

The new guidelines have grown out of an intensive review of international clinical trials, which looked at the risk of developing breast cancer in the various age groups and the potential harms inherent in the breast X-ray that can arise from misdiagnosis.

“Specifically, the harms could range from a woman being told she has an abnormality on a mammogram and being asked to repeat the mammogram, being asked to go for a biopsy of her breast, being asked to have part or all of her breast removed, and all the way up to surgery and radiation and chemotherapy.

“These are the spectrum of possible harms, so if you don’t have breast cancer, but you have your breast removed and have surgery, I think we’d all agree that’s a harm of screening.”

The task force determined that screening 2,100 women every two to three years for about 11 years would prevent just one death from breast cancer. However, it also would result in 690 women having false-positives that would lead to unnecessary followup testing, including 75 women having unnecessary breast biopsies.

“For every woman that had cancer found with mammography, there are many more that have had a false positive result or a scare,” Tonelli said.

While no primary studies looked at the risk of overdiagnosis specifically among women 40 to 49 years, “data from our systematic review show that for every 1,000 women aged 39 years and older who are screened using mammography, five will have an unnecessary lumpectomy or mastectomy,” the authors write.

“In addition to unnecessary intervention, false-positive results can lead to fear, anxiety and distress.”

Dr. Cornelia Baines, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s foremost experts on breast cancer screening, lauded the task force’s recommendations, calling them “completely warranted.”

“All in all, I think it’s a superb set of guidelines that really are very, very carefully drawn, carefully thought out and totally justified on the basis of existing evidence.”

Still, she predicted they will be greeted with the same indignation and criticism that occurred in 2009 when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force presented similar recommendations, which also advised women to defer routine mammograms until age 50.

The switch from the previous recommendation that American women in their 40s have a mammogram every year or two like their older sisters caused a firestorm of controversy.

If Baines has any criticism about the revamped Canadian guidelines, it is that they could have been clearer in illustrating the potential harms arising from false-positive results, which could “serve as a disincentive to wanting screening.”

“They don’t say it in a way that really hits home,” she said, noting that for women age 40 to 49, there is a one in three chance of having a false-positive result, and one in every 200 will be falsely diagnosed with breast cancer and unnecessarily treated.

“I had breast cancer,” said Baines. “I can’t imagine how I would feel if I thought there was a major chance that all the emotional upheaval, all the miseries of treatment, all the misery of followup, all the misery of diagnostic labelling was all useless because I didn’t really have breast cancer.

“I do know for a fact that only a minority of women who get breast cancer die of it.”

This year in Canada, an estimated 23,600 women overall will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 5,100 will die of the disease.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has endorsed the new guidelines, as has the Canadian Cancer Society.

Gillian Bromfield, director of cancer control policy for the Canadian Cancer Society, said they reinforce the organization’s own breast-screening recommendations, which suggest women 50 to 69 should have a mammogram every two years.

“For women age 50 to 69, all the major health organizations are quite consistent that this is the age group that should be getting screened on a regular basis,” she said. “When you get outside of that age range, that’s where you start to see a bit more inconsistency.”

Among women in their 40s, for example, the evidence isn’t particularly strong that routine mammograms help to save lives, Bromfield said. Even so, some women will still want screening and should talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks.

Indeed, that is the overriding advice of the guidelines, Tonelli stressed.

“They say: ‘Here is what you can expect to get in the way of benefits from screening and here’s what you might expect in the way of harms. And based on what you, yourself, feel about your trade-off of those risks and those benefits, you together with your doctor can make a decision that’s right for you.’”

In a related commentary, Dr. Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, calls the new guidelines “more balanced and more in accordance with the evidence than any previous recommendations.”

Gotzsche writes that scientific evidence does not support mammography screening and he argues that it could even be harmful because it can lead to unnecessary mastectomies.

“The main effect of screening is to produce patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would have remained free of breast disease for the rest of their lives had they not undergone screening.”

Online:

Guidelines: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.110334

Commentary: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.111721

Canadian Cancer Society: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cancer.ca

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect spelling for Bromfield

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on New breast cancer screening guidelines advise against mammograms for women in 40s

New breast cancer screening guidelines advise against mammograms for women in 40s

TORONTO – Most women age 40 to 49 should not have routine mammograms and those 50 to 69 can wait slightly longer between the tests than previously recommended, updated Canadian breast cancer screening guidelines advise.

