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In brief: Plane crash kills all aboard, spares day care occupants

Thu., Feb. 18, 2010, midnight

East Palo Alto, Calif. – A twin-engine plane carrying three employees of electric car maker Tesla Motors struck a set of power lines after takeoff Wednesday and crashed into a fog-shrouded residential neighborhood, raining fiery debris over homes, sending residents running for safety and killing everyone aboard.

But the crash somehow caused no injuries or deaths on the ground despite a wing slamming into a home where a day care center operated. The seven people inside the house, including an infant, all escaped moments before the home went up in flames.

Marijuana is sound medicine, according to clinical studies

Sacramento, Calif. – The first U.S. clinical trials in more than two decades on the medical benefits of marijuana confirm pot is effective in reducing muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by certain neurological injuries or illnesses, according to a report issued Wednesday.

Igor Grant, a psychiatrist who directs the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, said five studies funded by the state involved volunteers who were randomly given real marijuana or placebos to determine if the herb provided relief not seen from traditional medicines.

“There is good evidence now that cannabinoids may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment,” Grant said at a news conference where he presented the findings.

The California Legislature established the research center in 2000.

Judge orders jail time for pitchman Trudeau

Chicago – Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau may think he can sell even snow to Eskimos, but he was unable to persuade a federal judge Wednesday not to sentence him to time behind bars for bombarding the judge’s e-mail account with messages from supporters last week.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman sentenced Trudeau to 30 days in custody and ordered him to return to court today to turn himself in to U.S. Marshals. Trudeau’s lawyers promised an immediate appeal in a last-ditch effort to keep the pitchman free.

Gettleman came to a boil last week after Trudeau used an Internet radio broadcast and his Web site to urge supporters to e-mail the judge with messages about how Trudeau’s products had changed their lives. The judge has been overseeing a civil complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission, in which he previously had found Trudeau in contempt of court for using deceptive advertising as he marketed a book.


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