Nation briefs 11/11/06

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Study: Americans with HIV can live 24 years

ATLANTA -- Americans diagnosed with the AIDS virus can expect to live about 24 years on average with the cost of their health care over that time registering more than $600,000. The new information -- increases in both life expectancy and cost of care -- is according a new study from Bruce Schackman, assistant professor of public health at New York's Weill Cornell Medical College. The increases are thanks to expensive and effective drug therapies, Schackman, the study's lead author, said. The study appears in the November edition of the peer-reviewed journal, Medical Care.

New veterans cemetery to be in Fort Jackson, S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A new national cemetery will be located at Fort Jackson, a sprawling Army base just east of downtown, officials said Friday. The new 600-acre cemetery would accommodate up to 25,000 graves and become the state's third federally run veterans cemetery, said William Tuerk, the Veterans Affairs' undersecretary for memorial affairs. The VA plans to seek $20 million to build the new cemetery in the fiscal year that begins in October 2007, and burials could begin in 2008, officials have said.

GOP: McCain to launch exploratory committee

WASHINGTON -- John McCain thinks he might like to be president. A GOP official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Thursday that the Arizona senator intends to launch an exploratory committee next week. McCain unsuccessfully sought his party's nomination in 2000. "The senator has made no decision about running for president," said Eileen McMenamin, a McCain spokeswoman. Aides to McCain say the senator will discuss a presidential bid with his family over the Christmas holiday.

Russia moves closer to WTO membership

WASHINGTON -- A longtime economic goal of Russia -- entry into the World Trade Organization -- moved a crucial step forward Friday as U.S. and Russian trade negotiators reached agreement. It took 12 years of negotiations to get to this point, and details are still being nailed down. Both countries are hopeful that a bilateral pact can be signed next week in Hanoi. Russia is the largest economy still outside the 149-nation WTO, which sets the rules for global trade.

Ford becomes oldest former president Sunday

LOS ANGELES -- On Sunday, Gerald R. Ford will become the longest living U.S. president in the country's history. Ford turned 93 on July 14. He will have lived 93 years and 121 days on Sunday, one day longer than Ronald Reagan's age when he died. "The length of one's days matters less than the love of one's family and friends," Ford said in a statement this week from the Rancho Mirage compound he shares with former first lady Betty Ford, 88.

-- From wire reports

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