The Daily Astorian | http://www.dailyastorian.com The Daily Astorian Wed, 24 May 2017 14:21:29 -0400 en http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg The Daily Astorian | http://www.dailyastorian.com Jurors watch interview of dad accused in toddler son's death http://www.dailyastorian.com/jurors-watch-interview-of-dad-accused-in-toddler-sons-death-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldb81ac6b27f1f4ca2bc305d7c9d471e0f http://www.dailyastorian.com/jurors-watch-interview-of-dad-accused-in-toddler-sons-death-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldb81ac6b27f1f4ca2bc305d7c9d471e0f#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:21:18 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249539 CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Jurors have ended their second day of deliberations in the murder trial of a New Jersey man accused of killing his 3-year-old son because the boy had become an impediment to his relationship with a teenage girlfriend.

The panel deliberated for about six hours Wednesday and took another look at David Creato's interview with detectives. The judge also said they could listen again to a conversation secretly recorded by the boy's mother, but due to time constraints that will happen Thursday.

Creato maintains his son, Brendan, wandered away from his Haddon Township home in October 2015. The boy's pajama-clad body was found hours later about a mile from the home.

Prosecutors say Creato had the motive to kill his son. But Creato's lawyer argued prosecutors didn't show he was guilty.

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Subpoenas pile up for Michael Flynn's documents http://www.dailyastorian.com/subpoenas-pile-up-for-michael-flynns-documents-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world1f0c8acee5264f6497e968973b3d07e9 http://www.dailyastorian.com/subpoenas-pile-up-for-michael-flynns-documents-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world1f0c8acee5264f6497e968973b3d07e9#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:20:18 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249736 WASHINGTON (AP) — Subpoenas for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn piled up Wednesday as the House intelligence committee pressured Flynn to cooperate with its investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The prospect of new congressional subpoenas came one day after the committee's Senate counterpart served its own subpoenas to Flynn's businesses. The FBI also faced a deadline Wednesday to turn over memos written by former FBI Director James Comey detailing his discussions with President Donald Trump. One memo reportedly shows Trump pressuring Comey to shut down the bureau's investigation into Flynn's Russia ties.

Also Wednesday, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page told The Associated Press that he will testify next month before the House intelligence committee.

During a breakfast Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the House intelligence committee's top Democrat, told reporters that Flynn declined to turn over records to the committee, and he said it will be "following up with subpoenas." Schiff said the subpoenas will likely go out this week. He did not elaborate on what materials the committee was seeking.

The attempts to compel Flynn to produce documents were just another sign of the intense focus on Trump's former national security adviser, who was fired in February after the White House said he misled administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials.

In addition to the congressional scrutiny, Flynn is currently a target of an FBI counterintelligence investigation, a federal probe in Virginia and a Defense Department inspector general's inquiry into the propriety of foreign payments he accepted.

In a letter to the Senate committee on Monday, Flynn invoked his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination in deflecting the panel's subpoena for a wide array of documents and information related to his contacts with Russians.

Flynn's attorneys argued that the Senate's request was too broad, and if Flynn were to comply, he could be confirming the existence of some documents and, in effect, providing testimony that could be used against him. They also said an "escalating public frenzy" against Flynn and the appointment of a special counsel had created a legally perilous environment for Flynn to provide the information.

In response, the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday sent a letter narrowing its request for documents. It also issued subpoenas seeking documents from two of Flynn's businesses— Flynn Intel Group Inc., a consulting firm owned by Flynn and his business partners, and Flynn Intel Group LLC, a company he used for other projects, such as his paid speeches.

Flynn could choose to contest the congressional subpoenas seeking his business records, but legal experts said he would not prevail.

Solomon L. Wisenberg, a Washington defense lawyer who worked as a prosecutor during the Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, said both of Flynn's corporate structures would likely have to turn over all business records sought by the committee. "The Fifth Amendment privilege does not apply to business entities, period," he said, adding that both Supreme Court and District of Columbia Circuit Court rulings would weigh on the committee's side.

If the FBI misses its deadline to turn over memos and other materials documenting Comey's interactions with the president, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has said he would subpoena them, if necessary. Chaffetz is the chairman of the House government oversight committee.

The FBI declined comment.

Meanwhile, Page said Wednesday that details are still being worked out about his testimony before the House intelligence committee next month. Page said he expects to testify sometime during the week of June 6 and wants at least part of his testimony to be public. ABC News first reported Page's planned testimony.

Page is one of several people associated with Trump's campaign who are under investigation over their ties to Russia. Page has denied any involvement in Russian attempts to influence the election.

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Associated Press writers Stephen Braun and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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AP Top News at 5:18 p.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-news-at-518-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world025da94741c0218b8963567abd15ad2e http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-news-at-518-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world025da94741c0218b8963567abd15ad2e#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:20:14 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249911 Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in LibyaThe Latest: Report says bill would cut deficit by $119bThrowing chaos aside, Trump aims for caution on big tripJury of 12 on Bill Cosby sex assault case includes 2 blacksMarijuana extract helps some kids with epilepsy, study saysHannity says liberal fascists after sponsors; 1 is leavingAmericans don't trust media, but feel better about favorites]]> Idaho lawmakers' 2017 session travel expenses tally $107,000 http://www.dailyastorian.com/idaho-lawmakers-2017-session-travel-expenses-tally-107000-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwest136466b886344c74b367cf209b7978af http://www.dailyastorian.com/idaho-lawmakers-2017-session-travel-expenses-tally-107000-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwest136466b886344c74b367cf209b7978af#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:20:13 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249674 BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lawmakers have billed state taxpayers $107,000 so far this year for travel expenses accrued during the 2017 legislative session.

The Associated Press obtained the information through a public records request for this year's travel reimbursements for the 105 state lawmakers in the House and Senate, which included costs of the organizational session in December. However, while many lawmakers have turned in their legislative travel reimbursement receipts, the Legislature doesn't have a deadline on when expenses need to be submitted.

Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri from Dalton Gardens, who often votes against state budget bills because they aren't lean enough, currently has received the highest in-state travel expenses for both House and Senate chambers, with a total of $7,100 in reimbursements.

Barbieri did not return requests for comment from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Idaho encompasses more than 83,600 square miles that takes about 10 hours to drive from top to bottom, and there's no airport in northern Idaho that would enable lawmakers to fly nonstop from Boise. Instead, they often fly nonstop from Boise to Spokane, Washington and take a rental car to their homes in Idaho — all of which is reimbursed, including parking and fuel costs.

Yet despite being from the same region, lawmakers can vary widely on how much they charge the state to travel to the same spot.

During both the organizational and legislative session, Barbieri flew 12 times to Spokane on his way home with the average cost of his plane tickets at $410. Yet GOP Rep. Eric Redman of Athol, who flies the same route as Barbieri to get to the same district, flew home eight times with the average cost of the plane ticket at $140. And Republican Sen. Shawn Keough of Sandpoint, who lives in Idaho's most northern district just above Barbieri's home district, was reimbursed $827 for this year's session.

"My husband is retired and we're empty nesters, so we didn't go home this session," Keough said. "In the past, I've gone home more often to see my kids but we didn't this year."

This year's legislative session convened on Jan. 9 and ended March 29. The 80-day session took place during a non-election year, meaning lawmakers didn't have as much pressure to return home to meet with constituents. Last year's session, which was an election year, lasted 75 days.

