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Archive for Thursday, August 15, 2002

Briefly

August 15, 2002

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Texas

Missing infant found, reunited with parents

A month-old infant snatched from her family's minivan by a woman in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Abilene was found unharmed Wednesday more than 100 miles away, authorities said. A former prison guard was charged with kidnapping.

Nancy Crystal Chavez was reunited Wednesday night with her parents, Margarita and Salvador Chavez, at the Abilene police station about 125 miles from where the girl was found. About three dozen residents and police department employees applauded and cheered as the baby was carried into the building.

"I don't have sufficient words to say thanks and I ask God that he blesses each one of you. God bless America," Salvador Chavez said as his wife rocked the infant during a news conference.

Washington, D.C.

Drought affects half of Lower 48 states

Persistent and worsening drought has spread to nearly half the contiguous United States, the government reported Wednesday.

The National Climatic Data Center said that as of the end of July, 49 percent of the 48 contiguous states were affected by moderate to extreme drought.

The greatest area of drought coverage to date occurred in July 1934, when moderate to extreme drought covered 80 percent of the contiguous United States.

The average temperature in July for the contiguous United States was 76.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.2 degrees above average for the period 1895-2001. That made it the fifth warmest July since national records began in 1895.

Chicago

Study: Fats, calories linked to Alzheimer's

A diet high in calories and fat may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease in people who are genetically susceptible to the mind-robbing disorder, new research suggests.

The study found that people who consumed the most calories and fat faced double the risk of developing Alzheimer's.

The findings, which are reported in this month's Archives of Neurology, are the latest evidence that lifestyle factors including diet may play a role in Alzheimer's.

Some researchers believe that restricting calories may slow the aging process by reducing production of cell-damaging oxygen molecules called free radicals, formed during the body's breakdown of food. The latest study, though preliminary, suggests that for some people, calorie restriction might lower Alzheimer's risks by curbing nerve-cell death in the brain.

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