USA

Article excerpt

A number of local newspapers around the country were predicting high voter turnout for what polls suggested was the closest presidential race in decades. But other analysts thought about half of eligible voters would make it to the polls, similar to a low turnout four years ago. George W. Bush and Al Gore, their campaigning concluded, awaited the results in the respective cities of Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn.

The tobacco industry left no doubt it would appeal the $145 billion punitive-damage award in a class-action lawsuit after a Florida judge upheld the verdict Monday. Circuit Judge Robert Kaye concluded - although some analysts didn't agree - that the award was reasonable and did not violate a state law that prevents a punitive verdict from bankrupting a defendant. The developments came soon after a federal judge in Miami rejected efforts by the tobacco industry to move the case to US district court.

Several major drugstore chains moved to pull dozens of over-the- counter cold remedies and diet pills from their shelves after the government issued a warning about the ingredient phenylpropanolamine (PPA). The Food and Drug Administration raised concerns PPA could cause strokes and indicated it was writing a proposal to make the sale of the substance illegal. Some drugmakers that have used PPA already are pledged to reorganize their product lines. An estimated 6 billion doses of PPA are sold in the US each year, mostly in a nonprescription form like Dexatrim, Dimetapp, or Tavist-D. …

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