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But the agency said it’s still reviewing another part of the petition, to ban lead fishing sinkers.

The EPA informed one of the groups, American Bird Conservancy, of the decision in a letter.

The groups had argued in their petition that millions of animals are dying from eating lead-shot pellets or carcasses contaminated by lead. They said an estimated 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals die each year from lead poisoning in the U.S.


Counseling funded to quit smoking

Medicare is catching up to most private insurers by providing counseling for any beneficiary who is trying to quit smoking. More than 4 million seniors are hooked on cigarettes.

Dr. Barry Straube, Medicare’s chief medical officer, said it’s never too late to quit, even for lifelong smokers.

Seniors can benefit from smoking-cessation counseling even if they’ve been smoking for 30 years or more, he said. Quitting can add years to their lives.

Medicare already covers drugs to help smokers quit, as well as counseling for those who have developed smoking-related illnesses. But starting immediately, the program will expand the benefit to cover up to eight counseling sessions a year for any beneficiary who wants to quit.


Fiorina to make 4-day trip to Israel

SACRAMENTO | Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina intends to travel to Israel over Labor Day weekend to brush up on her foreign policy credentials.

Campaign manager Marty Wilson said Ms. Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, wants to be informed and updated on what’s happening in the Middle East.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is paying for the four-day trip, which begins after Ms. Fiorina’s first debate with Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Mrs. Boxer, who is Jewish, has strong support among pro-Israel groups.

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