National

Health care ads hit $110 million

WASHINGTON — Medical providers, businesses and other groups battling over a health care overhaul have spent more than $100 million this year on television advertising — an enormous sum that highlights the stakes involved.

Evan Tracey, who heads a private data tracking company called the Campaign Media Analysis Group, says spending on TV ads on the issue hit $110 million as of Sunday. It's averaged $1.1 million daily in the past week as Congress has stepped up its work on overhaul legislation.

About $47 million has been spent for ads favoring a health overhaul and another $32 million has gone to opposing the effort. The rest has been spent for ads that talk generally about health care.

Big spenders include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AARP.

Phone bank hires hundreds of children

SALT LAKE CITY — Children as young as 13 were manning phone banks for a company that does market research and political surveys from call centers in seven states, federal investigators said Tuesday.

Children that young can't legally be employed except on farms.

The U.S. Department of Labor fined Orem, Utah-based Western Wats for hiring three 13-year-olds, and for working an additional 1,479 children more than three hours on a school day or more than eight hours on a weekend day, among other violations. Those children were all 14 or 15 years old.

Judge blocks Arizona abortion restrictions

PHOENIX — A state judge has blocked implementation of key parts of a new Arizona law restricting abortion, a day before they were to take effect.

Judge Donald Daughton of Maricopa County Superior Court late Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction granting most of a request by Planned Parenthood, the state's largest abortion provider.

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