December 12, 2006 in Nation/World

Sale ends furor over ports control

The Spokesman-Review
 

Dubai Ports World, the company whose planned takeover of major U.S. port operations ignited a political firestorm earlier this year, has agreed to sell those operations to AIG Global Investment Group.

The company announced the deal Monday. The U.S. operations at six major U.S. seaports in New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, Tampa and New Orleans were valued at approximately $700 million, but DP World did not disclose the sales price.

The deal also involves stevedoring operations in 16 locations along the eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast and a passenger terminal in New York City.

One of the loudest critics of the original deal said he was pleased and expected the deal to clear the few regulatory hurdles that remain.

“This is an appropriate final chapter to the book on the Dubai Ports World deal,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

WASHINGTON

Tests don’t settle Taco Bell illness

Federal testing has failed to confirm green onions as the source of an outbreak of E. coli that sickened 64 people who ate in Taco Bell restaurants in the Northeast, health officials said Monday.

Over the weekend, Taco Bell officials said they determined that scallions were the likely source of the bacteria. But follow-up federal tests of those samples were negative for E. coli.

Meanwhile, health officials in New York said a sample of white onions taken from a Taco Bell restaurant tested positive for E. coli. However, that strain of bacteria hasn’t been linked to any cases of illness in the United States anytime in the previous 30 days. The positive sample initially was mistakenly identified as being green onion, Acheson said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 64 E. coli cases in five states.

CLEVELAND

Kucinich plans new run for presidency

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004, said Monday he is planning another bid because his party isn’t pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war.

In a statement, Kucinich said he plans to formally announce his candidacy today at Cleveland’s City Hall, where he served as mayor in the 1970s.

The liberal, anti-war Ohio congressman said he was inspired to run because he disagrees with the way some of his fellow Democrats are handling the war, including approval of a proposal to spend $160 billion more on the conflict.

The anti-war message was also the cornerstone of Kucinich’s 2004 bid. His previous presidential proposals also have included a national peace department and a single-payer, universal health care system.

In 2004, Kucinich posted single digits in most primary elections, including his home state of Ohio, yet stayed in the race.


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