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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Mother sentenced in newborns’ deaths

From Wire Reports

PROVO, Utah – A mother who killed six of her newborn babies and hid their bodies in her garage was sentenced to up to life in prison Monday at an emotional hearing in which a prosecutor depicted her as an “incredibly indifferent and callous” murderer.

The judge imposed a sentence against Megan Huntsman that went beyond what was called for in a plea deal because he was so repelled by the killings. Judge Darold McDade said that he heard about the case before it came to his courtroom and hoped it wouldn’t be assigned to him.

Huntsman, 40, told police she was too addicted to methamphetamine to care for more children during the decade when the babies were killed. Police said she concealed her pregnancies, gave birth at home and choked and strangled the children with her own hands just minutes after they were born. She killed six babies, and a seventh body of a newborn found in her garage was found to be stillborn.

Cuomo, executives court Cuba business

HAVANA – Cuban officials and New York business executives are exploring ways for companies to do business on the communist-run island despite the long-standing U.S. embargo that makes most trade and investment illegal, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Cuomo was on the first day of a visit that made him the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba since the recent thaw in relations with the communist nation. He met with Cuba’s top officials for U.S. relations along with executives from Jetblue, Chobani Greek Yogurt, Pfizer and other New York-based companies.

Before a series of meetings between the executives and Cuban officials, Cuomo praised the decision by presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro to re-establish diplomatic relations after a half-century, and move toward a broader normalization expected to include deeper trade ties.

Bipartisan Senate bill focuses on cosmetics

WASHINGTON – Two U.S. senators introduced legislation Monday that would require the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate and report on some of the ingredients used in cosmetics and personal-care products such as shampoo and skin cream.

The bill would require the FDA to investigate at least five ingredients each year. The reviews would lead to the agency providing guidance about whether ingredients should continue to be used, and if so, at what concentration levels.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the bill’s sponsors, said federal regulations of the ingredients in cosmetics and personal-care products haven’t been updated for 75 years.

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