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U.S. groups tell Biden to drop the dairy duel with Canada

This story is part of Watching Washington, a regular dispatch from CBC News correspondents reporting on U.S. politics and developments that affect Canadians.

What’s new

Here’s something you don’t often see in Washington: American groups defending Canadian dairy and urging the U.S. government to leave it alone.

A coalition of 18 labour and farming groups is asking the Biden administration to drop a trade action over dairy launched in the final days of the Trump administration.

They sent a letter to two people nominated to senior positions in the new administration in advance of their Senate confirmation hearings: agriculture secretary nominee Tom Vilsack, who had his hearing Tuesday, and to the nominee for U.S. trade representative, Katherine Tai.

That letter, signed by smaller agriculture groups like the National Family Farm Coalition and the Wisconsin Farmers Union, urges the administration to stop fighting Canada’s supply management system.

We’ve previously reported how some U.S. farmers, battered by wild price fluctuations, dream of seeing their own country adopt a system of price and supply controls as Canada has done.

“The U.S. government has been trying to dismantle Canada’s federal and sub-federal supply management systems for years, not to benefit U.S. farmers or workers, but rather corporate dairy interests,” said the letter dated Feb. 1.

“Continuing to pursue this complaint is clearly out of step with the new administration’s stated commitments to reform the U.S. trade agenda to be pro-worker rather than a business as usual approach that actively favors multinational corporations.”

What’s next

There’s no indication these groups will get their way as most of the American industry remains adamantly opposed to Canada’s supply-management system and wants to export more dairy to Canada.

The main U.S. lobby groups allege Canada isn’t opening its market as widely as promised under the new NAFTA pact. 

Just ask Vilsack.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s pick for agriculture secretary previously led one of these larger U.S. dairy-lobby groups — in fact, he even complained about how Canada was implementing the new North American trade deal. 

If the U.S. complaint launched late last year proceeds, dairy could be the subject of the first Canada-U.S. dispute case under the new NAFTA.

The issue didn’t come up at Vilsack’s Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday. It’s likelier dairy will get mentioned when Tai testifies before the Senate Finance Committee. 

One Canadian issue did, however, emerge at Vilsack’s hearing — and it’s another old irritant involving cows that has been dormant of late. 

Vilsack was asked by a Nebraska Republican if the U.S. could once again label its beef as American-grown, so that consumers will know if they’re buying U.S. products.

Vilsack replied that he’d like to find a way but isn’t sure it’s possible.

He noted that the last time the U.S. tried applying these labels, it was forced to back down. Canada called the labels discriminatory under world trade rules, launched a case, won and the U.S. dropped the labelling requirement.

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CBC | World News

Raptors go cold in 2nd half, drop season opener in Tampa

It was a Toronto Raptors home opener unlike any other, played a couple of thousand kilometres from home, in front of a tiny bipartisan crowd, on a day that saw the league postpone a game — on just Day 2 of the season — due to COVID-19.

Also unusual for the Raptors: a loss.

Brandon Ingram scored 24 points, JJ Redick added 23 and the New Orleans Pelicans shot the lights out in the third quarter en route to a 113-99 win, handing Toronto its first loss on opening night in eight years.

“[The third quarter] … zapped our energy pretty big time,” coach Nick Nurse said. “We did seem to lose a little energy and maybe ran out of a little gas, too.”

WATCH | Raptors fade against Pelicans in season opener:

Toronto Raptors lost in their opening game of the season at their new temporary home in Florida, falling to New Orleans Pelicans 113-99. 0:57

Pascal Siakam had 20 points in one of Toronto’s bright spots. Kyle Lowry added 18 points and 10 assists, Aron Baynes had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Norman Powell and Chris Boucher chipped in with 12 points apiece.

The Raptors led for most of the first half but went ice cold in the third quarter. While the Pelicans knocked down seven threes in the frame, the Raptors went 0-for-10 and were outscored by 16 points.

Leading 88-79 to start the fourth, the Pelicans kept their foot on the gas. When Redick knocked down a three-pointer with 5:15 to play, New Orleans led by 14 points.

