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April 2009

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Apr 01,2009
WASHINGTON -- The largest U.S. tobacco tax hike took effect Wednesday, dramatically raising the price of tobacco products to fund a federal children's health insurance plan. The increase, which raises the so-called sin tax from 39 cents to $1.01 and applies to all tobacco products, comes as more than two dozen cash-strapped states consider boosting their own tobacco taxes this year, USA Today reported. Congress passed legislation last year that would have raised the tobacco tax to ... [full story]
1300 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
CLEVELAND -- The brother of a Stamford, N.Y., woman who was mauled by a friend's chimpanzee says she is recovering from serious injuries suffered in the incident. Charla Nash's brother, Stephen, said his 55-year-old sister has begun talking and moving at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio despite the injuries she suffered in the Feb. 16 attack, the New York Daily News said Wednesday. "For a time we were very worried; now it's more hopeful and less worried," ... [full story]
1292 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
MUMBAI -- An average of 17 people died every weekday commuting to work on overcrowded trains in Mumbai last year, figures released by the government indicate. Using India's Right to Information Act, The Times of London obtained figures showing there were 4,357 fatalities involving Mumbai's suburban rail network in 2008. The majority of deaths, 3,443, resulted from people being mowed down by trains while crossing the tracks. The second highest cause of death was passengers who fell or ... [full story]
1164 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- A gymnastics coach in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., gave a 14-year-old student a bottle of rum as a performance reward, police allege. Police in Suffolk County, N.Y., have charged 22-year-old Spins Gymnastics Academy gymnastics coach Steven Lamensdorf with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child over the alleged alcohol incident, Newsday reported Tuesday. Police allege Lamensdorf gave an unidentified female student a bottle of Malibu rum last Friday after ... [full story]
1267 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
WASHINGTON -- The former head of the compensation fund for responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York urged the federal government to reopen it. Ken Feinberg told a House subcommittee Tuesday some 11,000 people have been forced to go to court to seek assistance for health problems that developed in the years since they worked at Ground Zero. "The only reason they're litigating is because the Sept. 11 fund compensated their brethren, but ... [full story]
809 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it is spending $20 million to determine if more cameras along the U.S.-Canadian border will enhance security. The United States currently has only 20 cameras along its northern border, but under a new program, DHS will position 44 more surveillance devices near Detroit and Buffalo, N.Y., USA Today reported Wednesday. Mark Borkowski, head of the department's Secure Border Initiative, said the move will determine if an extensive camera ... [full story]
659 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai is being pressured to rescind a new law the U.N. says legalizes spousal rape and severely limits women's rights, ministers said. Scandinavian foreign ministers attending a conference on Afghanistan at The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday challenged Afghan leaders to respond to a published report on the new law, while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked privately with Karzai on the issue, The Guardian reported Wednesday. During a news conference ... [full story]
1137 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
YICHANG, China -- Rescuers searched for victims Wednesday following an explosion and landslide that killed seven workers at a quarry in central China's Hubei Province. The accident occurred Tuesday evening when the workers were setting off explosives at the Diaoxiyan Quarry, a local government spokesman told China's Xinhua news agency. The news agency reported at least 50 rescue workers searched throughout the night for three of the victims still missing and feared dead in the landslide. "Rescuers ... [full story]
1385 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
TOKYO -- A Japanese marine science museum is selling clown fish for $25.28 to stop people from capturing the species popularized by the animated movie "Finding Nemo." The museum at Tokai University has bred 11 of the 28 kinds of clown anemone fish that originally came from the coral reefs of Australia, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday. The university hopes people who want the fish for their aquariums will buy them from the science museum rather ... [full story]
851 times read - No comment posted

Apr 01,2009
WASHINGTON -- U.S. stimulus funds approved as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act appear to be hitting their mark in the early going, a survey indicates. A survey performed by USA Today showed most of the early spending from the $787 billion bill has, as promised by U.S. President Barack Obama, gone to "shovel-ready" projects, creating jobs which otherwise wouldn't have happened this year, the newspaper reported Wednesday. The investigation indicated that hiring on those ... [full story]
739 times read - No comment posted

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