- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 19, 2003

Bush approval rating up; partisan feelings remain
President Bush's job approval has risen above 70 percent after the war with Iraq but remains far below his father's level after the first Persian Gulf war, largely because of partisan differences in feelings about the current president, a poll indicates.
Mr. Bush's approval rating was at 72 percent in a poll released yesterday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. His father's rating rose to 89 percent after the first Gulf war, in 1991.
Republicans solidly approve of the president's performance, with more than 9 in 10 backing the job he's doing, about the same number who felt that way about his father after the first Iraq war.
Just more than half, 52 percent, of Democrats approve of the president's job performance, and 39 percent disapprove. Almost three-fourths of Democrats approved of the first President Bush's job performance soon after the earlier war.

Court says paddling is not child abuse
PITTSBURGH A woman and her boyfriend do not belong on a state list of accused and confirmed child abusers for paddling the woman's 13-year-old son with a plastic serving spoon, a state court ruled.
The three-judge Commonwealth Court panel said corporal punishment is legal in Pennsylvania and that there was no malicious intent by the adults, who were identified by only their initials.
The boy was paddled more than a dozen times in March 2001 after the adults questioned him about items removed from a bedroom, according to court records. He is said to have become verbally abusive and take a swing at his pregnant mother.
The boy was removed to a shelter, and 10 days later, children's services filed reports indicating possible child abuse.

Edwards money returned to law-firm employees
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards reimbursed employees of an Arkansas legal firm for $10,000 in campaign donations after a law clerk said her boss promised to reimburse her contribution.
Campaign donors are not allowed to funnel donations through someone else under federal law. Otherwise, donors could exceed the legal contribution limit for individuals, recently raised to $2,000 from $1,000 per election.
Law clerk Michelle D. Abu-Halmeh told The Washington Post that her boss, Little Rock lawyer Tab Turner, asked people to support Mr. Edwards, a North Carolina Democratic senator, and assured them they would be reimbursed.
Edwards spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said the campaign decided to return the money after reporters uncovered the situation.

FDA: Doctor broke rules, leading to death
BALTIMORE A Johns Hopkins School of Medicine researcher violated federal regulations in a 2001 experiment that led to the death of a volunteer, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded.
In a March 31 warning letter, the FDA said Dr. Alkis Togias did not apply to the agency before using the chemical hexamethonium bromide in research that led to the death of Ellen Roche in June 2001.
Miss Roche, a lab technician at Johns Hopkins' Asthma and Allergy Center, had taken part in an experiment designed to help scientists understand how the lungs of healthy people protect against asthma attacks.

Boy seriously burned copying movie stunt
ST. PAUL, Minn. A 14-year-old boy was burned over 65 percent of his body after setting himself on fire to mimic a stunt from "Jackass: The Movie." Just before clicking the lighter, he stared into a video camera and said: "Don't try this at home."
The boy, who was not identified, has had three major surgeries since the stunt in late March and is expected to survive, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported yesterday.
According to the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, the boy, from Hastings, and a friend were doing a "blooper video" for a class project. For one of the stunts, the boy used mineral spirits and a lighter to set himself on fire.


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