Along with receiving travel reimbursements, state lawmakers earn a $17,358 annual salary and have a $2,250 expense account. Furthermore, legislators who live outside Ada County receive $129 a day during the session to help cover the cost of a residence while the Legislature is in session. This year, 66 lawmakers from outside Ada County received $10,320 each during the session.

Meanwhile, 39 lawmakers who live within 50 miles of the Capitol and do not maintain a second residence during the session, received $49 a day — or $3,920 each for 80 days.

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The Latest: Report says bill would cut deficit by $119b http://www.dailyastorian.com/the-latest-report-says-bill-would-cut-deficit-by-119b-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlde2fb6067d6e54c11a937f5b5a2b9269a http://www.dailyastorian.com/the-latest-report-says-bill-would-cut-deficit-by-119b-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlde2fb6067d6e54c11a937f5b5a2b9269a#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:20:30 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249655 WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congressional Republican efforts to replace the health care law (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Health care legislation passed by House Republicans earlier this month would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over the next 10 years.

That's according to a new estimate released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office.

GOP leaders were quick to point to the deficit reduction figure as good news for their legislation — even though an earlier version of the bill, rejected by the House, would have reduced the deficit by more than twice as much.

___

4:55 p.m.

The Congressional Budget Office says an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured in 2026 under the latest version of the House Republican health care bill.

That compares with 28 million under age 65 who would lack insurance that year under the current health law signed by President Barack Obama.

And it's only a tiny improvement from the original version of the House bill, which would have resulted in an estimated 52 million people under 65 uninsured by 2026, according to the nonpartisan budget office.

The information is in the so-called "score" released Wednesday of the legislation the House passed earlier this month. It's been eagerly awaited but shows little change on insurance coverage compared with the earlier version of the health bill, which collapsed.

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4:50 p.m.

Congressional estimates show that the tax cuts in the House Republicans' health care package have shrunk by $69 billion.

The bill still contains almost $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy.

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says the reduction is mainly because the bill delays the repeal of the 0.9 percent payroll tax until 2023. The tax is applied to wages over $200,000 for an individual and over $250,000 for a married couple.

House Republicans passed a bill that would repeal and replacing President Barack Obama's health law earlier this month. A much-anticipated congressional analysis of the bill was released Wednesday.

___

4:45 p.m.

The Congressional Budget Office says the health care bill Republicans pushed through the House this month would leave 23 million additional people uninsured in 2026, compared with former President Barack Obama's health care law.

The nonpartisan office also says that compared with Obama's 2010 overhaul, average premiums for people buying individual policies would be lower. The report says that is partly because insurance on average would cover less of people's health care costs.

It was the budget office's first analysis of the bill that passed the House May 4 with only GOP votes.

Democrats have criticized Republicans for pushing people off coverage. Many Republicans have said their top goal is lowering premiums.

Senate Republicans have been holding closed-door meetings to try writing their own health care overhaul.

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12:05 p.m.

Senate leaders are positioning themselves for a Congressional Budget Office report that will assess the impact the House-approved health care bill would have on insurance coverage and consumers' costs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that whatever the report shows, it's unacceptable to retain former President Barack Obama's health care law. The Kentucky Republican calls that statute "unsustainable."

New York Democrat Chuck Schumer is Senate minority leader. He says the report will likely show "the same grave consequences" as earlier analyses by the nonpartisan budget office. Those found that earlier versions of the House bill left 24 million additional people uninsured and drove up out-of-pocket costs for many seniors and others.

Wednesday's projections will serve as starting points for Senate Republicans writing their own health care bill.

___

5 a.m.

The Congressional Budget Office plans to release its estimate Wednesday of what impact the Republican House-passed health care bill would have on coverage and premiums.

The report could give talking points to House Republicans for their bill, or to Democrats who voted unanimously against it.

For GOP senators holding private meetings to sketch out their own legislation, the report's figures could serve as a starting point as they consider changing the House's Medicaid cuts, tax credits and other policies.

In previous reports on earlier versions of the bill, the nonpartisan budget office concluded the legislation would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million over a decade.

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United CEO assures shareholders at meeting; workers protest http://www.dailyastorian.com/united-ceo-assures-shareholders-at-meeting-workers-protest-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world72d51af32ae14840a50145bec6d89dac http://www.dailyastorian.com/united-ceo-assures-shareholders-at-meeting-workers-protest-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world72d51af32ae14840a50145bec6d89dac#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:11:36 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249542 CHICAGO (AP) — The CEO of United Airlines assured shareholders Wednesday that the company is doing all it can to be more customer-friendly since video surfaced of a passenger being violently ejected from a plane last month.

At the company's annual meeting, Oscar Munoz mentioned the April 9 incident at least a half-dozen times. He vowed to "redouble our efforts to be more customer-focused in everything we do."

On the streets outside, food handlers, baggage workers, cabin cleaners and other employees of United contractors demanded higher pay. About 30 were taken into custody and cited after blocking traffic and refusing police orders to move.

Inside the meeting at United's headquarters, shareholders approved all 13 directors nominated by the board plus two labor representatives, and an advisory measure on executive compensation, according to the company.

The shareholders had reason to be content.

Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. hit a new 52-week high on Wednesday. They have even gained more than 10 percent since 69-year-old David Dao was injured by Chicago airport security officers who were called to remove him from an overbooked United Express plane.

United reached an undisclosed settlement with Dao and announced several new policies, including a vow to never remove passengers from planes because the flight is overbooked.

"I don't ever want that issue to be gone and behind us," Munoz said. "It always has to be a constant reminder of what we can and do better on."

In past years, United's unions have used the annual meeting to criticize management. But with recent contracts, the airline is enjoying relative peace with those workers.

Contract employees, however, complain that they are being underpaid, and some of them took to the streets outside the meeting in the landmark Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower.

Darlene Navarro, a 37-year-old airplane cabin cleaner, said that after a year on the job she makes $10.50 an hour.

"It is very hard to pay rent, bills, and we're not even talking about groceries," the single mother of three boys said through a translator. "We should get more. Because of us they can operate."

United earned $2.3 billion last year. It has reduced delays, canceled fewer flights and lost fewer bags.

On the stock market, United was the best performer among the biggest U.S. airlines in 2016. Despite the negative publicity, United's shares have gained another 8 percent this year, second only to Southwest's 18 percent increase.

In afternoon trading Wednesday, the shares were down 13 cents to $78.90. Earlier in the session they hit a 52-week high of $79.73.

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Koenig reported from Dallas.

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Portland man, 19, presumed drowned at High Rocks Park http://www.dailyastorian.com/portland-man-19-presumed-drowned-at-high-rocks-park-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwest54b90562250f47159fda1be40f8fe8a4 http://www.dailyastorian.com/portland-man-19-presumed-drowned-at-high-rocks-park-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwest54b90562250f47159fda1be40f8fe8a4#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:11:34 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249543 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a young man from Portland is presumed drowned in the Clackamas River.

Police in Gladstone identified the victim Wednesday as 19-year-old Said Osman.

The drowning was reported Tuesday night at High Rocks Park. Witnesses said Osman jumped into the river from the rocks. He tried to swim to shore, but struggled and disappeared.

Crews suspended their rescue efforts at 9:15 p.m. They returned to the river Wednesday to search by boat. Swift currents prevented dive teams from participating in the recovery effort.

