Inventories running low as Americans stock up on ammunition

Inventories running low as Americans stock up on ammunitionIn the face of an uncertain economy, and the government’s efforts to tighten gun control, gun and ammunition sales are rising.

CNN has recently reported gun shops across the country are running out of ammunition as people worry the Obama administration will increase taxes on bullets or introduce new gun-control measures.

"People are buying cases or whatever they can get their hands on and putting it away," says Richard Taylor, manager of The Firing Line, a gun shop and shooting range in the Denver area, quoted by the news organization.

He added " it’s gotten very, very difficult to find ammunition" in the last two months.

Meanwhile, according to a recent article in Time Magazine, the nation is also seeing a boom in gun sales. Quoting SportsOneSource, a research firm that tracks the sporting goods industry, it says firearms sales in large retail outlets have increased by 39 percent this year

This also comes at a time when fewer Americans support gun control laws.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found that while in 2001 some 54 percent favored stricter regulations, the number has fallen to 39 percent today.

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Economic survival or how to manage your credit cards

Economic survival or how to manage your credit cards As the recession continues, it may be useful to review a few steps that may help protect individuals’ financial assets during this difficult time.

According to experts from the Illinois CPA Society, one of the key elements of financial well-being is taking control of one’s credit cards.

In that vein, they provide simple suggestions to keep in mind when reviewing one’s credit card activities.

It all begins with reading the fine print and all correspondence from your credit card companies, they say. Reviewing statements for suspicious charges and interest rate hikes is also a good idea.

It is furthermore important to keep an eye on the annual percentage rate and be skeptical of low rates offered only for the first three to six months.

Related to that is the importance of shopping around and comparing the terms offered by several different credit cards.

Perhaps the key to getting your credit card bills under control, say the society’s experts, is reducing the number of cards, keeping low limits and paying as much as possible each month, or at least more than the minimum.

Finally, every credit card holder can enhance the protection of their credit history by requesting a free copy of their credit report at least once a year.
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Poll: Catholics divided on Obama

Catholics divided on ObamaNew research has shown that most Catholics who have heard about the issue support President Obama’s visit to Notre Dame, but significant divisions exist between the most-observant Catholics and those who are less observant.

The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life poll has also found the two groups are divided on their assessment of Obama’s job performance after 100 days in office.

Specifically, white non-Hispanic Catholics who attend services at least once a week express much higher levels of disapproval of Obama’s participation in the Notre Dame commencement ceremony, with 45 percent of the people in that group saying the university was wrong to invite him.

Meanwhile, 56 percent of less-observant Catholics take the opposite view.

The poll noted a similar pattern in the assessment of Obama’s job performance as president. Currently, as much as 45 percent of observant Catholics disapprove of the job Obama is doing, and the negative ratings among this group have risen from 20 percent in February.

Conservative groups across the country have criticized the University of Notre Dame’s decision to give Obama an honorary degree at their May 17 commencement given his support for legalized abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
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Alternative therapy relieves anesthesia-induced nausea

Alternative therapy relieves anesthesia-induced nauseaAcupuncture may offer hope to some 80 percent of the people who receive general anesthesia and experience severe nausea as a result, according to a new study.

The study, based on a review of 40 studies including 4,858 patients and conducted by Anna Lee of the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, found evidence that stimulation of an acupoint in the wrists can help reduce nausea symptoms.

Specifically, stimulation of the Pericardium (P6) point in the wrist prevents nausea and vomiting as it activates a nerve signal which prompts the brain to release neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine or endorphins, explains Lixing Lao, from the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

"[These neurotransmitters] block the other chemicals that cause the sickness in the central [nervous] system [so] the patient won’t feel that sick or nauseated," the expert adds.

The importance of the finding stems from the fact that traditional anti-emetic medications are expensive and they may have unpleasant side effects.

Stimulating the P6 point can occur by several methods such as acupuncture or acupressure. Acupuncture involves penetrating the skin with thin needles at defined points and is one of the main medical treatments in traditional Chinese medicine dating back more than 2,000 years.

