FDA: Imported Drugs

Could Be Terror Target

Tampering with prescription drugs could be a way for terrorists to launch an attack on Americans, acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester M. Crawford said.

Crawford said possible action by terrorists was the most serious of his concerns about the increasing efforts of states and cities to import drugs from Canada to save money.

Would-be terrorists need only poke around the Internet to learn how, two decades ago, Tylenol, then the nation's leading painkiller, was removed from shelves, filled with cyanide and returned to stores to kill unsuspecting consumers.

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department said it has received "no specific information" of such a threat.

Sudan Hard to Assess,

Says State Department

As human rights groups demand action against Sudan, the State Department is informing Congress it is difficult to establish that the Khartoum government is trying to destroy the non-Arab community in Darfur.

And even if Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who has been weighing a judgment for weeks, decides that Sudan and an Arab-led militia in the province are committing genocide, the Bush administration would not be required to take legal action, the department said in an informal analysis obtained by the Associated Press.

Still, a finding of genocide could spur the international community to take more forceful and immediate action to respond to ongoing atrocities, the analysis said.

For the Record

* The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved two new products designed to help deal with the consequences of terrorists using dirty bombs. Acting FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford said the products, to be available by prescription only, are designed to speed up elimination of radiation from the body. Unlike warheads designed to kill and destroy through a huge nuclear blast and heat, so-called dirty bombs are radiation weapons. They would rely on conventional explosives to disperse radioactive material far and wide.

* A Washington lawyer who represented President Bill Clinton at his impeachment trial and has a long association with Democrats will defend Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) against ethics charges that he leaked classified information to the news media. Gregory Craig, a partner at Williams & Connolly, will represent Shelby in an expected investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, Craig's office confirmed Wednesday. Shelby's spokeswoman, Virginia Davis, and Craig both declined to comment on the case.

-- From News Services