Siakam was solid in the loss, which is good news for the Raptors after his disappointing performance in the Walt Disney World bubble last summer.

He’d been enjoying a career year before the NBA shut down due to COVID-19 and was never quite himself when the league resumed. Fans weren’t kind to the 26-year-old when the Raptors were eliminated by Boston in the second round of the playoffs.

He not only scored on an array of shots Wednesday, but pitched some excellent passes out of crowds, finishing with six assists, six rebounds, and three three-pointers.

“I’m getting back to just running and attacking, making plays and stuff, so I felt good about it,” Siakam said. “Obviously, we didn’t get the win and we didn’t play like we wanted to and [the Pelicans had] a good stint out there where they made a lot of shots and we weren’t able to stop them, but I think for the most part I like what I brought.”


The Toronto Raptors hosted the New Orleans Pelicans in their season opener at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday. (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The night marked the beginning of the most bizarre season in Raptors history. A limited crowd of 3,800 fans — who seemed to be cheering for both teams — dotted Amalie Arena, Toronto’s temporary home for at least the first half of the season due to Canada’s travel restrictions around COVID-19.

“I don’t know if it’s all Raptors fans or what the case might be, but I thought it was cool, just having people around it,” Siakam said. “Obviously we’re blessed that we have some people, some type of energy in the crowd to make the atmosphere a little better.”

In a sign of these strange times, the Raptors mascot waved the team flag before the game clad in a black protective face mask.

The Raptors tipped off a few hours after the league announced Houston’s game against Oklahoma City was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests. James Harden’s violation of the league’s coronavirus protocols left the Rockets without the league-mandated eight available players.

It was a discouraging blow on Day 2 of a season that feels like the league is playing with its collective fingers crossed while the pandemic continues to rage in the U.S.

Virus scare for Powell

The Raptors had their own COVID-19 scare this week. Powell had missed a couple of days of practice, and was listed as questionable after some inconclusive tests with someone close to him.

“It’s tough, you know?” Powell said. “But that’s pretty much what you have to do. I did everything right in terms of following the protocol, making sure that I was good, I was safe, people around me were safe. But still, you can get caught up in inconclusive tests and whatnot.

“It was kind of frustrating, you know, to sit out the important days leading up to the game.”

Nurse said despite the rocky start, he’s “fairly comfortable” about playing.

“I understand that there are some people — players and staff, et cetera — testing positive,” he said. “I’d be much more concerned if there was a number of players going to the hospital, a number of staff going to the hospital, and I just don’t see that as the case with all these colleges and universities and all the athletes that test.”

Amalie Arena is one of just a few facilities around the league that is permitting a limited number of fans this season.

The Raptors now depart on their first road trip of the regular season, playing against former teammate DeMar DeRozan and the Spurs in San Antonio on Boxing Day. They play at Philadelphia on Dec. 28.

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Pandemic leads to biggest drop ever in global emissions, but trend not expected to last

A locked-down pandemic-struck world cut its carbon dioxide emissions this year by seven per cent, the biggest drop ever, new preliminary figures show.

The Global Carbon Project, an authoritative group of dozens of international scientists who track emissions, calculated that the world will have put 34 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide in the air in 2020. That’s down from 36.4 billion metric tonnes in 2019, according a study published Thursday in the journal Earth System Science Data.

Scientists say this drop is chiefly because people are staying home, travelling less by car and plane, and that emissions are expected to jump back up after the pandemic ends. Ground transportation makes up about one-fifth of emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief man-made heat-trapping gas.

“Of course, lockdown is absolutely not the way to tackle climate change,” said study co-author Corinne LeQuere, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia.

The same group of scientists months ago predicted emission drops of four to seven per cent, depending on the progression of COVID-19. A second coronavirus wave and continued travel reductions pushed the decrease to seven per cent, LeQuere said.