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Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in Libya http://www.dailyastorian.com/father-and-brother-of-alleged-bomber-detained-in-libya-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world579a12309bdc40d5bad30b45fa94fba3 http://www.dailyastorian.com/father-and-brother-of-alleged-bomber-detained-in-libya-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world579a12309bdc40d5bad30b45fa94fba3#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:20:27 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249683 CAIRO (AP) — The father and younger brother of the man who British police say bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot.

Hashim Abedi, the 18-year-old brother of alleged British-born bomber Salman Abedi, 22, was detained in Tripoli Tuesday night, a spokesman for a Libyan anti-terror force said Wednesday.

The Special Deterrent force said in a statement on its Facebook page that Hashim Abedi had told investigators after his arrest that both he and his brother belonged to the Islamic State group.

"The brother was aware of all the details of the terrorist attack," the statement said.

The father of both young men, Ramadan Abedi, 51, was detained on Wednesday shortly after telling The Associated Press in a phone interview from Tripoli that his son Salman, who British officials said died in the Manchester attack, was innocent and had been planning a religious pilgrimage to Mecca.

The father has not been charged and was only detained for questioning, Special Deterrent force spokesman Ahmed bin Salem said.

Prior to his detention Ramadan Abedi confirmed that British authorities had arrested another son, Ismail, 23, on Tuesday as part of the concert attack probe.

"We don't believe in killing innocents. This is not us," the senior Abedi said. "We aren't the ones who blow up ourselves among innocents. We go to mosques. We recite Quran, but not that."

Authorities say 22 people died and nearly 120 were wounded in the bombing.

Ramadan Abedi said the last time he spoke to Salman was five days ago as he was getting ready for a trip to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, a smaller pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

"He sounded normal. There was nothing worrying at all until two days ago (when) I heard the news that they suspect he was the bomber," Abedi, a father of six, said.

He said Salman visited Libya a month-and-a-half ago and only returned to Manchester after winning a cheap ticket to Umrah. He said Salman, who was in his second year of studying economics, was planning to return to Libya to spend the holy month of Ramadan with the family. He denied that his son had ever been to Syria.

The senior Abedi worked as a security officer under dictator Moammar Gadhafi's rule. In 1993, he fled the oil-rich North African country after he was accused of helping Islamists by tipping them off before police raids.

He denied having ties to any of Libya's militant groups, including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group, which was linked to al-Qaida.

"This is nonsense," he commented, adding that under Gadhafi, "anyone who went to a mosque raised question marks."

After less than a year in Saudi Arabia, Ramadan Abedi said he fled to the U.K., where he sought political asylum and lived for 25 years.

In 2011, Abedi returned to Libya during the mass uprising that descended into a civil war and ended with Gadhafi's ouster and death. Libya has since sank into lawlessness, with rebels turning into militias and undermining successive transitional governments.

The Abedi family, however, is close to the family of al-Qaida veteran Abu Anas al-Libi, who was snatched by U.S. special forces off a Tripoli street in 2013, then died in U.S. custody in 2015.

Al-Libi was on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list and was accused of having links to the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa.

The wife of Abu Anas told the AP that she went to college in Tripoli with Abu Ismail's wife, who was studying nuclear engineering. The two women also lived together in the U.K. for years before they returned to Libya.

Even though the senior Abedi denied that he was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting group, former Libyan security official Abdel-Basit Haroun told the AP on Wednesday that the elder Abedi was a member in the 1990s of the group, which had links to al-Qaida.

Although the LIFG disbanded, Haroun says the father belongs to the Salafi Jihadi movement, the most extreme sect of Salafism and from which al-Qaida and the Islamic State group both hail.

Abedi has been working as the appointed administrative manager of Tripoli Central Security forces, which answers to the U.N.-backed government.

"My message to the world is that there are hidden hands that want to tarnish the image of Muslims who live in the west," he said.

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AP Top Political News at 5:10 p.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-political-news-at-510-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world99a878852d11913ea6974fae9ca4119e http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-political-news-at-510-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world99a878852d11913ea6974fae9ca4119e#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:11:37 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249862 AP FACT CHECK: No Medicaid cuts in Trump budget? Really?Longtime Trump attorney set to aid president amid probeAP FACT CHECK: Trump's suspect claim about Iran's collapseJustice watchdog says DEA botched deadly Honduras missionsBiden tells grads to take up 'dirty business of politics'On the Syrian border, Haley confronts civil war's realityThe Latest: Dem wants to know if Trump pressed intel chiefsWhy Melania Trump covers her head one day and not the next]]> Hannity says liberal fascists after sponsors; 1 is leaving http://www.dailyastorian.com/hannity-says-liberal-fascists-after-sponsors-1-is-leaving-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world22f37ef0513e4fe4824b7b79d0dee09d http://www.dailyastorian.com/hannity-says-liberal-fascists-after-sponsors-1-is-leaving-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world22f37ef0513e4fe4824b7b79d0dee09d#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:20:38 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249540 NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Hannity says a media watchdog is guilty of "liberal fascism" for targeting advertisers on his Fox News Channel show. One company announced Wednesday that it would no longer advertise there.

The Chicago-based Cars.com said it had been watching Hannity's show closely and decided to suspend its backing.

Hannity went on the attack against the organization Media Matters for America, which a day earlier had published a list of companies that had run commercials on his show this month. Advertising boycotts are a potent weapon in the media world, although Media Matters says it is not actively fomenting a boycott.

With attention drawn to him, Hannity reached a big audience of 2.5 million people on Tuesday — about 50 percent more than he had last year on the same date.

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Hannity says liberal fascists after sponsors; 1 is leaving http://www.dailyastorian.com/hannity-says-liberal-fascists-after-sponsors-1-is-leaving-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment22f37ef0513e4fe4824b7b79d0dee09d http://www.dailyastorian.com/hannity-says-liberal-fascists-after-sponsors-1-is-leaving-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment22f37ef0513e4fe4824b7b79d0dee09d#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:10:53 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249544 NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Hannity says a media watchdog is guilty of "liberal fascism" for targeting advertisers on his Fox News Channel show. One company announced Wednesday that it would no longer advertise there.

The Chicago-based Cars.com said it had been watching Hannity's show closely and decided to suspend its backing.

Hannity went on the attack against the organization Media Matters for America, which a day earlier had published a list of companies that had run commercials on his show this month. Advertising boycotts are a potent weapon in the media world, although Media Matters says it is not actively fomenting a boycott.

With attention drawn to him, Hannity reached a big audience of 2.5 million people on Tuesday — about 50 percent more than he had last year on the same date.

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AP Top Entertainment News at 5:07 p.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-entertainment-news-at-507-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment4ce7d1a6f1be8da077ffe0ef3f4fc4e8 http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-entertainment-news-at-507-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment4ce7d1a6f1be8da077ffe0ef3f4fc4e8#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:10:54 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249876 Raids, arrests as on-edge UK seeks 'network' of attackersJury of 12 on Bill Cosby sex assault case includes 2 blacksFox moves to dismiss lawsuit by ex-host Andrea TantarosAmericans don't trust media, but feel better about favoritesThe Latest: 2 blacks are among jury of 12 on Cosby caseLondon premiere of 'Wonder Woman' is canceled after attack]]> Marijuana extract helps some kids with epilepsy, study says http://www.dailyastorian.com/marijuana-extract-helps-some-kids-with-epilepsy-study-says-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world252bab31e076427c8635fc2b98a1c72d http://www.dailyastorian.com/marijuana-extract-helps-some-kids-with-epilepsy-study-says-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world252bab31e076427c8635fc2b98a1c72d#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:10:51 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249545 A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

"This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data" that a marijuana compound is safe and effective for this problem, said one study leader, Dr. Orrin Devinsky of NYU Langone Medical Center.

