Cancer care cutoff studied

GALVESTON, Texas - The University of Texas Medical Branch may stop offering cancer care to indigent and undocumented immigrants to cut costs.

The medical branch set aside about $12 million in this year's $1.4 billion annual budget to treat indigent cancer patients, but that isn't enough to meet demand, said Karen Sexton, vice president and CEO of hospitals and clinics at the branch. The medical branch laid off 381 employees last year.

Its Cancer Patients Acceptance Committee has been studying the issue of turning away undocumented immigrants to alleviate some of the financial pressure, but the possibility raises obvious ethical questions, Sexton said. "It doesn't feel right to us, either," she said.

- AP

Amtrak train going too fast

CHICAGO - The Amtrak train that crashed into a freight train on Chicago's South Side, injuring 60 people Friday, was traveling 25 m.p.h. faster than a warning signal allowed, federal investigators said yesterday.

"That will be part of our investigation, to try and understand why that signal was not obeyed," said Robert Sumwalt, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Although the speed limit on the track where the crash happened is normally 79 m.p.h., a "restricting signal" warned of another train ahead, Sumwalt said. That meant the Amtrak engineer should have slowed to about 15 m.p.h. But the train was going 40 m.p.h., he said, and emergency braking slowed it to 35 m.p.h. when it hit the Norfolk Southern freight train.

- Chicago Tribune

Paper: 8 men linked to Craig

BOISE, Idaho - Eight men say they either had sex with Sen. Larry Craig or were targets of sexual advances by the Idaho Republican at various times during his political career, the Idaho Statesman newspaper reported yesterday.

One of the men is the former escort whose allegations disgraced the Rev. Ted Haggard, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the paper said. It identified four of the men. It said its report was not based on definitive evidence, but added that a review of travel and property records and background checks found no evidence to disprove the accounts of the four identified men.

Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in June after being accused by an undercover officer of soliciting sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. In a statement e-mailed yesterday to the Associated Press, the senator said the newspaper's report was "completely false" and accused the paper of careless journalism.

- AP

Elsewhere:

More people seeking asylum

could be detained and then jailed longer under a new Homeland Security Department policy, refugee advocates say. "It's a sign of the times, with legitimate fear of terrorism morphing into an inability to distinguish between people who are terrorists and people who are victims of terrorism," said Gideon Aronoff, head of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

A union representing

NASA employees accused the agency's administrator of unfairly tarnishing agency employees by disparaging and misrepresenting a federal air safety study that raised serious concerns about air safety.