National briefs: Meningitis outbreak at Princeton

Princeton deals with meningitis

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PRINCETON, New Jersey -- A meningitis outbreak at Princeton University of a strain not covered by vaccines available in the U.S. has prompted federal health officials to approve import of the drug in an effort to stop the illness.

Trustees at the Princeton, New Jersey-based Ivy League school, where at least seven students since March have developed infections with the meningococcus B strain of the bacteria, were to consider this weekend whether to use the vaccine, made by Novartis AG, said Martin Mbugua, a spokesman for the school.

Seven students have been infected, with the first diagnosed after a return from spring break in March, according to a statement from the New Jersey Department of Health. By early May, three students were diagnosed with the bacteria that spreads through kissing, sharing drinking glasses and other forms of close contact. The most recent patient developed symptoms on Nov. 8, almost eight months later.

New job for Geithner

NEW YORK -- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who played a central role in the government's response to the financial crisis of 2008-09, is joining equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC.

The firm said Saturday that Mr. Geithner will serve as its president and managing director starting March 1.

Mr. Geithner, 52, led the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for more than five years before becoming Treasury secretary in 2009, when the economy had sunk into a deep recession.

He stepped down from Treasury in late January, days after President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term.

Fall from plane probed

MIAMI -- Police believe they have found the body of a man who fell 2,000 feet from a plane flying off the Florida coast.

Around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the Miami-Dade Police Department Homicide Bureau found a body near the shore in a mangrove area just south of Northeast 184th Street in Miami. Police had earlier identified the man who fell from the plane as Gerardo Nales, 42, of Key Biscayne, Fla., an island town off the Miami coast.

Police have been investigating an incident that happened Thursday in which a pilot reported that a man had opened the door of his small plane and had fallen or jumped out.

Obama speaks on energy

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says improved energy efficiency and higher energy production in the United States are yielding environmental and economic benefits that are helping ensure cleaner air and a more competitive business landscape.

In his weekly Saturday radio and Internet address Mr. Obama draws attention to increased U.S. oil extraction, which last month exceeded oil imports for the first time in nearly two decades. He said that represents "a tremendous step towards American energy independence."

Glitch in Bay Area transit talks

OAKLAND, Calif. -- San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit's contract with its two largest unions appears to be facing uncertainty as the agency called late Friday for a return to the bargaining table, just weeks after the agreement settled a dispute that had caused two strikes.

After a closed-door meeting Friday afternoon to discuss the issue and review its likely costs, BART officials said a family medical leave provision giving its 2,300 union workers up to six weeks of paid time off each year would be too expensive.

On Thursday, BART officials said the provision had been "inadvertently" included in the agreement, which transit and union negotiators had signed off on in October.

 



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