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Nation briefs 2/3/05

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Cosmic camera Hubble may be retired soon

WASHINGTON -- Saving the Hubble Space telescope may be too expensive and dangerous, lawmakers said Wednesday after hearing from scientists who are split on the best way to repair or retire the cosmic camera. The chairman of the House Science Committee said Congress needs to decide whether the 14-year-old telescope, renowned for its inspiring snapshots, is worth the cost of repair -- estimated to be as much as $2 billion.

Jackson judge closes initial juror pool

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The judge in the Michael Jackson molestation case ended the first stage of jury selection a day early, in part because of a surprisingly large number of prospective jurors who said they were willing to serve. Santa Barbara County Judge Rodney S. Melville said roughly 250 of the 430 prospects screened Monday and Tuesday were willing to serve during the six-month trial.

McCain gains odd ally in campaign reform fight

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain and others pushing for tougher campaign finance rules won a surprising ally Wednesday as they announced a renewed effort to block partisan interest groups from spending millions of dollars in big donations in congressional and presidential races. Sen. Trent Lott, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, said he voted against sweeping campaign fund-raising restrictions won by McCain, Sen. Russ Feingold and others in 2002 but now agrees with the law's supporters that further legislation is needed to stop groups from circumventing the new rules.

Plastic found in infant formula; company recalls

WASHINGTON -- An Ohio company is recalling one lot of infant formula due to the presence of black plastic particles reported in some cans, the company said Wednesday. The Ross Products Division of Abbott is recalling one lot of Similac Advance with Iron powdered infant formula in 12.9 ounce cans, with Lot Number 20307RB. No serious health or safety reports have been received that are attributed to this situation.


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