He said research into promising medical uses has been hampered by requiring scientists to get special licenses, plus legal constraints and false notions of how risky marijuana is.

"Opiates kill over 30,000 Americans a year, alcohol kills over 80,000 a year. And marijuana, as best we know, probably kills less than 50 people a year," Devinsky said.

The study was published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

For years, desperate patients and parents have argued for more research and wider access to marijuana, with only anecdotal stories and small, flawed studies on their side. The new study is the first large, rigorous test — one group got the drug, another got a dummy version, and neither patients, parents nor doctors knew who took what until the study ended.

It tested a liquid form of cannabidiol, one of marijuana's more than 100 ingredients, called Epidiolex, (eh'-pih-DYE'-uh-lehx). It doesn't contain THC, the hallucinogenic ingredient, and is not sold anywhere yet, although its maker, GW Pharmaceuticals of London, is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

The company paid for, designed and helped run the study, and another doctor involved in the study has related patents.

Patients in the study have Dravet (drah-VAY) syndrome , a type of epilepsy usually caused by a faulty gene. It starts in infancy and causes frequent seizures, some so long-lasting they require emergency care and can be fatal. Kids develop poorly, and their mental impairment seems related to the frequency of seizures — from 4 to as many as 1,717 a month in this study.

Allison Hendershot's 12-year-old daughter Molly was four months old when she had her first. It lasted an hour and a half, and emergency room doctors medically induced a coma to stop it. Molly, who lives in Rochester, New York, has tried more than half a dozen medicines and a special diet, but her seizures continued.

"We literally could not count how many" before she started in the study, her mom said.

It included 120 children and teens, ages 2 to 18, in the U.S. and Europe. They took about a teaspoon of a sweet-smelling oil twice a day (drug or placebo) plus their usual anti-seizure medicines for 14 weeks. Their symptoms were compared to the previous four weeks.

Serious seizures with convulsions dropped from around 12 a month to about six for those on the drug and did not change in the others. Three patients on the drug became seizure-free during the study.

It's no panacea, though. Diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, sleep problems and other issues were more frequent in the drug group. Twelve patients quit the study — nine on the drug and three in the placebo group.

Hendershot thinks her daughter got the dummy medicine because they saw no change in her seizures until the study ended and all participants were allowed to try the drug.

By the second day they saw a difference, and "she went seizure-free for two months. It was pretty remarkable," Hendershot said.

The fact the drug came from marijuana "did not matter to me at all," she said. "If it helps, we're happy. I think people hear 'cannabis' or that it comes from marijuana and immediately there's a stigma attached to it."

For those who swear marijuana helped them, "anecdote has been confirmed by data," Dr. Samuel Berkovic writes in a commentary in the medical journal. He is an epilepsy researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia, where medical marijuana was legalized last year, and has worked with Devinsky in the past.

The drug is being tested in a second large study in kids with Dravet syndrome, and in studies of some other types of epilepsy.

___

Marilynn Marchione can be followed on Twitter: @MMarchioneAP

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Family of bicyclist sues city of Seattle, Sound Transit http://www.dailyastorian.com/family-of-bicyclist-sues-city-of-seattle-sound-transit-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwest8607720f56814956a038d619c72bcccc http://www.dailyastorian.com/family-of-bicyclist-sues-city-of-seattle-sound-transit-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwest8607720f56814956a038d619c72bcccc#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:10:13 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249546 SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a bicyclist who died in a crash last year is suing the city of Seattle and Sound Transit, claiming the streetcar trolley tracks caused the crash.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/2qXFiG5 ) the family announced the lawsuit Wednesday, the anniversary of Desiree McCloud's death.

They're seeking more than $2 million in damages on each claim.

McCloud was riding with three other cyclists from East Capitol Hill to Alki Beach. Surveillance images from a police report showed McCloud pedaling between the tracks when she tried to pass someone in her group.

That cyclist told police she saw McCloud's bike wobble, before McCloud crashed on the pavement. She died 11 days later.

The police investigation didn't find evidence to conclude whether the tracks played a role in the crash.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

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Justice watchdog says DEA botched deadly Honduras missions http://www.dailyastorian.com/justice-watchdog-says-dea-botched-deadly-honduras-missions-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldc7b8300302884d7ab737afcc177ff9ea http://www.dailyastorian.com/justice-watchdog-says-dea-botched-deadly-honduras-missions-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldc7b8300302884d7ab737afcc177ff9ea#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:11:47 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249651 WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration misled the public, Congress and Justice Department officials about an aggressive yet poorly planned strategy that led to a series of deadly confrontations involving agents in Honduras, government watchdogs wrote in a scathing report released Wednesday.

The offensive, known as Operation Anvil, involved U.S. State Department helicopters and a special team of DEA agents working with Honduran security forces to stop drug smuggling planes carrying cocaine into the country. The report found sweeping problems with the DEA's response to three violent encounters associated with the effort in 2012, including a May raid that killed four people and wounded four others, whom locals said were innocent civilians traveling the river near the village of Ahuas at night.

The agency poorly planned the operation, failed to fully investigate the incidents and gave inaccurate information to Justice Department officials and Congress, according to the report released by inspectors general for the Justice and State departments.

The DEA said in a statement that the team involved in the effort — called the Foreign Advisory and Support Team— no longer operates overseas, among other changes.

But the agency's efforts to disrupt drug smuggling abroad continue. It said it was implementing the recommendations outlined in the report, which include more thoroughly investigating shootings that happen during work with foreign law enforcement agents.

The May 11 shooting on the river happened after a boat collided with a disabled canoe being used by law enforcement agents to carry cocaine seized earlier that day. DEA officials insisted the people on the boat were drug traffickers who fired first, and the lawmen were acting in self-defense. They maintained that account even as further information showed otherwise.

"Even as information became available to DEA that conflicted with its initial reporting, including that the passenger boat may have been a water taxi carrying passengers on an overnight trip, DEA officials remained steadfast — with little corroborating evidence —that any individuals shot by the Hondurans were drug traffickers" trying to get the drugs back.

The report found DEA's review of the shooting, conducted only after mounting public pressure, was "little more than a paper exercise." Investigations of two other deadly encounters in June and July were more thorough but still inadequate, it said.

DEA then failed to cooperate with investigations by the State Department and Honduran government officials. The agency also provided inaccurate information to Justice Department officials and Congress about the May 2012 raid, the report said.

DEA, Honduran and State Department officials tried to "perpetuate a self-serving narrative that was fundamentally flawed and demeaned the lives of the victims and the reputation of the United States," said Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. "I am deeply concerned about the uninformed arrogance at these agencies that produced these failures. This raises serious questions whether these cases are isolated incidents."

The report also says State Department officials misled the public with inaccurate talking points that mischaracterized DEA's role in the operation as supportive, when in fact its agents maintained substantial control of the effort.

