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  • Obama lays out 2017 spending priorities in final White House budget

    U.S. President Obama answers a reporter's question after delivering a statement on the economy in the press briefing room at the White House in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama unveils his final White House budget on Tuesday with a blueprint for fiscal year 2017 that will lay out his spending proposals for priorities from fighting Islamic State to providing for the poor. The budget for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1 is largely a political document and is unlikely to be passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. "That document ... will be President Obama's final vision of how he lays out the fiscal future for the country," said Joel Friedman, vice president for federal fiscal policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


  • What will be in Obama's final budget proposal?

    (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, his final year in office. The following are some of the proposals that will be included: PENTAGON The Pentagon will ask for more than $7 billion for the fight against Islamic State, up about 35 percent from the previous year's budget request to Congress, and wants a fourfold increase for military training and exercises in Europe to support NATO allies. TAX ON OIL In a long-shot bid to raise $20 billion to expand transit systems and research self-driving cars, Obama will propose a $10-a-barrel tax on crude oil.

  • Exclusive: U.S. athletes should consider skipping Rio if fear Zika - officials

    Logos of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are pictured next to a message on a screen that reads "Message about Zika" during a media briefing in Rio de JaneiroBy Daniel Bases and Joshua Schneyer NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August. The message was delivered in a conference call involving USOC officials and leaders of U.S. sport federations in late January, according to two people who participated in the call. Federations were told that no one should go to Brazil "if they don't feel comfortable going.


  • U.S. panel reaffirms depression screening for adolescents

    By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Adolescents between 12 and 18 years old in the U.S. should be screened for depression, according to guidelines reaffirmed by a government-backed panel of prevention experts. "From a parent's perspective, I think it’s important for them to know that depression can be relatively common in adolescence and we have ways to treat it," said Dr. Alex Krist, a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The USPSTF says about 8 percent of U.S. adolescents experience major depression each year.

  • U.S. health official: Widespread Zika vaccine not likely to be available for years

    (Reuters) - U.S. health officials said on Monday that a widespread vaccine to combat the Zika virus will likely not be available for years. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters during a briefing at the White House that initial steps are under way but health officials believe it is "unlikely to have vaccine that's widely available for a few years." (Reporting by Clarece Polke; Editing by Chris Reese)

  • Exclusive: U.S. athletes should consider not attending Olympics if fear Zika - officials

    Logos of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are pictured next to a message on a screen that reads "Message about Zika" during a media briefing in Rio de JaneiroBy Daniel Bases and Joshua Schneyer NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August. The message was delivered in a conference call involving USOC officials and leaders of U.S. sport federations in late January, according to two people who participated in the call. Federations were told that no one should go to Brazil "if they don't feel comfortable going.


  • Citing huge patient load, NY nurses seek rules on staffing

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — When the emergency room fills up — whether it's a big accident, flu season or a stroke of misfortune — Brooklyn nurse Rose Green says she can find herself sprinting from room to room, trying to keep ahead of the whims of calamity.

  • Zika Virus Outbreak Prompts CDC to Activate Highest Emergency Ops Level

    This is only the fourth time that the highest level has been activated.

  • Novartis sets heart-drug price with two insurers based on health outcome

    A Novartis logo is pictured on its headquarters building in MumbaiBy Caroline Humer NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S.-based health insurers Cigna Corp and Aetna Inc. have struck deals with Novartis AG for a performance-based price for the Swiss drugmaker's new heart drug, Entresto, the companies said on Monday. The agreements are among the few performance-based deals that have been made public by drugmakers and U.S. managed-care companies, which say they have been having more discussions about linking price to health outcomes in order to cut unneeded drug spending.


  • Obama seeks funds to fight Zika; sees no cause for panic

    Press briefing on the Zika virus at the White House in WashingtonBy Roberta Rampton and Ben Hirschler WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will ask the U.S. Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds to fight Zika at home and abroad and pursue a vaccine, the White House said on Monday, but he added there is no reason to panic over the mosquito-borne virus. Zika, spreading rapidly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, has been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil, and public health officials' concern is focused on pregnant women and women who may become pregnant. Obama's request to Congress includes $200 million for research, development and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests for the virus.