The United States' top public health agency revealed Friday a series of alarming incidents in which dangerous biological agents including anthrax, influenza and botulism were mishandled over the past decade. The latest revelation involved a mistaken contamination of a mild flu strain with a deadly type of H5N1 bird flu, which was then shipped from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Georgia to a separate government lab, authorities said. The flu incident came in the same week as the discovery of forgotten smallpox vials at a separate US government lab near the US capital, and followed admissions of mishandled anthrax at a CDC lab in Atlanta last month. In addition to the three incidents so far this year, the CDC acknowledged three more in the past decade in which biological materials were shipped without being properly inactivated, including anthrax and Clostridium botulism in 2006, and in 2009 a contagious strain of Brucella, which causes an infectious disease known as brucellosis.
Three of the world's richest men -- Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson -- put aside their political differences to unite in scathing condemnation of US lawmakers' failure to implement immigration reform. In an opinion column in Friday's New York Times, the trio, who have a net worth of about $160 billion between them, said that a Congress paralyzed by partisanship is failing US citizens by refusing to make the compromises necessary to overhaul a system that Democrats, Republicans and President Barack Obama all say is broken. "Americans deserve better than this," the men wrote, adding that despite their political differences they would be able to draft a bill acceptable to each of them. They took particular aim at the Republican-led House of Representatives, which has stonewalled several attempts to craft legislation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Republican said Friday that President Barack Obama's multibillion-dollar emergency request for the border is too big to get through the House, as a growing number of Democrats rejected policy changes Republicans are demanding as their price for approving any money.