Ski lift was being shut when it failed

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine - Ski-area maintenance workers dispatched to realign a lift cable were unable to fix the problem and had restarted the lift to try to off-load riders when the cable derailed Tuesday, sending skiers plummeting 25 to 30 feet, the resort said Wednesday.

High winds had shut down the 35-year-old lift at Sugarloaf in the hours before the accident, but it reopened just before 10 a.m. About 20 minutes later, the maintenance workers saw that the cable was out of place and were preparing to shut down the lift when the cable jumped its track. Five chairs fell, eight people were sent to hospitals, and dozens were stranded.

High wind contributed to the accident, state investigators said Wednesday, but they were not ruling out other factors. The lift was properly licensed and inspected for 2010, officials said. - AP

Meat labels to get nutrition figures

WASHINGTON - The Agriculture Department will require many meat labels to include the number of calories and other nutritional information starting in 2012 so that consumers can make healthier decisions about what they eat.

The rule announced Wednesday is part of the government's effort to educate Americans about nutrition and diets. It applies to 40 of the most popular cuts of meat and poultry products. Ground meat and poultry will have the facts on their labels. Raw cuts will offer the information on labels or to consumers where it is purchased.

Labels will list grams of total fat and saturated fat, and fat percentages for products already offering lean percentages. Among the products affected are boneless chicken breasts, brisket, tenderloin steak, hamburgers, and ground turkey. - AP

Obama names 6 using recess power

HONOLULU - President Obama bypassed the Senate and used his recess appointment power to name a deputy attorney general whose nomination had been held up by Republicans over concerns about his links to American International Group.

Obama named James Cole to the Justice Department position Wednesday. Cole was an independent consultant to AIG before its near-collapse and government bailout in 2008. Senate Republicans contended that confidentiality agreements prevented them from receiving answers about his work for the company.

The president, who is on vacation in Hawaii, also gave recess appointments to ambassadors to Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, Syria, and Turkey, and to the head of the Government Printing Office. Senators had not acted to confirm the nominees for various reasons.

The appointments mean the six people can serve in their jobs through the end of 2011. - AP

Elsewhere:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost or misplaced more than $8 million in property in 2007, losing track of items including computer and video equipment, government auditors said in a report. Agency officials Wednesday said that they had corrected the lapses that led to that amount of waste and that all its property this year was accounted for.