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Conjoined Twins Do Well In Surgery

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Surgeons successfully repaired a defect in the abdominal area of 5-day-old conjoined twins who share a heart and liver.

Doctors had been concerned that Wednesday's surgery might be too much for Brynleigh and Victoria Smith, who were born about five weeks early and together weigh just under 8 pounds.

"Now they just need to rest and grow," said Dr. Cindy Schultz, a neonatal fellow at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base. They were in critical but stable condition.

The pair, born July 25, cannot be separated because they share a shared six-chambered heart, doctors said. Doctors were trying to slowly wean them from ventilators.

"We just keep getting more and more good news," said mother Dawn Smith, 27. Report strengthens advice on fewer Pap smears

WASHINGTON - An increasing number of women will no longer need annual testing for cervical cancer, say guidelines issued Thursday - the third such advice to doctors in the last year.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said:

A first Pap test should occur within three years after first sexual intercourse or by age 21, whichever comes first. Previously, women were supposed to be tested by age 18 or onset of sexual activity.

Women should undergo annual Pap tests up to age 30.

Those 30 and older have two options. They can start getting checked every two to three years after having three consecutive, normal Pap tests. Or they undergo a combination of a Pap exam and testing for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, that causes most cervical cancer. Passing both those tests means they need rechecking no more than every three years.

There are numerous strains of the HPV virus. Most clear up on their own, but a few types linger to cause cancer. HPV testing isn't appropriate for women under 30, because younger women often test positive for the harmless, transient strains, ACOG stressed.

Some women may need more frequent exams, such as those with weak immune systems or previous cervical cancer, ACOG cautioned.

The advice largely mirrors earlier recommendations from the American Cancer Society and the government. Health Coverage Tax Credit begins today

WASHINGTON - People who lose jobs because their employers were hurt by foreign trade will be eligible for tax credits to help pay their health insurance costs under a program that begins today.

The Health Coverage Tax Credit will pay for 65 percent of qualified health insurance premiums, with recipients able to receive benefits in advance to pay premiums as they come due, or in a lump sum when they file their federal income tax returns. The eligible include trade-displaced workers or retirees whose pensions have been affected because their former employers have been hit by foreign competition.

The Treasury Department said about 10,000 people in Florida are potentially eligible for the credit.

A national Health Coverage Tax Credit customer contact center is open for callers at 1-866-628-4282. Information on state and health insurance programs that may qualify is available at keyword: HCTC. Elsewhere in today's world and national news Conjoined twins do well in surgery Obituaries of note Government to test new security system Senate judicial showdown just in time for fundraising Democratic senators call for intelligence reform Poindexter to step down from Pentagon Woman charged in missing daughter hoax turns self in Free-falling over to France Smithsonian discovers not all that glitters is old gold Malaysia to bar divorce by cell phone Zimbabwe's cash is hard to find or use Israel curbs residency for some Arabs IraqIraq plans for future without Hussein CIA adviser hints at progress in finding illicit arms Hussein's daughters granted sanctuary Nation in briefFirefighters beat giant back a bit Sami Al-ArianAffidavit: Al-Arian's group got money from Saudi charity Washington in briefSenate agrees on energy bill World in briefSenate backs two deals for free trade

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