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The Takeaway: Debt Talks Cont'd.; Heat Wave

Still far apart : Despite a looming deadline and mounting pressure to "get it done," President Obama yesterday said he was not interested in any temporary "stopgap" solution to the debt ceiling problem."That is just not an acceptable approach. So we might as well do it now. Pull off the Band-Aid." Although the president wouldn't get into specifics, it was clear that Social Security reforms are still on the bargaining table. ... What happens if Congress fails to raise the debt limit by August 2? We've been here before, sort of.

... Be careful, it's hot out there. About 23 states are under heat advisories this week as temperatures are expected to soar to 115 degrees. (A 51-year-old man in Granite City, Ill., died Sunday due to the excessive heat.) As Candy Sagon pointed out last summer, more Americans die from heat-related illnesses "than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined." And it's worse for older people. How to protect yourself during this latest heat wave.

... Medicare anti-fraud system launched. Federal officials launched a nationwide computer system to weed out falsified Medicare claims. Florida is the first state to test the new program. How does it work?  From the LATimes: "It works much like credit-card systems that raise alerts about suspicious purchases - such as 20 pairs of shoes or unusually large sales - to help block criminals from using stolen cards or IDs."... Drive to stem shingles among older people fails to meet goals. ...

... One-third of American adults are using a smartphone, says a new Pew study. Are you connected?  These apps can make your life a little easier. ... More on Betty Ford's legacy. From SecondAct: How the former first lady changed the world and helped boomers confront their demons.

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