News BriefsStudy Says 9/11 Payouts Top Estimates, Now at $38 Billion
By David W. Chen
The New York Times NEW YORK
The families or loved ones of civilians killed on Sept. 11 received, on average, $3.1 million in government and charitable awards. The families of those who died in uniform that day -- police officers, firefighters and medical workers -- received more, their average compensation exceeding $4.2 million. Insurance payments to businesses victimized by the terror attacks, for property damage alone, totaled $7.5 billion. And another $210 million in government and private money was spent to help people who were emotionally traumatized by the events.
These figures, some exceeding earlier estimates, others never before captured, emerge from a formal study, two years in the making, that aimed to be the most comprehensive accounting of how much victims and businesses affected by Sept. 11 have been compensated by private and public means -- an effort by charities and government agencies unmatched in the country’s history.
In all, the study, done by the Rand Corp., a nonprofit research organization based in Santa Monica, Calif., found that victims and businesses have so far received a total of $38.1 billion. Insurance companies accounted for the single greatest share of payments, about $19.6 billion.
Mass. to Receive More Flu Vaccines
By Carolyn Y. Johnson
The boston globe
Massachusetts announced Monday that it will receive another shipment of flu vaccine this week, bringing the total number of shots available in the state to 1.2 million - about as many as the state estimates were given out last year.
But state public health officials said at a news conference in Boston Monday that the supply is still expected to fall short of what is needed to vaccinate all residents considered at high risk of suffering life-threatening complications from the flu - about 2 million people.
Demand for the vaccine has increased this year because a near-panic ensued after the British government shut down a factory that was expected to produce nearly half the US flu shots for this season. Senior citizens have stood in line for hours outside vaccination clinics.
The state Department of Public Health said it will receive an additional 262,630 flu shots from Aventis, the lone remaining maker of vaccine for the US market. This brings the state agency’s total to 660,000, and roughly 600,000 flu shots have been shipped directly to doctors’ offices and hospitals by Aventis. The new doses will be sent to local boards of health, doctors’ offices, and hospitals.
U.S. Takes Supercomputing Lead
By Mike Toner
Cox News Service ATLANTA
After more than two years of playing second fiddle in the rarefied ranks of supercomputing, American manufacturers have vaulted back into the lead in the never-ending race to built faster, more powerful supercomputers.
Industry time-keepers reported Monday that two U.S. number-crunching behemoths -- one built for the U.S. Department of Energy and the other for NASA -- have easily surpassed Japan’s massive Earth Simulator as the world’s fastest supercomputers.
The latest version of the industry’s closely watched Top 500 list, released on Monday, shows that the new leader is IBM’s Blue Gene/L, a cluster of high-performance computer nodes that can perform more than 70 trillion calculations a second, known in the trade as 70 teraflops.
That’s twice as fast as Japan’s Earth Simulator, which had remained comfortably in first place since early 2002. IBM, however, isn’t resting on its laurels. An expanded version of Blue Gene that will be capable of 360 trillion calculations - more than 100,000 times faster that today’s fastest desktop computers -- is already in the works.