Most infant car seats failedConsumer Reports' tests
YONKERS, N.Y. -- Most of the infant car seats tested by Consumer Reports "failed disastrously" in crashes at speeds as low as 35 mph, the magazine reported Thursday. The seats came off their bases or twisted in place, the report said. In one case, a test dummy was hurled 30 feet. Of the 12 car seats tested, Consumer Reports said it could recommend only two, and it urged a federal recall of the poorest performing seat, the Evenflo Discovery. Evenflo issued a statement disputing the tests' validity, saying, "The magazine's test conditions and protocols appear to conflict with the collective experience of car seat manufacturers, NHTSA [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] and the scientific community." To be sold in the United States, an infant seat must perform adequately in a 30 mph frontal crash, and Consumer Reports found that all but the Discovery did so. But it noted that NHTSA crash tests most cars at higher speeds -- 35 mph for frontal crashes and 38 mph for side crashes -- so the magazine tested the seats at those speeds.
Remains of mouse foundin beans served to kids
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- No child became sick, but the thought of finding mouse remains in cooked green beans at a preschool lunch has officials feeling ill. About half of the Oak Ridge Preschool's 206 pupils had been served Wednesday when a teacher distributing the meals spotted what looked like rodent remains. Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., which provides food service management to Oak Ridge and more than 420 other public and private school systems around the country, was investigating, spokeswoman Karen Cutler said Thursday. "The object has not been identified. There is no confirmation of what the object is until it is tested," Cutler said, noting that the local health department considered the health risk so minor "they declined to come out. They are not going to take any samples or anything." Principal Marian Phillips said the children were unaware of the problem "because they didn't see anything. The teacher handled it in a way a professional should."
Spent booster rocketis seen re-entering
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A spent Russian booster rocket re-entered the atmosphere Thursday over Colorado and Wyoming, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said. Eyewitnesses reported seeing flaming objects in the sky at the time the rocket was re-entering, NORAD spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kelly said. "It was pretty spectacular," said Riverton Police Capt. Mark Stone, who said he saw the burning object while he was retrieving his newspaper. "My first concern is that we had some sort of aircraft that was coming down. It was definitely leaving a burning debris trail behind it." Stone said he could tell it was a fairly large object, but it was too high to make out exactly what it was. A trooper found a 3-by-5-foot area burned in the snow about 35 feet from the edge of the highway, but found no object, Sgt. Stephen Townsend of the Wyoming Highway Patrol said. The highway was closed at the time because of wintry weather, he said.
Palestinians killedin clashes with Israelis
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Israeli undercover troops burst into a West Bank vegetable market Thursday, seizing four fugitives and exchanging heavy fire with Palestinians in the first major raid since the Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to try to ease tensions. Four Palestinians, all civilians, were killed and 20 wounded in the fighting in Ramallah. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a harshly worded statement that Israel's peace promises rang hollow in light of the raid and demanded 5 million in compensation for the damage to shops and cars in Ramallah. In Gaza, six Palestinians, including a senior security officer, were killed and more than a dozen wounded in fighting between gunmen loyal to Hamas and those allied with Abbas' Fatah movement.
President Bush namesnew intelligence director
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has chosen a 25-year intelligence veteran, retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, to be the country's second national intelligence director as he reshapes national security strategy with two years left in his presidency. The current director, career diplomat John Negroponte, will move into the long-vacant job as top deputy to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The nominations were expected to be announced today by Bush, said a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision was not yet public. The moves come as the White House considers a new direction in Iraq, where a quick invasion has devolved into a bloody civil conflict. Part of the revised course appears to be an overhaul of Bush's intelligence and national security team.
Associated Press

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