- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Kennedy: Don't delay health care goals

Political leaders should not use the war against terrorism as an excuse to avoid improving access to health care for millions of Americans, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said yesterday.

"Let me emphasize that the tragedy of September 11 is not an excuse for more delay, but a summons to decisive change to meet our obligation to address not only the great threat from abroad, but the grave injustices that have too long hurt our national family," Mr. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, said in a speech at the National Press Club.

Mr. Kennedy, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, called for the beginning of a "new era of health reform."

'Dear Abby' writer gets probation

MILWAUKEE A man pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of child pornography three months after he was turned in to authorities by "Dear Abby" columnist Jeanne Phillips when he asked for advice on dealing with fantasies about sex with girls.

Paul Weiser, 28, was placed on probation for eight years. He had faced up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine had he been convicted of all three possession counts against him.

Police said they recovered 40 pornographic photographs of children from Weiser's computer equipment after he was arrested in March.

Antibiotic use declines in children

The number of prescriptions for antibiotics written for children has decreased markedly, dropping from 46 million in 1989 to 30 million in 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a study out today.

Such a decline was hailed by the federal agency in the study, to be published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, which tabulated the number of prescriptions filled by physicians compared to the number of doctor visits.

The decline in prescriptions can be attributed to the efforts by organizations promoting the "appropriate use of antibiotics," as well as to media attention to the problem of antibiotic resistance, said lead study author Linda McCaig.

Pentagon may seek missile defense in 2004

With the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty dead, a Pentagon agency said yesterday it hoped to deploy the initial, sea-based leg of a system to protect America and its allies from missile attack as early as 2004.

But private analysts quickly warned that a two-year goal for deploying a warship-based system was unrealistic even with accelerated testing planned in the wake of last week's scrapping by Washington of the 1972 U.S.-Russia ABM Treaty

Any reliable defense against intercontinental missile attack was still a decade away, owing to technology hurdles, they said.

Judge outlaws plutonium-shipments ban

AIKEN, S.C. A federal judge yesterday prohibited Gov. Jim Hodges from blocking federal shipments of plutonium to the Savannah River site, which could begin as early as this weekend.

Mr. Hodges sent state police to the federal reservation near the Georgia state line on Friday to inspect vehicles for the radioactive material, which is to be brought in from the closed Rocky Flats weapons facility in Colorado.

Accused kidnappers reach deal on jail time

NEW YORK A couple charged with kidnapping a baby 22 years ago and raising him as their son has reached a plea deal that would spare them lengthy prison terms, defense attorneys said yesterday.

Barry Smiley, 56, would get two to six years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree kidnapping, said lawyer Raymond Colon.

Judith Smiley, 55, would admit to second-degree kidnapping and first-degree custodial interference for a six-month prison term and five years' probation, according to lawyer Steven Brill.

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