I am optimistic that we have, as a society learned some lessons that may help decrease emissions in the future.– Chris Field, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Emissions dropped 12 per cent in the United States and 11 per cent in Europe, but only 1.7 per cent in China. That’s because China had an earlier lockdown with less of a second wave. Also China’s emissions are more industrial based than other countries and its industry was less affected than transportation, LeQuere said.


Smoke and steam rise from a coal processing plant that produces carbon black, an ingredient in steel manufacturing, in Hejin in central China’s Shanxi Province in November 2019. (Sam McNeil/The Associated Press)

Canada’s emissions were not part of the study. 

The calculations — based on reports detailing energy use, industrial production and daily mobility counts — were praised as accurate by outside scientists.

Even with the drop in 2020, the world on average put 1,075 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air every second.

Final figures for 2019 published in the same study show that from 2018 to 2019 emissions of the main man-made heat-trapping gas increased only 0.1 per cent, much smaller than annual jumps of around three per cent a decade or two ago. Even with emissions expected to rise after the pandemic, scientists are wondering if 2019 be the peak of carbon pollution, LeQuere said.

“We are certainly very close to an emissions peak, if we can keep the global community together,” said United Nations Development Director Achim Steiner.

Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, thinks emissions will increase after the pandemic, but said “I am optimistic that we have, as a society learned some lessons that may help decrease emissions in the future.”

“For example,” he added, “as people get good at telecommuting a couple of days a week or realize they don’t need quite so many business trips, we might see behaviour-related future emissions decreases.”

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MIT: ‘Snowball Earth’ Came From Huge Drop in Sunlight

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The last ice age on Earth ended about 11,000 years ago, but that was just a few flurries compared to so-called Snowball Earth scenarios. Scientists believe Earth experienced several of these periods when the entire surface was covered by ice and snow. New research from MIT points to a potential mechanism for Snowball Earth events, and that could help explain the development of complex life. It may also impact the search for exoplanets around other stars. 

An ice age is simply a period during which global temperature drops sufficiently for polar ice caps and alpine glaciers to expand. A Snowball Earth is on a completely different level, and that’s made it difficult to identify causes. Researchers have long assumed that it has something to do with a reduction in incoming sunlight or drop in retained global heat, but the MIT team points specifically to “rate-induced glaciations” as the primary cause. 

The findings suggest that all you need for a Snowball Earth is a sufficiently large drop in solar radiation reaching the planet’s surface. Interestingly, the modeling done by graduate student Constantin Arnscheidt and geophysics professor Daniel Rothman show that solar radiation doesn’t have to drop to any particular threshold to trigger a Snowball Earth. Rather, it just needs to drop quickly over a geologically short period of time. 

When ice cover increases, the planet reflects more light and the glaciation becomes a “runaway” effect. That’s how you get to a Snowball scenario, but luckily for us, these periods are temporary. The planet’s carbon cycle is interrupted when ice and snow cover the entire surface, and that causes a build-up of carbon dioxide. Eventually, this leads to a warming trend that breaks Earth out of a snowball period. 

The research suggests a few ways solar radiation could decrease fast enough to trigger global glaciation. For example, volcanic activity could deposit particles in the atmosphere that reflect sunlight before it reaches the surface. It’s also possible that biological processes could alter the atmosphere, producing more cloud cover to block the sun. 

The two suspected snowball Earth periods most likely happened around 700 million years ago, which is a notable time in the planet’s history. That’s also when multicellular life exploded in the oceans. So perhaps, Snowball Earth cleared the way for the development of complex life. It might be the same on other planets, too. We may eventually spot exoplanets around distant stars in the “habitable zone” covered in ice. That doesn’t mean they’ll be icy forever, and big things could be coming as they thaw.

Top image credit: Stephen Hudson/CC BY 2.5

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Whitecaps stunned by Earthquakes in stoppage time, drop tournament debut

Substitute Shea Salinas scored in the 98th minute as the San Jose Earthquakes rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps in a wild 4-3 win Wednesday at the MLS is Back Tournament.

