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Salmonella outbreak linked to tuna product

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A yellowfin tuna product used to make dishes like sushi and sashimi sold at restaurants and grocery stores has been linked with an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 100 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia, federal health authorities said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said 116 illnesses, including 24 in New York State, have been reported. Twelve people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Moon Marine USA Corp. of Cupertino, Calif., also known as MMI, is voluntarily recalling 58,828 pounds of frozen raw yellowfin tuna. It was labeled as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA when it was sold to grocery stores and restaurants. It is scraped off the fish bones and looks like a ground product.

The product is not available for sale to individual consumers but may have been used to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes available in restaurants and grocery stores. Many of the people who became ill reported eating raw tuna in sushi as "spicy tuna."

Reports of the foodborne illness caused by salmonella bareilly mainly come from the Eastern Seaboard and South.


Bales to stay silent at 'sanity hearing'

SEATTLE (AP) -- The U.S. soldier charged in the shooting deaths of 17 Afghan villagers last month will not participate in an Army review aimed at determining his mental state, his attorney said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was expected to face what's called a "sanity board" examination by Army doctors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, seeking to establish whether he's competent to stand trial and what his mental state was at the time of the March 11 predawn massacre in two southern Afghanistan villages.

But his civilian lawyer, John Henry Browne, said Friday he instructed Bales to invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent because the Army will not allow Bales to have an attorney at the sanity board review and will not allow the examination to be recorded.

Maj. Chris Ophardt, a spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, said that typically, such examinations are not recorded and defendants do not have their lawyers present. Such proceedings are medical, not legal, he said.


Early warnings aired on risk of tornadoes

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (AP) -- In an unusually early and strong warning, national weather forecasters cautioned Friday that conditions are ripe for violent tornadoes to rip through the nation's midsection from Texas to Minnesota this weekend.

As states across the middle of the country prepared for the worst, storms were already kicking off in Norman, Okla., where a twister whizzed by the nation's tornado forecasting headquarters but caused little damage.

It was only the second time in U.S. history that the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance, said Russ Schneider, director of the center. The first such warning was issued in April 2006 before nearly 100 tornadoes tore across a large swath of the southeastern U.S.

The latest warning covers portions of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. The worst weather is expected to develop late this afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kan.