browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

杭州夜生活

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

Continue reading »

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

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.

Story continues below

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.”

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

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

Continue reading »

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Gregory Papalexis, food company CEO whose Sabrett franks are a NYC experience, dies at 86

Penn State taps former FBI director Louis Freeh in child sex-abuse investigation

PHILADELPHIA – Former FBI director Louis Freeh, tapped to lead Penn State’s investigation into the child sex-abuse allegations against a former assistant football coach, said his inquiry will go as far back as 1975, a much longer period than a grand jury report issued earlier this month.

Freeh was named Monday to oversee the university board of trustees’ internal investigation into the abuse allegations that ultimately led to the ouster of longtime football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.

Freeh said his goal was to conduct a comprehensive, fair and quick review. His team of former FBI agents, federal prosecutors and others has already begun the process of reading the grand jury report and looking at records.

“We will immediately report any evidence of criminality to law enforcement authorities,” said Freeh, who has no connection to Penn State.

Penn State has faced criticism since announcing that its internal investigation would be led by two university trustees, Merck pharmaceutical company CEO Kenneth Frazier and Pennsylvania state Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Faculty members on Friday called for an independent investigation of how the university handled abuse allegations, and the faculty senate endorsed a resolution asking for an independent investigation.

In announcing Freeh’s appointment, Frazier stressed the former FBI director’s independence. Freeh will be empowered to investigate employees up to and including the board of trustees itself, Frazier said.

“No one is above scrutiny,” Frazier said.

Freeh said he had been assured there would be “no favouritism.” He called that assurance “the main condition of my engagement.”

Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period beginning in the mid-1990s. Authorities say some assaults happened on campus and were reported to administrators but not to police.

Amid the scandal, Penn State’s trustees ousted Spanier and Paterno. The trustees said Spanier and Paterno failed to act after a graduate assistant claimed he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a campus shower in 2002.

Paterno, who has the most wins of any major college football coach, has conceded he should have done more. Spanier has said he would have reported a crime if he had suspected one had been committed.

Sandusky has said he is innocent. He has acknowledged he showered with boys but said he never molested them.

Former school administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are charged with not properly alerting authorities to suspected abuse and with perjury. They maintain their innocence.

Freeh founded an investigation firm, Freeh Group International Solutions, after leading the FBI from 1993 to 2001. He previously served six years as a special agent.

Freeh’s law firm was hired to look into the bribery case involving FIFA’s presidential election. Soccer’s governing body banned candidate Mohamed bin Hammam for life for bribing voters. The ruling body also banned 11 Caribbean soccer leaders and disciplined others in the corruption scandal.

Freeh will report to a special committee comprised of six university trustees; Dan Hagen, chair of the university’s faculty senate; Rodney Hughes, a doctoral student in higher education at Penn State; and retired Air Force Col. and astronaut Guion Bluford, a 1964 Penn State graduate.

Officials also announced that anyone who has information related to the probe can contact investigators at a telephone hotline – 855-290-3382 – and a special email, PSUhelp(at)freehgroup杭州夜网.

___

AP Sports Writer Fred Lief contributed to this report.

Continue reading »

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Penn State taps former FBI director Louis Freeh in child sex-abuse investigation

Penn State taps former FBI director Louis Freeh in child sex-abuse investigation

PHILADELPHIA – Former FBI director Louis Freeh, tapped to lead Penn State’s investigation into the child sex-abuse allegations against a former assistant football coach, said his inquiry will go as far back as 1975, a much longer period than a grand jury report issued earlier this month.

Freeh was named Monday to oversee the university board of trustees’ internal investigation into the abuse allegations that ultimately led to the ouster of longtime football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.

Freeh said his goal was to conduct a comprehensive, fair and quick review. His team of former FBI agents, federal prosecutors and others has already begun the process of reading the grand jury report and looking at records.

“We will immediately report any evidence of criminality to law enforcement authorities,” said Freeh, who has no connection to Penn State.

