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In brief: Vietnamese-American’s defamation award restored

OLYMPIA – Washington’s Supreme Court has reinstated a $310,000 jury award to an Olympia man who sued five fellow Vietnamese-Americans for defaming him by calling him a communist.

Duc Tan sued the group in 2004. He alleged that the group defamed him by suggesting in a mass email and in an article published online that he was operating on behalf of the Viet Cong, according to the Olympian newspaper.

The group said he displayed the Viet Cong flag at his Vietnamese language school and that he and his organization, the Vietnamese Community of Thurston County, “planned community events on dates associated with the Viet Cong for the purpose of celebrating North Vietnam.”

An appeals court had overturned the jury’s verdict, but the high court reinstated it in a 6-1 decision, saying the allegations did not constitute protected free speech.

Two of the defendants who made the allegations spent years in Viet Cong labor camps after the communist army captured Saigon in 1975.

Average Idaho hourly wage now 45th among all states

BOISE – A new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows the average hourly wage in Idaho was $18.48 last year, down from 2011 averages and about 84 percent of the national average wage in 2012.

Overall, Idaho now ranks 45th for its average, down one spot from its 2011 ranking.

The report shows that among Idaho’s largest metro areas, earnings for all occupations except farming, fishing and forestry fell below the national average.

Idahoans in legal, computer or management professions are also earning below the average. For example, in Boise, those professionals earn between 18 and 24 percent less than national averages in those categories.

Inslee calls for steps to woo 777X production

MUKILTEO, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants to streamline government permitting and review aerospace incentives in order to help convince Boeing Co. to build its 777X jetliner in the state.

Inslee said Thursday that other strategies lawmakers need to implement include improving the state’s transportation corridors and investing in education and workforce training programs. Inslee said those efforts can help preserve thousands of jobs.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said the city has been anticipating the 777X for more than a year.


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