And for the first time, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care that developed the guidelines says that women aged 70 to 74 should be getting mammograms on the same schedule as those 50 to 69.

The revamped guidelines, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, apply to women with an average risk of developing the disease. They include those with no previous breast cancer, no history of the disease in a first-degree relative like a mother or sister, no known BRCA genetic mutation and no previous exposure to radiation of the chest wall.

In its previous set of guidelines penned in 2001, the expert panel made no recommendations for average-risk women in their 40s as to whether they should have routine screening or not.

But the task force now advises against the practice for that age group, saying the potential harms from false positives and unnecessary subsequent cancer treatment outweigh the possible benefit – a slight reduction in the number of deaths from the disease.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“Before there was no recommendation for or against, and clinical practice followed that lead,” said task force chair Dr. Marcello Tonelli of the University of Alberta. “Most organized screening programs don’t recruit women aged 40 to 49 years as a result.

“The biggest change of all is probably in the way in which we frame all of our recommendations, that breast cancer screening has risks and it has benefits, and how women weigh those up will influence their personal decision to be screened or not.”

In the 2001 guidelines, women 50 to 69 with an average risk of breast cancer were advised to have mammography every two years. But the new guide extends that period, saying such tests can be done every two to three years.

The panel now suggests women age 70 to 74 should also have mammograms every two to three years.

“In routine practice, one of the challenges in producing guidance and then implementing it in real life is that patients don’t turn up for screening or any other service on the anniversary of their last test,” said Tonelli.

“So the intent here was to give a range so that someone who is appearing for screening at two years and a day is still falling within recommended practice (and) even after two years and six months,” he said from Edmonton.

“We also wanted to signal that since the last set of guidelines were produced, there has been some evidence produced that longer screening intervals, like every three years, might be just as good as every year.”

The new guidelines have grown out of an intensive review of international clinical trials, which looked at the risk of developing breast cancer in the various age groups and the potential harms inherent in the breast X-ray that can arise from misdiagnosis.

“Specifically, the harms could range from a woman being told she has an abnormality on a mammogram and being asked to repeat the mammogram, being asked to go for a biopsy of her breast, being asked to have part or all of her breast removed, and all the way up to surgery and radiation and chemotherapy.

“These are the spectrum of possible harms, so if you don’t have breast cancer, but you have your breast removed and have surgery, I think we’d all agree that’s a harm of screening.”

The task force determined that screening 2,100 women every two to three years for about 11 years would prevent just one death from breast cancer. However, it also would result in 690 women having false-positives that would lead to unnecessary followup testing, including 75 women having unnecessary breast biopsies.

“For every woman that had cancer found with mammography, there are many more that have had a false positive result or a scare,” Tonelli said.

While no primary studies looked at the risk of overdiagnosis specifically among women 40 to 49 years, “data from our systematic review show that for every 1,000 women aged 39 years and older who are screened using mammography, five will have an unnecessary lumpectomy or mastectomy,” the authors write.

“In addition to unnecessary intervention, false-positive results can lead to fear, anxiety and distress.”

Dr. Cornelia Baines, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s foremost experts on breast cancer screening, lauded the task force’s recommendations, calling them “completely warranted.”

“All in all, I think it’s a superb set of guidelines that really are very, very carefully drawn, carefully thought out and totally justified on the basis of existing evidence.”

Still, she predicted they will be greeted with the same indignation and criticism that occurred in 2009 when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force presented similar recommendations, which also advised women to defer routine mammograms until age 50.

The switch from the previous recommendation that American women in their 40s have a mammogram every year or two like their older sisters caused a firestorm of controversy.

If Baines has any criticism about the revamped Canadian guidelines, it is that they could have been clearer in illustrating the potential harms arising from false-positive results, which could “serve as a disincentive to wanting screening.”

“They don’t say it in a way that really hits home,” she said, noting that for women age 40 to 49, there is a one in three chance of having a false-positive result, and one in every 200 will be falsely diagnosed with breast cancer and unnecessarily treated.

“I had breast cancer,” said Baines. “I can’t imagine how I would feel if I thought there was a major chance that all the emotional upheaval, all the miseries of treatment, all the misery of followup, all the misery of diagnostic labelling was all useless because I didn’t really have breast cancer.

“I do know for a fact that only a minority of women who get breast cancer die of it.”

This year in Canada, an estimated 23,600 women overall will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 5,100 will die of the disease.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has endorsed the new guidelines, as has the Canadian Cancer Society.

