Posted: Sep 8, 2012 4:00 PM
Updated: Sep 9, 2012 4:01 AM
Democrats blast GOP Medicare plan as 'Vouchercare,' eager to keep race away from jobs numbers
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) President Barack Obama is unleashing a new Medicare offensive against rival Mitt Romney, eager to shake his Republican challenger off his economic focus and turn the campaign on to territory more favorable to Democrats.
Campaigning for a second day in Florida, where older voters and workers approaching retirement hold sway, Obama on Sunday was expected to highlight a study by a Democratic leaning group that concluded that on average a man or woman retiring at age 65 in 2023, would have to pay $59,500 more for health care over the length of their retirement under Romney's plan.
The numbers are even higher for younger Americans who retire later, the study found. A person who qualifies for Medicare n 2030 today's 48-year-old would see an increase of $124,600 in Medicare costs over their retirement period.
The study was conducted by David Cutler, a Harvard professor and health policy expert who served in the Clinton administration and was Obama's top health care adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign. Cutler conducted the study for the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.
A senior administration official said Obama would draw attention to the study on Sunday as he takes his two-day Florida bus tour to Melbourne and West Palm Beach on Florida's Atlantic Coast.
Clinton acknowledges deep differences between US and Russia over Syria crisis
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday acknowledged deep differences with Russia over how to handle the crisis in Syria, saying she would continue to try to convince Moscow to back increased international pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad even if such a step is unlikely.
A day after Russia soundly rejected her call for U.N. sanctions to be imposed on Syria if Assad refuses to stop fighting and relinquish power, Clinton said she was "realistic" in her approach. She said that if the Russians refused to go along the United States and its friends would boost their support for the Syrian opposition.
"The United States disagrees with the approach on Syria," she told reporters at a news conference at the end of the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit where she was filling in for President Barack Obama. "We have to bring more pressure to bear on the Assad regime to end the bloodshed and begin a political, democratic transition."
The Obama administration has been hoping to jack up pressure on Assad at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session and potentially introduce a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would include sanctions. Russia and China have blocked three previous similar resolutions because they could lead to sanctions.
In discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Clinton said she had underscored the resolution "will only be effective if it includes consequences for non-compliance."
Pacific Rim leaders vow to fend off damage from European crisis, strengthen public finances
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) Pacific Rim leaders pledged Sunday to fend off the deepening damage from the European crisis and revive flagging growth in the region by supporting open trade, reforming their economies and strengthening public finances.
The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum wrapped up an annual summit in this far eastern Russian seaport Sunday, vowing to work together to support growth and restore confidence in shaken financial markets. The region accounts for about half of all world economic activity and 40 percent of world trade.
"Our work was constructive. We have specific results and I am satisfied with the outcome of the work," Russian President Vladimir Putin said of the event, which showcased Moscow's ambitions to expand trade and business along its long-neglected Pacific coast.
The leaders issued a statement welcoming European leaders' promises to help stabilize the crisis-stricken euro region and warning against "excess volatility" and distortions in financial markets. The APEC leaders said they would work to reduce deficits and imbalances in their countries' own finances.
"The events in Europe are adversely affecting growth in the region. In such circumstances, we are resolved to work collectively to support growth and foster financial stability, and restore confidence," the statement said.
Wave of attacks hits 10 Iraqi cities, killing at least 39 people
BAGHDAD (AP) Insurgents killed at least 39 people in a wave of attacks against Iraqi security forces on Sunday, gunning down soldiers at an army post and bombing police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs, officials said.
The violence, which struck at least 10 cities across the nation, highlighted militant attempts to sow havoc in the country and undermine the government. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, although security forces are a frequent target of al-Qaida's Iraqi franchise, which has vowed to reassert itself and take back areas it was forced from before U.S. troops withdrew from the country last year.
In Sunday's deadliest attack, gunmen stormed a small Iraqi Army outpost in the town of Dujail before dawn, killing at least 10 soldiers and wounding eight more, according to police and hospital officials in the nearby city of Balad, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information.
Hours later, a car bomb struck a group of police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs with the state-run Northern Oil Co. outside the northern city of Kirkuk. City police commander Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir said seven recruits were killed and 17 wounded. He said all the recruits were Sunni Muslims and blamed the early morning attack on al-Qaida, but did not provide details.
The carnage even stretched into the country's south, where bombs stuck to two parked cars exploded in the city of Nasiriyah, some 320 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Baghdad. The blasts were near the French consulate and a local hotel in the city, although the consulate did not appear to be the target of the attack.
Parts of NYC clean up after storm spawns 2 tornadoes there in barrage on East Coast
NEW YORK (AP) Strong storms that pummeled the East Coast spawned at least two damaging tornadoes in New York City, flooded the streets of some New England towns and left tens of thousands in the dark in the Washington, D.C., area.
