Blue Bell issues voluntary recall of all products
Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a voluntary recall Monday night for all of its products on the market after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeriosis.
The company "can't say with certainty" how the bacteria was introduced to the manufacturing line, Blue Bell's chief executive Paul Kruse said in a statement.
The first recall in the family-owned creamery's 108-year history was issued last month after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked ice cream contaminated with listeriosis to three deaths at a Kansas hospital.
The recall extends to retail outlets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming and international locations.
Mother gets up to life in newborns' deaths
A mother who killed six of her newborn babies and hid their bodies in her garage was sentenced to up to life in prison Monday at an emotional hearing in which a prosecutor depicted her as an "incredibly indifferent and callous" murderer. The judge imposed a sentence against Megan Huntsman that went beyond what was called for in a plea deal because he was so repelled by the killings. Judge Darold McDade said that he heard about the case before it came to his courtroom and hoped it wouldn't be assigned to him. Huntsman, 40, told police she was too addicted to methamphetamine to care for more children during the decade when the babies were killed. Police said she concealed her pregnancies, gave birth at home and choked and strangled the children with her own hands just minutes after they were born. She killed six babies, and a seventh body of a newborn found in her garage was found to be stillborn.
Lynch vote could be near in Senate
More than six months after her nomination to become U.S. attorney general, federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch may finally get a confirmation vote this week in the Senate. The choice of Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to replace Attorney General Eric Holder has become a political casualty of a Senate debate over a bill to prevent human trafficking. After weeks of a standoff between Democrats and Republicans over a controversial anti-abortion provision in the otherwise bipartisan bill, both sides say they are close to an agreement. That would pave the way for a vote to confirm Lynch, which, if successful, would make her the first African-American woman to become the nation's chief law enforcement officer. She appears to have support from enough Republicans who have said they would vote for her and all Democratic senators to be confirmed.
Army Ranger school with women opens
The first-ever Army Ranger School with female students opened on Monday with 16 of 19 female soldiers passing the initial physical fitness test, as the Pentagon continues to assess which new combat roles women should have.
The class includes 380 men and 19 women, said Gary Jones, an Army spokesman. Of those, 78 men and three women failed the initial fitness test, he said. Twenty women had qualified to attend by first completing a 17-day preparatory course at Fort Benning, but one of them withdrew. The physical fitness test requires each soldier to complete at least 49 push-ups, 59-sit-ups, a 5-mile run in under 40 minutes and six chin-ups.
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