Nation briefs 11/4/04

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Twenty injured in D.C. when subway trains collide

WASHINGTON -- An empty subway train backed into an occupied one Wednesday, injuring 20 people, transit officials said. The occupied train had pulled into one of the city's busiest stations moments before the empty train backed into it. Most of the 75-foot-long rear car of the empty train came off the tracks and about one-third of its aluminum shell was pulled apart

Flu vaccine on skin may be alternative to shot

New research suggests that giving flu vaccine in a novel way can stretch doses and protect more people, but it didn't work as well in those over 60 and is too experimental to be used to ease this year's shortage, experts say. Scientists tested giving smaller doses of vaccine into the skin instead of full doses given as traditional shots into a muscle. Young people had comparable immune system responses but older people did not.

Smokers ask Fla. justices to restore large award

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Sick Florida smokers urged the state's highest court Wednesday to punish the tobacco industry for "fraud and deceit" by restoring a $145 billion class-action award, the largest ever by an American jury. The smokers' attorneys told the Florida Supreme Court to reduce the amount if the justices think it is too large, as long as they also reverse an appeals court decision that overturned the verdict and punitive judgment.

Man charged with eight rapes in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- A man was charged Wednesday with raping eight women in attacks that had seemed unrelated but were linked by DNA evidence and detective work. Test results are due next week on whether the suspect's DNA matches genetic evidence from the attacks, but police said they are confident they charged the right man. The suspect, John Wortham, 40, lived in the south Philadelphia neighborhood where half the attacks occurred between 2002 and June, police said.

Administration: Debt ceiling must be increased

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration announced Wednesday that it will run out of maneuvering room to manage the government's massive borrowing needs in two weeks, putting more pressure on Congress to raise the debt ceiling when it convenes for a special post-election session. Treasury Department officials announced that they will be able to conduct a scheduled series of debt auctions next week to raise $51 billion. However, an auction of four-week Treasury bills due to be completed on Nov. 18 will have to be postponed unless Congress acts before then to raise the debt ceiling.

-- From wire reports

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