WASHINGTON

Officials prepare for flu shot shortage

Most healthy adults should delay or skip getting flu shots this
year so that the elderly and others most at risk from influenza can
get scarce supplies, U.S. health officials said yesterday as they
scrambled to manage a surprise — and record —
shortage.

British regulators abruptly shut down a major flu-shot supplier
yesterday, cutting in half the U.S. supply of vaccine just as flu
season is about to begin.

The Bush administration urged the public and doctors to begin
voluntary rationing of the roughly 54 million flu shots that will
be available this year.

Vaccine should be reserved for groups including babies and
toddlers ages 6 to 23 months, people 65 or older, anyone with a
chronic condition such as heart or lung disease and pregnant
women.

For everyone else, “take a deep breath. This is not an
emergency,” said Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. “We don’t want people
to rush out and look for a vaccine today.”

The government cannot impound existing vaccine to enforce the
recommendations. It has urged voluntary rationing before, during a
shortage in 2000 — but never before has the nation lost half
its supply.

 

TEHRAN, Iran

Iran claims missiles’ range has increased

Iran said yesterday its missiles now have a range of more than
1,200 miles, a substantial extension of their previously declared
range.

The old version of Iran’s Shahab-3 missile had a range of
810 miles, capable of reaching Israel and various U.S. military
bases in the Middle East.

In August, Iran tested a new version of the Shahab-3, and
Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said the country was trying to
improve the range and accuracy of the missile in response to
efforts by Israel to upgrade its missile system.

Several days ago, Iran said it had added a “strategic
missile” to its arsenal after a successful test.

“Today we have the power to fire missiles to a range of
2,000 kilometers” — about 1,250 miles, former President
Hashemi Rafsanjani said yesterday, according to a report by the
official Islamic Republic News Agency.

“Experts know that a country that possesses this can
obtain all subsequent stages” in missile production,
Rafsanjani told staff at the Aerospace Research Institute in
Tehran.

 

Sen. Clinton targeted for fundraising violations

The Republican-run Justice Department is setting its sights on
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign in pursuit
of possible fundraising violations. In targeting a rising star in
the Democratic Party, prosecutors are trying to gain the
cooperation of an indicted businessman who raised the allegations,
interviews and documents indicate.

The FBI has told a U.S. magistrate in Los Angeles it has
evidence the former first lady’s campaign deliberately
understated its fundraising costs so it would have more money to
spend on elections, and prosecutors allege one of her fundraisers
helped because he wanted a pardon from her husband.

Noel Hillman, the Justice Department’s top public
corruption attorney and a career official, has met three times with
lawyers for fundraiser Peter Paul to discuss a plea.

 

Lawmakers may allow foreign-born presidents

It’s not about Arnold, lawmakers indicated.

But the California governor certainly was one of the rising
stars on many minds yesterday as a Senate panel talked about
amending the Constitution to let immigrants occupy the White
House.

Measures discussed by the senators would remove the prohibition
against foreign-born presidents, opening the job to Arnold
Schwarzenegger and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, along with
millions of others.

“This restriction has become an anachronism that is
decidedly un-American,” said Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman
of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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