Goals by substitute Chris Wondolowski, in the 72nd minute, and Oswaldo Alanis, in the 81st, tied the game at 3-3.

Vancouver was reeling during the nine minutes of stoppage time before Salinas administered the coup de grace. The former Whitecap dribbled through the Vancouver defence, got a fortunate bounce and knocked the ball past goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.

The Earthquakes dominated possession and had eight corners in the first 30 minutes but found themselves down 2-0 to the opportunistic Whitecaps, who led by two despite having just one shot on target.

Ali Adnan and Cristian Dajome scored for Vancouver, which also benefited from an own goal.

Andy Rios also scored for San Jose, which had plenty of the ball but lacked clinical finishing most of the night against a depleted Whitecaps side. Still, Crepeau had a busy night.

Adnan, Vancouver’s Iraqi international left back, opened the scoring in the seventh minute, curling a shot past a diving Daniel Vega from just inside the penalty box.

WATCH | Salinas seals win for San Jose:

San Jose Earthquakes rally from a 3-1 deficit in the 2nd half to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3. 1:44

Vancouver made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute on an own goal when Dajome, after a San Jose corner went horribly awry, stole the ball from Brazil’s Judson and fed Yordy Reyna behind the Quakes defence. Reyna tried to slip the ball back to Dajome in the box but instead it bounced off Judson’s leg into the goal.

San Jose came on in waves and Rios cut the lead to 2-1 in first-half stoppage time off the Quakes’ 12th corner of the half, deflecting the ball in with a delightful flick of his foot with his back to goal.

Dajome capitalized in the 59th minute when a dreadful pass from Vega went straight to David Milinkovic, who found the Colombian alone in front for his first MLS goal.

The 37-year-old Wondolowski made an impact off the bench, flicking in a header to cut the lead to 3-2. The goal was the 160th of his career, adding to his MLS-record regular-season total, and his 14th against Vancouver.

Alanis then rose high to score off San Jose’s 19th corner, which tied a league record, to tie the game.

WATCH | Whitecaps benefit from Earthquakes’ own goal:

A counter-attack by the Vancouver Whitecaps after a San Jose corner kick sends Yordy Reyna in on a breakaway from midfield which results in an own goal for Judson. 1:17

Dangerous defending by Whitecaps

The Quakes outshot Vancouver 31-7 and also led the Whitecaps 11-2 in shots on target. San Jose also set a league mark with 22 corners and had 67.9 per cent possession. The Whitecaps lived dangerously on defence but made the most of their few chances at the other end, helped by San Jose blunders.

Vancouver was the last team to see action at the tournament, taking the field at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex after Orlando City and Philadelphia had already qualified for the knockout rounds.

The Whitecaps were originally slated to open July 9 against FC Dallas but the game was scrapped when Dallas withdrew due to a rash of COVID-19 positive tests.

San Jose opened the tournament last Friday with a 0-0 tie with the Seattle Sounders.

It was 26 C at the 9 p.m. ET kickoff after showers swept through the area.

After Vancouver went ahead, Crepeau made a fine save in the ninth minute to deny Jackson Yueill. Crepeau then had to deal with a powerful Cristian Espinoza shot.

Crepeau had to be sharp again in the 26th minute, clawing away a looping long ball from Espinoza that was destined for the top corner. The Whitecaps ‘keeper was fortunate in the 41st minute when a deflection off a defender following a corner went right at him.

San Jose outshot Vancouver 17-4 in the first half and had 73.4 percent possession.

Espinoza was yellow-carded in the 56th minute when he returned the ball for Vancouver throw-in head-high, hitting Adnan who tumbled theatrically to the turf. The card remained yellow after video review.

Key absences

The Whitecaps are missing some key pieces at the tournament.

Forwards Lucas Cavallini, Fredy Montero and Tosaint Ricketts, defender Andy Rose and defender/midfielder Georges Mukumbilwa did not make the trip to the Florida tournament for personal or medical reasons.

