National news briefs — Compiled Oct. 21

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WASHINGTON

Carbon emissions fall

The United States cut its energy-related carbon dioxide pollution by 3.8 percent last year, the second biggest drop since 1990, the Department of Energy said Monday. The only recent year with a bigger percentage drop was in 2009, when America was in a large recession. American cars and factories spewed 5.83 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2012, down from 6.06 billion in 2011. It is the lowest level for U.S. emissions since 1994. Carbon dioxide is the chief man-made global warming gas.

CHICAGO

Breast milk policy altered

An online breast milk exchange linked to bacteria contamination in a new study says it is changing its policies. Researchers found high amounts of bacteria that could potentially sicken babies in three-fourths of samples they bought from women who advertised on the popular website, Only the Breast. An administrator for the breast milk organization issued a statement saying the Nevada-based group is planning to stop informal “mother to mother” milk sharing and is forming a new milk bank program for sick babies that will involve better donor screening and “professional milk processing.”

MADISON, WIS.

Officials in contempt

A Madison judge on Monday found Wisconsin labor relations officials in contempt for enforcing parts of Gov. Scott Walker’s contentious bargaining restrictions despite a ruling that they’re unconstitutional, clearing the way for hundreds of school district and municipal worker unions to negotiate with their employers again. Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled last year the provisions were unconstitutional as they applied to two unions representing Madison teachers and Milwaukee public workers, creating confusion about whether the ruling applied to all school and municipal workers across the state.

MIAMI

Survivors’ names sought

Haitians who believe their relatives were among 15 people aboard a boat that capsized off South Florida called on U.S. officials Monday to release more information about who survived the accident. Four women died and 11 people were found clinging to the overturned hull last week seven miles east of Miami.

Compiled from wire reports.


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