Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International
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Lying on one's resume may be going the way of the typewriter and adding machine, the latest Liar's Index says. The semi-annual survey by the executive search firm Jude M. Werra & Associates finds only 11.19 percent of people misrepresented their academic credentials in the first half of 2002, down from 20.4 percent in the first half of 2001 and 23.3 percent in the first half of 2000.


"Over the last several months the national press has given considerable attention to academic misrepresentations by prominent figures in politics, athletics and executive roles," said Jude M. Werra, president of the firm. "We are tempted to speculate whether that notoriety may have encouraged some people to refrain from puffing their academic credentials resulting in a reduction of the trend-line for the Liars Index."

The index is based on resumes received and checked by Werra.


The biggest liar in the survey was a human resources executive who managed to climb the corporate ladder for 15 years before Werra discovered he never obtained the B.S. degree he claimed.

(Thanks to UPI's Marcy Kreiter in Chicago.)


A panel of experts Tuesday is to recommend easing restrictions on donor hearts intended for transplants as the only way to meet the growing need for heart transplants.

The recommendations were hammered out during meetings with representatives of the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Under the new criteria, a heart from a donor over age 55 could be accepted for transplantation as long as the heart itself was basically healthy. The panel will urge hearts that have not undergone cardiac cathertization -- a procedure to check for hardening of the arteries -- be deemed transplantable as long as the donor had no history of heart disease.

The new guidelines also urge surgeons to fix minor defects in donor hearts -- such as malfunctioning valves -- by doing "bench repairs" before implanting the overhauled heart in the recipient.

(Thanks to Peggy Peck, UPI Science News, in Cleveland)



The Food and Drug Administration is planning to step up regulation of dietary supplements and Congress appears poised to increase the agency's authority for overseeing the class of products.

The FDA has commissioned the National Academy of Sciences to develop a framework for evaluating the safety of dietary supplements and the first draft was released last week.

A Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee Tuesday also scheduled a hearing on the current system of oversight and regulation of supplements.

Joe Shoemaker, spokesman for committee chair Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., told UPI: "There's a great concern" that there are not adequate safeguards for supplements. In addition, he said, the system for reporting adverse events due to dietary supplements "is completely faulty."

An FDA study found the agency only receives information on less than 1 percent of all adverse events associated with dietary supplements.


A bill making its way through the California Legislature would give millions of state residents the right to take paid leave from their jobs to care for sick relatives or to bond with newborns, the Los Angeles Times reports.


If passed, the bill, backed by labor and opposed by business, would make California the first state in the nation with such a law.

Federal and state laws now require larger businesses to give employees some unpaid leave.

The California bill -- which has passed the state Senate and awaits passage in the Assembly -- has become the focus of a simmering fight in the state capital, the newspaper reports.

Business says the cost would be too high and lead to layoffs. Supporters say the measure would save money by helping companies retain good workers.

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