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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A disgraced Illinois judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal is getting time to square away things before serving a two-year sentence on heroin and gun convictions.
 
But exactly where Michael Cook will spend his time behind bars remains murky.
 
A filing by U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade shows the former St. Clair County judge must surrender by May 28 to whatever lockup the Federal Bureau of Prisons slots for him.
 
McDade also recommends that Cook be placed in a prison in Florida, Alabama or South Carolina.
 
Cook was sentenced last month.
 
He resigned last year. He was charged after the cocaine-overdose death of a fellow judge while the two were at the Cook family's hunting cabin.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chances are you've heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry.

But to uncover food poisonings?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is beginning a program to outsmart food outbreaks by routinely decoding the bugs' DNA.

First up is listeria, bacteria especially dangerous to pregnant women.

Federal and state officials are sequencing the genomes of all the listeria infections diagnosed in the U.S. this year, along with samples found in tainted foods or factories.

It's the first time the technology has been used for routine disease surveillance — looking for people with matching strains who may have gotten sick from the same source.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden calls it a new, more precise way to find and fight infections.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans quietly secured a recent change in President Barack Obama's health law to expand coverage choices.

It's a one-of-a-kind departure from the GOP's dozens of attempts to repeal or dismember the law.

Democrats describe the change as a straightforward improvement of the type they're eager to make.

Republicans are reluctant to agree, given the strong sentiment among the rank and file that the only fix the law deserves is a burial.

The provision eliminated a cap on deductibles for small group policies offered inside the new health exchanges as well as outside. That cap was set at $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families.

Republicans say they sought the change so small businesses could offer high-deductible plans that could be bought by individuals who also have health savings accounts.

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