The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on September 19, 2002 · Page 7
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 7

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Hays, Kansas
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Thursday, September 19, 2002
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Page 7
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NATIONAL THURSDAY • SEPTEMBER 19,2002 • THE HAYS DAILY NEWS • A7 Cuba blasts it obstructs NEW YORK (AP) — Cuba harshly criticized Washington's allegations that it has subverted the U.S.-led war on terrorism, saying it was a "colossal lie" concocted to • counter growing pressure against the U.S. trade embargo. In a tough statement, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Wednesday that the allegations were "false and slanderous." He challenged President Bush's administration "to produce a single piece of evidence" supporting its claims. "I believe these statements are the result of a calculated attempt to divert attention and deceive the American people, to try to maintain the policy of blockade and pressure against Cuba," Perez Roque said at a news conference. "The U.S. government is desperately grasping at a straw with (the allegations) by trying to confuse the public opinion that is already convinced of the failure of the em- burgo against Cuba," he added. Perez Roque was responding to accusations Tuesday by Dan Fisk, the deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, that Cuba "was seeking to misdirect the investigation" following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. allegations terror war In an address in Washington, Fisk said tips from Cuba have been arriving almost monthly, leading American investigators on "intentional wild goose chases" and diverting resources froin legitimate targets. Fisk said that despite Cuba's friendly ties with nations like Iran, Iraq and Syria, Havana had provided the United States with "nothing of value," and charged that Castro's government was "actually impeding our efforts to defeat the threat of terrorism." "This is obstructionism," Fisk said. Castro "knows which side he is on — and -it is not ours." Speaking in New York, where he is attending the 10-day annual U.N. General Assembly debate, Perez Roque said Fisk "was lying with impudence." "All of his accusations against Cuba are false and slanderous. It is a colossal lie, just like when they fabricated that Cuba was a terrorist state and that we were producing biological weapons," he said. Perez Roque refused to say what kind of intelligence — if any — Cuba has provided Washington, citing "discretion and confidentiality." Asked what action Cuba would ASSOCIATED PRESS Felipe Perez Roque, minister for foreign affairs of Cuba, reads from a prepared statement Wednesday at the Cuban mission in New York. take now, he said: "We will see how the situation evolves. We will follow the reaction of Mr. Fisk." Meanwhile, Cuba will continue to share intelligence and cooperate in the international fight against terrorism, he added. Despite Bush's tough line on Cuba, support for trade sanctions against Castro's regime is crumbling in Congre'ss. The House of Representatives in late July approved proposals by two Republican lawmakers that, while leaving the embargo in place, effectively would ease travel and trade restrictions. FDA: Thousands overdose on painkiller unwittingly Study: More children using prescription drugs NEW YORK (AP) — Use of prescription drugs is growing faster among children than it is among senior citizens and baby boomers, the two traditionally high consumer groups, according to a new study Spending on prescription drugs for those under 19 grew 28 percent last year, according to the survey by Medco Health Solutions, a Franklin, N. J.-based pharmacy benefits manager. Meanwhile, spending per-patient rose 23 percent for those between the ages of 35 and 49 and less than 10 percent for those above 65. Among children, the most prescribed drugs were for allergies, asthma and infections. Prescrip- tiojos foriJUtalin .and other medic^fifes fof; neurological and psycho-^ logicaf disorders also 'were isubi, stahtial — a finding that renewed concern among some experts who worry that such drugs might be over-prescribed for children. Briefs CDC: Transfusion might spread West Nile virus ATLANTA (AP) — West Nile virus can survive in donated blood and probably can be spread by transfusion, federal health officials said today The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released information on seven transfusion cases associated with the virus and concluded that in at least one case West Nile in a donor's blood stayed viable after the donation. CDC doctors called that case "highly suspicious" and wrote that West Nile "probably can be spread by transfusion." Previously, doctors weren't sure whether it was possible to spread West Nile through blood, although a Georgia case in which donated organs spread West Nile to four recip: ierijs ii}; August raided, .the Question; 1 tract' the virus'Trorh' ttn'infected<': mosquito. -So far- this year, -the CDC has reported more than 1,640 human cases of West Nile virus, including 80 deaths. Prosecutor: Terror-cell suspects discussed attack BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — An email between suspected members of a New York terror cell uses language that appears to mimic Osama bin Laden to describe an upcoming attack using explosives, a federal prosecutor said. