- - Tuesday, March 17, 2009


State: Prison receiver not needed

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration told a federal judge Monday that a court receivership over the state’s prisons is no longer needed.

Paul Mello, an attorney for the state, said the receiver has accomplished his purpose of improving medical conditions for inmates. But he also criticized a proposal to spend billions for new prison-health centers.

U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson created the receivership in 2006 to take control of health care in the state’s 33 adult prisons after finding conditions violated inmates’ constitutional rights. Inmates were dying of neglect or malpractice at the rate of about one each week, the court found.

Mr. Mello argued that receiver J. Clark Kelso has made “dramatic improvements,” but overstepped federal law by seeking $8 billion from the state to build medical and mental health centers for 10,000 inmates.


Space station safe from orbiting junk

CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA said the International Space Station is safe from an orbiting piece of satellite junk and does not need to move out of the way.

Mission Control assured commander Mike Fincke on Monday evening that the debris would remain at a safe distance from the space station. Earlier in the day, experts warned that the piece of junk might come within a half-mile of the outpost, and that the station might need to steer away.

Space Shuttle Discovery is closing in on the space station for a linkup Tuesday.

The piece of junk being tracked is about four inches long and comes from a Russian satellite that broke up in 1981.

Last Thursday, the three space station residents briefly took refuge in their emergency getaway capsule because of another piece of space junk that came too close.


Civil rights icon out of hospital

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