Gillian Bromfield, director of cancer control policy for the Canadian Cancer Society, said they reinforce the organization’s own breast-screening recommendations, which suggest women 50 to 69 should have a mammogram every two years.

“For women age 50 to 69, all the major health organizations are quite consistent that this is the age group that should be getting screened on a regular basis,” she said. “When you get outside of that age range, that’s where you start to see a bit more inconsistency.”

Among women in their 40s, for example, the evidence isn’t particularly strong that routine mammograms help to save lives, Bromfield said. Even so, some women will still want screening and should talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks.

Indeed, that is the overriding advice of the guidelines, Tonelli stressed.

“They say: ‘Here is what you can expect to get in the way of benefits from screening and here’s what you might expect in the way of harms. And based on what you, yourself, feel about your trade-off of those risks and those benefits, you together with your doctor can make a decision that’s right for you.’”

In a related commentary, Dr. Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, calls the new guidelines “more balanced and more in accordance with the evidence than any previous recommendations.”

Gotzsche writes that scientific evidence does not support mammography screening and he argues that it could even be harmful because it can lead to unnecessary mastectomies.

“The main effect of screening is to produce patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would have remained free of breast disease for the rest of their lives had they not undergone screening.”

Online:

Guidelines: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.110334

Commentary: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.111721

Canadian Cancer Society: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cancer.ca

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect spelling for Bromfield

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on New breast cancer screening guidelines advise against mammograms for women in 40s

New breast cancer screening guidelines advise against mammograms for women in 40s

TORONTO – Most women age 40 to 49 should not have routine mammograms and those 50 to 69 can wait slightly longer between the tests than previously recommended, updated Canadian breast cancer screening guidelines advise.

And for the first time, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care that developed the guidelines says that women aged 70 to 74 should be getting mammograms on the same schedule as those 50 to 69.

The revamped guidelines, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, apply to women with an average risk of developing the disease. They include those with no previous breast cancer, no history of the disease in a first-degree relative like a mother or sister, no known BRCA genetic mutation and no previous exposure to radiation of the chest wall.

In its previous set of guidelines penned in 2001, the expert panel made no recommendations for average-risk women in their 40s as to whether they should have routine screening or not.

But the task force now advises against the practice for that age group, saying the potential harms from false positives and unnecessary subsequent cancer treatment outweigh the possible benefit – a slight reduction in the number of deaths from the disease.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“Before there was no recommendation for or against, and clinical practice followed that lead,” said task force chair Dr. Marcello Tonelli of the University of Alberta. “Most organized screening programs don’t recruit women aged 40 to 49 years as a result.

“The biggest change of all is probably in the way in which we frame all of our recommendations, that breast cancer screening has risks and it has benefits, and how women weigh those up will influence their personal decision to be screened or not.”

In the 2001 guidelines, women 50 to 69 with an average risk of breast cancer were advised to have mammography every two years. But the new guide extends that period, saying such tests can be done every two to three years.

The panel now suggests women age 70 to 74 should also have mammograms every two to three years.

“In routine practice, one of the challenges in producing guidance and then implementing it in real life is that patients don’t turn up for screening or any other service on the anniversary of their last test,” said Tonelli.

“So the intent here was to give a range so that someone who is appearing for screening at two years and a day is still falling within recommended practice (and) even after two years and six months,” he said from Edmonton.

“We also wanted to signal that since the last set of guidelines were produced, there has been some evidence produced that longer screening intervals, like every three years, might be just as good as every year.”

The new guidelines have grown out of an intensive review of international clinical trials, which looked at the risk of developing breast cancer in the various age groups and the potential harms inherent in the breast X-ray that can arise from misdiagnosis.

“Specifically, the harms could range from a woman being told she has an abnormality on a mammogram and being asked to repeat the mammogram, being asked to go for a biopsy of her breast, being asked to have part or all of her breast removed, and all the way up to surgery and radiation and chemotherapy.

“These are the spectrum of possible harms, so if you don’t have breast cancer, but you have your breast removed and have surgery, I think we’d all agree that’s a harm of screening.”

The task force determined that screening 2,100 women every two to three years for about 11 years would prevent just one death from breast cancer. However, it also would result in 690 women having false-positives that would lead to unnecessary followup testing, including 75 women having unnecessary breast biopsies.

“For every woman that had cancer found with mammography, there are many more that have had a false positive result or a scare,” Tonelli said.

