Nation digest for July 27

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Man sues fast food for his health problems

NEW YORK -- A man sued four leading fast-food chains, claiming he became obese and suffered from other serious health problems from eating their fatty cuisine.

Caesar Barber, 56, filed suit Wednesday in Bronx Supreme Court, naming McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"They said '100 percent beef.' I thought that meant it was good for you," Barber told Newsday.

"Those people in the advertisements don't really tell you what's in the food," he said. "It's all fat, fat and more fat."

Barber, a 5-foot-10 maintenance worker who weighs 272 pounds, had heart attacks in 1996 and 1999 and has diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He said he ate fast food for decades, believing it was good for him until his doctor cautioned him otherwise.

Steven Anderson, chief executive and president of the National Restaurant Association, called Barber's claim "senseless."

Florida boys catch rare infections from swimming

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two central Florida boys were hospitalized in critical condition Friday with rare infections they contracted while swimming in nearby lakes.

A type of bacteria called chromobacterium violaceum entered a 15-year-old Deland boy's body when he was swimming Saturday in Lake Talmadge, officials at Florida Hospital-Orlando said. The bacteria entered through a cut on his leg, officials said.

A 12-year-old Oviedo boy was also being treated at Florida Hospital-Orlando. He had a rare brain infection, primary amebic meningoencephalitis, that is contracted from amoebas. He had inhaled some of the microscopic organisms while he swam in the Conway chain of lakes northeast of Orlando, hospital officials said.

Health officials warned that warm bodies of water are brimming with organisms in the summer and said people should swim in freshwater springs, swimming pools or the ocean.

CBS lands Bush interview for Sept. 11 coverage

NEW YORK -- CBS "60 Minutes II" correspondent Scott Pelley landed a big exclusive when President Bush agreed to an interview about the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The interview will be shown during the network's Sept. 11 prime-time coverage, and the White House says it's the only interview the president is giving to mark the anniversary.

The White House saw it as an opportunity for reflection in a serious broadcast, while spreading access around (because the president spoke earlier this year to NBC's Tom Brokaw and ABC's Claire Shipman).

CBS and ABC are devoting all of their prime-time air Sept. 11 to news coverage of the anniversary. NBC is offering a mixture of news and a Kennedy Center concert that will feature an appearance by first lady Laura Bush.

Dentist accused of running over husband

HOUSTON -- A woman who apparently suspected her husband of having an affair was charged with murder for allegedly running him over three times and leaving her silver Mercedes-Benz parked on top of him.

The husband's 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage was in the car at the time.

Dr. Clara Harris, a dentist, was released from jail Thursday on $30,000 bail. She told reporters it was an accident.

Her husband, Dr. David Lynn Harris, died at a hospital.

Clara Harris, 44, confronted her 44-year-old husband at a hotel. Witnesses said she got into a fight in front of several hotel employees with a woman she accused of having an affair with her husband.

-- From wire reports

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