One type of acupressure involves wearing a wristband that presses down on the P6 point.
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Acupuncture helps chemotherapy patients

Acupuncture helps chemotherapy patientsPatients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer often experience severe dry mouth (xerostomia), but new research shows biweekly acupuncture may bring relief.

The pilot study – conducted by a team from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, which included an acupuncturist from the Center’s Integrative Medicine Program – treated 12 patients with xerostomia who had completed radiation therapy at least four weeks earlier.

They were given two acupuncture treatments each week for four weeks on the ears, chin, index finger, forearm and lateral surface of the leg, and the researchers noted highly statistically significant improvements in symptoms.

Dr. Mark S. Chambers, a professor in the Department of Dental Oncology and the study’s senior author, says radiation-induced xerostomia impacts the quality of life by preventing patients from being able to speak or eat properly. He adds that none of the conventional treatments provide long-lasting relief.

However, "patients with severe xerostomia who underwent acupuncture showed improvements in physical well-being and in subjective symptoms," says Chambers.

Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese practice of inserting and manipulating very thin needles at precise points on the body to relieve pain and restore health.

Traditionally, stimulating these points is believed to improve the flow of vital energy through the body.

Contemporary theories about acupuncture’s benefits suggest needle manipulation stimulates natural substances that dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to different areas of the body.

The results of the study appeared online in the journal Head & Neck.
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Pajamas TV: TEA Party turnout exceeded one million

TEA Party turnout exceeded one million, according to Pajamas TVWith over 77 percent of events reporting, Pajamas TV has announced 935,000 people attended the nationwide tax day tea party protests.

The conservative online TV company has also estimated the total turnout could range from 1,014,000 to 1,071,000. Thus far, Texas has reported the highest turnout, followed by California, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and New York.

"The size of the tea party protests indicates that a significant number of Americans are not happy with the economic direction of the country and took the time to make their voices heard," says Roger L. Simon, CEO of Pajamas Media.

On April 15, conservatives from coast to coast expressed their dissatisfaction with the course of Obama’s economic policies by attending the National TEA Party Day, which stands for "taxed enough already."

The organizers called on citizens to march against politicians who "are spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying" and want to redistribute hard-earned wealth.

Meanwhile, organizations such as the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and Americans for Tax Reform have criticized the government for imposing limits on tax deductions for charitable donations.

They say this will make wealthy people give less to charity at a time when such donations are more needed than ever.

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Bank not giving up on offshore opportunities

Bank not giving up on offshore opportunities A Swiss bank at the center of U.S. tax authorities’ investigation into secret offshore accounts has asked a U.S. court to reject demands by the IRS for confidential information about its American clients.

UBS plans to argue before a federal court in Florida that such a disclosure would violate Switzerland’s bank secrecy laws, according to media reports.

"Despite the clear historical record, the IRS now asks this court to force a Swiss financial institution and its employees, over the express objection of the Swiss government, to violate Swiss law by producing a massive quantity of confidential account information located exclusively in Switzerland," UBS said in its filing.

According to Reuters, under a 1996 treaty, Switzerland may turn over account data only on a reasonable suspicion of tax fraud. However, Swiss law does not view tax evasion as a crime.

The IRS is pursuing a civil lawsuit against UBS seeking access to data on 52,000 wealthy Americans it claims are hiding nearly $15 billion of assets in Swiss bank accounts.

The U.S. government’s crackdown on what it sees as tax havens was prompted by the financial crisis and the costly stimulus bill as well as several rounds of bailouts that need to be paid for.

It gathered steam after last month’s G20 summit in London where global leaders pledged cooperation in pursuing the matter.

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Organization blasts healthcare reform fast-track deal

Organization blasts healthcare reform fast-track deal Congressional Democrats have struck a deal to use a fast-track budget process to speed up President Obama’s healthcare reforms, in a move that was compared to a "declaration of war" by one Republican senator.

Republicans, and even some Democrats, have warned against trying to implement such a major reform without bipartisan support, but Democrats now hope they will be able to push it through as early as this summer, according to CNN.com.

One of the organizations that criticized the move, which it sees as "muzzling" any meaningful debate, is Grassfire.org., an organizing center for activists for traditional and conservative values.

