The United States isn't the only country to be hit with E. coli in its food supply.
Germany is in the midst of a foodborne disease outbreak that has reportedly claimed 16 lives. The problem is a variety of E. coli that produces a toxin that can lead to severe kidney damage.
Anxiety about the job market, inflation and the general economic outlook combined to push down consumer confidence in May, the private Conference Board business research group just reported.
It's Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 60.8 from 66 in April.
Lynn Franco, director of the group's Consumer Research Center, says in a statement released with the report that:
There are conflicting reports at this hour about the fate of Syed Saleem Shahzad, Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online, who has been missing since Sunday evening.
Pakistan's Daily Times says that Human Rights Watch has been told by "credible sources" that Shahzad "is in custody of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)" — Pakistan's intelligence agency.
Nik Steinberg is a researcher in the Americas division of Human Rights Watch.
Jeffrey H. Anderson was the senior speechwriter for Secretary Mike Leavitt at the Department of Health and Human Services.