AP News


Court rules for airline in pilot defamation claim PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press   
Monday, 27 January 2014 12:16

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ruling that airlines have broad immunity from lawsuits under a post-9/11 security law, the Supreme Court on Monday threw out a $1.4 million defamation judgment awarded to a pilot who was reported by his employer as mentally unstable and potentially armed.

The court was unanimous in holding that a law aimed at encouraging reports of possible security threats to the Transportation Security Administration shields airlines from defamation claims when the reports are substantially true.

"Congress wanted to ensure that air carriers and their employees would not hesitate to provide the TSA with information it needed," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court. Airlines may be held liable only for recklessly false reports, she said.

Applying that reasoning to the case of veteran pilot William Hoeper, the justices voted 6-3 to overturn a Colorado jury's verdict against Air Wisconsin, Hoeper's former employer.

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Ex-Marlboro man dies from smoking-related disease PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAISY NGUYEN, Associated Press   
Monday, 27 January 2014 07:28

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Lawson, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72.

Lawson died Jan. 10 at his home in San Luis Obispo of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, his wife, Susan Lawson said Sunday.

Lawson was an actor with bit parts on such TV shows as "Baretta" and "The Streets of San Francisco" when he was hired to appear in print Marlboro ads from 1978 to 1981. His other credits include "Charlie's Angels," ''Dynasty" and "Baywatch." His wife said injuries sustained on the set of a Western film ended his career in 1997.

A smoker since age 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro man and an "Entertainment Tonight" segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking. Susan said her husband was proud of the interview, even though he was smoking at the time and continued the habit until he was diagnosed with COPD.

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Brain-dead Texas woman taken off life support PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press   
Monday, 27 January 2014 07:27

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A very public battle over the fate of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman and her fetus has ended quietly and privately, as she has been taken off life support and her family prepares for her burial.

John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth complied Sunday with a judge's order to pull any life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Munoz, who was declared brain-dead in November, but kept on machines for the sake of her fetus.

Munoz was removed from the machines shortly afterward and allowed to die. The fetus, which was at 23 weeks' gestation, was not delivered.

The hospital's decision brought an apparent end to a case that inspired debates about abortion and end-of-life decisions, as well as whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus, per Texas law. Anti-abortion activists attended Friday's court hearing and spoke out in favor of trying to deliver the fetus.

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Want to get the flu? Volunteers sneeze for science PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer   
Monday, 27 January 2014 07:24

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Forget being sneezed on: Government scientists are deliberately giving dozens of volunteers the flu by squirting the live virus straight up their noses.

It may sound bizarre, but the rare type of research is a step in the quest for better flu vaccines. It turns out that how the body fends off influenza remains something of a mystery.

"Vaccines are working, but we could do better," said Dr. Matthew Memoli of the National Institutes of Health, who is leading the study that aims to infect up to 100 adults over the next year.

Wait a minute: Flu is sweeping the country, so why not just study the already sick? That wouldn't let scientists measure how the immune system reacts through each step of infection, starting with that first exposure to the virus.

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Daft Punk, Macklemore top left-of-center Grammys PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHRIS TALBOTT, AP Music Writer   
Monday, 27 January 2014 07:23
The 56th Annual GRAMM_Pool_rotator
Ryan Lewis, left, and Macklemore pose in the press room with their awards for best rap performance and best rap song, for “Thrift Shop,” best rap album for “The Heist” and best new artist at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Grammy Awards celebrated outcasts and outsiders, lionizing a couple of French robots, white rappers and a country gal espousing gay rights, and a Goth teenager who's clearly uncomfortable with the current themes in pop music.

The Recording Academy's voters mined some of pop music's biggest hits to send an open-hearted message, awarding French electronic music pioneers Daft Punk for teaming with R&B legends to make a hybrid album that celebrated both genres, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kacey Musgraves for espousing gay rights and Lorde for her anti-swag message to the masses.

Daft Punk and collaborator Pharrell Williams won four awards, including top honors album and record of the year, and best new artists Macklemore and Lewis matched that with four of their own. Lorde won two awards for her inescapable hit "Royals."

Beyond their awards, each offered one of the more powerful moments at the Sunday night ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lorde performed "Royals" wearing black lipstick and fingernail polish with little production, standing in opposition to the large-scale presentations from some of the night's other performers. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo of Daft Punk continued the celebratory feel of their hit, record of the year "Get Lucky," by asking Stevie Wonder to join them with Williams and Nile Rodgers in a colorful performance. And Macklemore and Lewis invited 33 couples, including some of the same sex, to get married with Madonna serenading them and Queen Latifah presiding.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 January 2014 09:42
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