Danforth Wins Confirmation

As U.S. Ambassador to U.N.

The Senate yesterday confirmed John C. Danforth, a former U.S. senator from Missouri who has served as the Bush administration's peace envoy to war-torn Sudan, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

President Bush earlier this month tapped Danforth, a moderate Republican, to replace John D. Negroponte, who is moving from the United Nations to Iraq to run what will be the largest U.S. embassy.

The Senate approved the nomination by a voice vote.

At his confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican and Democratic senators endorsed Danforth and said they wanted him to quickly assume the job

EPA to Conduct Tests

On Teflon Ingredient

As part of an ongoing effort to determine whether a key ingredient in making Teflon is harmful, the Environmental Protection Agency notified chemical company executives yesterday that it will conduct tests to determine how the ingredient -- perfluorooctanoic acid -- degrades in the environment.

The decision to conduct such tests is considered unusual. The results could affect whether federal officials decide to regulate the chemical, also known as PFOA or C-8. EPA is also investigating whether DuPont, one of the companies that manufactures C-8, failed to report possible health problems connected to chemical.

Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President Richard Wiles hailed the move.

Emergency Grazing Rules

Approved for Livestock

Responding to severe drought conditions across much of the West, the Agriculture Department authorized emergency livestock grazing on some land set aside for conservation and environmental protection.

The expanded grazing "will allow producers to provide additional feed and forage for their livestock," Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman said.

Alleged Cocaine Chief,

50 Others Arrested

A man alleged to be a major Colombian cocaine kingpin and more than 50 drug traffickers have been arrested on U.S. drug and money-laundering charges, capping a five-year international effort to stem the flow of drugs to the United States through the Caribbean.

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday in Miami charged Elias Cobos-Munoz and 20 associates with operating a trafficking organization out of Colombia's North Coast, which is responsible for 10 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States each year.

A second indictment in Miami charged another 21 members of a Bahamas-based drug transportation ring that authorities say moved the drugs by boat, airplane and courier through the Caribbean to the United States and Canada.

-- From Staff Reports

and News Services