A federal shift on child vaccine

ATLANTA - Federal health officials said yesterday that doctors should temporarily stop giving children the final booster shot of the HIB vaccine because of expected shortages due to a recall.

Normally, the government recommends that children get the three-shot vaccine at age 2 months, 4 months and then a booster at 12 to 15 months. But doctors should defer that booster for now, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Last week, 1.2 million doses of the HIB vaccine made by Merck & Co. were recalled because of contamination concerns at its West Point, Pa., plant. The vaccine protects against Haemophilus influenza type B.

- AP

House panel ends Filner probe

SAN DIEGO - The House Ethics Committee said yesterday that it had dropped its investigation of Rep. Bob Filner (D., Calif.) for his Aug. 19 altercation with a baggage employee at Dulles International Airport.

Its investigative subcommittee agreed that Filner's behavior demonstrated "poor judgment" that reflected badly on the House, but they also felt the case was adequately handled in court, according to a committee statement.

Filner pleaded no contest Nov. 26 to misdemeanor trespassing charges after prosecutors dropped assault and battery counts. He was fined $100 and ordered to send a letter of apology to the airline worker.

- AP

Sen. Trent Lott calls it a tenure

WASHINGTON - Sen. Trent Lott retired from Congress late Tuesday, making public with 16 minutes' notice that he would relinquish his seat when the Senate closed for business.

A news release issued by his office at 11:49 p.m. said the onetime majority leader would not return to work yesterday. The Senate turned out the lights at 12:05 a.m.

Lott spokesman Lee Youngblood said the announcement came so late because Lott, 66, had to resign at least a day before the Senate recessed, but wanted to vote on important bills being considered well into the night.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Congress yesterday passed

a bill inspired by the Virginia Tech shootings that would more easily flag prospective gun buyers who have documented mental-health problems. It was not clear whether President Bush would sigh it.

Legislation that will

change the cars Americans drive, the fuel they burn, and how they light their homes was signed by President Bush yesterday at the Energy Department.

Perry Kucinich, 52,

youngest brother of Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, was found dead yesterday at his Cleveland home. Dennis Kucinich said his brother was an artist who had struggled with mental illness.

An American Bar Association

magazine that named former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales "Lawyer of the Year" for 2007 has come under such withering criticism that it is switching the title to "Newsmaker of the Year."