Thalidomide Inventor Apologizes

The German manufacturer of thalidomide, a drug that caused thousands of birth defects in the 1950s and 1960s, apologized for the first time on Friday. Sold over the counter to cure morning sickness, the drug caused many children to be born with shortened arms and legs. Some victims suffered heart problems, poor hearing and eyesight, and even brain damage, before the drug was pulled from shelves in 1961. Survivors, estimated to number between 5,000 and 6,000, now say the apology is too little, too late, suggesting that the firm open up discussions on compensation.