National briefs

Low-carb diets work for women

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dieting? Low-carb might be the way to go, at least in the short-term.

Stanford University researchers comparing three popular diets over a year found that overweight women lost the most weight on the low-carb, high-protein Atkins diet, much maligned by nutritionists in recent years. Although their weight loss was modest, the Atkins dieters also saw drops in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, indicators of improved heart health.

The $2 million study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association, is the largest controlled trial to date of the Atkins, Zone and Dean Ornish diets.


Senate OKs screeners' collective bargaining

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Tuesday to allow airport baggage and passenger screeners the same rights to negotiate working conditions that other employees of the Department of Homeland Security - including Border Patrol and Customs agents - now have.

But Democrats did not appear to have the two-thirds majority they would need to override the veto the White House has threatened if the collective-bargaining provision remains in the bill.

Bank CEO to apologize for overcharges

WASHINGTON - The chief executive of Chase Card Services, one of the nation's five largest credit card issuers, will apologize to Congress today for charging a financially strapped customer $7,500 in interest charges and late fees on purchases of $3,200, the company said Tuesday.

Richard Srednicki's apology before the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations will follow testimony by the customer, Ohio resident Wesley Wannemacher, on how Chase's penalty fees and interest charges made his initial bill triple over six years.

New York

Comic hero Captain America killed today

NEW YORK - Captain America is dead.

The Marvel Entertainment superhero, created in 1941, is killed off in Captain America 25, which hits the stands today.

As Captain America emerges from a courthouse building, he is struck by a sniper's bullet in the shoulder and then hit again in the stomach, blood seeping out of his star-spangled costume.

"It's a hell of a time for him to go. We really need him now," said co-creator Joe Simon, 93, after being informed of his brainchild's death.


Winemaker Ernest Gallo dies at 97

BERKELEY - Ernest Gallo, who parlayed $5,900 and a wine recipe from a public library into the world's largest winemaking empire, died Tuesday at his home in Modesto. He was 97.

"He passed away peacefully this afternoon surrounded by his family," said Susan Hensley, vice president of public relations for E.&J. Gallo Winery.

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