Cavallini, Ricketts and Rose all started in Vancouver’s last league outing — a 1-0 win at the Los Angeles Galaxy on March 7 — while Montero came off the bench.

Wednesday’s starting 11 came into the game with a combined 29 MLS regular-season goals with Reyna accounting for 19 of those.

Backup goalkeeper Bryan Meredith left the team Tuesday to be with his family in New Jersey after the death of his mother Beth. Whitecaps player wore black armbands with B.M. on them with fullback Jake Nerwinski walking out holding Meredith’s jersey with Beth Meredith’s name written under the number.

Janio Bikel (adductor strain), who started at right back against the Galaxy, and defender Eric Godoy (quadricep strain) were injured in training Sunday.

Whitecaps midfielder Leonard Owusu, 23, made his first start while centre back Ranko Veselinovic, 21, made his MLS debut.

Captain Russell Teibert made his 200th first-team appearance. Whitecaps midfielder Patrick Metcalfe, a 21-year-old from Richmond, B.C., made his MLS debut off the bench.

Vancouver plays Seattle on Sunday before facing Chicago, which replaced Dallas in Group B, on July 23.

Group games at the tournament count in the regular-season standings, leaving Vancouver at 1-2-0 and San Jose at 1-1-2.

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‘Distressing’ drop in people seeking care for heart attacks in Canada, data suggests

New data suggests fewer people in Canada are seeking care for serious heart attacks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heart & Stroke and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society analyzed data from Ontario cardiac centres and found an unusually low number of people turning up at the hospital with the most serious type of heart attack, known as a STEMI.

They found a nearly 30 per cent drop in emergency department visits between March 16 and April 12 compared to the same period last year. Vancouver Coastal Health saw an approximately 40 per cent drop in STEMI patients during a similar time period.

Researchers say it’s unlikely the number of serious heart attacks has suddenly plummeted. They worry heart patients are at risk of greater disability or death because they may be avoiding care for fear of being exposed to COVID-19.

WATCH | Doctors worry about dramatic drop in ER visits across Canada:

Concerns about COVID-19 are stopping people from going to the emergency room with other conditions, including heart attacks and strokes. 1:58

Society president Dr. Andrew Krahn called the findings “distressing” and urged anyone with signs of heart attack and stroke to seek immediate medical attention.

Krahn said the empty emergency departments are a worry for health-care providers like him because they don’t mean people are well. Rather, they mean people are staying home who need urgent medical attention for a variety of reasons.

“I’m talking about heart conditions,” Krahn said. “But we know for instance there are more patients who are suffering strokes at home and don’t come to attention. And kidney failure where they come in and by the time they get in they need dialysis.”

He said the health-care system has precautions in place to test people for COVID-19 and to protect patients, and that it is prepared to respond to life-threatening medical issues during the pandemic.

Anne Simard, chief mission and research officer at Heart & Stroke, says anyone living with a chronic condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke with new or worsening symptoms should seek urgent medical treatment.

“We know everyone is concerned given the pandemic, but if these other serious issues are not treated and managed, people can become critically ill or worse,” Simard said in a release.

The signs of stroke can be remembered with the FAST acronym:

  • Is the Face drooping?
  • Can you raise both Arms?
  • Is Speech slurred or jumbled?
  • If so, it’s Time to call 911.

Signs of a heart attack include chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain; sweating; discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, or upper back; nausea; shortness of breath; and light-headedness.

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Kyle Larson fired after sponsors drop rising NASCAR star over racial slur

As sponsor after sponsor dropped Kyle Larson after he used a racial slur during a live-streamed virtual race, his NASCAR team owner was backed into a corner.

Chip Ganassi could let McDonald’s and Credit One Bank and Chevrolet pull their funding and bankrupt his team or he could cut ties with the driver he had plucked from sprint car racing and groomed into an elite stock car driver.

It was essentially out of Ganassi’s hands.

He fired the 27-year-old Larson on Tuesday in what he described as “an emotional call” — the only move possible to stabilize his organization.

