In brief: Ontario sues tobacco firms
Toronto – The Canadian province of Ontario said Tuesday it is suing the tobacco industry in a bid to recover billions of dollars in smoking-related health care costs.
The lawsuit seeks $46 billion from a dozen Canadian companies and their corporate parents.
Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley said the figure represents an estimate of the costs of treating illnesses directly tied to tobacco from 1955 until now.
The claim follows similar actions by the provinces of British Columbia and New Brunswick, as well as in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Among those named in the suit is Canada’s largest tobacco manufacturer, Imperial Tobacco Co., a unit of British American Tobacco of London that sells cigarettes under brands including du Maurier and Player’s.
4,000 troops coming home
Washington – The top general in Iraq is sending home 4,000 more U.S. troops by the end of October as the American military winds down the six-year war.
Army Gen. Ray Odierno said in remarks prepared for a congressional hearing today that the number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq will total about 120,000 over the next month.
He said that will mean about 4,000 fewer troops than are in Iraq now – about the size of an Army brigade.
A copy of the testimony was obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press.
30 die in bus blast in Kandahar
Kabul – A crowded Afghan passenger bus struck a roadside bomb Tuesday in the violent southern province of Kandahar, killing 30 people and injuring more than three dozen others, Afghan officials said. As many as 10 children were reported to be among the dead.
The incident underscored the growing danger of road travel in much of Afghanistan, even on main highways, and the peril faced by civilians in such mundane activities as walking to school, going to the market or riding a bus.
The United Nations reported last week that August had been the deadliest month this year for civilians, who often find themselves caught in fighting between Western troops and insurgents. At least 1,500 noncombatants have been killed this year, the report said.