Penn State has faced criticism since announcing that its internal investigation would be led by two university trustees, Merck pharmaceutical company CEO Kenneth Frazier and Pennsylvania state Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Faculty members on Friday called for an independent investigation of how the university handled abuse allegations, and the faculty senate endorsed a resolution asking for an independent investigation.

In announcing Freeh’s appointment, Frazier stressed the former FBI director’s independence. Freeh will be empowered to investigate employees up to and including the board of trustees itself, Frazier said.

“No one is above scrutiny,” Frazier said.

Freeh said he had been assured there would be “no favouritism.” He called that assurance “the main condition of my engagement.”

Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period beginning in the mid-1990s. Authorities say some assaults happened on campus and were reported to administrators but not to police.

Amid the scandal, Penn State’s trustees ousted Spanier and Paterno. The trustees said Spanier and Paterno failed to act after a graduate assistant claimed he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a campus shower in 2002.

Paterno, who has the most wins of any major college football coach, has conceded he should have done more. Spanier has said he would have reported a crime if he had suspected one had been committed.

Sandusky has said he is innocent. He has acknowledged he showered with boys but said he never molested them.

Former school administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are charged with not properly alerting authorities to suspected abuse and with perjury. They maintain their innocence.

Freeh founded an investigation firm, Freeh Group International Solutions, after leading the FBI from 1993 to 2001. He previously served six years as a special agent.

Freeh’s law firm was hired to look into the bribery case involving FIFA’s presidential election. Soccer’s governing body banned candidate Mohamed bin Hammam for life for bribing voters. The ruling body also banned 11 Caribbean soccer leaders and disciplined others in the corruption scandal.

Freeh will report to a special committee comprised of six university trustees; Dan Hagen, chair of the university’s faculty senate; Rodney Hughes, a doctoral student in higher education at Penn State; and retired Air Force Col. and astronaut Guion Bluford, a 1964 Penn State graduate.

Officials also announced that anyone who has information related to the probe can contact investigators at a telephone hotline – 855-290-3382 – and a special email, PSUhelp(at)freehgroup杭州夜网.

___

AP Sports Writer Fred Lief contributed to this report.

Continue reading »

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Penn State taps former FBI director Louis Freeh in child sex-abuse investigation

Congress deficit panel can’t find compromise, sides stick to party orthodoxy before elections

WASHINGTON – The congressional panel assigned to fashion big cuts in the perilously expanding U.S. deficit was going out of business Monday, having failed to bridge bitter ideological differences separating Republicans and Democrats in the run-up to presidential and legislative elections next year.

Republicans refused to cross their ideological line against increasing taxes. Democrats refused to allow cuts in popular programs that serve the elderly and poor without a compensating growth of government income, especially from the wealthiest Americans.

The close of business Monday marks deadline for constructing a plan to slash $1.2 trillion from federal red ink. The committee was to have had a polished plan ready on Wednesday, with the two-day interval to be used by the Congressional Budget Office to assess the savings projected in any deal.

The deal between President Barack Obama and Congress that set up the so-called supercommittee sought to prevent failure by dictating about $1 trillion in automatic cuts in spending for defence and a range of other government agencies should a deal not be struck.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Americans already hold Congress in record low esteem, 9 per cent approval, and the supercommittee failure was certain to send that number even lower. But it also could hurt Obama, who has increased the total U.S. debt considerably – to more that $15 trillion – with emergency spending he said was to keep the American economy out of a depression. He pumped billions into the economy after it nearly collapsed in the final months of George W. Bush presidency.

As the committee prepared to announce it was disbanding without reaching a deal, the U.S. stock market fell sharply. Investors are worried about a further downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and subsequent jump in interest rates. One agency that rates American government debt, Standard & Poors, marked U.S. bonds down from triple A to AA+ last summer during the congressional fight over raising the U.S. borrowing limit – normally done as a matter of course. That fight spawned the supercommittee as part of a bitterly fought compromise.

As the committee ended talks on Sunday, the White House was still calling on lawmakers to finish the task they were assigned.

“Avoiding accountability and kicking the can down the road is how Washington got into this deficit problem in the first place, so Congress needs to do its job here and make the kind of tough choices to live within its means that American families make every day,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said.

