- - Thursday, September 9, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Judge says military can’t ban gays

RIVERSIDE — A federal judge in Southern California on Thursday declared the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the government’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in the military.

Judge Phillips said the policy doesn’t help military readiness and instead has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.

The lawsuit was the biggest legal test of the law in recent years and came amid promises by President Obama that he will work to repeal the policy.

Government lawyers argued that Judge Phillips lacked the authority to issue a nationwide injunction and the issue should be decided by Congress.

GEORGIA

Adults eating less fruit, insufficient veggies

ATLANTA — An apple a day? Apparently not in the U.S.

Most Americans still don’t eat enough vegetables, and fruit consumption is actually dropping a little, according to a government report released Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that last year about one-third of U.S. adults had two or more servings of fruit or fruit juice a day. That’s down slightly from more than 34 percent in 2000.

Only about 26 percent ate vegetables three or more times a day, the same as in 2000. The statistics come from a national telephone survey of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

No state met federal goals of three-quarters of Americans eating enough fruit, and half eating enough vegetables. Californians ate the most fruit, and Tennessee was best with vegetables. Oklahoma was at the bottom for fruit, and South Dakota had the lowest vegetable consumption.

MASSACHUSETTS

12 states warned about faulty propane

BOSTON — An Illinois-based gas distributor has warned officials in at least 12 states that some propane deliveries may have lacked enough of a chemical that gives a distinctive smell to the normally odorless gas, enabling homeowners to detect leaks.

Aux Sable Liquid Products said in a letter to public safety officials dated Sept. 8 and obtained by the Associated Press that the odorant is typically added at its Morris, Ill., plant.

A company spokesman on Thursday confirmed the contents of the letter. He said the company was alerted to the potential problem by a customer who delivers the gas to smaller distribution centers.

The company said it is reviewing its propane-odorization system.

It said the propane could have been shipped to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia and Vermont.

MICHIGAN

Defense: Deal discussed in airliner threat

DETROIT — Attorneys for the Nigerian charged with trying to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas say they’ve talked to prosecutors about resolving the case with a deal.

The disclosure was made Thursday in a court filing that seeks a new deadline to challenge evidence against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The deadline is Friday.

Mr. Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to set off a bomb hidden in his underwear aboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit last year. He is due in federal court Monday for a pretrial hearing.

The court filing says attorneys have met with prosecutors on “multiple occasions” to “explore options for resolution of this case.”

WISCONSIN

Good Samaritan thwarts robbery try

ST. FRANCIS — A good Samaritan thwarted a bank robbery in Wisconsin by jumping onto an armed man.

The Associated Bank’s surveillance video shows the man at a counter when the masked robber carrying a gun rushes to a teller at the bank in St. Francis at about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Within five seconds, the man approaches the robber from behind. A second later he puts his arm around the robber’s neck and jumps onto his back.

The robber then tries to run with the man on his back.

Police Chief Brian Kaebisch said the man eventually released the robber before the robber ran to a car. No one was hurt.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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