NEW YORK -- The likelihood of a school-aged American child receiving a diagnosis of autism, Asperger syndrome or a related developmental disorder increased 72 percent in 2011-12 from 2007, according to an analysis of a phone survey of parents released Wednesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
According to experts not involved in the report, the increase coincided with a period of soaring awareness of autism spectrum disorders among clinicians and schools, as well as parents.
The report emphasized that while the numbers changed from 1 in 86 children, ages 6 to 17, having received a diagnosis in a 2007 parent survey, to 1 in 50 children in the current report, most of the increase was because of previously undiagnosed cases.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's health care law remains largely a mystery to most Americans, three years after the president signed it, a new survey shows.
Today, nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they still don't have enough information to understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect them.
Ignorance about the law is even higher among Americans who stand to benefit most, with more than two-thirds of people without health insurance reporting they don't have enough information, the poll from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation found.
Missile plan pushed
WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel should include funds in the Pentagon's next budget request to start work on a U.S. East Coast site for 20 anti-missile interceptors as a defense against Iran, House Republicans said.
The plea for "not less than $250 million" in the fiscal 2014 budget to be presented next month was made Tuesday in a letter from 19 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, led by Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California, the committee's chairman.
Nigerian tied to terrorism
NEW YORK -- A Nigerian allegedly involved with al-Qaida activities at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the borough of Brooklyn, marking the second time this month the Obama administration announced criminal charges against alleged terrorists.
Charged in a six-count indictment is Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, 43, who faces life in prison if convicted of conspiring to murder U.S. nationals abroad, plotting to bomb U.S. government facilities in Africa and other charges. He is not expected to enter a plea to the allegations until his first court appearance on Friday.
According to federal law enforcement officials in New York City, Mr. Harun was secretly indicted in February last year, and was taken into U.S. custody on Oct. 4 when he was extradited from Italy after being arrested by Italian authorities on a ship bound for that country.
Heating-oil scam probed
NEW YORK -- State and federal authorities are investigating whether several New York City heating oil businesses cheated tens of thousands of customers for years, selling fuel diluted with waste or recycled oil, according to law enforcement and city officials.
Burning waste oil in furnaces could present a significant environmental hazard, and if the accusations that the companies cut their fuel are correct, it would mean that dangerous amounts of toxic pollutants had been released into the atmosphere, experts said.