While no primary studies looked at the risk of overdiagnosis specifically among women 40 to 49 years, “data from our systematic review show that for every 1,000 women aged 39 years and older who are screened using mammography, five will have an unnecessary lumpectomy or mastectomy,” the authors write.

“In addition to unnecessary intervention, false-positive results can lead to fear, anxiety and distress.”

Dr. Cornelia Baines, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s foremost experts on breast cancer screening, lauded the task force’s recommendations, calling them “completely warranted.”

“All in all, I think it’s a superb set of guidelines that really are very, very carefully drawn, carefully thought out and totally justified on the basis of existing evidence.”

Still, she predicted they will be greeted with the same indignation and criticism that occurred in 2009 when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force presented similar recommendations, which also advised women to defer routine mammograms until age 50.

The switch from the previous recommendation that American women in their 40s have a mammogram every year or two like their older sisters caused a firestorm of controversy.

If Baines has any criticism about the revamped Canadian guidelines, it is that they could have been clearer in illustrating the potential harms arising from false-positive results, which could “serve as a disincentive to wanting screening.”

“They don’t say it in a way that really hits home,” she said, noting that for women age 40 to 49, there is a one in three chance of having a false-positive result, and one in every 200 will be falsely diagnosed with breast cancer and unnecessarily treated.

“I had breast cancer,” said Baines. “I can’t imagine how I would feel if I thought there was a major chance that all the emotional upheaval, all the miseries of treatment, all the misery of followup, all the misery of diagnostic labelling was all useless because I didn’t really have breast cancer.

“I do know for a fact that only a minority of women who get breast cancer die of it.”

This year in Canada, an estimated 23,600 women overall will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 5,100 will die of the disease.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has endorsed the new guidelines, as has the Canadian Cancer Society.

Gillian Bromfield, director of cancer control policy for the Canadian Cancer Society, said they reinforce the organization’s own breast-screening recommendations, which suggest women 50 to 69 should have a mammogram every two years.

“For women age 50 to 69, all the major health organizations are quite consistent that this is the age group that should be getting screened on a regular basis,” she said. “When you get outside of that age range, that’s where you start to see a bit more inconsistency.”

Among women in their 40s, for example, the evidence isn’t particularly strong that routine mammograms help to save lives, Bromfield said. Even so, some women will still want screening and should talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks.

Indeed, that is the overriding advice of the guidelines, Tonelli stressed.

“They say: ‘Here is what you can expect to get in the way of benefits from screening and here’s what you might expect in the way of harms. And based on what you, yourself, feel about your trade-off of those risks and those benefits, you together with your doctor can make a decision that’s right for you.’”

In a related commentary, Dr. Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, calls the new guidelines “more balanced and more in accordance with the evidence than any previous recommendations.”

Gotzsche writes that scientific evidence does not support mammography screening and he argues that it could even be harmful because it can lead to unnecessary mastectomies.

“The main effect of screening is to produce patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would have remained free of breast disease for the rest of their lives had they not undergone screening.”

Online:

Guidelines: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.110334

Commentary: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.111721

Canadian Cancer Society: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cancer.ca

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect spelling for Bromfield

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Jets coach Rex Ryan says he won’t appeal $75K fine by NFL for yelling profanity

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Rex Ryan’s mouth really cost him this time.

The brash New York Jets coach will not appeal a US$75,000 fine issued by the NFL on Monday for using profanity while angrily responding to a fan at halftime of New York’s 37-16 loss to New England last Sunday. Ryan received an official notice from Commissioner Roger Goodell in the morning.

“The commissioner’s got a tough enough job,” Ryan said. “I’m an NFL lifer. I know I represent the NFL and I know I represent the Jets, so I’m accountable for my actions.”

Ryan spoke to Goodell a few days ago to discuss the matter, and to apologize to him.

“Quite honestly, the man’s made a decision, and if his decision is that I should be fined $75,000, then that’s the way it is,” Ryan said, when asked if the punishment was excessive. “I just want to get it behind me.”

A 49-second video shot by a fan at MetLife Stadium shows the Jets walking off the field and when Ryan appears, someone is heard yelling, “Hey, Rex, Belichick is better than you,” referring to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Ryan looks up and tells the fan to “shut up” while also using an obscenity.

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HangZhou Night Net

Ryan apologized a day later for what he called “a mistake,” saying he “was full of emotion and just popped off.” Moments earlier, the Jets had just allowed the Patriots to take a 13-9 lead into halftime. He reiterated Monday that he has owned up to what he did since the incident became public last week.