Similarly, embassy officials prepared talking points for an Associated Press interview with the U.S. ambassador to Honduras reiterating that DEA agents were involved in "a supporting, advisory role only" with "highly trained and vetted" Honduran officers "who operate with advice from U.S. Government law enforcement agents."

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Spieth believes good vibes at Colonial can provide momentum http://www.dailyastorian.com/spieth-believes-good-vibes-at-colonial-can-provide-momentum-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports6280341e8da94761b68f30f684fa3f57 http://www.dailyastorian.com/spieth-believes-good-vibes-at-colonial-can-provide-momentum-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports6280341e8da94761b68f30f684fa3f57#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:01:28 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249547 FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Jordan Spieth always gets good vibes at Colonial, so his return to Hogan's Alley as defending champion might be coming at an opportune time.

"This is a great spot to kind of start a new momentum train and get off the bogey train I've been on," Spieth said Wednesday.

While saying he is more confident tee to green than at any point in his career and is having a really good ball-striking year, Spieth didn't make the weekend rounds on the PGA Tour the last two weeks. After only two missed cuts all of last season, he has three in his last five starts — all since winning at Pebble Beach in February.

And there's less than a month before the U.S. Open.

"I feel good about the state of my game. It's hard to compare years. I don't really remember three years ago, two years ago, or last year what my exact feeling was here," Spieth said. "I know what I was working on in my swing here last year and I know that I feel better about it right now. It's about knocking that short game down."

Spieth, who played his Colonial pro-am with Bill Murray for the second year in a row, is switching back to his old Scott Cameron flat stick putter after using a mallet-style putter at the Byron Nelson.

Before six birdies in the final nine holes to win at Colonial last May, Spieth was runner-up in 2015 between his wins at the Masters and U.S. Open during the season he had more victories (five) than missed cuts (four). Spieth finished seventh and 14th in his only other Colonials.

While Spieth will try to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win consecutive years at Colonial, two-time champion Phil Mickelson (2000, 2008) is back for the first time since missing the cut in 2010. A win then would have made Mickelson the world's No. 1 golfer ahead of Tiger Woods.

Zach Johnson (2010, 2012) will be the only two-time Colonial champion other than Mickelson in the 121-player field when play starts Thursday.

There had been changes to the course since Mickelson's last victory, and he later indicated that Colonial no longer suited his game. Asked Wednesday what led to his return, Mickelson said, "Nothing real specific" and that he was excited to be back.

Mickelson said after his pro-am round that he remembered the course before the renovation, when there was still a bunker behind the par-3 13th green, and the bunker now on the left side at No. 14 that used to be on the right.

"So little nuances, I still remember it the way it was before," Mickelson said. "It's in great shape. It's going to be a fun week."

Spieth, now seventh in the world rankings, missed the cut at The Players Championship two weeks ago, then failed to make the weekend for the first time in seven starts at the Byron Nelson, where in 2010 he played his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old high school junior.

While Billy Horschel was winning at the Nelson last Sunday, Spieth was playing 36 holes at Dallas National. Spieth said a couple of great putting rounds helped him regain the feel for his old Scotty Cameron.

"It's all been setup related. So I just needed to look at something different," Spieth said about the one-week switch to a mallet putter that helps alignment. "I didn't know if it would be a week or a month, and ended up being a week and it feels good now."

Hogan's five wins at Colonial include the first two tournaments in 1946 and 1947. He won consecutive times again in 1952 and 1953.

Spieth would like to add his name again to the Wall of Champions next to the first tee, maybe in a more prominent spot.

"My name is at the bottom of the row, and so you can't really see it during the year when the plants grow up," he said. "I need to get one on the top so you can see it a little bit better. That's the goal this year."

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More AP golf: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf

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Sextuplets thriving after delivery at Virginia hospital http://www.dailyastorian.com/sextuplets-thriving-after-delivery-at-virginia-hospital-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world1066c737d595491eb5898d4d65a7bf5b http://www.dailyastorian.com/sextuplets-thriving-after-delivery-at-virginia-hospital-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world1066c737d595491eb5898d4d65a7bf5b#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:01:07 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249550 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia hospital says its staff has successfully delivered sextuplets and the three boys and three girls are thriving.

VCU Medical Center in Richmond announced the births in a statement Wednesday, saying they were the first sextuplets delivered at the hospital. The babies were born May 11 to parents who had tried to conceive for 17 years.

The statement says a 40-person team was involved, and the delivery required hours of planning, including pre-delivery drills and resuscitation exercises. The babies ranged from 1 pound, 10 ounces, to 2 pounds, 15 ounces.

Sextuplets are quite rare. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the nearly 4 million live births in the U.S. in 2015, only 24 were quintuplets or other higher-order births.

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Mentally ill languish in Texas jails despite funding hike http://www.dailyastorian.com/mentally-ill-languish-in-texas-jails-despite-funding-hike-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldd0509550e77c447b9b222a051ee561ad http://www.dailyastorian.com/mentally-ill-languish-in-texas-jails-despite-funding-hike-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldd0509550e77c447b9b222a051ee561ad#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:01:26 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249549 AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Though a judge deemed her mentally unfit to stand trial fourteen months ago, Jennifer Lampkin is still sitting in an Austin jail cell because there are no free spots for her at the state's psychiatric hospitals.

Lampkin, 35, has both intellectual disabilities and a mental illness, and without treatment, the court couldn't reassess her competency to stand trial on an assault charge for allegedly slapping a child, which might at least allow her case to progress.

"I don't think she understands why she remains in jail," said her attorney, Elsie Craven. "She's stressed because she doesn't know what's going to happen. I don't believe she's getting the treatment she needs. How could she? She's in jail."

Lampkin is one of hundreds of mentally ill Texas inmates who have been stuck in jail for months waiting for a spot at one of the state's overcrowded and understaffed mental hospitals. Though such problems aren't unique to Texas, its inmates face among the nation's longest waits to receive psychiatric treatment and the problem is only getting worse despite recent efforts to improve the situation.

The average wait for a maximum security inmate to get in-patient psychiatric treatment has nearly doubled in the past two years, to 127 days, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

For inmates like Lampkin with intellectual disabilities and a mental illness, the average wait is more than three times as long, at 417 days. That's partly because the state only has one unit dedicated to the treatment of such inmates, said Beth Mitchell, the supervising attorney for the advocacy group Disability Rights Texas.

"People who are charged but not convicted are supposed to be let out on bond," said Mitchell, whose group has a class-action lawsuit pending against the state that argues the long waits are unconstitutional. "But in this case, these people can't get put out on bond because they don't have the capacity to agree to bond."

Texas had the fourth-longest waits among states for inmates to receive psychiatric treatment, according to a 2016 survey by the Treatment Advocacy Center, a Virginia-based group dedicated to getting treatment for the mentally ill. Since then, Texas' average treatment delay has increased by more than 50 days, according to the state's own figures.

"Texas is unique in that there have been multiple lawsuits dealing with this issue and it is still coming up," said John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center. "Texas has been struggling for years to effectively address this problem."

The state has tried to improve the situation in the past couple of years and the Legislature plans to allocate more funds for mental health before its current session ends Monday. But thus far, the efforts have only helped to slow a worsening problem, not reverse its course.

