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Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2001

World Briefs

August 18, 2001

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WASHINGTON: Candy pulled off shelves

The government warned Americans Friday that a popular jelly candy imported from Asia may be a choking hazard. The candy has been linked to the deaths of three U.S. children.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement late Friday saying it was still investigating the conjac jelly candy, sold under a variety of names such as Jelly Yum and Fruit Poppers.

Already this week, hundreds of supermarkets nationwide have pulled the candy off store shelves. Some California health officials also have urged parents to cut the candy into small pieces before children eat it.

The gel candies are individually packed in small, soft plastic cups.

WASHINGTON: Bush taps Clinton critic for No. 3 Justice post

President Bush will nominate Jay B. Stephens, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, as associate attorney general, the Justice Department's No. 3 job, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft announced Friday.

Stephens would have to be confirmed by the Senate to take over the post that oversees the department's civil, antitrust and tax divisions.

Stephens, 54, served as Washington's top federal prosecutor from March 1988 until April 1993, when he loudly criticized the incoming Clinton administration for requesting his resignation and those of the other U.S. attorneys around the country who were Republican political appointees.

Brazil: Global balloon trip scrubbed

Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett set his balloon down Friday in southern Brazil, abandoning his latest attempt to float around the globe halfway to his goal.

With more bad weather looming in the South Atlantic, Fossett aborted his flight about 150 miles from the ocean. Going down in the water is far more dangerous than doing so on land.

"I did have a chance to make it to the end," the 57-year-old Chicago businessman said. "But you have to assess the risk, and the weather pattern was just plain shaky across the Atlantic, and if I were to miss South Africa I would be left out in the water."

His flight lasted 12 days, 13 hours, making it the longest solo balloon flight in terms of duration. He traveled 12,695 miles.

Philippines: Fire kills at least 68 people

Fire swept through a six-story budget hotel before dawn today, killing at least 68 people, many trapped in their rooms by anti-burglar bars, firefighters said. Some victims had been attending a religious convention sponsored by a U.S.-based ministry.

The blaze at the Manor Hotel in Quezon City was the country's deadliest at a hotel ever.

About 170 hotel guests were attending the convention in Manila sponsored by Don Clowers Ministry of Irving, Tex., local officials and ministry spokesmen said. It wasn't immediately clear how many were among the victims or if any foreigners were killed.

Firefighters said they recovered 68 bodies but were still searching rooms for more victims.

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