"Once again statist politicians have carved out a deal in darkness and silenced opposition debate," says Steve Elliott, president of the alliance.

"A shift this monumental needs to be debated in clear view of the public, not hidden behind a closed door on Capitol Hill," he adds.

The organization has also called on citizens to flood Congress with faxes and phone calls opposing the fast-track provision.

Conservative groups have also been outraged about the recent nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sebelius, known for her pro-abortion views, has been accused of failing to disclose how much money she had received from a controversial provider of late-term abortions.
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At 100 days Obama gets mixed reviews

At 100 days Obama gets mixed reviewsAs the new president marks 100 days in office, critics and supporters are fiercely debating the merits of his policies.

Barack Obama has been praised by some commentators for his dynamic tackling of the ongoing economic crisis, closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, setting clear goals for Iraq and Afghanistan and for stressing the need to develop a new energy policy.

The president’s foreign policy has also received high marks, in particular for his efforts to reach out to leaders with whom previous administrations refused to talk.

However, criticism of Obama has also been vocal and, in some cases, focused on the same issues as those singled out by his supporters.

The economic stimulus package and the recently passed $3.4 trillion budget, as well as the proposed healthcare reform, have been blasted by the critics as marking the largest expansion of federal government in decades.

It is also setting the stage for a crushing debt which will be inherited by future generations, they say.

Conservatives are also increasingly worried about what appears to be an erosion of the system of checks and balances in Washington.

In particular, the recent move by Pennsylvania senior senator, Arlen Specter, to join the Democratic Party has brought the latter a step closer to the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

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Varicose veins sufferers may benefit from natural therapies

Varicose veins sufferers may benefit from natural therapiesVaricose veins, which affect some 12 million people in America, can lead to health complications and often present aesthetic challenges. However, many health practitioners have suggested natural remedies have beneficial effects and may help avoid surgery.

Natural therapies work by strengthening veins thereby reducing leakage from vessel walls.

In particular, moderate muscle-toning exercise or yoga help veins preserve their natural shape, while the cholesterol-lowering effects of exercise may act to boost vein health from within.

Herbal supplements, such as horse chestnut extract are also commonly used to treat varicose veins.

Studies have shown the active component in horse chestnut called aescin appears to block the release of enzymes that damage capillary walls, according to the alternative health section of About.com, an informational website.

Other natural remedies include grape seed and pine bark extracts which contain antioxidant complexes that appear to strengthen the connective tissue of blood vessels and reduce inflammation.

Meanwhile, Holistic Online, a natural health website, recommends eating fresh fruits, whole grains especially buckwheat and millet, as well as garlic, onions, ginger, cayenne pepper and fish.

Those suffering from varicose veins are also well advised to avoid red meat, fats and refined carbohydrates as well as sugar, salt, alcohol, cheeses and ice cream.

Finally, oriental medicine techniques such as acupuncture and acupressure can help prevent varicose veins form getting worse, while reflexology and massage may alleviate discomfort associated with the condition.
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Sebelius confirmation stirs controversy

Sebelius confirmation stirs controversy The U.S. Senate confirmed Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on April 28, but numerous groups continue to voice their opposition.

Sebelius’ pro-choice and sex education stance has put her at odds with Christian and conservative organization across the country such as the American Life League (ALL).

"[The Senate appointed] a woman who, wedded to the Kansas abortion lobby, helped make that state the late-term abortion capital of the world," says ALL president Judie Brown.

She adds, "In her new position as secretary of Health and Human Services, Sebelius will have the power to make the U.S. the abortion capital of the world."

Meanwhile, Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright told Washington Independent declaring the swine flu health emergency was designed to facilitate Sebelius’ confirmation.

This sentiment was supported by the Family Research Council president Tony Perkins who vowed to continue the fight to ensure that healthcare reform "is not infected with Sebelius’s pro-abortion views."

He added the American people will not accept public funding for abortion and will oppose the violation of conscience rights, which risk driving medical personnel from their fields.
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Despite swine flu spreading, officials rule out border closure

Despite swine flu spreading, officials rule out border closure The U.S. government has said it was not planning to close the border with Mexico due to the swine flu outbreaks.

