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News Briefs II

Authorites Continue to Trace Guns Used By Boys in School Slaying LOS ANGELES TIMES -- littleton, colo.

As the last of the Columbine High School murder victims was laid to rest Thursday, authorities sought to trace the last of four firearms used in the massacre, focusing on a man the killers worked with at a pizza place as the possible link to the TEC-DC9 assault pistol.

Backtracking for the second time in as many days about further charges in the case, authorities said an arrest in connection with the pistol was not imminent, but that they had been in touch with a man who may have information about how Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold acquired the high-capacity pistol.

Denver attorney Robert Ransome confirmed late Thursday that he was representing a man in regard to the Columbine investigation, but declined to elaborate.

Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas told NBC’s “Today” show Thursday morning that there would be an arrest in connection with the assault pistol within 48 hours. Later, Assistant District Attorney Mark Pautler that said Thomas had not been updated before he made the statement.

“Things can change, and that’s exactly what happened,” Pautler said.

The person who provided the gun could be charged with murder if authorities can prove the seller knew about the teen-agers’ plan to storm the high school.

The three other guns used in the April 20 shooting -- a 9 mm carbine and two sawed-off shotguns -- were purchased by Klebold’s prom date, 18-year-old Robyn Anderson, authorities said, adding that it was still unclear whether she knew of the duo’s plans.

FDA Approves Home Test Kit for Highly Contagious Hepatitis C Virus LOS ANGELES TIMES -- WASHINGTON

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday approved a home test kit for hepatitis C, a “silent” virus that is the leading reason for liver transplants in this country.

Hepatitis C -- once known as “non-A, non-B” hepatitis -- is one of five known hepatitis viruses that attack the liver, and is regarded as one of the most insidious because drug treatments don’t always work, and there is no vaccine to prevent it.

It is the third most common hepatitis virus in this country, after A and B. Like hepatitis B, it is spread through blood -- typically contaminated needles, and, in the past, through transfusions -- and, less commonly, through sex.

Hepatitis A is typically transmitted through fecal contamination of food. But C, unlike A and B, poses the most serious problems for individuals because the majority of infections persist for decades, without symptoms, slowly destroying the liver.