Archive for Friday, February 14, 2003

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February 14, 2003

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Colombia

U.S. plane crashes; officials fear rebels have survivors

A U.S. government plane carrying four Americans and a Colombian crashed Thursday in southern Colombia, and officials feared the survivors were captured by leftist rebels. Two bodies were spotted at the site, Colombian officials said.

Investigators with the state prosecutor's office saw the two bodies amid the wreckage of the plane, according to the government office, which is responsible in Colombia for investigating deaths. U.S. Embassy officials said they had no comment on the report.

U.S. officials scrambled rescue teams to the sweltering plains of the region after the crash, but at least one report said rebels had captured the survivors and announced, "We have them! We have them!" in an intercepted radio transmission.

Washington, D.C.

Military: 3 serious reactions among 100,000 vaccinations

Three serious reactions have been reported out of more than 100,000 military vaccinations against smallpox, the Army's deputy director for military vaccines said Thursday.

Col. John D. Grabenstein told an Institute of Medicine panel there had been two cases of encephalitis and one heart infection associated with the vaccinations. All three people have recovered and returned to duty, he said.

"We're seeing a rash of rashes," Grabenstein said, but overall bad reactions are occurring at a lower rate than had been expected.

London

Study indicates ibuprofen could harm heart patients

Fresh evidence adds to suspicions that ibuprofen could be dangerous for most heart patients because it can block the blood-thinning benefits of aspirin.

New research published this week in The Lancet medical journal found that those taking both aspirin and ibuprofen were twice as likely to die during the study period as those who were taking aspirin alone or with other types of common pain relievers.

Scientists believe ibuprofen clogs a channel inside a clotting protein. Aspirin gets stuck behind the ibuprofen and cannot get to where it is supposed to go to thin the blood.

Aspirin is considered the most important medicine for heart disease. Nearly all heart patients take it every day because it prevents the clots that cause heart attacks and strokes. Ibuprofen, which is in brands such as Motrin and Advil, is widely used for arthritis and other aches and pains.

Washington, D.C.

Senate confirms Donaldson as new SEC chairman

The Senate on Thursday night approved President Bush's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wall Street investment banker William H. Donaldson.

The 71-year-old former New York Stock Exchange chairman was confirmed by a voice vote. Donaldson has promised to work to rebuild investor confidence shattered by last year's wave of corporate scandals.

Donaldson, who has ties to the Bush family, will replace lame-duck SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt and lead the agency at one of the most demanding times in its history.

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