Herbal Viagra actually contains the real thing



































IF IT looks too good to be true, it probably is. Several "herbal remedies" for erectile dysfunction sold online actually contain the active ingredient from Viagra.












Michael Lamb at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and colleagues purchased 10 popular "natural" uplifting remedies on the internet and tested them for the presence of sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. They found the compound, or a similar synthetic drug, in seven of the 10 products – cause for concern because it can be dangerous for people with some medical conditions.












Lamb's work was presented last week at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting in Washington DC.












This article appeared in print under the headline "Herbal Viagra gets a synthetic boost"


















































If you would like to reuse any content from New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndication department first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing options available for use of articles and graphics we own the copyright to.









































































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Second leak at North Sea oil platform forces evacuation






LONDON: An oil leak at a North Sea platform caused it to be partially evacuated on Saturday, its Middle East operator said, the second such incident at the installation in less than two months.

The Alpha Cormorant platform and the pipeline system it services were shut down as a precaution, operator Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) said in a statement.

The company said it had evacuated 71 of its 145 non-essential staff from the platform, situated 160 kilometres northeast of Lerwick on the Shetland Islands north of Britain, and that everyone was safe and well.

"TAQA Bratani can confirm that a hydrocarbon release detected in one of the Cormorant Alpha platform legs has now been contained, with no further hydrocarbon release," the company said.

"TAQA continues to monitor the situation on Cormorant Alpha and is working with its partners to have the Brent pipeline system operational as soon as possible."

The leak was discovered during maintenance work at 0940 GMT on Saturday morning, TAQA said.

The company said no oil was released into the environment during the leak.

A similar leak occurred at the platform on January 15, also causing the shutdown of the platform and the pipeline infrastructure.

Cormorant Alpha, which was built in 1978, handles about 90,000 barrels per day of crude oil, of which 42,600 are produced by TAQA.

- AFP/jc



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Sinkhole victim 'will be there forever,' brother says








SEFFNER, Fla.  Florida rescue personnel on Saturday searched for a man who disappeared into a sinkhole that swallowed his whole bedroom while he was asleep in his suburban Tampa home.

Jeff Bush, 36, who is presumed dead, was in bed when the other five members of the household who were getting ready for bed on Thursday night heard a loud crash and Jeff screaming.


The sinkhole has compromised the house next door, officials said Saturday.

Officials planned to let family members, accompanied by firefighters, into the threatened  home for about 20 minutes to gather some  belongings, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesman Ronnie Rivera told reporters Saturday.

Bush’s body hadn’t been removed by Saturday afternoon and the ground near the home was still “very, very unsafe,” Rivera said at a televised press conference Saturday.

"At this time we did some testing and we determined that the house right next to the house that’s actually damaged is also compromised by the sinkhole,” Rivera said.


Jeff's brother, 35-year-old Jeremy Bush, jumped into the hole and furiously kept digging to find his brother.

"I really don't think they are going to be able to find him," Jeremy said on Saturday. He "will be there forever."

A small memorial of balloons and flowers for his brother had formed near the house on Saturday morning.

"I thank the Lord for not taking my daughter and the rest of my family," he said.

Jeremy himself had to be rescued from the sinkhole by the first responder to the emergency call, Douglas Duvall of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. When Duvall entered Jeff Bush's bedroom, all he saw was a widening chasm but no sign of Jeff.

"The hole took the entire bedroom," said Duvall. "You could see the bed frame, the dresser, everything was sinking," he said.

Norman Wicker, 48, the father of Jeremy's fiancée who also lived in the house, ran to get a flashlight and shovel.

"It sounded like a car ran into the back of the house," Wicker said.

Authorities have not detected any signs of life after lowering listening devices and cameras into the hole.

"There is a very large, very fluid mass underneath this house rendering the entire house and the entire lot dangerous and unsafe," Bill Bracken, the head of an engineering company assisting fire and rescue officials, told the news conference late on Friday.

"We are still trying to determine the extent and nature of what's down there so we can best determine how to approach it and how to extricate," Bracken said.

After suspending the search overnight, it resumed at daylight on Saturday, with engineering consultants trying to determine the extent of the collapse so that a perimeter boundary can be established for setting up heavy equipment for future excavation.

