June 23, 2018
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Prosecutors seek to drop charges against former IMF chief

By From wire service reports

NEW YORK — Prosecutors have filed papers formally asking a judge to drop the sexual assault charges against powerful French financier Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The filing in New York State Supreme Court Monday came as Strauss-Kahn’s accuser met with prosecutors, who were expected to explain their decision to abandon her case.

Nafissatou Diallo, a 33-year-old West African immigrant, said Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her May 14. But questions surfaced about her credibility after she misled prosecutors on several occasions.

Strauss-Kahn, who has insisted that their encounter in a Manhattan hotel suite was consensual, is scheduled to be in court Tuesday, when a judge is likely to approve the prosecutors’ request to dismiss the case.

Hurricane Irene stronger, heads to Bahamas, US

MIAMI — Hurricane Irene has churned into a stronger Category 2 storm and has cut a destructive path through the Caribbean as it heads toward the U.S. coast.

Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday night that a hurricane hunter aircraft measured maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.

The storm raked Puerto Rico with strong winds and rain. It is spinning just north of the Dominican Republic on a track that could carry it to the U.S. Southeast as a major storm by the end of the week.

The first hurricane of the Atlantic season was a large system. Irene is forecast to grow into a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph over the Bahamas on Thursday.

It could be that strong as it heads to the U.S. coast. It could land in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina.

Exxon Mobil estimates Mont. spill will cost $42M

BILLINGS, Mont. — Cleaning up tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil that spilled from a pipeline and fouled a stretch of Montana’s renowned Yellowstone River is expected to cost Exxon Mobil Corp. an estimated $42.6 million, according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

About 42,000 gallons, or 1,000 barrels, of crude leaked into the waterway upstream of Billings, the state’s most populous city, when the pipeline buried under the scenic river broke on July 1. If the cost figure holds, the accident will cost Exxon more than $1,000 for every gallon spilled.

Exxon Mobil’s cost estimate includes $40 million for emergency response work and $2.5 million for damage to public and private property. The company valued the lost oil at $100,000, according to documents.

Mammogram rates decline after women give up hormone therapy

American women who gave up hormone therapy after a study linked the menopause treatment to breast cancer and heart disease also cut back on mammograms, perhaps as a result of fewer doctor visits, researchers said.

Mammography rates fell in 2005 for the first time since at least 1987, stumping public health officials who recommend routine use to detect small, easier-to-treat tumors. Use of Pfizer Inc.’s Prempro hormone replacement plummeted after a government study in 2002 tied it to the potentially deadly side effects, a report published online Monday in the journal Cancer found.

The drops in hormone use and mammograms appear to be related, said lead researcher Nancy Breen. As women went to the doctor less often to renew prescriptions, they had fewer reminders to schedule breast exams, she said. Breast cancer rates also declined after the study results were released and stemmed mainly from lower hormone use, she said.

About 6.4 million women ages 50 to 64 stopped taking hormones and 1.2 million missed their mammograms between 2000 and 2005, the researchers estimated. In comparison, 2 million older women, many of whom no longer suffered the menopausal symptoms targeted by treatment, stopped hormone therapy and half a million fewer had mammograms, they said.

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