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Lundbeck says pentobarbital, also known by its trademark name, Nembutal, was never an important part of its business. Lundbeck couldn’t say if the decision to sell the drug was based on controversy over its use in executions.

A message was left with Akorn seeking comment.

Several states switched to pentobarbital after supplies of a previous execution drug dried up, and states are expected to need a new drug soon as the restrictions on pentobarbital take effect.

CALIFORNIA

Nurses strike over benefits, staffing

OAKLAND | Nurses in California went on strike Thursday - some for the second time in three months - in the latest dispute between nurses and hospital management over health care costs, staffing levels and sick leave.

The California Nurses Association, the union behind the one-day walkout, expected 6,000 nurses at nine hospitals in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas to participate, although hospital officials said some workers had crossed the picket lines.

The strike followed a walkout called by the association Sept. 22 and came on the same day that more than 1,000 nurses in New York City gave notice that they plan to go on strike in January.

Officials at the California hospitals said replacement nurses had been brought in and patient care was not immediately affected.

“Strikes are a last resort, but nurses will only strike if they want to make sure that patients have safe care every day,” said Charles Idelson, a spokesman for the association.

NEW JERSEY

Janitor convicted of murdering priest

NEWARK | A former church janitor was convicted Thursday of murdering a New Jersey priest who was stabbed more than 30 times in 2009 while brewing a cup of coffee in his kitchen, wearing his clerical robes.

Jose Feliciano, 66, of Easton, Pa., didn’t deny stabbing the Rev. Edward Hinds to death in the rectory of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Chatham in October 2009. But his attorney told jurors during closing arguments Monday that Feliciano killed him in a fit of rage over sexual blackmail.

The prosecution said Feliciano “slaughtered” the priest after Hinds discovered Feliciano had an outstanding arrest warrant in Philadelphia from the 1980s for sexually touching a child and fired him.

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