According to the Star Telegram, Representatives Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, and Eric Massa, a New York Democrat, along with a national anti-illegal immigration group, have asked federal officials and Texas Governor Rick Perry to shut down the border.

"The border should be closed," said Burgess, quoted by the newspaper. "At least until we get a better handle on how big this is."

Meanwhile, the Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee called on Perry to send the National Guard to the border immediately.

However, officials in Washington believe this would be counterproductive.

"Closing our nation’s borders is not merited here," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a mid-afternoon briefing.

She added the move would have enormous adverse economic consequences and would have "no impact or very little" to help stop the spread of the virus which is already present in our country.

However, she admitted the government was consulting with scientists to see whether any "additional screening beyond what we are already doing in terms of active monitoring would make sense at the borders."

U.S. scientists are racing to develop a vaccine, but they caution it would take several months before enough doses are available for testing in humans .
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Senator Arlen Specter flips the aisle

Senator Arlen Specter flips the aisle Saying the GOP has moved too much to the right, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania announced yesterday he will be seeking reelection as a Democrat next year.

The move will also offer Senate Democrats a possible 60th vote, allowing them to block filibuster and facilitate the Obama administration’s implementation of its new agenda.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine commented on Specter’s move saying his willingness to set politics aside and be part of a solution to the country’s problems will find a welcome reception in the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden admitted he had encouraged Specter to switch for several years.

The Republicans, on the other hand, did not hide their disappointment and warned the Pennsylvania senator’s decision will lead to unchecked power by the White House and Congress.

"The threat to the country presented … by this defection really relates to the issue of whether or not in the U.S. our people want the majority party to have whatever it wants without restraint, without a check or balance," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

However, Elsie Hillman, former Republican National Committeewoman, said that while she was saddened by the news, Specter "is the brightest member of the U.S. Senate and I will continue to support him and will vote for him in next year’s general election."

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Swine flu cases continue to climb

Swine flu cases continue to climb As the number of confirmed cases of swine flu increases across North America, the first fatality has been reported in the U.S.

The number of cases in the U.S. has risen to 91 and is spread across 10 states, according to the CDC. A 22-month-old child from Mexico who came to Texas for treatment became the first fatality in the U.S.

"Although it is far too early to know the degree to which the current swine flu outbreak warrants alarm, the number of cases and the speed with which the virus has spread around the globe serves as an opportunity to [discuss] the critical nature of preparedness," says Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

Swine flu presents similar symptoms to other strains of flu virus, including coughing, sneezing, fever, chills and vomiting. Some people may also experience difficulty breathing, dizziness or a rash.

At this time, it may be wise to avoid crowded places and wear masks if it is necessary to ride a subway or go to a supermarket.

Washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers frequently during the day is also good practice. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Experts have also stressed the importance of keeping the workspace clean by sanitizing desktops, phones and computer keyboards, especially if they are used by many people.

Talking to your employer about their contingency plan for a situation where many employees are unable to work may also be a good idea.

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New study uncovers deeper heart benefits of grapes

New study uncovers deeper heart benefits of grapesGrapes, like many other fruits and vegetables, have long been known to promote health heart, but a news study has shed light on a more profound and long-term heart benefit of grape consumption.

In fact, scientists from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center found a grape-enriched diet may prevent heart damage after years of high blood pressure.

They arrived at the conclusion after comparing blood pressure in two groups of laboratory animals on a high-sodium diet. One group consumed a grape powder consisting of a blend of green, red and black grape extracts and one received a mild dose of a common blood pressure drug.

After 18 weeks, the rats that received the grape powder had lower blood pressure, better circulation and fewer signs of heart muscle damage than those that did not receive grapes.

"There are the small changes that diet can bring, but the effect of grape intake on genes can have a greater impact on disease down the road," says E. Mitchell Seymour, who led the research as part of his doctoral work in nutrition science at Michigan State University.

The researchers believe specific natural antioxidants called phytochemicals have the power to stimulate a protective process in the genes that reduces damage to the heart muscle.

