December 23, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Tests pending on recalled formula

 

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Wal-Mart and health officials awaited tests Thursday on a batch of powdered infant formula that was removed from more than 3,000 stores nationwide after a Missouri newborn who consumed it apparently died from a rare infection.

The source of the bacteria has not been determined, but it occurs naturally in the environment and in plants such as wheat and rice.

Wal-Mart pulled the Enfamil Newborn formula from shelves as a precaution following the death of Avery Cornett in the southern Missouri town of Lebanon.

The formula has not been recalled, and the manufacturer said tests showed the batch was negative for the bacteria before it was shipped.

Customers who bought formula in 12.5-ounce cans with the lot number ZP1K7G have the option of returning them for a refund or exchange.

The product is not exclusive to Wal-Mart. The manufacturer, Mead Johnson Nutrition, declined to answer questions about whether formula from that batch was distributed to other stores.

Edwards seeks delay in trial

RALEIGH, N.C. – Former presidential candidate John Edwards says he has been diagnosed with a medical condition that would make it difficult for him to attend his approaching criminal trial over campaign finances and is asking for it to be delayed.

In a motion filed Thursday, Edwards’ lawyers asked a federal judge to delay the start of the Jan. 30 trial for at least two months.

Prosecutors said they are ready to try Edwards on six felony and misdemeanor counts related to nearly $1 million from wealthy donors used to help hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 run for the While House.

Edwards, a Democrat, denies knowingly violating the law and has pleaded not guilty.

Witness sues Casey Anthony

ORLANDO, Fla. – The meter reader who discovered the remains of Casey Anthony’s 2-year-old daughter in 2008 is suing her for defamation.

Roy Kronk’s suit was filed Wednesday. His attorney says Anthony’s defense team made multiple false statements, including that Kronk killed 2-year-old Caylee, that he was a child snatcher and that he moved the remains, according to a story in the Orlando Sentinel.

Anthony initially reported her daughter had been abducted, but her attorney, Jose Baez, said during trial she knew her daughter had drowned in the family pool.

Anthony was acquitted of killing Caylee and released from jail in July.

Jobs gets award posthumously

LOS ANGELES – Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is receiving a posthumous Grammy Award for his technological innovations in the arts.

Jobs is among a dozen people, music groups or companies receiving honorary awards Feb. 11, the day before the Grammys. He died of cancer in October.

The Grammys are honoring Jobs with one of the group’s Trustees Awards, citing the late Apple boss’ advancements that “transformed the way we consume music, TV, movies, and books.”

Monument report outlines damage

WASHINGTON – The earthquake-damaged Washington Monument has extensive cracking and chipped stones near its peak that left it highly vulnerable to rainfall, and inspectors found cracks and loose stones along the entire length of the 555-foot structure, according to a report released Thursday by the National Park Service.

The report offers the most detailed portrait yet of damage to the 127-year-old monument, which has been closed to visitors since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the nation’s capital on Aug. 23.

The report does not estimate how long repairs would take or how much they would cost.

The federal spending bill approved last week allocates $7.5 million to fix the monument, with the understanding that the National Park Service will raise an equal amount through private donations.

Lawmaker regrets ‘butt’ comment

MILWAUKEE – Wisconsin congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has apologized to first lady Michelle Obama for reportedly saying she has a “big butt.”

Sensenbrenner’s press secretary says the Republican sent the first lady a personal note and released a statement saying he regrets his comment.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Sensenbrenner referred to Michelle Obama’s posterior while talking to church members at a Christmas bazaar at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Hartford earlier this month.

Church member Ann Marsh-Meigs told the newspaper that she heard Sensenbrenner’s remarks. She said the 16-term congressman was speaking about the first lady’s efforts to combat childhood obesity, and added, “And look at her big butt.”

Court rejects birther lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO – The so-called birther movement was dealt another legal blow Thursday when a federal appeals court tossed out a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship and his eligibility to serve as commander in chief.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that none of the challengers had legal standing to file the lawsuit on Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama was inaugurated. The three-judge panel cited various reasons for disqualifying six sets of plaintiffs, who included Obama’s political rivals, taxpayers and military personnel.

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