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DRUG-USING PRO DRIVERS SKIPPING REHAB: Tractor-trailer and bus drivers who tested positive for illegal drugs have flouted federal regulations by returning to work without the required treatment, in some cases transporting hazardous materials for many months, investigators say. The study by the Government Accountability Office is the latest to detail problems involving unfit commercial drivers who can operate vehicles weighing 40 tons or more. The GAO found that 19 out of 37 commercial drivers who had a positive drug test in the past two years were hired elsewhere less than a month later, keeping quiet about their previous test result. These drivers, who had tested positive for cocaine, amphetamines or marijuana, passed a new pre-employment drug test either by quickly going clean or using products to mask drug use.

CHILDREN TARGETED WITH MULTIFACETED FOOD ADS: Marketing food and drinks to children these days occurs with more than just a few television ads. It involves promotional displays at grocery stores and packaging that directs them to Web sites where they can play games, win prizes or send e-cards to friends. In all, the nation's largest food and beverage companies spent about $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing products to children, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Tuesday. About $200 million of that went to cross-promotional campaigns designed to provide children and teens with repeated product exposure across several venues. The commission's report stems from lawmakers' concern about obesity rates in children. It gives researchers insight into how much companies are spending to attract youths to their products.

NO SCRABULOUS ON FACEBOOK, FOR NOW: The creators of a Scrabble knockoff responsible for countless hours at the online hangout Facebook suspended their word game Tuesday after being hit with a lawsuit, disappointing fans who logged on expecting to make their next moves. Hasbro Inc., the company that owns the North American rights to the word game, last week sued the brothers in Calcutta, India, who created the Scrabulous program. Separately, Hasbro asked Facebook to block the program, something the site resisted despite the risk of losing immunity protection from copyright lawsuits. In a statement, creators Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla said they agreed to block Scrabulous in the United States and Canada in deference to Facebook's concerns, while continuing to pursue their legal defense. Rajat Agarwalla, describing the measures as "unfortunate," declined further comment. Facebook said the Agarwalla brothers, not the company, made the decision. Facebook users who tried to access Scrabulous on Tuesday simply were told the game was disabled "until further notice."

BEE NEWS SERVICES

Figuratively Speaking

57: Percentage of U.S. citizens who feel that they most likely will be the victims of cyber crime, according to a research study by AVG Technologies

74: Percentage of computer users who shop online

15: Percentage of users who didn't know when security software was installed on their computers

JOHN MacINTYRE,

UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE

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