No serious injuries were reported when a twister hit a beachfront neighborhood Saturday on the edge of New York City and a second, stronger tornado followed moments later about 10 miles away. Residents got advance notice, but still the storm took people by surprise.
"I was showing videos of tornadoes to my 4-year-old on my phone, and two minutes later, it hit," said Breezy Point neighborhood resident Peter Maloney. "Just like they always say, it sounded like a train."
The unsettled weather, part of a cold front that crossed over the Eastern Seaboard, toppled trees and power lines and damaged buildings as it went. Wind gusts reached 70 mph in some places.
Tornado-like funnel clouds were reported in Fairfax County, Va., and in Prince George's County, Md., but had not been confirmed by Saturday evening, meteorologist Andy Woodcock of the National Weather Service said.
Tulane safety Walker fractures spine in apparent head-to-head collision, surgery expected
TULSA, Okla. (AP) Doctors say they will need to operate soon on Tulane safety Devon Walker, who is in stable condition after fracturing his spine in an apparent head-to-head collision with a teammate during a weekend game in Tulsa.
Tulane University's athletics program said specialists treating Walker at a Tulsa hospital placed him in traction after Saturday's injury and are treating him for a lot of swelling to the neck.
"The current plan is for him to have surgery in the next one to two days," said the statement released late Saturday, hours after the New Orleans team opened the Conference USA portion of its schedule against Tulsa.
The injury occurred on the final play of the first half. Tulsa was leading 35-3 and facing a fourth-and-2 with the ball at the 33-yard line on Saturday when the Golden Hurricane called timeout. Tulane then called timeout.
When play resumed, Tulsa quarterback Cody Green tossed a short pass to Willie Carter, who caught it at about the 28, and turned upfield. He was tackled around the 18-yard line, with defensive tackle Julius Warmsley and Walker sandwiching him and apparently smashing their helmets into each other.
Adopting Daniel: After 5 years, US couple gets close to adding Guatemalan boy to family
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) It should have been good news.
The U.S. Embassy called to say the Guatemalan government would begin to authorize adoptions five years after a scandal froze the system that sent as many as 4,000 Guatemalan children a year to the United States.
Ryan "Bubba" Hooker and his wife, Jess, might finally be able to collect the little boy they wanted to adopt and bring him home.
But Hooker wasn't sure. This would be his 36th trip to Guatemala City. The 18-month-old toddler they had met in an orphanage was now a 6-year-old kindergartener. The couple had moved homes, passed up a job, spent untold amounts of money trying to adopt Daniel.
If all went well, they were told, they would be the first U.S. family to adopt under the Central American nation's new adoption laws.
Dutch election set to test popularity of the European Union amid continent's debt crisis
BOXMEER, Netherlands (AP) The Netherlands has long been a source of inspiration for closer European integration and a bellwether of European discontent.
It was one of six nations that forged fledgling European unity from the ashes of World War II, and a force behind the treaty that created the euro currency. Yet, along with France, it also put itself at the vanguard of the euro-skeptic tide by rejecting a proposed European constitution in a referendum.
As the nation heads into elections on Wednesday, observers are wondering which of the two Netherlands will emerge: the EU guiding light or the harbinger of European disarray.
The answer could be an indication of the very direction of Europe.
"Every Dutch election has been at the forefront of what is the mood everywhere in Europe," says political analyst Piotr Maciej Kaczynski of the Center for European Policy studies.
AP PHOTOS: NY Fashion Week turns to seasonless dressing as the weather shifts outside
NEW YORK (AP) Hot and steamy to rainy and windy in a matter of seconds? It happens at New York Fashion Week on the runway and outside the shows.
The fashion crowd battled through sudden downpours on Saturday. Fortunately for them, there was plenty of leather and unseasonably warm clothes in the spring collections being previewed.
Designers showing on Saturday included Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Jill Stuart, Rebecca Taylor, Herve Leger, Christian Siriano and Edun the line by U2 frontman Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson.
Browning's overtime touchdown run lifts Louisiana-Monroe stuns No. 8 Arkansas 34-31
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) Kolton Browning made the most of his return to Arkansas.
Browning's 16-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one lifted Louisiana-Monroe to a 34-31 overtime win over the No. 8 Razorbacks on Saturday night.
Browning accounted for 481 yards of total offense and four touchdowns to lead the Warhawks (1-0) to their first win over a Southeastern Conference team since defeating Alabama in 2007.
The junior made his first career start in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium two years ago as a freshman, a 31-7 loss by the Warhawks. He showed his maturity and then some in his return, helping Louisiana-Monroe outgain Arkansas 550-377 in total yards.
The Razorbacks (1-1) played the second half without quarterback Tyler Wilson, who suffered a head injury after taking several big hits in the first half.