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Investigators for Health and Human Services Department have determined that the government's system for tracing foods is riddled with holes, according to a report released Thursday. Keeping track of foods all the way through the supply chain is critical in investigating outbreaks of food-borne illness and possible bioterrorism attacks, yet in a study only 5 of 40 foods could be thoroughly traced.

A bill approved Thursday by the House Financial Services Committee directs Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and financial regulators to set standards that would determine whether employee bonuses at bailed-out financial institutions are reasonable.

At least three US soldiers in Iraq have been killed via electrocution and scores more shocked while showering or using appliances, Pentagon officials were told during a Capitol Hill briefing this week. A task force reportedly has fixed many of the problems but still has to inspect about 65,000 of 90,000 facilities across Iraq. The military contractor responsible for their maintenance faces a wrongful death suit.

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At least eight states are considering or have approved some form of required drug testing for welfare recipients, according to media reports on first-step passage of such a measure in Kansas. Opponents say testing could discourage people who badly need food stamps and unemployment benefits from applying for them.

The site of the nation's first planned industrial city moved a step closer to becoming a national park Wednesday when the US House approved the designation of 35 acres in Paterson, N.J. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, which would bestow park status on the area surrounding Great Falls, a 77-foot waterfall that is the East Coast's second largest and the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.

Fewer than 10 percent of 1.3 million legally blind people in the US read Braille, according to a report released Thursday by the National Federation of the Blind. The study coincides with the 200th birthday of Louis Braille, the Frenchman who invented the raised-dot system, which is challenging to learn. Modern technologies, including audio texts and voice-recognition software, threaten to make Braille obsolete.

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