Tobacco firms told to admit lies
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements that say they lied about the dangers of smoking and that disclose smoking's health effects, including the death on average of 1,200 people a day. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler previously had said she wanted the industry to pay for corrective statements in various types of advertisements. But Tuesday's ruling is the first time she's laid out what the statements will say. Each corrective ad is to be prefaced by a statement that a federal court has concluded that the defendant tobacco companies "deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking." Among the required statements are that smoking kills more people than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol combined, and that "secondhand smoke kills over 3,000 Americans a year."
Vatican's stamp to raise funds
Not even the Vatican is immune from the economic crisis. For the first time, the Vatican is seeking funds directly from pilgrims, collectors and tourists to pay for the ambitious restoration of the 17th century Bernini colonnade surrounding St. Peter's Square. It is offering a special $26 stamp and certificate package. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Tuesday that the Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office, which sells commemorative coins and stamps featuring popes, saints and the like, issued the series to offset a recession-induced drop in corporate sponsors for the restoration. Two $13 stamps are affixed on the certificate, one featuring Pope Benedict XVI's papal seal and the other the seal of Pope Alexander VII, who along with Bernini came up with the idea for the colonnade.