Nation roundup for July 16


Elder Bush back in White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Something unusual happened on former President George H.W. Bush’s return to the White House Monday — Republicans and Democrats actually were genuinely nice to each other.

It’s not something Washington sees much of these days. But in the midst of all the fighting, President Barack Obama took time to honor a volunteer service award Bush created 24 years ago.

The ceremony in the East Room marked the awarding of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award, which Bush started after delivering a 1989 inaugural address that described Americans serving each other as “a thousand points of light.”

“We are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you,” Obama told Bush, sparking a sustained round of applause from the packed room and tears from daughter Dorothy Bush Koch.

The 89-year-old George H.W. Bush, who just a few years ago parachuted out of an airplane, is no longer able to stand and spoke less than a minute at the White House Monday. But the 41st president still showed his spark with the colorful socks that are becoming his trademark and the barbs he traded with his son, Neil, chairman of the Points of Light organization.

Obama handed out the 5,000th Point of Light Award to Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, retired farm owners from Union, Iowa. In 2004, they created Outreach, a nonprofit organization that has delivered more than 232 million meals to children suffering from hunger in the United States and east Africa.

Egg farms settle salmonella suit

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa egg producers blamed for a 2010 salmonella outbreak have settled a lawsuit brought by a California distributor that lost profits from the foodborne illnesses and the resulting product recalls, court records show.

Quality Egg and Hillandale Farms reached the settlement Thursday with NuCal Foods Inc., ending three years of litigation in federal court in Sacramento that shed light on the outbreak and its aftermath. Financial terms were not immediately released.

Quality Egg was based in Galt, Iowa, and owned by Jack DeCoster, who built one of the nation’s largest egg production empires while amassing a long history of violating food safety, labor and environmental rules. Hillandale Farms had ties to DeCoster’s operations, processing and marketing shell eggs from some Quality Egg plants.

The companies issued recalls covering 550 million eggs in 2010, after scientists traced illnesses back to their farms in northern Iowa, which were described by investigators as having filthy conditions. The government has estimated that up to 62,000 people were sickened in the outbreak.

Doctor sentenced in abortion case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An unlicensed doctor who went on trial with rogue abortion provider Kermit Gosnell was sentenced Monday to house arrest for her work at his now-shuttered Philadelphia clinic.

Dr. Eileen O’Neill did not perform abortions, but billed for her work with geriatric patients when she did not have a Pennsylvania medical license.

Prosecutors question why she stayed at Gosnell’s clinic for nine years, despite woeful conditions all around her: untrained staff, unsanitary equipment, and the stream of people arriving for late-term abortions or illicit painkiller prescriptions.

Gosnell, 72, is serving life without parole for killing three babies born alive during unorthodox abortions. Authorities alleged he used scissors to sever their spinal cords.

Monteith’s cause of death unclear

Associated Press

The cause of “Glee” actor Cory Monteith’s death remained unclear Monday, and authorities in Canada said it could take several days before toxicology test results are in.

Vancouver police Sgt. Randy Fincham said there’s nothing to indicate the death was due to illicit drug use.

Monteith, 31, was found dead in his Vancouver, British Columbia, hotel room on Saturday, according to police, who have ruled out foul play.

Police said Monteith had been out with people earlier, but video and electronic records from the hotel indicated he returned to his room by himself early Saturday. He was believed to be alone when he died.

Monteith’s passing recalls the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix — actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s.

 

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