World and Nation

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Michigan Lawmakers Won’t Back New Primary

There will be no new primary in Michigan.

Ignoring entreaties from state party leaders and an in-person plea from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., on Wednesday, state lawmakers adjourned on Thursday without acting on a bill to authorize a do-over of the disqualified Democratic presidential primary held in January, effectively killing any new vote.

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, a Democrat who supports Clinton, said in a statement that she was “deeply disappointed” that Michigan Democrats would not get another crack at a primary ballot. The Michigan contest was voided by the national Democratic Party because it was conducted earlier than party rules allowed.

Now Michigan, like Florida, which also this week abandoned the idea of redoing its unauthorized January primary, must find some new way to comply with party delegate-selection rules or be locked out of the national convention in August.

Obama Campaign Says Clinton Distorted Her Support for NAFTA

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign on Thursday accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of purposely distorting her position on the North American Free Trade Agreement, pointing to newly released White House schedules that show Clinton attended several meetings on the trade pact while first lady.

In one meeting cited by the Obama campaign, on Nov. 10, 1993, Clinton spoke to about 120 participants at a NAFTA briefing.

On the schedule released by the National Archives on Wednesday, the meeting was described as a “Nafta Briefing Drop-By” and was closed to the press. Three other meetings in 1993 were generically described as NAFTA meetings, but the schedules provided few details.

Risks to Public Health Are Seen As More Parents Reject Vaccines

In a highly unusual outbreak of measles here last month, 12 children fell ill; nine of them had not been inoculated against the virus because their parents objected, and the other three were too young to receive vaccines.

The parents who objected to their children being inoculated are among a small but growing number of vaccine skeptics in California and other states who take advantage of exemptions to laws requiring vaccinations for school-age children.

The exemptions have been growing since the early 1990s at a rate that many epidemiologists, public health officials and physicians find disturbing.

Children who are not vaccinated are unnecessarily susceptible to serious illnesses, they say, but also present a danger to children who have had their shots — the measles vaccine, for instance, is only 95 percent effective — and to those children too young to receive certain vaccines.

Measles, almost wholly eradicated in the United States through vaccines, can cause pneumonia and brain swelling, which in rare cases can lead to death. The measles outbreak here alarmed public health officials, sickened babies and sent one child to the hospital.

Every state allows medical exemptions, and most permit exemptions based on religious practices. But an increasing number of the vaccine skeptics belong to a different group — those who object to the inoculations because of their personal beliefs, often related to an unproven notion that vaccines are linked to autism and other disorders.