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Study Sees Increase in Illegal Hispanic Workers in New Orleans

By Leslie Eaton
THE NEW YORK TIMES

About a quarter of the construction workers rebuilding New Orleans are illegal immigrants, who are getting lower pay, less medical care and less safety equipment than legal workers, according to a new study by professors at Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley.

These workers reported making an average of $6.50 an hour less than legal workers and had more trouble collecting their wages, the study said. While few workers reported run-ins with the police, it said, their employers sometimes threatened to have them deported if they complained about missing pay or dangerous working conditions.

The study, which included more than 200 interviews at work sites, is an effort to document working conditions and to measure the influx of Hispanic workers into the city, where they have traditionally been only a small fraction of the population.

Phuong N. Pham, an assistant professor of international development at Tulane and an author of the study, put the number of new Latino workers at 10,000 to 14,000. That increase has probably doubled the percentage of Latinos in the city, to perhaps 8 percent. And that does not include any family members who may have come with the workers.

FDA Warns Against ACE Inhibitors In First Trimester

By Denise Grady
THE NEW YORK TIMES

A popular class of drugs for high blood pressure, ACE inhibitors, may cause birth defects if taken during the first three months of pregnancy, doctors are reporting. Pregnant women and those who are planning to become pregnant should avoid the drugs, the researchers and officials at the Food and Drug Administration warn.

ACE inhibitors have long been known to cause birth defects if taken later in pregnancy, but until now were considered safe if taken in the first trimester.

The new information comes from a study of the medical records of 29,507 infants, being published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine by researchers from Vanderbilt University and Boston University. The study found 209 infants who had been exposed to the drugs in the first trimester, 18 of whom had birth defects; in half, the heart was affected.

The rate of defects among infants exposed to the drugs was 2.7 times that of infants who were not. Infants whose mothers had taken other blood pressure medicines had no increased risk.

Gambling Scandals Have World Cup On Guard

By Jere Longman
THE NEW YORK TIMES HAMBURG, GERMANY

A series of betting and match-fixing scandals in Europe and South America has led soccer’s world governing body to institute extraordinary measures to ensure the legitimacy of the World Cup, which opens Friday in Munich.

For the first time, players, referees and coaches are being required to sign pledges that neither they nor their immediate families will wager on the sport’s global championship. One online sportsbook estimated that as much as $1.89 billion will be bet with British bookmakers alone during the World Cup.

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body based in Zurich, Switzerland, has created a company called Early Warning System. It is designed to work in concert with the international gambling industry to spot attempts to manipulate the outcome of World Cup matches.