Nation briefs 6/26/06

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lawmaker wants New York Times investigated

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee wants to prosecute the New York Times for reporting on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he would write Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging that the nation's chief law enforcer "begin an investigation and prosecution of The New York Times -- the reporters, the editors and the publisher," for publishing a story last week that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records. Senate Judiciary Committee, chairman Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania did not endorse King's call.

New test may supply answers on Alzheimer's

WASHINGTON -- A new test may help scientists answer a perplexing "which came first" question about the development of Alzheimer's disease, possibly pointing the way to earlier diagnosis or even treatment. Brain deposits of a small protein known as amyloid beta, or Abeta, long have been associated with Alzheimer's. But scientists have been unable to determine whether the body begins producing too much of the protein or loses the ability to clear it away. Now, a research team led by Dr. Randall J. Bateman at Washington University in St. Louis is poised to find that answer with a test that for the first time can monitor the protein. Unexpectedly, they found that Abeta is produced faster than any other measured before, Bateman said in a statement. Because the brain-wasting disease takes so long to develop, many experts had assumed that the production rate for the protein was very slow. Bateman is now turning to people with Alzheimer's in an effort to determine whether increased production or decreased clearance of Abeta is a source of the disease.

Gunman opens fire in distribution center, kills 1

DENVER -- A gunman opened fire Sunday afternoon at a Safeway Inc. distribution center, killing one person and injuring five others, including a police officer, before the shooter was killed. Several fires were burning inside the estimated 1.3 million-square-foot building near Interstate 70, said Denver fire chief Larry Trujillo. Two victims were in critical condition, and two were in serious condition, including the officer shot in the leg by the suspect, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. None of the victims was identified. Jackson could not immediately confirm whether officers shot the suspect or he committed suicide. He also would not identify the suspect or say whether he worked for Safeway.

-- From wire reports

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