“I told Kyle he can come back from this; he can even come back from this with our team,” Ganassi told The Associated Press. “But there really wasn’t any choice.”

Larson’s stunning downfall took less than 48 hours, unusual in its details and coming with sports everywhere basically shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. The most coveted upcoming free agent in NASCAR lost almost every sponsor he had in what could ultimately be an eight-figure blunder.

Rapid unraveling

Larson loses his 2020 salary plus the massive payday expected from his next contract. If he eventually lands with another team, it will surely be at a far discounted rate than the value he had built since moving full-time to NASCAR in 2013.

The unraveling began Sunday night when Larson appeared to lose communication on his headset with his spotter while competing in one of the iRacing virtual events that have grown in popularity during the sports hiatus.

During a check of his microphone, he asked his spotter, “You can’t hear me?” That was followed by the N-word. The slur was directed at his spotter, who is white.


He was suspended without pay by Ganassi Monday, then suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and Larson, who is half Japanese, was ordered to complete sensitivity training, but primary sponsors McDonald’s and Credit One Bank pulled their support within hours. Chevrolet suspended its relationship with Larson, and all but one commercial partner indicated they were walking away.

Without funding on the No. 42 Chevrolet as long as Larson was in the car, Ganassi had to act. Ross Chastain, under contract as a development driver for Ganassi, will likely replace Larson whenever racing resumes.

“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” Ganassi said in a statement. “As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take.”

Larson’s famed sprint car career could also be in jeopardy: Kyle Larson Racing fields a Chevrolet in the World of Outlaws Series that is sponsored in part by Lucas Oil, which also ended its partnership with Larson.

Larson also late last year added a midget car to his team and drove it to seven wins in eight races to close 2019, then opened 2020 with a victory at the prestigious Chili Bowl in his 13th try.

‘There is no excuse for that’

Larson had been prepping to test free agency for the first time in his short career and Ganassi was expected to find himself in a bidding war for his franchise NASCAR driver.

Larson was thought to be deciding between Ganassi or a move to Tony Stewart’s NASCAR team. He also might have been a long-shot candidate to replace seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports, although Rick Hendrick isn’t as generous in allowing his drivers to compete in other series and giving up sprint cars was a deal-breaker for Larson.

But his career imploded when his slur went viral in part because viewers can follow the virtual races on the gaming app Twitch and eavesdrop on the drivers’ typical lighthearted banter. Larson apologized in a video posted on his social media accounts.


“I made a mistake, said the word that should never, ever be said,” Larson said. “There is no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. It is just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community.

“I understand the damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that.”

He reached out to many sponsors and friends to apologize. Brent Powell, president of Plan B Sales and Marketing, was the only sponsor to remain behind Larson. He said the driver called him personally to “express his regret about what transpired.”

“We know he is an awesome young man that made a mistake and we are going to stand behind him 100% and help any way we can,” Powell said.

Larson, whose grandparents spent time in an internment camp in California during World War II, climbed from short-track racing into NASCAR through its “Drive for Diversity” program. He is the only driver of Japanese descent to win a major NASCAR race.

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Cancer death rate in U.S. shows large one-year drop

Cancer deaths in the United States fell 2.2 per cent from 2016 to 2017 — the largest single-year drop ever recorded —fuelled in large part by progress against lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death, the American Cancer Society (ACS) reported Wednesday.

Overall, cancer death rates in the United States fell 29 per cent from 1991 to 2017, driven by steady drops in deaths from lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers, according to the Society’s annual report on cancer rates and trends published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

“The report shows a continued striking decline in overall cancer mortality in the United States,” Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, said in a telephone interview with Reuters Health. “That trend shows no sign of abating.”

Study co-author Rebecca Siegel, scientific director of surveillance research at the ACS, attributes that to a doubling in improvement in deaths from lung cancer, which fell 4 per cent in the study period. Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease.

“If you take lung cancer out of the mix, the drop was only 1.4 per cent. It is truly the acceleration for lung cancer that is driving the record drop that we saw,” she said in a telephone interview.

