FDA sees greater risk in menthol cigarettes
The Food and Drug Administration said for the first time Tuesday that menthol-flavored cigarettes appear to pose a greater risk to public health than standard cigarettes, largely reaffirming the findings of an agency advisory committee two years ago and potentially laying the groundwork for tighter regulations in the future. In a 153-page "preliminary scientific evaluation," the FDA found that although there is "little evidence" to suggest that menthol cigarettes are more toxic than nonmenthol cigarettes, the mint flavor of menthol masks the harshness of tobacco, making it easier to get addicted and harder to quit. Still, the FDA stopped short of proposing specific restrictions or a ban on menthol, instead saying it would solicit public input for the next two months before deciding how to proceed. That probably means that any potential regulations remain months, if not years, from becoming reality.
Blast at security building hurts 19
A bomb blast outside the security headquarters in the city of Mansoura in Egypt's Nile Delta wounded 19 people, security officials said today, raising fears of deteriorating security after President Mohammed Morsi's ouster. Eleven people have been killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of the ousted president since Monday. A pro-Morsi group said today two more people were killed in a march in Cairo by assailants who fired on them from rooftops. Police could not be reached for confirmation.
Court rejects passport law
A federal appeals court Tuesday found a law unconstitutional that gives thousands of Americans born in Jerusalem the option of listing Israel as their birthplace on U.S. passports. In a separation-of-powers dispute, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the law passed by Congress in 2002 "impermissibly intrudes" on the powers of the president. The State Department under Republican and Democratic administrations has refused to follow Congress' direction because of U.S. foreign policy on Jerusalem, a holy city claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.
China: China issued a directive on Tuesday banning the construction of government buildings for the next five years, the latest initiative by President Xi Jinping to discourage corruption and foster frugality at a time of popular resentment against high-living bureaucrats. • Rescuers with shovels and sniffer dogs chipped away at collapsed hillsides in Gansu province on Tuesday as the death toll rose to 94 from a strong earthquake in northwest China.
San Diego: A second woman is identifying herself as a target of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's advances. Laura Fink said he patted her buttocks when he was a congressman in 2005 and she was his deputy campaign manager.