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California Bans Trans Fats

LOS ANGELES ~ California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a new law that will see artificial trans fats outlawed in restaurants across the most populous US state from 2010.

Echoing a similar law in New York — which ushered in a blanket ban on the sale of all foods containing trans fats earlier this month — California authorities said the move would help combat heart disease.

Trans fat, which is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil, increases “bad” cholesterol levels, raising the risk of coronary heart disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Strong Alcohol Kills 16 in Papua

JAYAPURA ~ At least 15 Thai fisherman and an Papua province, health and embassy officials said this week.

The fishermen died after drinking the local brew during a stopover in the Indonesian port city of Merauke, Thai embassy spokesman Nick Tobing said.

“Basically what happened is they were having a party on their boat; they brought a local liquor, mixing alcohol and some other stuff … maybe it was too strong or they drank too much,” he said.

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