Sharpless, who in November returned to the NCI after a stint as acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, believes some of the gains in lung cancer are related to better therapies, but given that the report only goes through 2017, many of the new drugs for lung cancer, such as Merck’s Keytruda, have yet to be reflected in the mortality data.

“We think the lung cancer data are going to continue to improve for a few years,” he said.

Typically, mortality data in the United States is about three years behind the current year, due in large part to the need confirm that deaths were actually linked with a cancer. Even so, Sharpless said, data on cancer deaths is the most important metric used by the National Cancer Institute for planning purposes.

To make up for the lag, the ACS uses computer models of cancer and population trends to project what’s currently happening in cancer.


This 1964 photo made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a lung tissue specimen from a patient with adenocarcinoma of the lung. (Dr. Ellis/Emory University, Department of Pathology/CDC)

In its latest report, the Society projects that in 2020, roughly 1.8 million new cancer cases and 606,520 cancer deaths will occur in the United States.

Nevertheless, progress has slowed for female breast and colorectal cancer, and has essentially levelled off for prostate cancer over the past decade.

The number of new cases of breast cancer has climbed by about 0.3 per cent per year since 2004, a rise linked in part to lower rates of fertility and increases in obesity.

In prostate cancer, the number of new cases fell sharply from 2007 to 2012, linked in part to decreased use of blood tests for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to screen for these cancers in the wake of guideline changes. But some studies suggest the declines in new cases may be masking increases in more severe cancers, the report said.

Sharpless said the increase in more advanced prostate cancers may reflect success in easier-to-treat cancers, but it also may reflect decreased PSA testing.

“It is concerning after seeing so much progress against prostate cancer to see it level off,” Sharpless said, adding that the NCI “has got to be open-minded about this and fund appropriate research, both clinical and basic science, to really tease this out.”

Sharpless also expressed concern that rapid declines in new cases of colorectal cancer are slowing in spite of the availability of effective screening tools, such as colonoscopy.

“There’s an increased incidence of mortality that we think is likely related to obesity,” Sharpless said.

‘Concerning trend’ in young colon cancer deaths

Sharpless said the National Cancer Institute has noticed in particular an increase in colon cancer deaths in people under age 40, who would be too young for routine screening. “That’s a concerning trend,” he said.

Obesity may also be playing a role in the slight rise in new cases of breast cancer.

“We have all this progress against smoking-related cancers but obesity is something that we’re just probably seeing the tip of the iceberg now in terms of the influence on cancer,” Siegel said.

She said excess body weight currently accounts for about seven per cent of cancers. “I’m sure that proportion will continue to increase because it takes a decade or two before you see the influence on exposure reflected in cancer rates.”

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Rihanna Teases Fans Waiting for Her ‘R9’ Album to Drop With Trolling Instagram Video

Rihanna Teases Fans Waiting for Her ‘R9’ Album to Drop With Trolling Instagram Video | Entertainment Tonight

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Canada finalizes roster as world juniors puck drop looms

Benoit-Olivier Groulx of the Halifax Mooseheads was the final cut Hockey Canada made on Saturday as Canada finalized its roster ahead of the world junior hockey championship.

The roster includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards.

Barrett Hayton, Alex Lafreniere, Jared McIsaac, Ty Smith and Joe Veleno are all returning from Canada’s sixth place finish at last year’s tournament that was held in Vancouver and Victoria.

WATCH | Canada bests Switzerland in world juniors exhibition:

Dawson Mercer, Liam Foudy and Bowen Byram scored as Canada blanked Switzerland 3-0 in their first warm-up game ahead of the upcoming World Junior Championship. 1:07

It also includes Quinton Byfield and Jamie Drysdale, who won a silver medal with Canada’s men’s summer under-18 team at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

“The management group and coaches have done a terrific job working with the players and finalizing the roster,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “This team has a lot of skill, international experience and, most importantly, is a group of quality young men.”

The puck will officially drop on Boxing Day when Canada takes on the United States in the Czech Republic.

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