ALSO NOTED: LA wants to close part of King/Drew; EDS gets CMS contract; and much more...

> In a twist guaranteed to ignite controversy, health officials in Los Angeles say they want to close the pediatrics, obstetrics and neonatology wards at King/Drew Medical Center. Story

> Trial watchers in the Ernst v. Merck case say the drug company's lawyers may have overdone their cross examination of Carol Ernst yesterday. Story

> Officials in Illinois say they want to donate $2.5 million worth of flu vaccine ordered from Europe during last year's shortage to AIDS patients in South Africa. Controversy looms, however, as the vaccine expires today. Story

> San Antonio-based device manufacturer Kinetic Concepts has found a blockbuster in a vacuum-assisted wound healing device, with sales expected to hit $1.2 billion this year. Story

> The Wall Street Journal looks at contractual tactics some drug companies use to control what hospitals, insurers and doctors can and cannot say about their drugs, focusing on Lilly's antidepressant Cymbalta. Story (sub. req.)

> Dr. Ming T. Chu is credited by many observers with having almost single handedly turned around the odds for those facing prostate cancer by developing an effective test for early detection of the disease. Story

> On Thursday, CMS announced that it has awarded EDS a $99 million contract to manage IT functions related to Medicare Part B. Release

> The Los Angeles Times reports on the budgetary crisis facing California's public agencies over healthcare spending. Story

> JCAHO is expected to decide if it will strip Sutter's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center of its accreditation. Following months of speculation, the rare punishment could be handed out. Story

> Emory University's Arthur Kellerman writes that despite four years of promises by officials, the US healthcare system is woefully under-prepared for a biological attack or naturally-occurring pandemic. Story

> In Texas, new healthy choice nutritional guidelines scheduled to go into effect this year at schools are drawing an angry response. Story

And Finally... Media critics say TV news broadcasts often cross the line when it comes to health journalism. The case involving WCCO anchorman Don Shelby in Minneapolis raises disturbing questions. Story