Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2001

National briefs

January 17, 2001



$5 million offered for ship bombing info

The State Department announced Tuesday a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of people responsible for last October's attack on the USS Cole.

Spokesman Richard Boucher said information about the reward will be disseminated in Yemen, elsewhere in the Middle East and in other areas as needed.

The Oct. 12 attack on the Cole killed 17 U.S. sailors and wounded 30 others.


Libel lawsuit could reopen Watergate

A defamation suit went to trial Tuesday that could reopen the Watergate scandal and bring some of its major figures back into court.

The lawsuit was brought by a former secretary for the Democratic National Committee. She is seeking $5.1 million from G. Gordon Liddy for claiming that the burglars who broke into DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex were looking for photographs that could link John Dean's future wife to a call-girl ring.

The former secretary, Ida "Maxie" Wells, said Liddy falsely accused her of procuring prostitutes for the DNC in the early 1970s. Other potential witnesses listed by both sides include Watergate figures E. Howard Hunt, Charles Colson and James McCord.


FTC bans sale of 2 home AIDS test

Two manufacturers of unapproved AIDS tests sold on the Internet settled government charges Tuesday that bar them from misrepresenting such tests' accuracy.

The settlements bring to six the number of marketers cited in a federal crackdown of unapproved home AIDS tests since 1999, when regulators first warned that such Internet-sold tests can give false results. The Food and Drug Administration never approved sale of at-home HIV test kits made by Chembio Diagnostic Systems or Alfa Scientific Designs.

The Federal Trade Commission, which regulates health product advertising, charged that Chembio and Alfa falsely claimed the tests accurately detected the HIV virus. Instead, the agency said the tests sometimes fail to detect the presence of HIV.

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