By Roberta Rampton and Ben Hirschler WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will ask the U.S. Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds to fight Zika at home and abroad and pursue a vaccine, the White House said on Monday, but he added there is no reason to panic over the mosquito-borne virus. Zika, spreading rapidly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, has been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil, and public health officials' concern is focused on pregnant women and women who may become pregnant. Obama's request to Congress includes $200 million for research, development and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests for the virus.
By Donna Owens BALTIMORE (Reuters) - An FBI agent on Monday accused lawyers for a convicted murderer of manipulating cell phone records in their bid to win a retrial for the Maryland slaying made famous by the podcast "Serial." Adnan Syed, 35, is serving a life sentence for the 1999 strangulation of his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Syed's lawyers are seeking a new trial based on new evidence amid questions about the fairness of the case that were raised by the podcast in late 2014. During the fourth day of a hearing in Baltimore City Circuit Court, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Chad Fitzgerald said defense lawyers had shown him "manipulated evidence" of cell phone records when he was on the stand last week.
Chipotle Mexican Grill closed all of its U.S. restaurants during prime lunchtime hours on Monday to hold staff meetings on food safety guidelines, sparking offers from rivals eager to poach customers of the burrito chain as it recovers from several food-borne outbreaks. More than 50,000 Chipotle employees crowded into rented movie theaters and other locations to hear live video feeds of co-Chief Executives Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran laying out their program to improve restaurant safety. Chipotle's shares have lost nearly a third of their value and sales have plunged about 30 percent since November, when first reports of E. Coli sickness linked to the chain emerged.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Ferguson's cost of implementing reforms spelled out in a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice could approach $4 million in the first year alone, according to new estimates that further raise questions about whether the community can afford it.
LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — The arrival of thousands of Somali refugees in this former mill city in the nation's whitest state sparked a backlash at first, complete with a rally of white supremacists and a pig's head rolled into the local mosque.
NEW YORK (AP) — Chesapeake Energy sought to assure investors Monday that it is not planning to file for bankruptcy protection. The announcement came after a news report that said it hired a law firm spooked investors and sent its stock plummeting.