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Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Briefly

December 11, 2002

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Washington, D.C.: Study of processed chickens finds drug-resistant bacteria

A consumer magazine says it found harmful bacteria, much of it drug-resistant, in almost half the chickens it bought from stores nationwide.

The bacterium campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning, was found in 42 percent of 484 fresh broiler chickens tested for a survey in the January issue of Consumer Reports. The magazine said Tuesday that 12 percent of the chickens had salmonella, another bacterium. Both bugs can cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and sometimes death.

The report said people sickened by the bacteria would stay sick longer, and treatment would be more difficult for doctors because 90 percent of the campylobacter samples and 34 percent of the salmonella resisted treatment by commonly used antibiotics such as tetracycline.

The report said consumers can kill campylobacter and other germs by cooking chicken thoroughly so it is not pink.

Washington, D.C.: Congressional panel suggests new intelligence oversight

A joint congressional panel investigating intelligence failures leading up to the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history decided Tuesday to recommend the creation of a new Cabinet-level official who will oversee all 13 of the nation's separate :quot; and sometimes competing - intelligence agencies.

The proposal to create a director of national intelligence is dramatic because it carries the stamp of both houses of Congress, but critics also say it is symbolic in some ways, because panel members fell shy of recommending that the new official get budgetary control over the agencies he will oversee.

The proposals are to be unveiled today.

St. Louis : Lawmaker relieved of charges

An alderwoman was cleared Tuesday of charges she urinated in a trash can during a floor debate.

Irene Smith was acquitted of a misdemeanor violation of the city code barring lewd conduct.

Smith was charged in July 2001 after a debate in which she appeared to urinate in a trash can as friends draped a sheet, a tablecloth and a quilt around her.

The incident occurred during a filibuster against a ward redistricting bill Smith opposes. At the time, the board's presiding officer ruled Smith would lose control of floor debate if she left to use a restroom.

Cuba: Train wreck deaths reported

A train accident in west-central Cuba on Tuesday killed 14 people and injured 42 others, a hospital official said.

There was no immediate description of the accident from Cuban news media or government officials.

An official at the main hospital in Jovellanos, 75 miles southeast of Havana, said by telephone that 14 people had been killed and 42 injured. She declined to give her name and said she had no other information.

A receptionist at a hospital in the provincial capital of Matanzas said shortly before midnight that victims were also being treated there and transferred the call to an administrator who said he was too busy to talk.

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