Though anthrax has turned American Media Inc's Florida headquarters into a 6,300m2 white elephant and workers are reluctant to return, experts in decontamination say new products can make such buildings safe again. \n"I, personally, would go into the building," says general counsel Mike Kahane, whose office was located in the three-story Boca Raton center that housed six of the nation's largest tabloids. "But I know many people don't feel the same way I do." \nBut experts say they can deal with anthrax-contaminated buildings, noting that no one would dream of abandoning such landmarks as the US Senate office building and NBC headquarters at New York's 30 Rockefeller Plaza just because traces of the deadly bacteria were found there. \n"You can't walk away from these buildings all over the United States," says Joan Dougherty, president of AA Trauma Cleanup in Pompano, Florida, an environmental cleanup company. \nIf the old reliable bleach and water method were the only thing available, it would be nearly impossible to clean up all the anthrax without gutting the affected areas. But people in the decontamination business are pinning their hopes on a new product developed at a government laboratory with congressional backing. \nOfficials are conducting tests on a bacteria-killing agent developed by Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is run by Lockheed Martin Corp for the US Department of Energy. The product, known in the industry as the "SNL formulation," can be used as a liquid, gel, foam, aerosol or fog. \nAnthrax spores are 1 to 5 microns in size and act like a hard shell for the bacteria. They are resistant to heat, cold, drought and radiation exposure, and can persist for decades or longer in soil. \nThe Sandia product is designed to break down the coating and attack the DNA. Ron Gospodarski, president of Bio-Recovery Corp in New York, says anthrax spores tend to clump and settle on surfaces, where this agent can reach them. \n"These spores can't burrow themselves into walls and can't burrow themselves into the flooring or the ceiling or anything like that," he says. "So when we come in and fog or we come in and foam or we come in and put topical applications of the SNL formulation, it's going to kill everything that's there." \nAMI employees are worried about anthrax in the air ducts and on computer keyboards, like the one used by deceased photo editor Robert Stevens. Gospodarski says the fog particles are smaller than the spores and can go anyplace anthrax can. \n"We're pushing that into all the little crevices that even the micron spores of anthrax couldn't fit," he says. \nCleanup at AMI in Florida is a moot point for now; the building is still an active crime scene. Even if the US$4.6 million structure could be fogged, Kahane says a "significant number of employees don't want to go back." \nGospodarski and a team were planning to enter the ABC News offices at Central Park West to do some precautionary cleanup. They were armed with the old standard -- 10 percent bleach solution. \nDespite his confidence in the technology, Gospodarski says he can understand why people are afraid. \n"That's like saying, `OK, let's rebuild the World Trade Center towers,'" he says. "But does anybody want to have that office on the 102nd floor? I don't think many hands would go up."
SOLIDARITY WITH TAIWAN: MOFA thanked US lawmakers for introducing the bill, which aims to clarify the content of UN Resolution 2758 and questions Beijing’s claim to represent Taiwan in international organizations A bipartisan coalition of US congressmen on Monday introduced legislation that aims to counter China’s claim to represent Taiwan in international organizations. “For too long, Beijing has distorted policies and procedures at the UN and related bodies to assert its sovereignty claims over Taiwan, often to the detriment of global health and security efforts,” US Representative Gerry Connolly said in a news release. “This bipartisan legislation ensures that we stand in solidarity with this critical US partner,” he said. Connolly cosponsored the bill with the three other chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus — US representatives Albio Sires, Mario Diaz-Balart and Steve
STANDING TOGETHER: The allies highlighted the importance of cross-strait peace in Japan’s first statement with the US on Taiwan since it switched diplomatic recognition The US and Japan on Friday vowed to stand firm together against an assertive China, and to step up cooperation on climate change and next-generation technology as US President Joe Biden made his first summit a show of alliance unity. Waiting nearly three months for his first foreign guest due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden told Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that his country enjoyed “our iron-clad support” on security issues and beyond. “We’re going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century,” Biden told reporters, affectionately calling the Japanese leader “Yoshi.” A joint
F-5E CRASH: The body, which was found in a reef crevice near Nanren Fishing Port in Manjhou Township, was wearing Captain Pan Ying-chun’s uniform and name tag The body of a fighter pilot who had gone missing following a mid-air collision last month was yesterday found near a fishing port in Pingtung County, the air force said. A search-and-rescue team found Captain Pan Ying-chun’s (潘穎諄) body in a reef crevice near Nanren Fishing Port (南仁漁港) in Manjhou Township (滿州), the air force said. Pan was one of two pilots involved in the accident in which two single-seat F-5E jets collided as they were changing formation during a training mission. The other pilot, Lo Shang-hua (羅尚樺), ejected from his aircraft after the collision, but he did not have any
NARROWING DOWN: After searches at 23 locations and questioning 109 people, prosecutors say that mishandling at a construction site might have caused the crash Prosecutors yesterday indicted seven people in connection to the Taroko Express No. 408 derailment in Hualien County on April 2, in which 49 people died and more than 200 were injured. Among the indicted were Lee Yi-hsiang (李義祥), the driver of a crane truck that fell onto the tracks and into which the train crashed; his Vietnamese assistant, Hoa Van Hao; and workers at United Geotech Inc (聯合大地工程) and Tung Hsin Construction (東新營造), which undertook construction work near the site of the crash, Hualien prosecutor Chou Fang-yi (周芳怡) said. Lee, who owns Yi Hsiang Industry (義祥工業社), was indicted for negligence resulting in