Since ranking last in the nation in per resident mental health spending in 2009, Texas increased funding in recognition that it had a problem. In 2015, during the last legislative session, lawmakers allocated an additional $50 million to pay for the treatment of non-inmate mentally ill patients at private hospitals, which would open up spots in state-run facilities that can treat mentally ill inmates.

Although state mental hospitals went from housing 1,144 inmates in 2015 to 1,239 at the start of this year, the increase hasn't kept pace with the pace of Texas' population growth, said Four Price, a Republican state representative from Amarillo who has pushed for more funding for the treatment of mental illness.

Price said it's important for the state to identify and treat the mentally ill before they get arrested, as once they end up in the criminal justice system, they typically have more serious mental illnesses that require longer hospital stays.

"In the past we were trying to build more hospital capacity, but we want to add to that more effort on the front end," said Price, who is pushing for more preventive services, including outpatient treatment and community mental health services . Currently individuals often seek help in the community or in state mental hospitals, only to be turned away because of a lack of space, advocates said.

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Follow Meredith Hoffman on Twitter at https://twitter.com/merhoffman

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AP Top U.S. News at 4:59 p.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-us-news-at-459-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world01318af8bbe4562174b06baa65aa8343 http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-us-news-at-459-pm-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world01318af8bbe4562174b06baa65aa8343#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:01:07 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249894 Jury of 12 on Bill Cosby sex assault case includes 2 blacksThe Latest: 2 blacks are among jury of 12 on Cosby caseA third of older Latinos have tapped into retirement savingsAdvocates: Federal role crucial for iconic waterway cleanupsPlayboy model pleads no contest for post of nude womanVideo appears to show Texas officer striking teenage girlMentally ill languish in Texas jails despite funding hikeDrugmaker paying $33M over recalled nonprescription meds]]> Jury of 12 on Bill Cosby sex assault case includes 2 blacks http://www.dailyastorian.com/jury-of-12-on-bill-cosby-sex-assault-case-includes-2-blacks-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment6ab9df17b7744edb8e43aad095ebb6b1 http://www.dailyastorian.com/jury-of-12-on-bill-cosby-sex-assault-case-includes-2-blacks-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment6ab9df17b7744edb8e43aad095ebb6b1#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:22 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249895 PITTSBURGH (AP) — The jury that will hear the sex assault case against Bill Cosby will include two blacks among its 12 members.

Prosecutors and the defense team on Wednesday also selected three of six alternates, and two of them are black.

Cosby's lawyers had complained this week that prosecutors were trying to keep blacks off the jury with their seven strikes. The judge, though, found prosecutors had other valid reasons to strike two black women earlier this week. The jury makeup of 17 percent is higher than the 13 percent black population in Allegheny County.

Meanwhile, Judge Steven T. O'Neill removed a white male juror chosen Monday for undisclosed reasons. Lawyers then chose a white woman to replace him.

Cosby, the 79-year-old black actor-comedian once known as America's Dad for his beloved portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," is charged with drugging and molesting a Temple University women's basketball team manager at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. He has called the encounter consensual.

Dozens of other women have made similar accusations against Cosby, 79, but the judge is allowing only one of them to testify. The jury from Pittsburgh will be sequestered nearly 300 miles from home.

Half of the jury pool being questioned Wednesday said they've formed an opinion on his guilt or innocence, while one knows Cosby or his family. They aren't necessarily disqualified if they can convince the judge they can put that aside and focus on the evidence.

One-third said they were more likely to believe police testimony, nearly one-fourth had been convicted of a crime and nearly one-fifth said someone close to them had been sexually assaulted.

The defense raised concerns about the racial makeup of the jury Tuesday when only one black was seated among the first 11 jurors. The initial jury pool had 16 blacks among 100 people.

However, six were dismissed based on their initial questionnaires. Others were sent home after being questioned individually about various problems or conflicts. And several had relatives who were crime victims, one had an ill spouse and one man said he had no one to watch his dog.

Cosby, in an interview last week, said race could be a motivating factor in the accusations against him.

The 48-question juror survey asks if the potential jurors have an opinion about Cosby's guilt but not if they were fans of his comedy routines, top-ranked TV shows or family values speeches.

The jurors selected earlier this week included a black woman who said she knew only "basic information" about the case, a white man who initially expressed a tendency to believe police and two people who said they don't read or watch the news.

The trial will take place in Montgomery County, where Cosby had invited Andrea Constand to his home in 2004. Constand said she went seeking career advice. She said Cosby gave her wine and pills that put her in a stupor before molesting her on his couch.

Constand was 30 and dating a woman at the time, while Cosby was 66 and long married to wife Camille. Cosby in sworn testimony has said he put his hand down Constand's pants, but said she did not protest.

Cosby has said he does not expect to testify.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are the victims of sexual assault unless they come forward, as Constand has done.

Cosby was arrested Dec. 30, 2015, days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $1 million bail.

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Dale contributed from Philadelphia.

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Jury of 12 on Bill Cosby sex assault case includes 2 blacks http://www.dailyastorian.com/jury-of-12-on-bill-cosby-sex-assault-case-includes-2-blacks-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world6ab9df17b7744edb8e43aad095ebb6b1 http://www.dailyastorian.com/jury-of-12-on-bill-cosby-sex-assault-case-includes-2-blacks-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world6ab9df17b7744edb8e43aad095ebb6b1#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:15 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249898 PITTSBURGH (AP) — The jury that will hear the sex assault case against Bill Cosby will include two blacks among its 12 members.

Prosecutors and the defense team on Wednesday also selected three of six alternates, and two of them are black.

Cosby's lawyers had complained this week that prosecutors were trying to keep blacks off the jury with their seven strikes. The judge, though, found prosecutors had other valid reasons to strike two black women earlier this week. The jury makeup of 17 percent is higher than the 13 percent black population in Allegheny County.

Meanwhile, Judge Steven T. O'Neill removed a white male juror chosen Monday for undisclosed reasons. Lawyers then chose a white woman to replace him.

Cosby, the 79-year-old black actor-comedian once known as America's Dad for his beloved portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," is charged with drugging and molesting a Temple University women's basketball team manager at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. He has called the encounter consensual.

Dozens of other women have made similar accusations against Cosby, 79, but the judge is allowing only one of them to testify. The jury from Pittsburgh will be sequestered nearly 300 miles from home.

Half of the jury pool being questioned Wednesday said they've formed an opinion on his guilt or innocence, while one knows Cosby or his family. They aren't necessarily disqualified if they can convince the judge they can put that aside and focus on the evidence.

One-third said they were more likely to believe police testimony, nearly one-fourth had been convicted of a crime and nearly one-fifth said someone close to them had been sexually assaulted.

The defense raised concerns about the racial makeup of the jury Tuesday when only one black was seated among the first 11 jurors. The initial jury pool had 16 blacks among 100 people.

However, six were dismissed based on their initial questionnaires. Others were sent home after being questioned individually about various problems or conflicts. And several had relatives who were crime victims, one had an ill spouse and one man said he had no one to watch his dog.

Cosby, in an interview last week, said race could be a motivating factor in the accusations against him.

The 48-question juror survey asks if the potential jurors have an opinion about Cosby's guilt but not if they were fans of his comedy routines, top-ranked TV shows or family values speeches.

