04 21 2015
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  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
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(CNN) -- Lack of quality sleep for adults may negatively impact heart health. Evidence now suggests that sleep problems during adolescence may increase health risks as well.

"When most people think about cardiovascular risk factors and risk behaviors, they don't necessarily think of sleep," said Dr. Brian McCrindle, senior author and cardiologist at SickKids in Toronto, Ontario. "This study ... shows a clear association between sleep disturbance (in adolescents) and a greater likelihood of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure and being overweight or obese."

"These findings are important, given that sleep disturbance is highly prevalent in adolescence and that cardiovascular disease risk factors track from childhood into adulthood," noted Dr. Indra Narang, the lead study author and director of sleep medicine at SickKids.

The researchers examined data from the 2009/2010 school year for adolescents in the Niagara region of Ontario.

More than 4,000 ninth-grade students completed questionnaires asking about their sleep duration, quality, disturbances, snoring, daytime sleepiness and the use of any sleep medications during a period of one month. Their average age was 14.6.

The students also answered questions about their physical activity, time spent in front of a computer or television and nutrition.

Researchers studied participants' height, weight, waist circumference, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They adjusted for those with family history of cardiovascular disease, so they could be confident of the association found.

Participants slept, on average, 7.9 hours during the week and 9.4 hours on weekends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adolescents get 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night.

Almost one in five reported their weeknight sleep as "fairly bad" or "bad." One in 10 said the same was true for their weekend sleep. In addition, almost 6% of respondents said they had used medications to help them sleep.

"What happens with these kids is they have very poor sleep habits and sleep hygiene, so they're sleepy and tired and have poor energy during the day, so they hop themselves up on caffeinated beverages and then that just perpetuates their problem and a lot of them wound up taking some kind of sleep medication," McCrindle said. "So they get in a cycle."

Narang said 6% was "quite a lot" of adolescents taking over-the-counter and prescription medication to help them sleep.

"It really shows that some adolescents are experiencing very disturbed sleep that they're then needing sleep medication," she said.

Common sleep disturbances reported by the adolescents included waking up during the night or early in the morning, not being able to fall asleep within a half-hour, feeling too hot or too cold, having to use the restroom and bad dreams.

Those who reported sleep disturbances more often consumed soft drinks, fried food, sweets and caffeine, the research showed. They also reported less physical activity and increased screen time. In addition, the adolescents with shorter sleep routines reported less physical activity and more screen time.

In the short term, poor sleep impairs daytime function.

"It can affect (your) learning, it can affect (your) memory," Narang added.

Parents concerned about their child's sleep can intervene in several ways.

McCrindle suggests trying to minimize media use in the bedroom.

"Do (the adolescents) really need to have a TV, a computer, all their video games in the bedroom?" he asked.

Instead, ensure kids have down time before bedtime.

Narang feels consumption of high-energy caffeine drinks may largely be to blame.

But the big picture, she says?

"Everybody involved in the health care of a child - a nurse, a physician, a teacher - needs to promote well sleep, and that would involve a certain number of hours a sleep and routine of sleep," Narang said.

The routine would keep them on the same sleep schedule all week long, she added.

 

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