It’s not the first time Ryan is in trouble because of his mouth, which likely contributed to the hefty punishment. He was fined $50,000 by the Jets in February 2010 after he was caught on a cellphone camera giving the middle finger to a fan during a mixed martial arts event in Florida.

“I know that to coach in the National Football League is an honour,” he said. “I don’t want to be the guy to put a black eye on this or whatever. I just want to get it behind me and move forward.”

The Jets will not further discipline Ryan for the latest incident, saying it was a game-related matter.

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement last week that he and Ryan discussed what happened and the coach “knows that his behaviour was not acceptable.”

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Jets coach Rex Ryan says he won’t appeal $75K fine by NFL for yelling profanity

Canadians give Conservatives free pass on retracted balanced-budget pledge: poll

OTTAWA – The Harper government appears to be getting a free pass from Canadians for backtracking on a key campaign promise to balance the federal budget by 2014.

The most recent survey by The Canadian Press-Harris Decima suggests that not only are Canadians not surprised the campaign pledge would not be fulfilled, most agree that it shouldn’t.

Overall, about 62 per cent of respondents to the survey taken earlier this month said they believed the government should not take extraordinary steps to try to meet the 2014 deadline.

The result is understandable given that Canadians are still largely divided on the issue of the most appropriate policy direction the government should take in the next year.

A slight majority of those surveyed – 53 per cent – said they believed Ottawa should control spending, while 43 per cent said the government should continue spending to create jobs. That’s almost a reverse of the results to an identical question asked in October.

“Canadians are clearly of two minds (on the issue),” said Doug Anderson, senior vice president of Harris Decima.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“So, are they upset another year or two is being added to the balanced budget timeline? No. They are not saying don’t balance it, they are saying the idea of taking at least four years is most appropriate.”

The poll of 1,000 adult Canadians was conducted Nov. 10-13, and is considered accurate to within 3.1 points up or down, 19 times in 20.

The timing of the survey is significant because it comes a few days after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released his fall economic update, warning that Canada faces a more sluggish recovery than previously thought, given the risks to the global outlook.

As a result, the update largely took a balanced budget in the fiscal year 2014-15 off the table, pencilling in 2015-16 as the new goal.

The extended timeline made headlines, but Canadians took the announcement in stride. According to the poll results, 87 per cent said they were not surprised by the change.

And 63 per cent agreed with Flaherty that “instability of the international economy” was more to blame for the missed deadline than any policies taken by the government. Even majorities among opposition NDP and Liberal supporters said the government is not primarily to blame.

“Canadians appear to agree that the global economic turmoil is a clear and valid reason for reducing the urgency of tackling the deficit, and their preferred timeline tends to match the one targeted by the federal government,” Anderson said.

Previous polling suggests that Canadians trust the Conservatives more than any other party to manage the economy during this period of uncertainty and elevated risk.

The survey did show a degree of partisan division in some of the questions, but not as strongly as might be supposed, noted Anderson.

On the question of stimulus versus cost-cutting, a clear majority of Conservatives said they favoured the spending-restraint option. But even so, NDP and Liberal supporters were not in radical disagreement.

Among New Democrats, 48 per cent said they favoured more spending as opposed to 47 per cent for restraints; while among Liberals, the split was 50 per cent to 44 per cent favouring stimulus measures.

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Canadians give Conservatives free pass on retracted balanced-budget pledge: poll

Canadians give Conservatives free pass on retracted balanced-budget pledge: poll

OTTAWA – The Harper government appears to be getting a free pass from Canadians for backtracking on a key campaign promise to balance the federal budget by 2014.

The most recent survey by The Canadian Press-Harris Decima suggests that not only are Canadians not surprised the campaign pledge would not be fulfilled, most agree that it shouldn’t.

Overall, about 62 per cent of respondents to the survey taken earlier this month said they believed the government should not take extraordinary steps to try to meet the 2014 deadline.

The result is understandable given that Canadians are still largely divided on the issue of the most appropriate policy direction the government should take in the next year.

A slight majority of those surveyed – 53 per cent – said they believed Ottawa should control spending, while 43 per cent said the government should continue spending to create jobs. That’s almost a reverse of the results to an identical question asked in October.

“Canadians are clearly of two minds (on the issue),” said Doug Anderson, senior vice president of Harris Decima.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“So, are they upset another year or two is being added to the balanced budget timeline? No. They are not saying don’t balance it, they are saying the idea of taking at least four years is most appropriate.”

