An Associated Press item in the Nov. 5 Washington in Brief column incorrectly reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was investigating whether tainted packaging materials might have helped spread listeria bacteria to two turkey processing plants in suburban Philadelphia. CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said the agency is not looking into packaging as a potential source of transmission. (Published 11/6/02)

Panel Calls for More

Nonlethal Weapons

A panel of the National Research Council yesterday called for more study by the military of "nonlethal" chemicals that might control crowds or hostile people -- a particularly sensitive subject after Russian forces took as many as 118 lives last month by using a gas to end a hostage standoff in a Moscow theater.

The panel's recommendation was part of a broad endorsement of the idea that military commanders need a wide range of nonlethal weapons on hand because they are being called on to serve in more situations short of outright war.

In 1996, the Pentagon began a small but formal effort to study new types of rubber bullets, underwater systems to protect ships, energy beams to stop vehicles, and other technologies that might incapacitate people or machinery without causing death. The goal was to better respond to hostile civilians during peacekeeping missions and similar situations. The Pentagon also saw a role for such weapons in defending ships and buildings, especially when there is little time to determine if an oncoming vehicle is hostile.

"Terrorists often put themselves in the middle of noncombatants -- so how do you deal with that?" asked Miriam E. John, a senior administrator at Sandia National Laboratories and chairwoman of the panel that wrote the report. "You have to have some options to neutralize folks, so you can then sort out the bad guys from the good guys."

Same Strain of Listeria

Found in Pa., N.J. Plants

Federal investigators who had traced a nationwide outbreak of food poisoning to a Pennsylvania factory have discovered the same strain of potentially deadly bacteria at a poultry plant in New Jersey.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that a Wampler Foods plant in Franconia, Pa., was responsible for a listeria outbreak that killed seven people and sickened 50.

But on Friday, a batch of listeria genetically indistinguishable from that found at the Wampler plant turned up in a sample of deli meat at J.L. Foods in Camden, N.J., the CDC said.

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said authorities are investigating whether "a common source product," such as the same batch of raw turkey meat or tainted packaging materials, was used at both plants.

Navy Pilot Presumed Dead in Adriatic Sea

A Navy pilot was missing and presumed dead after his F/A-18 crashed in the Adriatic Sea during routine training Sunday, officials said. The pilot was Lt. Cmdr. Robert Edward Clukey, 33, of Orono, Maine. The Navy said he was flying off the aircraft carrier USS George Washington when he crashed about 85 miles north of Bari, Italy.

-- Compiled from reports by the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press