MINNESOTA BANS TRICLOSAN IN SOAP
minneapolis» Minnesota’s first-in-the nation ban on soaps containing the once ubiquitous germ-killer triclosan takes effect Jan. 1, but the people who spearheaded the law say it’s already having its desired effect on a national level. Triclosan once was widely used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and even toothpaste. But studies began to show it could disrupt sex and thyroid hormones and other bodily functions, and scientists were concerned routine use could contribute to the development of resistant bacteria.
Eight dead or missing in explosion at Chinese fireworks workshop. An explosion at a
fireworks workshop in a rural area of northern China has killed or left missing eight people and injured 16, state media reported Sunday. The explosion Saturday afternoon destroyed the workshop and damaged about a dozen homes in the villlage of Yanzihe, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Two people were killed and six were missing.
Where the heaviest-drinking Americans live. The Department
of Health and Human Services recently updated the official federal statistics on the percent of state residents ages 12 and older who drink at least once a month.
New England is home to the nation’s heaviest drinkers — New Hampshire, where about 64 percent of residents age 12 or older drink monthly, is tops in the country. Vermont, Maine and Connecticut also come in at drinking rates above 60 percent. Hard-drinking cheeseheads in Wisconsin see to it that their home is the only Midwestern state in the top tier of American drinkers.
The next tier of heavy drinking states are all in the northern part of the country.
Massive World War II bomb is defused B
augsburg, germany» Explosives experts on Sunday defused a large World War II aerial bomb — clearing the way for thousands of evacuated residents to return to their Christmas celebrations at home. About 54,000 residents in the city’s historic central district were forced to leave by 10 a.m. Christmas morning so experts could handle the bomb.
Powerful earthquake shakes Chile B A
santiago, chile» powerful earthquake shook southern Chile on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of deaths and only minor damage. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-7.6 quake struck at 11:22 a.m. local time near the southern tip of Chiloe Island at a depth of 22 miles. The area, 800 miles south of Santiago, is relatively sparsely populated.
Court returns ex-Fort Bragg cook to execution track B
fayetteville, n.c.» A former Fort Bragg soldier who killed four women and raped others more than 25 years ago is again headed for execution. Ronald Gray last week lost a battle to keep in place a federal court’s order issued eight years ago blocking his execution. The former Army cook’s death sentence would be the first for the U.S. military since 1961. Gray was convicted and condemned in military court in 1988 for two murders and three rapes while stationed at Fort Bragg.
Fisher in stable condition
B los angeles» Carrie Fisher was in stable condition days after suffering a medical emergency, according to her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds.
Two-time Oscar winner, art director Parrondo dies B
madrid» Spanish art director Gil Parrondo, who won Oscars for “Patton” in 1970 and “Nicholas and Alexandra” in 1974, has died. He was 95.