Nation briefs 5/17/04

Monday, May 17, 2004

Spending soars for ADD, juvenile behavior drugs

TRENTON, N.J. -- As more children pop pills for attention deficit and other behavior disorders, new figures show spending on those drugs has for the first time edged out spending on antibiotics and asthma medications for kids. A 49 percent rise in the use of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs by children under 5 in the last three years contributed to a 23 percent increase in usage for all children, according to an annual analysis of drug use trends by Medco Health Solutions Inc. The most startling change was a 369 percent increase in spending on attention deficit drugs for children under five.

Family waits for answers after Madrid terror arrest

ALOHA, Ore. -- Mona Mayfield and other family members have been waiting to learn the fate of her husband Brandon Mayfield, a Portland lawyer and convert to Islam taken into custody at his suburban law office on May 6. Although Mona Mayfield said her husband has not been out of the country since the 1990s, officials said his fingerprints were found on a plastic bag in a van near the Alcala de Henares train station outside Madrid. The bag contained detonators that officials said were the same kind as those used to blow up four commuter trains in the Spanish capital on March 11, killing 191 people and injuring 2,000 others. Eighteen people have been charged -- six with mass murder and the rest with belonging to a terrorist organization. Mayfield is the only American with links to the bombings, though he has not been charged.

Congress members told of Iraq abuse months ago

Two months before pictures of Iraqi prisoner abuse became public, the family of one accused soldier wrote to 14 members of Congress that "something went wrong" involving "mistreatment of POWs" at Abu Ghraib prison. Separately, a suspended Army officer in Iraq wrote to Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania that he was being unfairly punished after "pictures of naked prisoners" were discovered. He sent the letter six weeks before the CBS program "60 Minutes II" first broadcast photographs of the prisoners on April 28.

-- From wire reports

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