The jurors selected earlier this week included a black woman who said she knew only "basic information" about the case, a white man who initially expressed a tendency to believe police and two people who said they don't read or watch the news.

The trial will take place in Montgomery County, where Cosby had invited Andrea Constand to his home in 2004. Constand said she went seeking career advice. She said Cosby gave her wine and pills that put her in a stupor before molesting her on his couch.

Constand was 30 and dating a woman at the time, while Cosby was 66 and long married to wife Camille. Cosby in sworn testimony has said he put his hand down Constand's pants, but said she did not protest.

Cosby has said he does not expect to testify.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are the victims of sexual assault unless they come forward, as Constand has done.

Cosby was arrested Dec. 30, 2015, days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $1 million bail.

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Dale contributed from Philadelphia.

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Raids, arrests as on-edge UK seeks 'network' of attackers http://www.dailyastorian.com/raids-arrests-as-on-edge-uk-seeks-network-of-attackers-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainmente4b9ebc4137a4dd5973397d33bc9bc84 http://www.dailyastorian.com/raids-arrests-as-on-edge-uk-seeks-network-of-attackers-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainmente4b9ebc4137a4dd5973397d33bc9bc84#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:31 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249789 MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Security forces rounded up more suspects Wednesday in the deadly Manchester concert blast and soldiers fanned out across the country to national landmarks as an on-edge Britain tried to thwart the possibility of additional attacks.

Officials scoured the background of the British-born ethnic Libyan identified as the bomber, saying he was likely part of a wider terrorist network. Additional arrests were made both in Britain and in Libya in the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores more.

"I think it's very clear this is a network we are investigating," said Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Manchester Police, as authorities raided properties thought to be connected to Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old suspected bomber who grew up in Manchester and died in the attack.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Abedi "likely" did not act alone in the strike at the close of an Ariana Grande concert Monday night and that he had been known to security forces "up to a point." Meanwhile, officials probed possible travel by the alleged bomber, looking for clues to new threats.

Government officials said nearly 1,000 soldiers were deployed to Buckingham Palace, Parliament and other high-profile sites across the country. Britain's terror threat level was raised to "critical" — the highest level — on Tuesday over concern another attack could be imminent.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Abedi was believed to have traveled to Syria and had "proven" links to the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attack. British officials, however, have not commented on whether Abedi had links to IS or other extremist groups.

British authorities were probing whether Abedi had ties to other cells across Europe and North Africa, according to two officials familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation.

They said one thread of the inquiry involved pursuing whether Abedi could have been part of a larger terror cell that included Mohamed Abrini, otherwise known as "the man in the hat," with connections to the Brussels and Paris attacks. Abrini visited Manchester in 2015.

Five additional arrests were made in Britain on Wednesday as the sprawling investigation extended to Libya, where Abedi's father and a younger brother were detained in Tripoli. The father, Ramadan Abedi, denied his son had links to militants in an interview with The Associated Press earlier Wednesday, saying, "We don't believe in killing innocents."

The elder Abedi was allegedly a member of the al-Qaida-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, according to a former Libyan security official, Abdel-Basit Haroun. The Libyan anti-terror force that arrested the men said the brother, 18-year-old Hashim Abedi, confessed he and his brother were linked to the Islamic State group and that he was aware of the arena bombing plan.

A second brother, Ismail Abedi, 23, was taken into custody in Manchester a day earlier.

The suspected bomber grew up in Manchester's southern suburbs and once attended Salford University there. Neighbors recalled him as tall, thin and quiet, and said he often wore traditional Islamic dress. Among investigators' areas of interest is how often Abedi traveled to Libya, which has seen an eruption of armed Islamist groups since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

Before his arrest, Abedi's father said he had last spoken to his son five days ago and he sounded "normal." He said his son was getting ready to visit Saudi Arabia for a short Umrah pilgrimage then planned to head to Libya to spend the Islamic holy month of Ramadan with his family. He said his son last visited Libya about six weeks ago and had never gone to Syria. He denied ties to any militant groups or suggestions of extremism.

"We aren't the ones who blow up ourselves among innocents," he said. "We go to mosques. We recite Quran, but not that."

At Manchester's Didsbury Mosque, where the Abedi family worshipped, the bombing was condemned and reports that the suspected bomber had worked there were denied. Azhar Mahmoud, who prays at the mosque in southern Manchester, said it was "horrible" that Abedi was associated with it.

"Wherever he got that, he didn't get it from this mosque," he said, adding that the imam regularly preached against radicalization.

British Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting Wednesday of her emergency security cabinet group to talk about intelligence reports on Abedi and concerns that he might have had outside support. Police raided homes believed to be connected with the investigation.

At one apartment building in Manchester, heavily armed police swarmed in and a controlled explosion was heard. At another property, a house a 10-minute walk from where Abedi lived, neighbors said they were awakened by a loud noise and saw a man hauled away in handcuffs.

"There was a policeman, armed policeman, shouting," neighbor Omar Alfa Khuri said. "And I realized there is something wrong here."

Across London, troops fanned out and authorities reconsidered security plans. The changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace was canceled so police officers could be re-deployed. The Palace of Westminster, which houses Parliament, was shuttered to those without passes, and tours and events were canceled until further notice. Armed police patrolled outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London, another popular tourist spot.

For a second night, a throng of people filled a Manchester square for a vigil for the victims. Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders echoed a message that extremists wouldn't drive a wedge among the city's religious groups. People lifted their hands in the air during a moment of silence.

"There are no divisions here tonight," Irfan Chishti, the imam of Manchester's biggest mosque, told the crowd.

Officials said all of the bombing victims had been identified, but names were being withheld until autopsies were completed. Still, their stories began to emerge: Michelle Kiss, a mother of three whose "family was her life;" Nell Jones, an "always smiling" teenager; Martyn Hett, who packed life "to the brim with his passions;" Jane Tweddle, a "bubbly, kind, welcoming" receptionist. The youngest known of those killed was just 8. Besides the dead, the number of people who sought medical help after the attack was raised to 119. Officials said 64 people remained hospitalized, including 20 who were critically injured.

__

Michael reported from Cairo and Katz reported from London. Associated Press writers Sylvia Hui and Paisley Dodds in London, Rob Harris in Manchester, Angela Charlton in Paris and Matt Sedensky in New York contributed to this report.

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Raids, arrests as on-edge UK seeks 'network' of attackers http://www.dailyastorian.com/raids-arrests-as-on-edge-uk-seeks-network-of-attackers-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlde4b9ebc4137a4dd5973397d33bc9bc84 http://www.dailyastorian.com/raids-arrests-as-on-edge-uk-seeks-network-of-attackers-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlde4b9ebc4137a4dd5973397d33bc9bc84#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:10:26 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249847 MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Security forces rounded up more suspects Wednesday in the deadly Manchester concert blast and soldiers fanned out across the country to national landmarks as an on-edge Britain tried to thwart the possibility of additional attacks.

Officials scoured the background of the British-born ethnic Libyan identified as the bomber, saying he was likely part of a wider terrorist network. Additional arrests were made both in Britain and in Libya in the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores more.

"I think it's very clear this is a network we are investigating," said Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Manchester Police, as authorities raided properties thought to be connected to Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old suspected bomber who grew up in Manchester and died in the attack.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Abedi "likely" did not act alone in the strike at the close of an Ariana Grande concert Monday night and that he had been known to security forces "up to a point." Meanwhile, officials probed possible travel by the alleged bomber, looking for clues to new threats.