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hochul'revealed the correspondence as he pressed his case to keep six men, all accused of supporting bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network, in jail without bail. During Wednesday's hearing, Hochul introduced the e-mail he said was sent by Mukhtar al-Bakri to an uncharged co-conspirator on July 18, 2002. Hochul said the email, titled "Big Meal," appears to mimic language used by bin Laden in a Dec. 31,2001, videotape. • j "tThe next meal will be 5 jiterjM 1 huge," said the e-mail, which was 1 in Arabic. According to the prosecutor) al- Bakri, in his statement to investigators, said the "meal" referred to an attack using explosives. No Interest til April 2003 » W.A.C. Whirlpool & Brand Source Cash Card) _ .. by mall with the purchase of select* Whirlpool Appliances StOrC FOr DCtdllS -Mail-in offer only. See store for complete list of qualifying models and details. [Whirlpool I Brand Source Cosh Cord by mail \ 'on select' Whirlpool* laundry Poirs (atajyst? GSX9885J Whirlpool Gold® Catalyst® Washer • Super Capacity Plus • Xtra Roll Action" Agitator • White Porcelain Basket With Limited Lifetime Warranty Whirlpool & Brand Source Cosh Card by mail on sekxt* WHirioooP Free-Slanding Ranges RF388LXK Whirlpool® Super Capacity Range • AccuBake* with Duo System 1 Technology . Choice Bake™ Control to Prevent Over-Cooking * AccuSimmer* Element to Prevent Scorching GH8155XJ \ Whirlpool Gold® Microwave/Hood Combination • 10-Level Variable Cooking Power • 1.5 Cu. Ft. Capacity • AccuSimmer* Cycle Whirlpools BrandSomte Cosh Cord by moil wild purchased! ony Whirlpool 8 Mfaowave/Hood Combination ondsefert* WhHpooPFree-Slondlng Ranges STORE HOURS MON.-FRI. 9 A.M.-6 P.M. SAT. 9 A.M.-5 P.M. SUN. 1 P.M.-5 P.M. ^m IHORIZONI 0*imi K APPLMNCE&OfeTpOMCS 1501 E.27tti 1-800-371-6131 628-6131 SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Thousands of Americans might unwittingly take toxic doses of acetaminophen, putting themselves at risk for serious liver damage, say federal scientists who are debating whether consumers need stiffer warnings about how to safely take the popular over-the-counter painkiller. It can be easy to accidentally swallow too much. Although best known by the Tylenol brand, acetaminophen is in almost 200 different branded and generic products, from headache relievers to cold- and-cough remedies. It's also in some prescription painkillers such as Percocet and Vicodin. If a person takes a few different products, the acetaminophen dose can quickly add up — especially if the patient pops extra pills as users of over-the-counter medicines sometimes do in hopes of faster relief. "Unfortunately, a lot of people don't realize that acetaminophen is toxic at high doses," said Dr. John Jenkins of the Food and Drug Administration. It's a major cause of acute liver failure, contends Dr. William Lee of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who recently studied 258 liver- failure cases and linked 38 percent to the painkiller — far more than other liver-harming medications. About 100 people a year die after unintentionally overdosing on acetaminophen, concludes one FDA review. There are more than 56,000 emergency room visits a year due to acetaminophen overdoses, most suicide attempts but about a quarter of them unintentional, the review found. Some 100 million people take acetaminophen every year, so the risk of liver damage from an overdose is very low, insists Tylenol maker McNeil Con- sumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, which calls the drug one of the safest on the market. Still, critics argue that unintentional overdoses should be preventable. So the FDA is bringing together its scientific advisers today to debate stronger warning labels and other measures to help consumers safely use the painkiller. It's part of a broader look at all over-the-counter painkillers. On Friday, FDA's advisers will consider if warnings are clear enough about one common side effect of aspirin and other inflammation-fighting painkillers — gastrointestinal bleeding. This isn't the first time acetaminophen has drawn federal concern. The FDA has long required that packages bear warnings not to take it if you consume more than three alcoholic drinks, since the combination can harm the liver. And some babies die every year when parents mix up doses of infant Tylenol drops with children's Tylenol liquid, despite warnings on the package that the two products are not interchangeable. To help fight that problem, the FDA is considering McNeil's request to add to the label the proper doses for children under age 2; currently bottles advise parents to ask a doctor what dose to give a baby. But today's focus is on adults' accidental toxic doses. Bottles recommend taking no more than eight extra-strength acetaminophen pills in 24 hours, and to seek help for overdoses. As far back as 1977, an FDA advisory panel recommended more explicitly warning not to exceed the recommended dose or take acetaminophen for more than 10 days "because severe liver damage may occur." 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