Chicago in the national news: 10/8

October 8, 2010

As the city gears up for its annual marathon, the unseasonably warm weather (forecasts for Sunday predict temps in the high 70s to low 80s)‚  may not be welcome for those participating in the run. Time's NewsFeed worries that this year's race is going to turn into a repeat of 2007-- when the race was canceled halfway through, leaving one man dead and hundreds more requiring medical help. Chicago-area Abbott Labs has been forced to pull their diet drug, Meridia, from shelves in the US, Canada and Australia. Meridia-which only causes an average weight loss of 5 pounds- is linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, says Bloomberg. It is thought that the drug's main ingredient, sibutramine, is to blame. As estimated 100,000 Americans currently take Meridia.‚  The Washington Post's health blog reports that the FDA has also issued a warning about an over-the-counter diet drug‚  known as "Slimming Beauty Bitter Orange Slimming Capsules" that also contains sibutramine. Samples of the pills were distributed last month at Chicago's 40th Annual Mexican Independence Day Parade. Singer Albertina Walker, known as the "gospel queen," died today in a Chicago hospital. The LA Times reports that Walker, who was born in Chicago, started singing in her church choir at the age of 4.‚  She went on to form a group, the Caravans, and was considered a legend in the gospel music scene. Walker was 81.