Archive for Saturday, April 5, 2003


April 5, 2003


California: Wal-Mart agrees to stop gun sales at California stores

Wal-Mart agreed Friday to immediately suspend sales of rifles and shotguns in its 118 California stores, following nearly 500 violations of state firearms laws in six stores.

In two cases, a store sold guns to felons, according to Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, who announced the agreement with the retail giant.

Wal-Mart's action comes after the chain announced in July that it had implemented a rule requiring customers to undergo a background check before buying rifles and shotguns -- no matter how long the check takes.

Washington, D.C.: Military bans heart patients from smallpox vaccine

The U.S. military has decided to bar people with strong risks of heart disease from being inoculated against smallpox after three deaths from heart attacks possibly linked to the vaccine.

Following guidelines set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the military will defer vaccinations for people with three or more risk factors for heart disease. Those factors include smoking or using tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar or a heart condition in a close relative before age 50.

About 350,000 military personnel have been vaccinated against smallpox, which the Pentagon has deemed a possible biological warfare threat. U.S. officials have said countries which may have samples or weapons of the deadly disease include Iraq, North Korea and Russia.

Moscow: Top police official resigns

Chechnya's top police official resigned, authorities said Friday, a day after a bus explosion in the capital Grozny that killed eight civilians and injured nine more.

It was not immediately clear whether Interior Minister Ruslan Tsakayev's decision to depart was linked to the blast. The region's administration chief Akhmad Kadyrov said in Moscow that Tsakayev's resignation letter was accepted but did not elaborate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Tsakayev in December as proof that Moscow was entrusting Chechens to keep order themselves instead of relying on Russian troops.

Russian troops and police sealed off Grozny on Friday and conducted intensive searches for rebels and their sympathizers following Thursday's blast by a remote-controlled mine that blew apart a passenger bus carrying construction workers from a Russian military base.

San Francisco: County breast cancer rates not as high as once thought

Studies that found skyrocketing breast cancer rates in Marin County relied on faulty population data, federal researchers say.

The National Cancer Institute did not release revised cancer rates for Marin, the affluent county just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. But researchers said that although the rates were higher than the national average, they are not as high as had been feared and are in line with some other West Coast counties.

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