- The Washington Times - Friday, December 8, 2000

Flu shot shortages easing, CDC says

ATLANTA The nationwide shortage of flu vaccine is expected to ease by mid-December, allowing people who have postponed getting a shot to be vaccinated.
Nearly 70 percent of the expected 75 million vaccinations have been administered this flu season, which so far has been mild, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday.
"More vaccine is becoming available. The situation's getting better throughout the country," agency spokesman Chuck Fallis said.
Shipments of flu vaccine have been delayed because manufacturers had difficulty growing a particular virus strain included in this season's vaccine.

Comedian Chris Rock ends his talk show

NEW YORK Comedian Chris Rock has pulled the plug on his late-night talk show, which mixed laughter, music and thought-provoking interviews for four years on HBO.
Mr. Rock, who had rapper Ice-T and singer Nikka Costa on his last show Nov. 24, is leaving to concentrate on his movie career.
"It's a lot of work and there are a lot of other things he wanted to do," said Nancy Geller, the show's executive producer. "I was almost surprised every year when he said he was going to come back to do another year."
His guests have included Marion Barry, Johnnie Cochran, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Bryant Gumbel, Don King, Kweisi Mfume, Adam Sandler and Jerry Springer. The Rev. Al Sharpton was a three-time interview subject who scolded Mr. Rock for using profanity, only to have the comedian poke fun at his hair.

Sharpton cites inability to pay slander victim

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. Al Sharpton said he cannot afford to pay $65,000 to the former prosecutor he slandered with comments about the faked abduction and rape of a 15-year-old girl.
"I keep hearing [in the media] that I'm supposed to have houses in the Bahamas, or at least a yacht," the black rights activist said in yesterday's Poughkeepsie Journal. "I've been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, and if Uncle Sam can't find anything, I sure don't have anything."
An attorney for former district attorney Steven Pagones said after a court-ordered meeting on Wednesday that he would continue to investigate Mr. Sharpton's finances before both parties return to court in January.
Mr. Sharpton, along with Vernon Mason and attorney Alton Maddox Jr., was found liable for slander after the three accused Mr. Pagones and a group of white friends of repeatedly raping Tawana Brawley, who is black, in 1987. A grand jury later concluded that Miss Brawley concocted the story.

Teen-ager accused of dumping her baby

NEW YORK A teen-age mother was charged with murder after, police say, she tossed her newborn baby out of the window of her boyfriend's apartment.
Firefighters found the baby naked in a garbage-strewn alleyway behind a New York City apartment building Wednesday.
An autopsy determined that the baby had been born alive and died as a result of blunt impact to the head, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office.

Anti-porn protesters greet new Hustler store

MONROE, Ohio When Hustler Hollywood opens its doors at its new location on Interstate 63, protesters next door will seek to drive the new business and its owner back to California.
Phil Burress, president of the Friends of Citizens for Community Values a Cincinnati-based anti-pornography group, says he encourages local churches, concerned citizens and business owners to "Stand in the Gap" and "help put Larry Flynt and Bristol's Show Club" out of business.
On Dec. 15, the opening day for the store, protesters will hold up signs that read: "Pornography and Strip Bars Victimize Women and Children," he said.
"Mr. Flynt is not going to like the fact that we're there, but he's going to have to get used to it," Mr. Burress said this week.

Red Cross demands mediation against FDA

The American Red Cross has renewed its request for a mediator in a dispute with the Food and Drug Administration over whether it has failed to comply with federal regulations over the past 15 years.
In a motion filed yesterday, the American Red Cross asked the U.S. District Court in Washington to appoint a special master, or mediator, to referee the dispute with the FDA.
The American Red Cross has been under a court decree since 1993 that requires the organization to comply with FDA regulations in the collection, processing and distribution of blood used for medical treatment. The FDA said in court filings that the court decree was necessary because the American Red Cross has failed to comply with FDA regulations since the mid-1980s.
Recently, in what officials said was an effort to force compliance, the FDA discussed with American Red Cross officials plans to fine the organization up to $15 million a year for continued violation of FDA regulations.
Red Cross officials declined to agree to the financial penalty arrangement and last month asked the court for a mediator.
American Red Cross spokesman Christopher C. Thomas said a court hearing was to be held on the mediation request, but no date has been set.

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