WASHINGTON: House OKs food safety bill

The House passed a landmark food safety bill Tuesday designed to bring an archaic system for protecting the nation's food supply into the 21st century and equip the Food and Drug Administration with the tools needed to monitor a complex supply chain that stretches around the world. President Barack Obama was expected to sign it into law almost immediately. But the historic effort may run into trouble next year over an old problem: money. The bill does not establish a secure funding system, and Republicans have made shrinking government spending a high priority.

Illegal drugs from Canada

Governments at every level will be given six months to come up with a unified strategy to stanch the flow of illegal drugs across the nation's mostly unguarded northern border. A measure passed Tuesday by the House calls for the Office of National Drug Control Policy to lead the way in coming up with a way to blunt the growing movement of Ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and marijuana across the U.S.-Canadian border.

Obama assures Hispanics

President Barack Obama is not giving up on the Dream Act. He met Tuesday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and reiterated his support for the measure, which died in the Senate last weekend. The legislation would have provided a route to legal status for illegal immigrants brought here before age 16 and have been here for five years, graduated from high school or gained an equivalency degree and joined the military or attend college.

PUERTO RICO: 6 feared dead in copter crash

A Puerto Rico National Guard helicopter crashed in the ocean while en route to a drug raid. The body of one of the six people on board was found and the remaining five are feared dead, officials said Tuesday. The body was found nearly a mile off the coast in front of the Grand Melia resort. Crews were searching for the remaining five. The fuselage of the UH-72 Lakota helicopter was found just north of the island. The helicopter was headed for Vieques when it disappeared late Monday just north of the coastal city of Rio Grande.

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