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Judge: 'Unfair' to jail Sharper indefinitely
Written by ANTHONY McCARTNEY, Associated Press   
Saturday, 08 March 2014 07:24

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper has been ordered held in jail without bail by a Los Angeles judge, who warned that she would have to free him soon if charges aren't filed against him in a similar case in Louisiana.

Friday's ruling was the latest development in several ongoing sexual assault investigations involving the 38-year-old Sharper in Louisiana, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada.

He has been charged by Los Angeles prosecutors with seven rape and drug counts in connection with two alleged attacks in Hollywood. He pleaded not guilty and had been freed on $1 million bail, but was taken into custody again when New Orleans police issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with two more alleged rapes.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn said it was unfair to hold Sharper "into perpetuity," and set a hearing for Thursday to give Louisiana prosecutors time to charge Sharper or for that state's governor to seek his return through another type of warrant.

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Sheila MacRae of 'Honeymooners' fame dies at 92
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 08 March 2014 07:22

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Sheila MacRae starred on the Broadway stage and in films, yet it was her small-screen role as the tolerant and brassy wife of a Brooklyn bus driver for which she is most remembered.

MacRae, best known for playing Alice Kramden to Jackie Gleason's Ralph in the 1960s re-creation of "The Honeymooners," died Thursday. She was 92.

The actress died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., MacRae's granddaughter, Allison Mullavey, told The Associated Press on Friday.

In the 1950s version of "The Honeymooners," Audrey Meadows starred with Gleason as the lovebirds and sparring partners Ralph and Alice. Sheila MacRae replaced Meadows as Alice in a later version from 1966-70 on "The Jackie Gleason Show." MacRae was the last survivor from the '60s edition of the Gleason show. Jane Kean, who played Trixie Norton, died last fall.

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Pro-Russia forces mount pressure on Ukrainians
Written by DALTON BENNETT, Associated Press YURAS KARMANAU, Associated Press   
Saturday, 08 March 2014 07:17

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Moscow mounted pressure on Ukraine Saturday, with Russia's foreign minister denouncing the new Ukrainian authorities as puppets of armed radicals and pro-Russia forces in Crimea trying to flush Ukrainian soldiers out of the few military bases still under their control.

The regional parliament in Crimea has set a March 16 referendum on leaving Ukraine to join Russia, and senior lawmakers in Moscow said they would support the move, ignoring sanctions threats and warnings from U.S. President Barack Obama that the vote would violate international law.

The strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine has become the flashpoint in the battle for Ukraine, where three months of protests sent President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing to Russia. A majority of people in Crimea identify with Russia, and Moscow has a major naval base on the Black Sea.

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China-bound Malaysian jet vanishes with 239 aboard
Written by EILEEN NG, Associated Press   
Saturday, 08 March 2014 07:20

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Search and rescue crews across Southeast Asia scrambled on Saturday to find a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared from air traffic control screens over waters between Malaysia and Vietnam early that morning, leaving the fates of the 239 people aboard in doubt.

CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said at a news conference that Flight MH370 lost contact with Malaysian air traffic control at 2:40 a.m. (18:40 GMT Friday), about two hours after it had taken off from Kuala Lumpur. The plane, which carried passengers mostly from China but also from other Asian countries, North America and Europe, had been expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Saturday (22:30 GMT Friday).

Pham Hien, a Vietnamese search and rescue official, said the last signal detected from the plane was 120 nautical miles (140 miles; 225 kilometers) southwest of Vietnam's southernmost Ca Mau province, which is close to where the South China Sea meets the Gulf of Thailand.

Lai Xuan Thanh, director of Vietnam's civil aviation authority, said air traffic officials in the country never made contact with the plane.

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'Holy grail of guitars' among those in New York auction
Written by ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press   
Friday, 07 March 2014 15:28

NEW YORK (AP) — The "holy grail of guitars" is among the hundreds of rare and vintage acoustic guitars going on the auction block in New York next month.

California collector Hank Risan is offering some of his musical instruments for auction by Guernsey's on April 2 and April 3. The 265 pieces from his collection are considered among the finest of vintage guitars to come to auction in terms of rarity, original construction and condition, the auction house says.

A wide range of makers are represented, including Gibson, Gretsch, Washburn, Stromberg and D'Angelico.

The earliest instrument in Risan's collection dates to 1840; the newest is a 2000 re-creation of a 1930 Martin masterpiece, an OM-45 Deluxe. Both the re-creation and the original will be in the auction.

"The OM-45 Deluxe is the holy grail of guitars," Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger said. Only 14 were ever made.

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