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Friday, May 2, 2003

Air Force Academy probes Internet case AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Still recovering from a sexual assault scandal, the Air Force Academy said Thursday that it is investigating to determine whether a cadet organized group sex sessions through the Internet.

Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, the commandant in charge of cadets, declined to name the cadet or detail possible charges.

The senior cadet is accused of sending e-mails to hundreds of people and organizing and participating in sex sessions involving as many as two dozen men and one woman in nearby Colorado Springs and Denver, Weida said at a news conference.

Academy police seized the cadet's computer on Wednesday. Officials would not say whether the e-mails were sent from the academy, insisting that its Internet system blocks pornography and gambling.

The school near Colorado Springs has been under scrutiny since dozens of female cadets said they were reprimanded or ostracized when they reported being raped.

KFC sets standards for treatment of birds LOUISVILLE, Ky. — KFC, the world's largest chicken restaurant chain, announced new standards Thursday meant to guarantee humane treatment for its birds from hatchery to slaughterhouse.

The fast-food giant also asked the government to review a possible change in how processors slaughter its birds. KFC wants to know if gassing the birds with blasts of carbon dioxide would be safe for consumers and slaughterhouse workers. Its suppliers now stun the birds, then slit their throats.

KFC and its parent, Yum! Brands Inc., said the changes were not spurred by protests from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA has targeted KFC for the treatment of its birds and slaughter practices. PETA claims that KFC's birds spend their short existence crammed into in poorly ventilated and barren sheds.

The new poultry standards adopted by KFC apply to the birds' housing, nutrition and how they are caught and transported to the slaughterhouse.

Under the new standards, birds must be able to move about freely and have access to food and water in shelters that are clean and well-ventilated. Suppliers must properly train its employees on how to handle the animals to avoid injuries to the birds.

GM recalls vehicles over defective wipers DETROIT — General Motors Corp. said Thursday it is recalling 1.77 million older pickups, sport utility vehicles and vans in the United States to replace windshield wiper circuit boards and motor covers.

The vehicles involved are 1994-97 Chevrolet C/K and GMC Sierra pickups and Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban/GMC Yukon and Suburban SUVs; 1995-97 Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari vans and Chevrolet/GMC full-size crew cabs; and 1996-97 Chevrolet Blazer and GMC Jimmy SUVs and Chevrolet S10, GMC Sierra and Isuzu Hombre small pickups.

Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified beginning this summer. Dealers will replace the circuit boards and motor covers at no cost to customers.

Man claims tattoo led to flesh-eating virus RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A man is suing a tattoo parlor where he claims he was infected with a flesh-eating virus while having an obscene tattoo covered on his neck.

Michael Machetti, 31, had to have skin on his neck and under his arms removed after the procedure and may face additional surgeries, his attorney, Ron Bakal, said Wednesday.

The negligence and product liability suit was filed April 11 in Riverside County Superior Court against Bullseye Tattoo in Banning and owner Sam Enriquez. It says the studio used unsanitary equipment that caused the infection and seeks unspecified damages and payment of medical costs.

Enriquez did not immediately return a message left at the shop.

The suit does not name Swen Raulfs, the artist who covered the tattoo, but he called the suit "ridiculous."

Raulfs said the tattoo featured an obscene word and the numerals "666."

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