But failure was in plain view as top Democrats and Republicans flooded Sunday political talk shows to blame the other side for failure.

Co-chairs Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican, now planned on Monday to issue a statement declaring the panel’s work at an end, aides said.

“There is one sticking divide. And that’s the issue of what I call shared sacrifice,” Murray said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

“The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too. And that line in the sand, we haven’t seen Republicans willing to cross yet,” she said.

Republicans said Democrats’ demands on taxes were simply too great and weren’t accompanied by large enough proposals to curb the explosive growth of so-called entitlement programs like the popular Social Security pension system and health care for the elderly and the poor.

The automatic trigger that would now go into effect in 2013 would force about $1 trillion over nine years in automatic across-the-board spending cuts to a wide range of domestic programs and the Pentagon budget, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That action, called a “sequester,” would also generate $169 billion in savings from lower interest costs on the national debt.

Continue reading »

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Congress deficit panel can’t find compromise, sides stick to party orthodoxy before elections

Panel fails in mission to slash US debt, market plunges on interest rate fears

WASHINGTON – The bitter partisanship gripping Washington has blocked a deal among members of a special congressional panel that struggled and eventually failed in its assignment to cut more than a trillion dollars from America’s crippling and expanding debt.

As the committee announced Monday that it was going out of business, the U.S. stock market had already taken a sharp decline in anticipation of the so-called supercommittee’s inability to put together legislation that would slash U.S. deficit spending by at least $1.2 trillion. The country’s overall national debt has risen above $15 trillion.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling said that despite “intense deliberations” the members of the panel were unable “to bridge the committee’s significant differences.”

The stalemate could last through next year’s presidential and congressional elections. That could lead to Republicans ousting President Barack Obama and winning control of both chambers of Congress. Or, Democrats could score victories that would force Republicans to yield some ground.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Simply put, Republicans refused to cross their ideological line against increasing taxes. Democrats refused to allow cuts in popular programs that serve the elderly and poor without a compensating growth of government income, especially from the wealthiest Americans.

The real deadline is Wednesday but a solid draft was due Monday night to allow the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office time to assess project savings had a deal been reached. There had been hope of polished legislation that could go to both houses of Congress for an up or down vote that precluded any amendments or filibusters to alter or delay action. That was to have happened before the end of the year.

The deal between Obama and Congress that set up the Supercommittee included provisions that dictate, in case of failure, $1 trillion in automatic cuts in spending for defence and a range of other government agencies starting in 2013.

Obama said in a news conference after the supercommittee’s announcement that he would veto any attempt to undo the automatic cuts. He blamed Republicans directly for the failure of the supercommittee, attributing it their unwillingness to compromise on taxes.

“There are still too many Republicans in Congress who have refused to listen to the voices of reason and compromise that are coming from outside of Washington,” he said. “They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 per cent of Americans at any cost.”

In reality, it is unclear if any of the automatic reductions will ever take effect, since next year’s elections have the potential to alter the political landscape before then.

Americans already hold Congress in record low esteem, 9 per cent approval, and the supercommittee failure was certain to send that number even lower. But it also could hurt Obama, who has increased the total U.S. debt considerably – to more that $15 trillion – with emergency spending he said was necessary to keep the American economy out of a depression. He pumped billions into the economy after it nearly collapsed in the final months of George W. Bush presidency.

The stock market fell sharply as investors sought safety in U.S. Treasury bonds and other more certain investments, reacting to fears of a further downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and subsequent jump in interest rates. One agency that rates American government debt, Standard & Poors, marked U.S. bonds down from triple A to AA+ last summer during the congressional fight over raising the U.S. borrowing limit – normally done as a matter of course. That fight spawned the supercommittee as part of a bitterly fought compromise.

Unwilling to concede failure, several members of the debt panel attended a last-ditch meeting at midday Monday. The gatherings proved futile and the committee’s failure was announced a few hours later.

The White House was prodding Congress to take action until the last and said there was still the possibility of action after the committee disbands.

