Mining company cited for more than 200 safety violations. The charges stem from a massive federal inspection sweep at 43 Alpha Natural Resources sites previously owned by Massey Energy in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. The inspections were launched two weeks ago when authorities discovered that Alpha did not evacuate workers from an underground mine in Wyoming County, W. Va., even after a section was enveloped in thick smoke from a malfunctioning conveyor belt. Federal authorities accused Alpha of an “unwarrantable failure” to follow federal safety rules and said the incident was reminiscent of a January 2006 fire that killed two miners at another former Massey mine in West Virgina. The Charleston Gazette, NPR

Critics find New York’s plan to curb sales of sugary drinks hard to swallow. Public health officials praised Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of large-size sweetened drinks in restaurants, movie theaters and other locations. But businesses, and some academics, called the plan an ineffective way to handle the obesity crisis and criticized it as government overreach. Questions are being raised about exceptions to the ban: It wouldn’t apply to supermarkets, groceries or convenience stores — meaning that 7-Eleven’s “Big Gulp” drink would be safe. A Duke University public policy specialist called the plan “silly.” She said, “It’s just going to shift behavior from buying one big soda to buying smaller ones.” The Wall Street Journal 

Study predicts cancer will rise 75 percent globally by 2030.  The paper by the International Agency for Research on Cancer projected that, in some of the poorest nations, cancer could increase by more than 90 percent. The researchers said rates of certain infection-related cancers, including cervical, appear to be declining in some developing countries. Those reductions, however, are likely to be offset by substantial increases in cancers associated with a “westernized” lifestyle, including breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. Reuters, HealthDay News

Toyota faces sanction in sudden acceleration suit. A federal judge in California faulted Toyota Motor Sales USA for failing to tell plaintiffs lawyers about its post-crash examination of the data recorder in the car at issue in the wrongful death case. The judge said that if the widely anticipated case goes to trial, he will tell jurors to regard the testimony of Toyota personnel involved in the inspection with extra caution. The plaintiffs, who blame a 2010 crash that killed two of their family members on a car defect that caused unintended acceleration, say Toyota employees may have destroyed potentially damning evidence. The judge said the company’s behavior cast “a cloud of suspicion” over the inspection. Inside Line, Law360

Federal appeals court revives whistleblower’s retaliatory firing case. The court panel’s ruling will lead to a new hearing for Robert Whitmore, a former Occupational Safety and Health Administration official who says he was fired because he publicly criticized his agency for letting companies underreport workplace injuries. Citing a 1989 law intended to protect whistleblowers, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said Whitmore deserves a new chance to show his 2009 firing was an act of retaliation. The court found that a federal Merit Systems Protection Board judge wrongly ignored evidence to support the 37-year employee’s claim that he was fired for his criticism of OSHA. Reuters, The Center for Public Integrity

Recalls: Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycles, Black & Decker coffeemakers,

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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