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In brief for Jan. 3, 2007

London lights up New Year's Eve Although rain and wind forced the cancellation of New Year's Eve celebrations in Edinburgh, Belfast, Glasgow and Liverpool, Jack Morton Worldwide's traditional spectacular went on in London as planned. Large-format projection specialists E\T\C UK projected 40 giant portrait images depicting "Dreams of London" onto the Shell Tower for an estimated 200,000 spectators in a event organized by the London mayor Ken Livingstone and tourism promotion agency Visit London ...

Hong Kong snuffs out smoking As of Monday, the only refuges for smokers in Hong Kong are nightclubs, bars, mah-jongg parlors, bathhouses and massage parlors. On Jan. 1, the city banned smoking in restaurants, workplaces, karaoke lounges and public areas including beaches, sports venues, museums and most areas of public parks. Violators are subject to a fine of $644 ...

Feds have few facts on stopping food contamination Despite repeated, large-scale outbreaks last year of food-borne illness in the U.S. linked to fresh produce, the Food & Drug Administration has little in the way of basic research to enable the agency to write regulations to ease the threat. According to the Los Angeles Times, the agency cannot address questions such as how far cow pastures--a source of E. coli bacteria--must be from farmland to avoid contamination from runoff.

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