The poll of 1,000 adult Canadians was conducted Nov. 10-13, and is considered accurate to within 3.1 points up or down, 19 times in 20.

The timing of the survey is significant because it comes a few days after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released his fall economic update, warning that Canada faces a more sluggish recovery than previously thought, given the risks to the global outlook.

As a result, the update largely took a balanced budget in the fiscal year 2014-15 off the table, pencilling in 2015-16 as the new goal.

The extended timeline made headlines, but Canadians took the announcement in stride. According to the poll results, 87 per cent said they were not surprised by the change.

And 63 per cent agreed with Flaherty that “instability of the international economy” was more to blame for the missed deadline than any policies taken by the government. Even majorities among opposition NDP and Liberal supporters said the government is not primarily to blame.

“Canadians appear to agree that the global economic turmoil is a clear and valid reason for reducing the urgency of tackling the deficit, and their preferred timeline tends to match the one targeted by the federal government,” Anderson said.

Previous polling suggests that Canadians trust the Conservatives more than any other party to manage the economy during this period of uncertainty and elevated risk.

The survey did show a degree of partisan division in some of the questions, but not as strongly as might be supposed, noted Anderson.

On the question of stimulus versus cost-cutting, a clear majority of Conservatives said they favoured the spending-restraint option. But even so, NDP and Liberal supporters were not in radical disagreement.

Among New Democrats, 48 per cent said they favoured more spending as opposed to 47 per cent for restraints; while among Liberals, the split was 50 per cent to 44 per cent favouring stimulus measures.

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Canadians give Conservatives free pass on retracted balanced-budget pledge: poll

Gregory Papalexis, food company CEO whose Sabrett franks are a NYC experience, dies at 86

NORWOOD, N.J. – Gregory Papalexis, whose Sabrett hot dogs have become a part of the New York City experience, has died. He was 86.

Papalexis was president, CEO and chairman of Englewood-based Marathon Enterprises, a supplier of hot dogs, buns, onion sauce and other products, and the owner of the Sabrett trademark.

He died Friday in Rockleigh, N.J., according to the Barrett Funeral Home in Tenafly, N.J., which is handling arrangements.

Sabrett hot dogs are sold nationwide. On the streets of New York, they are sold from stainless-steel pushcarts with instantly recognizable blue-and-yellow umbrellas. Marathon also supplies franks to Papaya King and Gray’s Papaya restaurants, and sells more than 35 million pounds of hot dogs a year.

His son-in-law, Mark Rosen, Marathon Enterprises’ vice-president of sales, told The Record of Bergen County that Papalexis was “the single biggest hot dog lover in the world.”

And Papalexis, who retired two years ago, practiced what he preached: He ate Sabrett hot dogs four or five days a week, relatives said. Mark Rosen said franks-and-beans casserole was part of the Papalexis family’s Christmas table each year.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

The son of a baker, Papalexis grew up next door to a hot dog factory in upper Manhattan. He earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial relations from New York University in 1948, and then entered the food business.

With a $2,500 G.I. loan, Papalexis bought his father’s bakery and sold rolls to clients throughout New York City, making deliveries in a Cadillac because it had the biggest trunk he could find.

He soon began selling hot dogs as well, manufacturing a pushcart brand called House O’ Weenies. He formed Marathon Enterprises in 1964 and acquired a series of competitors, including Sabrett Food Products in 1989.

His daughter, Nikki Rosen, also a company executive, said her father gave great detail to the buns his company sold, insisting they be “light, airy and fluffy,” she said. His reasoning was simple: If customers fill up on the bun, they won’t have room for a second hot dog.

The Sabrett company got its name in 1926 when its two co-founders wanted to call it the Sabre Meat Company, only to find that another firm was already using the name.

“So the two owners said, ‘We’re a small company, so we’ll call ourselves Sabre-ette, which soon became Sabrett,” said the company’s new president, Boyd Adelman.

The company’s facilities include two manufacturing plants and a distribution centre in the Bronx and a corporate office in Englewood, N.J.

Its customers include retail supermarkets, wholesale clubs, independent distributors, movie theatres, amusement parks, pushcart vendors, convention centres, ballparks and stadiums. In addition to hot dogs, the company also sells hot sausage, kielbasa, salami, pastrami, corned beef and garlic rings.

___

Information from: The Record, 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活northjersey杭州夜网

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