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Fighting terror

Congress approves vaccine compensation

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 12, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Congress approved compensation Friday for people injured by the smallpox vaccine, a move that may help propel the stalled inoculation program forward.

Under the bipartisan agreement, people disabled by the vaccine could get up to $50,000 per year in lost wages.

It took the administration months to propose any compensation. Many blame that for a lackluster response from health care workers asked to get the shot.

Up to 40 of every 1-million people vaccinated will face a life-threatening injury, and one or two will die. Three people have died this year after receiving the vaccine, but it's unclear whether the vaccine caused their heart attacks.

Media asks for access to Moussaoui hearing

WASHINGTON -- Eleven media organizations asked a federal appeals court Friday to allow open oral arguments and to release documents in the case of terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, accused in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has kept most documents secret and scheduled a closed May 6 hearing as it considers the government's appeal of a trial judge's order. Prosecutors objected when the lower court ruled secretly that Moussaoui could have access to an al-Qaida prisoner to help his defense.

Moussaoui is the only person in the United States charged as a conspirator with the Sept. 11, 2001, attackers.

Elsewhere ...

CIVILIAN KILLED: An Italian tourist was shot and killed in a taxi on a main road in southern Afghanistan, apparently by Taliban gunmen, in the second such killing of a foreign civilian in the region in two weeks, a provincial governor said Friday.

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