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Use of methamphetamines declined across the country last year, according to statistics released by the Drug Enforcement Administration and a US drug-testing company. The number of workplace employees who tested positive for meth dropped 22 percent. Officials credited the results to laws that restrict the sale of cold medicines that include a precursor ingredient and a crackdown on drug trafficking from Mexico.

Better housekeeping at a Georgia sugar refinery probably could have prevented an explosion of industrial dust in February that killed 12 people, a member of the US Chemical Safety Board told Congress Wednesday.

Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said Tuesday they plan hearings to address the findings of an Associated Press investigation that revealed many drinking- water supplies contain trace amounts of pharmaceuticals.

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Urban redevelopment efforts in Camden, N.J., which has a reputation as one of the poorest and most violent cities in the country, are beginning to pay off, according to a state report Tuesday on the impact of an infusion of state money. Millions have been spent to run job-training programs, upgrade a crumbling sewer system, and provide home- improvement incentives.

Hazing on college sports teams and in performing arts organizations is common, even though virtually all campuses ban it, according to a new national report conducted by researchers at the University of Maine. The hazing sometimes takes the form of drinking games.

Democrat Andre Carson of Indiana won a special congressional election in the state Tuesday that makes him only the second Muslim ever elected to Congress, the other being Rep. Keith Ellison (D) of Minnesota. A first-term Indianapolis city/county councilman, Carson won 54 percent of the vote in an election called to fill the seat vacated by his grandmother, Rep. Julia Carson, who died in December.

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