The study was presented at the 2009 Experimental Biology convention in New Orleans.
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Legal ways to protect assets from creditors, Uncle Sam

Expert discusses legal ways to protect assets from creditors and Uncle Sam In turbulent economic times people scramble for ways to protect and preserve their hard-earned wealth, and some experts are offering advice on the best way to achieve that goal.

This is especially important given that moving assets into offshore accounts may have lost its appeal now that governments around the world have started to actively pursue those who would like to transfer funds abroad for tax benefits.

Still, there are a few options left.

According to Jay Adkisson, a California lawyer who specializes in asset protection, quoted by the Forbes magazine, putting money in trust for children – as long as the funds were obtained from a legitimate activity – can effectively shield the assets in case creditors come calling.

There are also legal ways to avoid taxes if you have enough money.

The Forbes expert suggests buying diamonds or gold bullion and placing them in a Swiss bank. The transaction does not have to be reported to the IRS because it does not pay any interest.

Similarly "raw" land, i.e. a type of property that does not generate income, does not require reporting, either.
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Cherries reduce inflammation, risk of heart disease

Cherries reduce inflammation and risk of heart diseaseConsuming just one and a half cups of tart cherries daily enhances the antioxidant activity in the body, according to new research.

The study, conducted by scientists from the University of Michigan and reported at the 2009 Experimental Biology meeting in New Orleans, included twelve healthy adults, aged 18 to 25 years, who were randomly assigned to eat either one and a half cups or three cups of frozen tart cherries.

The researchers found increased levels of five different anthocyanins, the natural antioxidants which give cherries their red color, for up to 12 hours after consumption.

"This study documents for the first time that the antioxidants in tart cherries do make it into the human bloodstream and is coupled with increased antioxidant activity that could have a positive impact," says Dr. Sara L. Warber, co-director of University of Michigan Integrative Medicine and principal investigator of the study.

"[What’s] really great is that a reasonable amount of cherries could potentially deliver benefits, like reducing risk factors for heart disease and inflammation," she adds.

Previous studies have linked cherries and cherry compounds to lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

Other benefits of cherries include a 14 percent lower body weight and less belly fat, the type linked to increased heart disease risk and type 2 diabetes, according to the UM researchers.
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Swine flu outbreak raises survival issues

Swine flu outbreak raises survival issues As global health authorities are rushing to contain what looks like a growing swine flu epidemic, experts have offered protection and survival tips.

The current outbreak originated from Mexico, and by Monday 20 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., prompting the government to declare a public health emergency.

Although the authorities have sought to calm fears, it is wise to take basic precautions to avoid infection.

The surest ways to avoid contracting swine flu is frequent hand washing and wearing a mask in public.

In an outbreak, it is generally a good idea to stay indoors and avoid congregating in public or crowded spaces as well as kissing and hugging.

While these are the most immediate measures to be taken when an outbreak is already under way, individuals can also do much to increase their chances of survival in the longer term.

One survival website expert recommends having one to three months’ worth of supplies at home, including food, water, fuel, candles and first aid kits with anti-viral and other medications. This is especially important given that epidemics can come in waves of outbreaks.

Stored food should be similar to what the family normally eats and as much of it as possible should be "ready to eat" in case one is sick and not able to prepare a meal.

Dried or canned food, which lasts longer, is the best option when preparing for survival during an epidemic.
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Philanthropic organization criticizes Obama’s tax plans

Philanthropic organization criticizes Obama's tax plansThe Association for Healthcare Philanthropy has criticized the limits on tax deductions for charitable donations in the Obama administration’s budget.

It says the budget puts forward a scheme that would devalue charitable gifts by reducing the federal tax deductions from 35 percent to 28 percent for those who earn more than $250,000.

"In these challenging economic times, charities and nonprofits already are finding it difficult to fulfill their altruistic missions because of reduced donations and resources," the organization said in a statement.

It also suggested the federal government should promote philanthropy not make it more difficult.

Meanwhile, Americans for Tax Reform has identified another obstacle to the charitable sector in the form of itemized deduction phase-out in 2011 for married couples making $250,000 and single people making $200,000.

In the organization’s view, this limitation will make wealthy people give less to charity.

It estimates that every 1 percent decline in household charitable giving means nearly $2 billion less.