Several nearby homes were evacuated in case the 30-foot (9-meter) wide sinkhole got larger but officials said Friday it only appeared to be getting deeper.

Soil samples showed that the sinkhole has compromised the ground underneath a home next door, engineers said Saturday.

The residents of that house were allowed 20 minutes in their home on Saturday to gather belongings. Firefighters and residents formed an assembly line to move items out of the house into SUVs and trucks.

Rescue officials said that in addition to soil samples, they were focusing on engineering analysis, ground penetration radar and other techniques to determine the extent of the ongoing collapse. Listening devices were being used to detect any evidence of life although Bush was presumed dead.

The Bush brothers worked together as landscapers, according to Leland Wicker, 48, one of the other residents of the house.

The risk of sinkholes is common in Florida due to the state's porous geological bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As rainwater filters down into the ground, it dissolves the rock, causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse.






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We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us.


In the story of how the dog came in from the cold and onto our sofas, we tend to give ourselves a little too much credit. The most common assumption is that some hunter-gatherer with a soft spot for cuteness found some wolf puppies and adopted them. Over time, these tamed wolves would have shown their prowess at hunting, so humans kept them around the campfire until they evolved into dogs. (See "How to Build a Dog.")

But when we look back at our relationship with wolves throughout history, this doesn't really make sense. For one thing, the wolf was domesticated at a time when modern humans were not very tolerant of carnivorous competitors. In fact, after modern humans arrived in Europe around 43,000 years ago, they pretty much wiped out every large carnivore that existed, including saber-toothed cats and giant hyenas. The fossil record doesn't reveal whether these large carnivores starved to death because modern humans took most of the meat or whether humans picked them off on purpose. Either way, most of the Ice Age bestiary went extinct.

The hunting hypothesis, that humans used wolves to hunt, doesn't hold up either. Humans were already successful hunters without wolves, more successful than every other large carnivore. Wolves eat a lot of meat, as much as one deer per ten wolves every day-a lot for humans to feed or compete against. And anyone who has seen wolves in a feeding frenzy knows that wolves don't like to share.

Humans have a long history of eradicating wolves, rather than trying to adopt them. Over the last few centuries, almost every culture has hunted wolves to extinction. The first written record of the wolf's persecution was in the sixth century B.C. when Solon of Athens offered a bounty for every wolf killed. The last wolf was killed in England in the 16th century under the order of Henry VII. In Scotland, the forested landscape made wolves more difficult to kill. In response, the Scots burned the forests. North American wolves were not much better off. By 1930, there was not a wolf left in the 48 contiguous states of America.  (See "Wolf Wars.")

If this is a snapshot of our behavior toward wolves over the centuries, it presents one of the most perplexing problems: How was this misunderstood creature tolerated by humans long enough to evolve into the domestic dog?

The short version is that we often think of evolution as being the survival of the fittest, where the strong and the dominant survive and the soft and weak perish. But essentially, far from the survival of the leanest and meanest, the success of dogs comes down to survival of the friendliest.

Most likely, it was wolves that approached us, not the other way around, probably while they were scavenging around garbage dumps on the edge of human settlements. The wolves that were bold but aggressive would have been killed by humans, and so only the ones that were bold and friendly would have been tolerated.

Friendliness caused strange things to happen in the wolves. They started to look different. Domestication gave them splotchy coats, floppy ears, wagging tails. In only several generations, these friendly wolves would have become very distinctive from their more aggressive relatives. But the changes did not just affect their looks. Changes also happened to their psychology. These protodogs evolved the ability to read human gestures.

As dog owners, we take for granted that we can point to a ball or toy and our dog will bound off to get it. But the ability of dogs to read human gestures is remarkable. Even our closest relatives-chimpanzees and bonobos-can't read our gestures as readily as dogs can. Dogs are remarkably similar to human infants in the way they pay attention to us. This ability accounts for the extraordinary communication we have with our dogs. Some dogs are so attuned to their owners that they can read a gesture as subtle as a change in eye direction.

With this new ability, these protodogs were worth knowing. People who had dogs during a hunt would likely have had an advantage over those who didn't. Even today, tribes in Nicaragua depend on dogs to detect prey. Moose hunters in alpine regions bring home 56 percent more prey when they are accompanied by dogs. In the Congo, hunters believe they would starve without their dogs.

