Rules would cut toxic dust exposure

Washington

Rules would cut toxic dust exposure

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed long-awaited rules Friday to limit crystalline silica — a move it said would prevent nearly 700 deaths a year by reducing exposure to these very small particles that can cause lung cancer and other diseases.

OSHA faced heavy pressure from labor leaders, who argued that the current exposure limits, adopted four decades ago, were lax and should be strengthened to prevent silicosis, an irreversible respiratory disease that can be fatal. But business groups lobbied against the proposal, questioning whether it would be feasible to carry out and noting that silicosis deaths were declining. Dr. David Michaels, assistant labor secretary in charge of OSHA, estimated that the proposed rule would prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis each year.

China

Ex-official dismisses wife's video testimony

Greed, machinations and betrayal in one of China's elite families were laid bare when prosecutors in the corruption trial of disgraced politician Bo Xilai released testimony from his wife on a businessman's gifts to the family that included a French villa and plane tickets to three continents.

The trial resumed today, with a city official testifying in court that Bo had embezzled $800,000 worth of government funds, a charge he has denied.

A day earlier, presented with his wife Gu Kailai's viodeo testimony, Bo retorted that she was "crazy" and a convicted killer, disputing the prosecution's contention that the gifts amounted to bribes — or that he even knew about them — and denying he had provided any political favors in exchange for them.

The ruling Communist Party is using the trial against Bo, a former Politburo member and party leader of the megacity of Chongqing, to cap a messy political scandal.

Slaughter, La.

Police say boy shot 90-year-old caregiver

Authorities in Louisiana said Friday that an 8-year-old boy intentionally shot and killed a 90-year-old woman who was his caregiver after watching a video game with violent themes.

East Feliciana Parish sheriff's deputies did not provide a motive. But they said the juvenile was playing the video game Grand Theft Auto IV. Authorities are calling the shooting a homicide.

Elsewhere

Bolivia: A battle among rival gangs in a prison in Bolivia's eastern lowlands Friday left 30 people dead, many burned to death, as witnesses said inmates used propane gas tanks as flamethrowers. Among the dead was an 18-month-old infant.

NEW YORK: A transgender woman attacked last weekend in Harlem has died in a case police are investigating as a hate crime after learning that the man accused of hitting her may have used antigay epithets.

Times wires

Rules would cut toxic dust exposure 08/24/13 [Last modified: Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:35am]

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