“Congress could still act and has plenty of time to act. And we call on Congress to fulfil its responsibility,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Failure, which many analysts predicted from the outset, came into plain view as top Democrats and Republicans started publicly blaming one another over the weekend.

Republicans said Democrats’ demands on taxes were simply too great and weren’t accompanied by large enough proposals to curb the explosive growth of so-called entitlement programs like the popular Social Security pension system and health care for the elderly and the poor.

The automatic trigger that would now go into effect in 2013 would force about $1 trillion over nine years in automatic across-the-board spending cuts to a wide range of domestic programs and the Pentagon budget, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That action, called a “sequester,” would also generate $169 billion in savings from lower interest costs on the national debt.

Continue reading »

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Panel fails in mission to slash US debt, market plunges on interest rate fears

Congress deficit panel can’t find compromise, political orthodoxy ruled failed negotiations

WASHINGTON – The bipartisan leadership of a special congressional committee – assigned the task of slashing more than $1 trillion dollars from the U.S. deficit – announced Monday that the panel had failed, unable to bridge bitter ideological differences separating Republicans and Democrats in the run-up to presidential and legislative elections next year.

After the announcement, President Barack Obama said he would veto any effort to get rid of automatic spending cuts that would take effect in 2013 if Congress cannot find other ways to trim government deficits.

Those spending cuts include significant reductions to the Pentagon that Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said would be devastating to the military.

Obama said the threat said the threat of those reductions should remain in place to maintain pressure on Congress find a compromise.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling said that despite “intense deliberations” the members of the panel have been unable “to bridge the committee’s significant differences.”

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Republicans refused to cross their ideological line against increasing taxes. Democrats refused to allow cuts in popular programs that serve the elderly and poor without a compensating growth of government income, especially from the wealthiest Americans.

The close of business Monday marked deadline for constructing a plan to slash $1.2 trillion from federal red ink. The committee was to have had a polished plan ready on Wednesday, with the two-day interval to be used by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to assess the savings projected in any deal.

The deal between President Barack Obama and Congress that set up the so-called supercommittee sought to prevent failure by dictating about $1 trillion in automatic cuts in spending for defence and a range of other government agencies should a deal not be struck. Those automatic reductions will begin in 2013, after the next election.

Americans already hold Congress in record low esteem, 9 per cent approval, and the supercommittee failure was certain to send that number even lower. But it also could hurt Obama, who has increased the total U.S. debt considerably – to more that $15 trillion – with emergency spending he said was necessary to keep the American economy out of a depression. He pumped billions into the economy after it nearly collapsed in the final months of George W. Bush presidency.

The committee announced it was disbanding on a day when the stock market had already tumbled more than 2 per cent. Investors sold shares over worries about a further downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and subsequent jump in interest rates. One agency that rates American government debt, Standard & Poors, marked U.S. bonds down from triple A to AA+ last summer during the congressional fight over raising the U.S. borrowing limit – normally done as a matter of course. That fight spawned the supercommittee as part of a bitterly fought compromise.

Several panel members attended a last-ditch but futile meeting Monday. But the White House was still calling for committee to act.

“Congress could still act and has plenty of time to act. And we call on Congress to fulfil its responsibility,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

But failure was in plain view as top Democrats and Republicans began publicly blaming each other for the deadlock as early as last weekend.

“There is one sticking divide. And that’s the issue of what I call shared sacrifice,” Murray said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

“The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too. And that line in the sand, we haven’t seen Republicans willing to cross yet,” she said.

Republicans said Democrats’ demands on taxes were simply too great and weren’t accompanied by large enough proposals to curb the explosive growth of so-called entitlement programs like the popular Social Security pension system and health care for the elderly and the poor.

The automatic trigger that would now go into effect in 2013 would force about $1 trillion over nine years in automatic across-the-board spending cuts to a wide range of domestic programs and the Pentagon budget, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That action, called a “sequester,” would also generate $169 billion in savings from lower interest costs on the national debt.

Continue reading »

Categories: 杭州夜生活 | Comments Off on Congress deficit panel can’t find compromise, political orthodoxy ruled failed negotiations