Dogs would also have served as a warning system, barking at hostile strangers from neighboring tribes. They could have defended their humans from predators.

And finally, though this is not a pleasant thought, when times were tough, dogs could have served as an emergency food supply. Thousands of years before refrigeration and with no crops to store, hunter-gatherers had no food reserves until the domestication of dogs. In tough times, dogs that were the least efficient hunters might have been sacrificed to save the group or the best hunting dogs. Once humans realized the usefulness of keeping dogs as an emergency food supply, it was not a huge jump to realize plants could be used in a similar way.

So, far from a benign human adopting a wolf puppy, it is more likely that a population of wolves adopted us. As the advantages of dog ownership became clear, we were as strongly affected by our relationship with them as they have been by their relationship with us. Dogs may even have been the catalyst for our civilization.

Dr. Brian Hare is the director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center and Vanessa Woods is a research scientist at Duke University. This essay is adapted from their new book, The Genius of Dogs, published by Dutton. To play science-based games to find the genius in your dog, visit www.dognition.com.


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Abandoned Baby's Tooth Used in Search for Parents












Authorities are using the bottom tooth of the week-old infant abandoned in a plastic bag outside an apartment complex in Cypress, Texas, as a clue in the search for her parents.


The newborn's early tooth, seen in just one of 2,000 births, is a unique genetic trait that may prove to be a link to her family history, according to investigators.


The baby, named Chloe by rescuers, weighed just four pounds when she was found by a woman walking her dogs near the apartment complex.


"More than likely her mother didn't have any type of prenatal care," Estella Olguin, spokeswoman for Texas Child Protective Services, told ABC's "Good Morning America."


To aid in their investigation, police commissioned Texas sketch artist Lori Gibson to create a rendering of what her parents might look like by studying the newborn's features.








Texas Cops Rely on Sketches in Abandoned Baby Case Watch Video









RELATED: Cops Rely on Sketch to Find Abandoned Baby's Parents


"The people would recognize that smile," Gibson told "Good Morning America," "It's a ready smile, and then all I had to do was put teeth."


Authorities said they are hoping Chloe's mother or other relatives come forward to claim the baby, or officially allow another family to take custody of the newborn. They plan to charge the parents if they can find them, police said.


Texas has an infant safe haven law, which allows mothers to anonymously give up their babies to designated locations where they can receive care until they are placed in a permanent home.


Texas was the first state to enact an infant safe haven law, which was passed in 1999. The laws, now adopted by many other states and known as "Baby Moses laws," are meant to provide mothers with an incentive not to abandon unwanted children, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Meanwhile, Harris County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Christina Garza said once custody issues are resolved, "[Chloe] will be placed in a loving home."


"There is no shortage of people who want her," she said.



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Herbal Viagra actually contains the real thing



































IF IT looks too good to be true, it probably is. Several "herbal remedies" for erectile dysfunction sold online actually contain the active ingredient from Viagra.












Michael Lamb at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and colleagues purchased 10 popular "natural" uplifting remedies on the internet and tested them for the presence of sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. They found the compound, or a similar synthetic drug, in seven of the 10 products – cause for concern because it can be dangerous for people with some medical conditions.












Lamb's work was presented last week at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting in Washington DC.












This article appeared in print under the headline "Herbal Viagra gets a synthetic boost"


















































If you would like to reuse any content from New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndication department first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing options available for use of articles and graphics we own the copyright to.




































All comments should respect the New Scientist House Rules. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please use the "Report" link in that comment to report it to us.


If you are having a technical problem posting a comment, please contact technical support.








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SpaceX "optimistic" after space capsule mishap






WASHINGTON: SpaceX said it was "optimistic" Friday after a thruster outage delayed the latest resupply mission of its unmanned Dragon capsule en route to the International Space Station.

SpaceX and NASA officials said the cargo resupply mission was still on track, but the technical mishap could fuel concerns about the US agency's ambitious plans to cut costs by privatizing elements of the space program.

SpaceX's billionaire founder Elon Musk said the failure of three out of four thruster pods to fire up was a "little frightening" but that two pods were back online within a few hours and the others should be working again shortly.

