CDC- Flu shot supply expected to be plentiful

Friday, September 26, 2003

ATLANTA -- This year's supply of flu vaccine is expected to be plentiful, and shots will be available starting next month, federal officials said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said October and November are the best time to receive a shot to be protected during peak flu season, which typically runs from December to March.

Flu shots may be given to those 6 months or older. The CDC urges shots for the elderly and people with heart or lung disease, diabetes, asthma or illnesses that suppress the immune system such as AIDS.

Health care workers and others in close contact with those at high risk also should be vaccinated, the CDC said.

GOP leaders lining up with Schwarzenegger

LOS ANGELES -- Two leading California Republicans threw their support behind Arnold Schwarzenegger in the state's gubernatorial recall Thursday, a day after the political novice held his own in a barb-filled debate.

Former gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon announced Thursday that he was endorsing Schwarzenegger, and Rep. Darrell Issa, who bankrolled the drive to get the recall on the ballot, planned to do the same at an appearance with the actor today, a Republican source said.

The endorsements provide a key boost to Schwarzenegger's candidacy with only a week and a half remaining until Election Day. It also puts more pressure on conservative Republican Sen. Tom McClintock to fall in line behind Schwarzenegger's candidacy -- something he has refused to do.

Alaskans get $1,107 each through oil dividend

JUNEAU, Alaska -- Nearly every Alaska resident will receive a $1,107 check this year as their share of the state's oil riches -- a $433 drop from last year's payout.

The dividend checks are distributed every year from an oil royalty account called the Alaska Permanent Fund, created in 1976 after oil was discovered on the North Slope. Anyone who has lived in the state for over a year gets the dividend; almost 599,000 people are expected to receive it this year.

Earlier this year it was doubtful whether residents would receive any dividend at all, because stock market losses had eaten away at the $25 billion investment fund's core.

Tough times on Wall Street led to the dividend's decline this year. The amount was a 28 percent drop from last year's payout of $1,540, and a 44 percent decrease from the all-time high of $1,964 in 2000.

Levi Strauss to close five plants, cut nearly 2,000

SAN FRANCISCO -- Levi Strauss & Co. will close its last manufacturing plants in the United States and Canada, eliminating nearly 2,000 jobs, the struggling jeans maker said Thursday.

The company will close two sewing and finishing plants in San Antonio by year's end and lay off 800 workers. It will also shutter its three remaining plants north of the border that employ 1,180 people. The company will contract with foreign plants to make up for the closings.

San Francisco-based Levi Strauss, which just turned 150 years old, became one of America's iconic brands in the 1950s and '60s as Levis became a wardrobe staple of baby boomers.

Trouble brews as Mexico sets limits on tequila

WASHINGTON -- Trouble's brewing in Margaritaville.

U.S. distributors of tequila are upset over a proposed Mexican government regulation that would require all tequila sold in the United States to be bottled in Mexico.

Sales of tequila, propelled by the popularity of margaritas and tequila shots chased with lime and salt, have almost doubled over the past decade, making tequila the fastest growing liquor in the country.

Some 83 percent of the tequila consumed in this country is shipped in bulk from Mexico and then bottled in U.S. plants.

But the Mexican government wants to change that, proposing a regulation that would ban bulk shipments and require all tequila to be bottled in Mexico.

-- From wire reports

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