Nation And World In Brief

Foreign ministers agree on Iran resolution


The U.N. Security Council's five permanent members and Germany are expected to agree Tuesday on a new resolution to pressure Iran over its nuclear program, a French diplomat said. But a U.S. official said differences over the issue remain.

The senior French diplomat, who briefed reporters Monday on condition that he not be identified by name, said an agreement was very close and should be finalized by the six nation's foreign ministers at a meeting in Berlin, Germany.

However, others were more cautious about what the talks could produce. Momentum for a third resolution has slowed since a U.S. intelligence assessment last month indicated Tehran had stopped active work on a nuclear weapons program in 2003.

A senior US official said Monday that the six nations had made some progress in negotiating a new resolution in a flurry of weekend conference calls but that "substantial" differences still existed.

Israel sends fuel, cooking gas to Gaza


Israel delivered fuel for Gaza's power plant on Tuesday, partially lifting a blockade it had imposed last week in response to a sharp increase in rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.

Israeli tanker trucks parked at the Nahal Oz crossing on the Gaza border were pumping nearly 185,000 gallons of fuel into the territory, enough to provide electricity to Gaza City for two days. Other trucks were delivering cooking gas, and a shipment of medicine was planned for later in the day.

In all, Israel promised three fuel deliveries over three days, for a total of 580,000 gallons, enough to keep the power plant running for a week, said Kanan Obeid, head of Gaza's energy authority.

Israel sealed off Gaza on Thursday, halting fuel shipments. Three days later, Gaza's only power plant, which provides electricity to about one-third of Gaza's 1.5 million residents, shut down. Other areas of Gaza are supplied directly by Israel and Egypt, and continued to receive service.

On Monday, after Gaza's Hamas government and aid agencies warned of an impending humanitarian crisis, Israel decided to ease the blockade.

NTSB investigates plane debris sites

CORONA, Calif. &

Authorities were trying to learn why two small planes collided over a row of businesses, dropping a macabre shower of debris and body parts and killing someone inside an auto dealership when one of the aircraft punctured the roof.

All four people aboard the two aircraft also were killed in Sunday's crash, on a clear crisp afternoon that seemed ideal for flying. One victim was a student pilot, his family members said, but it was unclear whether he was flying one of the planes.

No one else was hurt, though wreckage fell on three car dealerships, all of which remained closed to customers as investigators combed through the debris in Corona, about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

People in the area after the collision along the 91 freeway described a horrific sight. Marisela Garay was working a few hundred yards away at Lucky Greek Burgers when she saw the planes come down.

She and some customers ran outside, where they saw blood and what looked like body parts on the ground.

Huckabee trims costs


Battling to stay competitive after his weekend loss in South Carolina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is taking new steps to save money, including no longer scheduling planes and buses for journalists trying to cover his presidential campaign.

Huckabee said he will continue to campaign in Florida on a shoestring budget, but added that he may pull out of the state before its Jan. 29 Republican primary if his prospects look dim.

"I don't want to abandon Florida yet," Huckabee told reporters Monday on a late-night flight from Orlando to Atlanta, where he planned to campaign Tuesday. "We have not come to the conclusion that Florida is out of play."

"" The Associated Press

"We really need to conserve as much as we can" for TV and radio ads in those states, Huckabee said in a 36-minute news conference at the back of his press charter. He said he is airing no ads in Florida, one of the nation's largest and costliest states for campaigns.

Long-term health problems haunt some food poisoning


It's a dirty little secret of food poisoning: E. coli and certain other foodborne illnesses can sometimes trigger serious health problems months or years after patients survived that initial bout.

Scientists only now are unraveling a legacy that has largely gone unnoticed.

What they've spotted so far is troubling. In interviews with The Associated Press, they described high blood pressure, kidney damage, even full kidney failure striking 10 to 20 years later in people who survived severe E. coli infection as children, arthritis after a bout of salmonella or shigella, and a mysterious paralysis that can attack people who just had mild symptoms of campylobacter.

"Folks often assume once you're over the acute illness, that's it, you're back to normal and that's the end of it," said Dr. Robert Tauxe of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The long-term consequences are "an important but relatively poorly documented, poorly studied area of foodborne illness."

These late effects are believed to make up a very small fraction of the nation's 76 million annual food poisonings, although no one knows just how many people are at risk. A bigger question is what other illnesses have yet to be scientifically linked to food poisoning.

And the Oscar nominees are: going to be overshadowed by strike-fueled uncertainty


Hollywood's month of self-congratulation is here, with a field of Oscar contenders strong enough that no clear favorite for best picture has emerged. Not that it will matter, if the writers strike bleeds into the Feb. 24 telecast.

Because if that happens, only one thing about the Academy Awards is certain:

There will be fallout.

The annual rolling out of the nominees list normally sets the stage for a February full of hugs and kisses as Hollywood's elite pat themselves on the back for a job well done. But writers are shutting down the town's biggest parties to force management back to the negotiating table.

The rushed and tepid Golden Globes "ceremony" was a sure sign that the Oscars presentation could be in trouble, too.

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