"I'm optimistic that we will be able to turn all four thruster pods on and restore full control," he told reporters.

Musk later tweeted: "Thruster pods one through four are now operating nominally. Preparing to raise orbit. All systems green."

SpaceX and NASA officials said once the pods are back online, they would carry out a number of checks before clearing the vessel to dock at the space station in the coming days, perhaps as early as Sunday.

The original rendezvous had been planned for 1130 GMT Saturday, but Mike Suffredini, NASA program manager for the International Space Station, said there was "quite a bit of flexibility" in the berthing date.

He also praised the handling of the mishap, saying "it was a pleasure to watch the SpaceX team in action" as they worked through "anomalies."

The malfunction occurred shortly after the capsule achieved orbit and separated from the Falcon 9 rocket after a near-perfect launch earlier in the day from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Musk said it was unclear what caused the problem, but suggested a valve leading to the oxidation tanks may have been blocked.

"I don't think it's a major concern. This is the first time we've seen this type of issue," he said. "I think it's an anomaly."

The Dragon vehicle is carrying 1,200 pounds (544 kilograms) of supplies on the firm's second resupply mission to the ISS. The two missions were preceded by a nearly flawless test flight.

The first resupply mission in October was a milestone in US efforts to cut costs by privatizing space exploration. The current mission is the second of 12 planned trips in NASA's $1.6 billion contract with SpaceX.

"This unique vehicle has become a very integral part of how we operate and use the space station," Suffredini said on Thursday, as he described plans for the 25-day mission.

The cargo includes equipment for 160 experiments to be conducted by the space station crew, which currently consists of two Americans, three Russians and a Canadian.

On the return flight, Dragon -- the only spacecraft able to bring cargo back to Earth for now -- will be loaded with just over a ton of materials, including results of medical research.

Before the thruster outage, the capsule had been scheduled for a splashdown landing off the coast of California on March 25.

NASA has bet on SpaceX and other commercial ventures to take over for its retired fleet of space shuttles, which last flew in July 2011.

Before SpaceX's successful mission in October, NASA had been relying on Russian spacecraft -- but the Soyuz craft does not have room for cargo on the return flight.

SpaceX says it has 50 launches planned -- both NASA missions and commercial flights -- representing about $4 billion in contracts.

So far, SpaceX has only sent unmanned flights into orbit, but the company aims to send a manned flight within the next three or four years. It is under a separate contract with NASA to refine the capsule so that it can carry a crew.

NASA also has a $1.9 billion resupply contract for the station with Orbital Sciences Corporation, which will launch the first test flight of its Antares rocket from a base in Virginia in the coming weeks.

-AFP/ac



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Florida man swallowed by sinkhole feared dead

Brother of sinkhole victim talks to reporters at the scene.









SEFFNER, Fla.—





A Florida man was missing and feared dead on Friday after a sinkhole suddenly opened up under the bedroom of his suburban Tampa home, police and fire officials said.

Rescuers responded to a 911 call late on Thursday after the family of Jeff Bush, 36, reported hearing a loud crash in the house and rushed to his bedroom.






"All they could see was a part of a mattress sticking out of the hole," said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers. "Essentially the floor of that room had opened up."

A sheriff's deputy rescued Bush's brother, Jeremy, who had jumped in the sinkhole to try find him. Three other adults and a 2-year-old child were in the house at the time the sinkhole opened up.

"I feel in my heart he didn't make it," Jeremy Bush, 35, told Tampa TV station WFTS. "There were six of us in the house, five got out."

The entire household except Jeff Bush went out to eat ice cream on Thursday night and when they got home, Jeff was in his room sleeping. They were getting ready for bed when they heard a huge crash and Jeff screaming.

"It sounded like a car ran into the back of the house," said Norman Wicker, 48, the father of Jeremy's fiancee who also lived in the house.

Jeremy jumped into the hole as Wicker ran to the shed for a shovel and flashlight. When he returned, Wicker said he yelled for Jeremy to get out but the brother furiously kept digging until a deputy arrived and pulled him out.

Authorities had not detected any signs life after lowering listening devices and cameras into the hole and rescue efforts were suspended after the site was deemed to unsafe for emergency personnel to enter.

