Mass. pharmacy board chief fired
The director of the Massachusetts pharmacy board has been fired for ignoring a complaint that a company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak was violating its license by shipping drugs in bulk.
The Colorado pharmacy board complained about the New England Compounding Center in July, before the third of three batches of tainted steroids tied to the outbreak was shipped in August. A spokesman said state investigators still are looking into any sickness or deaths related to that third batch.
After receiving the report, director James D. Coffey told Colorado officials that the Board of Registration in Pharmacy would “respond as soon as possible following a thorough analysis of [the report].”
Coffey forwarded the complaint to the board’s attorney, Susan Manning, who also failed to act, state officials said.
Quake strikes off Canada’s west coast
VANCOUVER, British Columbia
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck off the west coast of Canada but no damage has been reported. There was no tsunami warning issued.
Natural Resources Canada said Wednesday night the tremor occurred off Vancouver Island in the Pacific ocean, 85 miles southwest of Port Alice, British Columbia.
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the west coast of Canada on Oct. 28, but there were no reports of major damage. Residents in some communities in British Columbia were evacuated, but the province escaped the biggest quake in Canada since 1949 unscathed.
China to begin power transfer
China’s ruling Communist Party opened a congress today to usher in a new group of younger leaders faced with the challenging tasks of righting a flagging economy and meeting public calls for better government.
The weeklong congress starts a carefully choreographed but still fraught power transfer in which President Hu Jintao and most of the senior leadership will begin to relinquish office to a new slate of leaders for the coming decade headed by the appointed heir, Vice President Xi Jinping.
Man behind film sentenced to prison
The California man behind an anti-Muslim film that led to violence in many parts of the Middle East was sentenced Wednesday to a year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter.
The sentence was the result of a plea bargain between lawyers for Mark Bassely Youssef and federal prosecutors. Youssef a dmitted in open court that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver’s license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank-fraud case.
Man arraigned in Michigan shootings
A man suspected in two dozen random shootings along a 100-mile stretch of roadway in southeastern Michigan was charged with several gun crimes Wednesday that are likely the first of many charges.
Prosecutors believe that Raulie Casteel, a geologist, is responsible for the shootings last month that mostly targeted moving vehicles near Interstate 96. One person was injured.
Casteel, 43, was ordered held on a $2 million bail after being charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and other gun crimes.