U.S. ends search for cases of mad cow

WASHINGTON

The Agriculture Department is ending its search for additional
cases of mad cow disease even though officials have not found
several animals suspected of having eaten the potentially
infectious feed believed to have caused the only known U.S.
case.

“Our investigation is now complete,” Ron DeHaven,
the department’s chief veterinarian, said yesterday.
“We feel very confident the remaining animals, the ones we
have not been able to positively identify, represent little
risk.”

The closure leaves officials not knowing what happened to 11
head of cattle among 25 that authorities say were most likely to
have eaten the same feed as that given to a Holstein diagnosed in
Washington state with mad cow after it was slaughtered on Dec. 9.
All 25 were among 81 born on a farm in Alberta, Canada, and shipped
into the United States in 2001. Officials have found 29 of the 81,
including 14 considered most at risk.

The search for the 81 cattle led authorities to 189 farms and
ranches and the testing of 255 animals, none of which had bovine
spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, the technical name for mad cow
disease, DeHaven said. Some may have gone to slaughter, but BSE
tests would have spotted any slaughtered animal that had mad cow,
he said.

 

Suicide attack kills two U.S. soldiers in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq

A man wearing an explosives belt blew himself up yesterday
outside the home of two tribal leaders who have cooperated with
American forces. Two U.S. soldiers were killed while disposing of
explosives in northern Iraq.

Three Iraqi guards were seriously wounded in the blast outside
the compound of brothers Majid and Amer Ali Suleiman in Ramadi,
northwest of Baghdad.

Witnesses said the brothers were receiving callers when a man
approached the compound but was told to leave. He returned moments
later and triggered the explosives, the witnesses said. The
brothers are two of the city’s most prominent tribal leaders
who have worked with coalition forces.

Insurgents have repeatedly warned Iraqis not to cooperate with
the Americans. The most recent threats were contained in pamphlets
circulated in Ramadi and nearby Fallujah by a purported coalition
of 12 insurgent groups.

Ramadi and Fallujah are located in the Sunni Triangle, a major
center of resistance to the U.S.-led occupation. The two American
soldiers were killed in an explosion outside Sinjar near the
northern city of Mosul during an operation to dispose of ordnance,
deputy operations chief Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said.

 

Bush blasts Dems for targeting tax cut plan

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.

His voice rising to a shout, President Bush lashed out at
Democratic rivals who want to roll back his tax cuts as he defended
his economic priorities yesterday in a presidential primary state
where his record has been harshly criticized.

“There are some in Washington that are going to say,
‘Let’s not make the tax cuts permanent.’ That
means he’s going to raise your taxes,” Bush said at a
factory. “When you hear people say, ‘We’re not
going to make this permanent,’ that means tax
increase.”

The Democrats running for president say they would repeal all or
portions of Bush’s tax cuts, and Bush seemed to step more
forcefully into his re-election campaign as he defended his tax
policies. Some of the cuts are to expire next year, including those
for married couples, and Bush is asking that Congress make them
permanent.

 

Letter: Bin Laden recruiting few Iraqis

BAGHDAD, Iraq

A letter seized from an al-Qaida courier shows Osama bin Laden
has made little headway in recruiting Iraqis for a holy war against
the United States, raising questions about the Bush
administration’s contention that Iraq is the central front in the
war on terror.

The 17-page letter, cited as a key piece of intelligence that
offered a rare window into foreign terrorist operations in Iraq,
appealed to al-Qaida leaders to help spark a civil war between
Iraq’s two main Muslim sects in an effort to “tear the
country apart,” U.S. officials said yesterday.

 

Report urges doctors to encourage fitness

CHICAGO

Don’t be surprised at your next checkup if the doctor
measures your waist and writes a prescription for exercise: They
are among the recommendations in a new “call to action”
for primary-care physicians.

By now it’s a familiar refrain: Americans need to lose
weight and get fit. But the necessity couldn’t be more dire,
the report in yesterday’s Archives of Internal Medicine says,
citing data showing that about two-thirds of U.S. adults —
131 million people — are overweight.

But many doctors are failing to capitalize on their unique
ability to help change patients’ ways, the report says.

 

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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