The evacuation of several nearby homes was ordered due to concerns the sinkhole was growing.

The Bush brothers worked together as landscapers, according to Leland Wicker, 48, one of the other residents of the house.

Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico said the sinkhole appeared to be as wide as 30 feet, 30-feet deep, and an estimated 100 feet wide down below.

"It started in the bedroom and it has been expanding outward and it's taking the house with it as it opens up," said Bill Bracken, the head of an engineering company assisting rescuers.

The risk of sinkholes is common in Florida due to the state's porous geological bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As rainwater filters down into the ground, it dissolves the rock causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse.

Florida suffered one of its worst sinkhole accidents in 1994 when a 15-story-deep chasm opened up east of Tampa at a phosphate mine. It created a hole 185 feet deep and as much as 160 feet wide. Locals dubbed it Disney World's newest attraction - 'Journey to the Center of the Earth.'

In 1981 in Winter Park near Orlando, a sinkhole was measured as 320 feet wide and 90 feet deep, swallowing a two-story house, part of a Porsche dealership, and an Olympic-size swimming pool. The site is now an artificial lake in the city.

Reuters

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Stinkbug Threat Has Farmers Worried


Part of our weekly "In Focus" series—stepping back, looking closer.

Maryland farmer Nathan Milburn recalls his first encounter.

It was before dawn one morning in summer 2010, and he was at a gas station near his farm, fueling up for the day. Glancing at the light above the pump, something caught his eye.

"Thousands of something," Milburn remembers.

Though he'd never actually seen a brown marmorated stinkbug, Milburn knew exactly what he was looking at. He'd heard the stories.

This was a swarm of them—the invasive bugs from Asia that had been devouring local crops.

"My heart sank to my stomach," Milburn says.

Nearly three years later, the Asian stinkbug, commonly called the brown marmorated stinkbug, has become a serious threat to many mid-Atlantic farmers' livelihoods.

The bugs have also become a nuisance to many Americans who simply have warm homes—favored retreats of the bugs during cold months, when they go into a dormant state known as overwintering.

The worst summer for the bugs so far in the U.S. was 2010, but 2013 could be shaping up to be another bad year. Scientists estimate that 60 percent more stinkbugs are hunkered down indoors and in the natural landscape now than they were at this time last year in the mid-Atlantic region.

Once temperatures begin to rise, they'll head outside in search of mates and food. This is what farmers are dreading, as the Asian stinkbug is notorious for gorging on more than a half dozen North American crops, from peaches to peppers.

Intruder Alert

The first stinkbugs probably arrived in the U.S. by hitching a ride with a shipment of imported products from Asia in the late 1990s. Not long after that, they were spotted in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since then, they've been identified in 39 other states. Effective monitoring tools are being developed to help researchers detect regional patterns.

There are two main reasons to fear this invader, whose popular name comes from the pungent odor it releases when squashed. It can be distinguished from the native stinkbug by white stripes on its antennae and a mottled appearance on its abdomen. (The native stinkbug can also cause damage but its population number is too low for it to have a significant impact.)

For one thing, Asian stinkbugs have an insatiable appetite for fruits and vegetables, latching onto them with a needlelike probe before breaking down their flesh and sucking out juice until all that's left is a mangled mess.

Peaches, apples, peppers, soybeans, tomatoes, and grapes are among their favorite crops, said Tracy Leskey, a research entomologist leading a USDA-funded team dedicated to stinkbug management. She adds that in 2010, the insects caused $37 million in damage just to apple crops in the mid-Atlantic region.

Another fear factor: Although the stinkbug has some natural predators in the U.S., those predators can't keep up with the size of the stinkbug population, giving it the almost completely unchecked freedom to eat, reproduce, and flourish.

Almost completely unchecked. Leskey and her team have found that stinkbugs are attracted to blue, black, and white light, and to certain pheromones. Pheromone lures have been used with some success in stinkbug traps, but the method hasn't yet been evaluated for catching the bugs in large numbers.

So Milburn—who is on the stakeholders' advisory panel of Leskey's USDA-funded team—and other farmers have had to resort to using some chemical agents to protect against stinkbug sabotage.

