In Brief

IN BRIEF

January 22, 2009

Caroline Kennedy renews bid for Senate

ALBANY, N.Y. : After wavering briefly, Caroline Kennedy renewed her determination yesterday to win appointment to the U.S. Senate seat once held by her uncle, Robert F. Kennedy, a person close to the decision said. After her uncle, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, suffered a seizure on Inauguration Day, Caroline Kennedy had misgivings about taking on the new job, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak for Kennedy. Earlier in the day, The New York Times and the New York Post reported that Kennedy had ended her monthlong bid to succeed Hillary Clinton, who was confirmed as secretary of state. Spokesmen for Caroline Kennedy and for Gov. David Paterson, who will make the appointment to fill the Clinton seat, declined to comment. Senator Kennedy has been under treatment for a brain tumor and was released from a Washington hospital yesterday.

Law to ban child access to Internet porn dies

WASHINGTON: A federal law intended to restrict children's access to Internet pornography died quietly yesterday at the Supreme Court, more than 10 years after Congress overwhelmingly approved it. The Child Online Protection Act would have barred Web sites from making harmful content available to minors over the Internet. The law had been embroiled in challenges to its constitutionality since it passed in 1998 and never took effect. The Internet blocking law did not make it as far as a high court hearing. The justices rejected the government's final attempt to revive the law, turning away the appeal without comment. The American Civil Liberties Union led the challenge to the law on behalf of writers, artists and health educators.

Steroids no help to kids with colds, wheezing

LOS ANGELES: Steroid drugs, a common treatment for young children prone to wheezing and colds, do not help and may even be harmful, according to new research. Preschoolers in Britain who were hospitalized with a wheezing attack and treated with the steroid prednisolone stayed just as long as children who were given dummy pills. In another study, Canadian children who had previous wheezing trouble and took the steroid fluticasone as a preventive measure showed modest improvement, but the side effect of possible stunted growth outweighed the benefit, researchers said. Both studies were reported in today's New England Journal of Medicine.

Female student stabbed to death at Va. Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. : A female student was stabbed to death last night on Virginia Tech's campus, the first killing at the school since a deadly mass shooting there in 2007. The killing triggered a crisis notification system that was revamped after the shooting rampage, beaming an electronic warning about 7:45 p.m. that students should stay in place while police investigated. Students were told about an hour later that they could resume normal activity. A male suspect was taken into custody about 7:10 p.m., according to a university news release. Campus police responding to an emergency call found the man and a knife they believe was used at the scene, a cafe in the Graduate Life Center. Both the victim and the suspect are graduate students at Virginia Tech, and police believe they knew each other, the school said.

Md. scientists win pact to lead study of moon

Maryland scientists have won a $6.9 million NASA contract to lead a four-year study of the north and south poles of the moon. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory will head a consortium of 30 scientists and engineers from across the country, including the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. The teams will use data from past, present and planned lunar missions to study the scientific potential and engineering challenges that robots and human explorers will encounter when NASA returns to the moon in coming decades. Many scientists believe the moon's poles could hold water and minerals that would help sustain a permanent base.

London transit suspect is arrested in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan : Two Pakistani security officials say police have arrested an al-Qaida suspect who was allegedly linked to the 2005 bombings of London's transit system that killed 52 people. The officials said today that they believe the man is Zabi ul Taifi and that he is from Saudi Arabia. They say Taifi was among seven suspects captured during a raid yesterday near the northwestern city of Peshawar.

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