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StarBulletin.com

Brief asides


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 13, 2009

START RIGHT

Fighting obesity is about fighting bad habits

Day care is the latest frontier in the fight against obesity. Health and education experts are encouraging states to require child care providers to follow nutrition and exercise standards, and promoting menus that replace hot dogs with grilled chicken, cookies with fruit, and juice with water or low-fat milk. It's not about putting toddlers on diets, but teaching them, before bad habits form, that being active and eating well can be the norm. Research last April found almost one in five 4-year-olds already was obese. How much should a preschooler eat? An easy-to-use Web site gives specifics: www.mypyramid.gov/preschoolers.

 

SKY NAPPING

Some folks can sleep anywhere

In the aftermath of both go! pilots nodding off while their plane flew past its destination of Hilo in February 2008, U.S. airlines and their unions are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to allow pilots to take “;controlled”; naps during flights — one at a time.

Most passengers know that sleeping during flight is next to impossible.

 

SECRET NO MORE

If you bank in Switzerland, this deadline is for you

The clock is ticking for Americans with money stashed in offshore accounts, as the Internal Revenue Service cracks down on people who rely on banking secrecy to evade federal taxes. The IRS is offering tax dodgers leniency, reducing penalties for those who come forward by Thursday.

At least 4,000 clients of the Swiss Bank UBS and other private banks have come forward in recent months, The New York Times reported, and tax attorneys are being inundated with calls. But scores of other UBS clients are gambling that the IRS won't catch them, the paper said, even as U.S. authorities challenge banking secrecy in Switzerland, and, in particular at UBS, that nation's largest bank.