It's a solution that Milburn isn't happy about. "We have to be careful—this is people's food. My family eats our apples, too," he says. "We have to engage and defeat with an environmentally safe and economically feasible solution."

Damage Control

Research Entomologist Kim Hoelmer agrees but knows that foregoing pesticides in the face of the stinkbug threat is easier said than done.

Hoelmer works on the USDA stinkbug management team's biological control program. For the past eight years, he's been monitoring the spread of the brown marmorated stinkbug with an eye toward containing it.

"We first looked to see if native natural enemies were going to provide sufficient levels of control," he says. "Once we decided that wasn't going to happen, we began to evaluate Asian natural enemies to help out."

Enter Trissolcus, a tiny, parasitic wasp from Asia that thrives on destroying brown marmorated stinkbugs and in its natural habitat has kept them from becoming the extreme pests they are in the U.S.

When a female wasp happens upon a cluster of stinkbug eggs, she will lay her own eggs inside them. As the larval wasp develops, it feeds on its host—the stinkbug egg—until there's nothing left. Most insects have natural enemies that prey upon or parasitize them in this way, said Hoelmer, calling it "part of the balance of nature."

In a quarantine lab in Newark, Delaware, Hoelmer has been evaluating the pros and cons of allowing Trissolcus out into the open in the U.S. It's certainly a cost-effective approach.

"Once introduced, the wasps will spread and reproduce all by themselves without the need to continually reintroduce them," he says.

And these wasps will not hurt humans. "Entomologists already know from extensive research worldwide that Trissolcus wasps only attack and develop in stinkbug eggs," Hoelmer says. "There is no possibility of them biting or stinging animals or humans or feeding on plants or otherwise becoming a pest themselves."

But there is a potential downside: the chance the wasp could go after one or more of North America's native stinkbugs and other insects.

"We do not want to cause harm to nontarget species," Hoelmer says. "That's why the host range of the Asian Trissolcus is being studied in the Newark laboratory before a request is made to release it."

Ultimately, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will decide whether or not to introduce the wasp. If it does, the new natural enemy could be let loose as early as next year.

Do you have stinkbugs in your area? Have they invaded your home this winter? Or your garden last summer? How do you combat them? Share your sightings and stories in the comments.


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Sequester Begins But Govt. Shutdown Looks Unlikely





Mar 1, 2013 4:13pm


ap obama boehner split nt 121231 wblog Sequester Begins But Government Shutdown Looks Unlikely

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Imag


It may not be readily obvious from the blizzard of news out there today on the “sequester,” but a government shutdown became significantly less likely today, even as the automatic budget cuts barreled ahead toward reality.


What happened? Both sides – Republicans and Democrats – basically seem to have agreed that as they will continue to fight out the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts starting to take effect today, they will not allow that disagreement to jeopardize full funding for the federal government. That funding is now scheduled to expire March 27.


RELATED: President Obama, Congressional Leaders Fail to Avert Sequester Cuts


After the White House meeting this morning, House Speaker John Boehner said he would have the House vote next week to fund the full government – what’s known as a “continuing resolution.”


Boehner: “I did lay out that the House is going to move a continuing resolution next week to fund the government past March 27th, and I’m hopeful that we won’t have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown while we’re dealing with the sequester at the same time. The House will act next week, and I hope the Senate will follow suit.”


READ MORE: 6 Questions (and Answers) About the Sequester


Boehner’s office provided this read-out of the meeting: “The president and leaders agreed legislation should be enacted this month to prevent a government shutdown while we continue to work on a solution to replace the president’s sequester.”


The president was asked at his mini-news conference whether he would definitely sign such a bill, even if it keeps government going at the new, lower spending levels as this fight is resolved (or not).


RELATED: 57 Terrible Consequences of the Sequester


Obama’s response: “With respect to the budget and keeping the government open – I’ll try for our viewing audience to make sure that we’re not talking in Washington gobbledygook. What’s called the continuing resolution, which is essentially just an extension of last year’s budget into this year’s budget to make sure that basic government functions continue, I think it’s the right thing to do to make sure that we don’t have a government shutdown. And that’s preventable.”


So even as we moved toward the brink of sequester, the nation’s leaders took a step back from another, much larger cliff.



SHOWS: World News







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