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Nation & World Briefs


Wednesday, May 16, 2018
10 kids were strangled, shot with crossbow, waterboarded

FAIRFIELD, Calif. — The 10 children rescued from a filthy, abusive California home were strangled, punched, shot with crossbows and subjected to waterboarding by their father and their mother did nothing to stop it, prosecutors said.

The details of alleged abuse were included in a motion to increase the bail of Ina Rogers, 31, who was charged with nine counts of felony child abuse Wednesday in Solano Superior Court. Rogers did not enter a plea, but has previously denied allegations her children were harmed.

“On a continuous basis the children were getting punched, strangled, bitten, shot with weapons such as crossbows and bb guns, hit with weapons such as sticks and bats, subjected to ‘waterboarding’ and having scalding water poured on them,” Solano County Deputy District Attorney Veronica Juarez wrote.

Prosecutors have refused to discuss details of the allegations against Rogers and her husband Jonathan Allen, 29, who has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of torture and felony child abuse. He is in Solano County Jail on $5.2 million bail.

The motion states that when Fairfield Police arrived at the two-story house in a suburb 46 miles northeast of San Francisco on March 31, they found the children “huddled together on the living room floor” in a home littered with feces and trash.

Shorter drug treatment OK for many breast cancer patients

Many women with a common and aggressive form of breast cancer that is treated with Herceptin can get by with six months of the drug instead of the usual 12, greatly reducing the risk of heart damage it sometimes can cause, a study suggests.

It’s good news, but it comes nearly two decades after the drug first went on the market and many patients have suffered that side effect.

The study was done in the United Kingdom and funded by UK government grants. Results were released Wednesday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and will be presented at the group’s meeting next month.

Herceptin transformed care of a dreaded disease when it was approved in 1998 for women with advanced breast cancers whose growth is aided by a faulty HER2 gene, as 15 percent to 20 percent of cases are.

It was later approved for treatment of those cancers in earlier stages, too, based on studies that had tested it in patients for 12 months. That guess, that the drug should be taken for a year, became the standard of care.

But the drug can hurt the heart’s ability to pump. That often eases if treatment is stopped but the damage can be permanent and lead to heart failure.

Michigan State agrees to pay $500M to settle Nassar claims

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims from more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar in the worst sex-abuse case in sports history, officials announced Wednesday.

The deal surpasses the $100 million-plus paid by Penn State University to settle claims by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, though the Nassar deal involves far more victims.

“We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories,” said Brian Breslin, chairman of Michigan State’s governing board. “We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention.”

It’s not clear how much each victim will receive, although the money will not be divided equally.

It’s also unclear where the money will come from. University spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said school leaders will now work on a way to pay the bill.

Rachael Denhollander of Louisville, Kentucky, who in 2016 was the first woman to publicly identify herself as a victim, said the agreement “reflects the incredible damage which took place on MSU’s campus.” But she said she still has not seen any “meaningful reform” at the university.

Iowa abortion suit won’t have easy path to Supreme Court

DES MOINES, Iowa — Supporters of the nation’s strictest abortion law passed recently in Iowa are hoping a lawsuit filed against it will bring the issue back before the U.S. Supreme Court, but constitutional experts say that’s unlikely because of a legal maneuver by abortion-rights groups.

The Iowa affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit this week challenging the constitutionality of a law set to go in effect on July 1 that would prohibit most abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s around six weeks of pregnancy.

However, the groups filed their complaint in state court in Des Moines, and it focuses on alleged violations of Iowa’s constitution rather than federal constitutional law.

The distinction is important, said Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke. It complicates the legal avenue for challenging Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy until a fetus is viable.

“The Iowa Supreme Court is the court of last resort on how to interpret the Iowa Constitution,” she said. “They’re raising it exclusively as a state constitutional issue for obvious reasons. They don’t want to be baited into having this case be the opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to revise Roe. It’s a smart strategy.”

From Associated Press