Government officials said nearly 1,000 soldiers were deployed to Buckingham Palace, Parliament and other high-profile sites across the country. Britain's terror threat level was raised to "critical" — the highest level — on Tuesday over concern another attack could be imminent.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Abedi was believed to have traveled to Syria and had "proven" links to the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attack. British officials, however, have not commented on whether Abedi had links to IS or other extremist groups.

British authorities were probing whether Abedi had ties to other cells across Europe and North Africa, according to two officials familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation.

They said one thread of the inquiry involved pursuing whether Abedi could have been part of a larger terror cell that included Mohamed Abrini, otherwise known as "the man in the hat," with connections to the Brussels and Paris attacks. Abrini visited Manchester in 2015.

Five additional arrests were made in Britain on Wednesday as the sprawling investigation extended to Libya, where Abedi's father and a younger brother were detained in Tripoli. The father, Ramadan Abedi, denied his son had links to militants in an interview with The Associated Press earlier Wednesday, saying, "We don't believe in killing innocents."

The elder Abedi was allegedly a member of the al-Qaida-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, according to a former Libyan security official, Abdel-Basit Haroun. The Libyan anti-terror force that arrested the men said the brother, 18-year-old Hashim Abedi, confessed he and his brother were linked to the Islamic State group and that he was aware of the arena bombing plan.

A second brother, Ismail Abedi, 23, was taken into custody in Manchester a day earlier.

The suspected bomber grew up in Manchester's southern suburbs and once attended Salford University there. Neighbors recalled him as tall, thin and quiet, and said he often wore traditional Islamic dress. Among investigators' areas of interest is how often Abedi traveled to Libya, which has seen an eruption of armed Islamist groups since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

Before his arrest, Abedi's father said he had last spoken to his son five days ago and he sounded "normal." He said his son was getting ready to visit Saudi Arabia for a short Umrah pilgrimage then planned to head to Libya to spend the Islamic holy month of Ramadan with his family. He said his son last visited Libya about six weeks ago and had never gone to Syria. He denied ties to any militant groups or suggestions of extremism.

"We aren't the ones who blow up ourselves among innocents," he said. "We go to mosques. We recite Quran, but not that."

At Manchester's Didsbury Mosque, where the Abedi family worshipped, the bombing was condemned and reports that the suspected bomber had worked there were denied. Azhar Mahmoud, who prays at the mosque in southern Manchester, said it was "horrible" that Abedi was associated with it.

"Wherever he got that, he didn't get it from this mosque," he said, adding that the imam regularly preached against radicalization.

British Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting Wednesday of her emergency security cabinet group to talk about intelligence reports on Abedi and concerns that he might have had outside support. Police raided homes believed to be connected with the investigation.

At one apartment building in Manchester, heavily armed police swarmed in and a controlled explosion was heard. At another property, a house a 10-minute walk from where Abedi lived, neighbors said they were awakened by a loud noise and saw a man hauled away in handcuffs.

"There was a policeman, armed policeman, shouting," neighbor Omar Alfa Khuri said. "And I realized there is something wrong here."

Across London, troops fanned out and authorities reconsidered security plans. The changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace was canceled so police officers could be re-deployed. The Palace of Westminster, which houses Parliament, was shuttered to those without passes, and tours and events were canceled until further notice. Armed police patrolled outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London, another popular tourist spot.

For a second night, a throng of people filled a Manchester square for a vigil for the victims. Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders echoed a message that extremists wouldn't drive a wedge among the city's religious groups. People lifted their hands in the air during a moment of silence.

"There are no divisions here tonight," Irfan Chishti, the imam of Manchester's biggest mosque, told the crowd.

Officials said all of the bombing victims had been identified, but names were being withheld until autopsies were completed. Still, their stories began to emerge: Michelle Kiss, a mother of three whose "family was her life;" Nell Jones, an "always smiling" teenager; Martyn Hett, who packed life "to the brim with his passions;" Jane Tweddle, a "bubbly, kind, welcoming" receptionist. The youngest known of those killed was just 8. Besides the dead, the number of people who sought medical help after the attack was raised to 119. Officials said 64 people remained hospitalized, including 20 who were critically injured.

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Michael reported from Cairo and Katz reported from London. Associated Press writers Sylvia Hui and Paisley Dodds in London, Rob Harris in Manchester, Angela Charlton in Paris and Matt Sedensky in New York contributed to this report.

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Lions coach hopes team can work out any issues with Johnson http://www.dailyastorian.com/lions-coach-hopes-team-can-work-out-any-issues-with-johnson-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sportsec1bbf72195247d581105f7306954f6e http://www.dailyastorian.com/lions-coach-hopes-team-can-work-out-any-issues-with-johnson-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sportsec1bbf72195247d581105f7306954f6e#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:18 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249551 ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell hopes the franchise's relationship with Calvin Johnson will eventually improve.

Johnson told the Detroit Free Press over the weekend that he felt he should have been treated better as he left the Lions. The star receiver retired following the 2015 season.

Caldwell spoke to reporters Wednesday at an organized team activity, and he said the organization is concerned anytime it finds out one of its alumni isn't happy.

Johnson didn't go into specifics with the Free Press about what treatment by the team left him unsatisfied.

Caldwell said he still texts Johnson often and stays in touch, and the coach says he's hopeful the Lions and Johnson can work out whatever their differences may be.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL .

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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Hall of Famer's widow causes stir with memorabilia auction http://www.dailyastorian.com/hall-of-famers-widow-causes-stir-with-memorabilia-auction-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports8808319939a14df1aa1954b8f10afcf5 http://www.dailyastorian.com/hall-of-famers-widow-causes-stir-with-memorabilia-auction-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports8808319939a14df1aa1954b8f10afcf5#Comments Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:17 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017305249552 PITTSBURGH (AP) — The family of baseball Hall of Famer Willie Stargell said it is hurt and angry that his widow is auctioning his memorabilia, including his World Series ring and his National League MVP award.

The auction, being conducted by SCP Auctions Inc., began Wednesday, the Post-Gazette reported ((http://bit.ly/2rQ4NqV). The items were selected by his second wife, Margaret Weller-Stargell.

Dolores Stargell, who was married to the late Pittsburgh late Pirates first baseman from 1962 to 1983, said she, her children and grandchildren weren't told about the auction. She said they were "completely blindsided" by the auction and that her anger was "released" upon hearing of it.

Her daughter is handicapped and her son, a Gulf War veteran, suffers from post-traumatic, said Stargell. The family is living in poverty, she added.

In a letter on Facebook she helped them write, the children said, "Dad would want the accomplishments of his lifetime achievements to be on display and enjoyed by all, as opposed to sitting in someone's basement collecting dust."

Weller-Stargell said the auction is legal.

"Willie made the decision years before his death that he wanted these items left to me because I know that he trusted me to do what was in the best interests of both a game that he loved, the Pirates organization and its fans that he honored and respected," she said in a statement.

Weller-Stargell plans to donate some of the proceeds to charity. The recipients are to include a dialysis unit at a Wilmington, North Carolina, hospital and the kidney disease foundation that was started in her late husband's name. She will receive the rest of the money from the auction.

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