AP News in Brief at 5:58 p.m. EDT

Thursday, March 27, 2014

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“We can’t dismiss the numbers. But we can’t interpret it to mean more people are getting the disorder,” said Marisela Huerta, a psychologist at the New York-Presbyterian Center for Autism and the Developing Brain in suburban White Plains, N.Y.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest estimate Thursday. The Atlanta-based agency said its calculation means autism affects roughly 1.2 million Americans under 21. Two years ago, the CDC put the estimate at 1 in 88 children, or about 1 million.

The cause or causes of autism are still not known. Without any blood test or other medical tests for autism, diagnosis is not an exact science. It’s identified by making judgments about a child’s behavior.

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Newlywed gets more than 30 years in prison for pushing husband off cliff at national park

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana woman was sentenced Thursday to more than 30 years in prison for killing her husband of eight days by pushing him from a cliff in Glacier National Park after they argued over her regrets about the marriage.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said he saw no remorse from Jordan Graham, 22, in the killing of Cody Johnson, 25. He sentenced her to 30 years and five months in prison and ordered her to pay $16,910 in restitution.

Graham will be subject to five years of court supervision upon her release. There is no possibility of parole in the federal system, meaning she’s likely to serve the full term.

A tearful Graham took the stand during Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Missoula, apologizing to her family and Johnson’s.

But Molloy indicated he had continuing doubts about the Kalispell woman’s honesty. The judge said he was waiting for Graham “to say she was sorry for killing Cody,” KGVO-AM reported.

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Russell Crowe describes criticism of biblical epic ‘Noah’ as irrational

NEW YORK (AP) - Russell Crowe calls the criticism that the film “Noah” has received “irrational” and says he’s happy audiences can finally see it for themselves.

Crowe spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday night at the New York premiere of the biblical epic, directed by Darren Aronofsky and featuring Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly, who were also at the event.

“Noah” has been the subject of controversy with some religious groups claiming the story has been inaccurately portrayed. That has prompted Paramount Pictures to add a disclaimer to its marketing material saying “artistic license has been taken” in telling the story. The film has also been banned in many Islamic countries where it’s taboo to depict a prophet.

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