Ports process should change, lawmakers say

By wire services
Published March 6, 2006

WASHINGTON - The nation must overhaul the way it reviews foreign acquisitions of companies involving U.S. ports, two key GOP lawmakers said Sunday, calling the Bush administration's handling of the Dubai deal flawed.

The chief executive of Dubai Ports World, meanwhile, insisted his Dubai firm posed no security risk to the United States and said that he expected the proposed $6.8-billion purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. will be completed. "There are big consequences for the British market if it doesn't go through because investors are waiting for the money," CEO Mohammed Sharaf said on CNN's Late Edition . Lawmakers plan to continue pressing their concerns, starting today when Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., make a fresh push for their legislation that's aimed at improving the security of cargo containers that enter U.S. ports.

"The process now is deeply flawed," said Collins, head of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, who appeared with Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., on ABC's This Week . Hunter said he wants to scuttle the Dubai deal and revamp the review process.

Ford Fusion gets poor marks on side crash tests

WASHINGTON - The 2006 Ford Fusion received poor marks in offering motorists' protection in side crashes, according to new crash tests released Sunday by the insurance industry.

The Fusion, a mid size sedan starting at $17,795, received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's lowest mark on side-impact tests conducted on a model without optional side air bags. The test results also apply to the 2006 Mercury Milan, the Fusion's corporate twin.

For more ratings, visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at www.iihs.org

Also ...

CHOKING GAME: Police and school officials are issuing warnings about a potentially fatal game among teenagers after the death of a 14-year-old boy in New Hampshire. Eighth-grader Rodney Webster died last week after choking himself so he could feel a brief rush when blood flow returned.

The game, also known as space monkey, flat-liner and black out, was responsible for more than 50 deaths last year and eight this year, according to the Stop The Choking Game Web site (www.stop-the-choking-game.com)