"That’s $2 billion that’s not available for churches, shelters and other worthy causes," it says.

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Missouri law would restrict education for illegal immigrants

Missouri law would restrict education for illegal immigrantsThe Missouri House of Representatives has cleared a law that would bar illegal aliens from attending public colleges in the state.

The House voted 125-30 to approve the bill which has now been sent to the Senate, according to the Associated Press.

The vote is part of an ongoing debate across the country regarding immigration reform, and in particular the extent of publicly funded benefits that illegal immigrants should be entitled to.

Earlier this week, the College Board, an association of 5,000 schools, released a report that calls for federal legislation that would grant in-state college tuition, financial aid and legal status to many illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Called the Dream Act, the law would allow students who have lived in the U.S. since the age of 15 to apply for legal residence upon graduation from high school.

However, not everyone agrees with this approach.

"It’s a massive amnesty effort being laid for this fall," said Bob Dane, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks to restrict immigration, quoted by KBTX.com.

"Since many of these illegal aliens and their families are overwhelmingly on the lower end of the economic scale, they’re going to take the lion’s share of need-based financial aid."

Currently, 10 states allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition for public colleges.
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Industry association applauds firearms bill proposal

Industry association applauds firearms bill proposal The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has praised a legislative proposal that addresses the issue of the frequency with which firearms and ammunition manufacturers pay a federal excise tax on their sales.

The bill was introduced by Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

The Firearms Fairness and Affordability Act will allow the firearms and ammunition industry to pay the firearms and ammunition excise tax (FAET) on a quarterly basis – instead of bi-weekly – the same payment schedule on which every other industry supporting conservation pays the federal excise tax.

FAET is a major source of wildlife conservation funding in the U.S.

"Singling out the firearms industry for tax payments every two weeks is bureaucratic and discriminatory," said Senator Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, who joined Senator Baucus in sponsoring the bill and is the current co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.

He added, "Changing to a quarterly excise tax payment system … will allow firearms manufacturers to reinvest funds into developing new products and marketing efforts."

NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.

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NIA offers tips on investing in gold

NIA offers tips on investing in goldThe National Inflation Association (NIA) has issued advice on how Americans can protect their assets in the face of inevitable inflation.

It said the actions of president Obama, Congress and the Federal Reserve are sowing the seeds for hyperinflation, and it is important to invest today because it will be too late when the calamity arrives.

According to the association, investment in gold is the surest way to protect one’s assets against depreciation.

"There is no such thing as having too much gold," it says, adding, "Although you should never put all your eggs in one basket, it is much better to have all of your money in gold than to have it all in U.S. dollars."

The organization says the present price volatility is a temporary phenomenon stemming from the fact that many short-term traders buy gold as a safe haven from stocks.

Regarding the ways to buy gold, NIA suggests physical ownership as one option that will preserve the buyer’s purchasing power.

However, given the inconvenience of storing gold bars, it says the best ways to invest in gold is through exchange traded funds and notes known as ETFs and ETNs.

The way to get rich during hyperinflation is to buy the right gold mining stocks, NIA concludes.

"Gold exploration companies have the greatest upside potential, but also the most risk," it suggests, adding, "What you need to look for are gold exploration companies that have joint ventures with top-tier miners."
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Non-drug depression therapies more effective after heart surgery

Non-drug depression therapies more effective after heart surgery New research has found that non-pharmacological interventions such as supportive stress management are more effective than medications for treating depression after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).

Dr. Kenneth E. Freedland and colleagues from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conducted the study which involved 123 patients who experienced depression within one year after CABG surgery.

The patients were randomly assigned to usual care as determined by primary care or other physicians, to cognitive behavior therapy and to supportive stress management group.

After three months, only 33 percent of those in the first group saw improvement, while 71 percent of patients in the cognitive behavior therapy and 57 percent in supportive stress management group experienced remission of their depression.

"Cognitive behavior therapy was also superior to usual care on most secondary psychological outcomes, including anxiety, hopelessness, perceived stress and the mental component of health-related quality of life," the authors wrote.

The study was published in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Among other effective stress and anxiety-combating techniques are exercise, proper diet and nutritional supplements.
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