VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
GOP UNITY FRAYS AS SHUTDOWN GROWS NEAR
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Their unity fraying, House Republicans bent but did not blink Monday in their demand for changes in the nation's health care overhaul as the price for preventing the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.
"We're at the brink," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., moments after the Senate voted 54-46 to reject the latest GOP attempt to tie government financing to delays in "Obamacare."
The stock market dropped on fears that political gridlock between the White House and a tea party-heavy Republican party would prevail.
As lawmakers squabbled, President Barack Obama urged them to "act responsibly and do what's right for the American people." At the White House, he said he was willing to discuss long-term budget issues with members of Congress, and expected to do soon. But, he added, "The only way to do that is for everybody to sit down in good faith without threatening to harm women and veterans and children with a government shutdown."
In a fast-paced series of events, the Senate voted 54-46 to reject a House-passed measure that would have kept the government open while delaying implementation of the health care law for a year and permanently repealing a medical device tax that helps finance it.
House Republicans, reacting swiftly, decided to try again. Their new proposal was to allow the government to remain open, while imposing a one-year delay in a requirement in the health care law for individuals to purchase coverage or face a financial penalty. Their measure also would require members of Congress to bear the full cost of their own coverage by barring the government from making the customary employer contribution.
"This is a matter of funding the government and providing fairness to the American people," said Speaker John Boehner. "Why wouldn't members of Congress vote for it?"
Asked if a stand-alone spending bill was still possible instead, he said, "That's not going to happen."
MORE BABIES SHARE PARENTS' BEDS DESPITE SIDS RISKS
CHICAGO (AP) -- The government's latest infant bed-sharing numbers show a troubling trend: the percentage of U.S. babies sleeping with parents or another child more than doubled since the early 1990s, despite public health messages linking the practice with sudden infant death syndrome.
Nearly 14 percent of adults, mostly mothers, surveyed in 2010 said their infants usually shared a bed, either with parents or another child, instead of sleeping alone in a crib. That was up from about 7 percent in 1993, and the increase was mainly among blacks and Hispanics. The practice had leveled off among whites after an increase in the 1990s.
Bed-sharing was most common among blacks; nearly one-third of those surveyed said their infants usually shared a bed.
"That's a concern because we know that blacks are at increased risk for SIDS," said study co-author Marian Willinger of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded the study. "We want to eliminate as many risks as we can for everybody, particularly in that population where we're seeing increasing disparities."
SIDS refers to deaths in the first year of life that remain unexplained after autopsies and thorough investigations of the death scene and infants' medical history.
Accidental suffocation in bed is also more common among black infants, although the study didn't examine infant deaths or accidents associated with bed-sharing.
The study was published online Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
KEA STARTS SELLING SOLAR PANELS FOR HOMES
STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish flat-pack furniture giant IKEA will start selling residential solar panels at its stores in Britain, the first step in its plan to bring renewable energy to the mainstream market worldwide.
The company started selling solar panels made by China's Hanergy in its store in Southampton on Monday. It will sell them in the rest of Britain in coming months, it said.
A standard, all-black 3.36 kilowatt system for a semi-detached home will cost 5,700 British pounds ($9,200) and will include an in-store consultation and design service as well as installation, maintenance and energy monitoring service.
"In the past few years the prices on solar panels have dropped, so it's a really good price now," IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard told The Associated Press. "It's the right time to go for the consumers."
The solar panel investment will be paid off in about seven years for an average home owner in Britain, Howard said.
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