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Friday, September 30, 2011

Phillies And Fans Ready For October Baseball

Phillies And Fans Ready For October Baseball

(A merchandise tent set up outside of the ballpark that will be open during the playoffs. Credit: Mike DeNardo)
(A merchandise tent set up outside of the ballpark that will be open during the playoffs.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies and their fans are getting ready for Saturday’s 5:07 p.m. opener of the National League Division Series against St. Louis.

Inside Citizens Bank Park, it is a familiar scene of bunting along the stands and the National League Division Series logo painted on the field.

Outside of the ballpark, the merchandise tent is fully stocked and crews were erecting the stage for the pregame block parties that Phillies fans hope will be running all month. The Phils, behind Roy Halladay, take on the Cardinals in NLDS Game One Saturday evening.

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School Custodian Charged With Dealing Child Porn In Delaware

School Custodian Charged With Dealing Child Porn In Delaware

(Credit: Wilmington Police)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A 20-year-old Newark man who works as a high school custodian is facing charges of dealing in child pornography.

Authorities say Catlin Carl Lathem was arrested after a search of his home Tuesday uncovered more than 50 video files of child pornography on his computers.

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New Jersey Medical Firm, Office Manager Admit Fraud Charges

New Jersey Medical Firm, Office Manager Admit Fraud Charges

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – State authorities say a southern New Jersey medical firm and its office manager have admitted defrauding Medicaid and Medicare of $3 million.

Attorney General Paula Dow announced the guilty pleas Friday, one day after The Center for Lymphatic Disorders, based in Egg Harbor Township, and 54-year-old Farah Iranipour Houtan appeared in state Superior Court in Atlantic County. Houtan admitted that between 2004 and 2007, she billed the health care programs for treatment that wasn’t provided.

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Gov. Chris Christie To Decide Soon On 2012 Bid

Gov. Chris Christie To Decide Soon On 2012 Bid

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two people close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie say he is reconsidering his decision not to run for the White House in 2012. They say he is expected to make a final decision soon.

Christie has long said he won’t run in 2012. But the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about it, say he is rethinking his hard stance.

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Attorneys Enter Sentence Recommendations For Convicted Former Philadelphia Police Inspector

Attorneys Enter Sentence Recommendations For Convicted Former Philadelphia Police Inspector

(Daniel Castro, in file photo)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The prosecution and defense have now made their sentence recommendations for convicted former Philadelphia Police Inspector Daniel Castro.

The prosecution recommends a prison sentence of about three years, but the defense wants a non-custodial sentence.

Castro, who was convicted of lying to the FBI about one extortion plot, and he pleaded guilty to a second extortion, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

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Plane Makes Emergency Evacuation On The Runway At Philadelphia International Airport

Plane Makes Emergency Evacuation On The Runway At Philadelphia International Airport

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A U.S. Airways plane made an emergency evacuation Friday evening at Philadelphia International Airport.

Initial reports indicated smoke was seen coming from the cockpit.

It is unclear at this time whether the plane was taking off or landing. There are no reports of any injuries at this time.

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Marine From Gloucester County Killed In Afghanistan

Marine From Gloucester County Killed In Afghanistan

CLARKSBORO, N.J. (CBS) – A United States Marine from Gloucester County, New Jersey has been killed while serving his country in Afghanistan.

First Lt. Ryan K. Iannelli, of Clarksboro, N.J., died Sept. 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269, Marine Air Group 29, 2nd Marine Air Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.

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Exclusive: Michael Smerconish Interviews President Obama

Exclusive: Michael Smerconish Interviews President Obama

smerconish obama Exclusive: Michael Smerconish Interviews President Obama

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Talk Radio 1210’s
Michael Smerconish interviewed President Barack Obama on Friday, September 30, 2011 via phone.

This was the sixth time Smerconish has interviewed President Obama.

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Medic: Info from Jackson doctor didn't add up

Medic: Info from Jackson doctor didn't add up

AP Photo
Paramedic Richard Senneff testifies during the Conrad Murray involuntary manslaughter trial in downtown Los Angeles, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011. Murray has pleaded not guilty and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After just a few moments in Michael Jackson's bedroom, the paramedic dispatched to save the singer's life knew things weren't adding up.

There was the skinny man on the floor, eyes open and a surgical cap on his head. His skin was turning blue. Paramedic Richard Senneff asked the sweating, frantic-looking doctor in the room what condition the stricken man had.

"He said, `Nothing. He has nothing,'" Senneff told jurors at the involuntary manslaughter trial of Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray.

"Simply, that did not add up to me," Senneff said.

Over the course of the 42 minutes that Los Angeles paramedics tried to revive Jackson, several other things about the room and Murray's responses seemed inconsistent with what had really happened, Senneff said.

After repeated prodding, Murray revealed a few details about his actions, saying that he had only given Jackson a dose of the sedative lorazepam to help him sleep. Senneff noted there were bottles of medicine on Jackson's nightstand, and Murray finally offered that he was treating the singer for dehydration and exhaustion.

Murray never mentioned that he had also been giving Jackson doses of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives, a key omission that prosecutors say shows he repeatedly tried to conceal his actions during the struggle to save Jackson.

Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Murray could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.

Prosecutors contend the Houston-based cardiologist repeatedly lied to medics and emergency room doctors about medications he had been giving Jackson in the singer's bedroom. They contend Murray administered a fatal dose of propofol and other sedatives.

Defense lawyers claim Jackson gave himself the fatal dose after his doctor left the room.

Senneff was the first paramedic to reach Jackson's bedroom and said within moments, he and three other paramedics were working to revive Jackson. After trying multiple heart-starting medications and other efforts, Jackson was still lifeless.

"Did you ever see any sign of life in Mr. Jackson during the entire time you were attempting to save him," prosecutor Deborah Brazil asked.

"No I did not," Senneff said.

Emergency room personnel at a nearby hospital advised Senneff to declare Jackson dead in his bedroom, but the singer was transported because Murray wanted life-saving efforts to continue.

He said he also saw Murray collecting items from Jackson's bedside after the singer was taken to an ambulance. The doctor was alone in the bedroom for several moments before joining paramedics in the ambulance for the drive to the hospital, Senneff said.

Jurors also heard from a former Murray patient who lauded the doctor's treatment of him, but said his cardiologist became increasingly distant and hard to reach while working with Jackson.

"I felt like I was getting the best care in the world," said Robert Russell of Las Vegas, before Murray became the singer's personal physician. "The advice he gave me saved my life."

He grew irritated with Murray after the doctor went to work for Jackson. Russell said he couldn't get answers about his own treatment, and the man who once spent so much time offering care and advice was unreachable.

He called Murray's office on June 25, 2009 - the day Jackson died - and demanded to speak to the doctor.

The doctor returned the call and left him a voicemail at 11:49 a.m. Prosecutors are using records to show that Murray was on the phone in the moments before he realized Jackson was unconscious.

Thirty-seven minutes later, Senneff ran into Jackson's bedroom.

Killing Americans: On uncharted ground in attack

Killing Americans: On uncharted ground in attack

AP Photo
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks on the killing of US-born Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, during a 'Change of Office' ceremonies at Ft. Myer in Arlington, Va.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama steered the nation's war machine into uncharted territory Friday when a U.S. drone attacked a convoy in Yemen and killed two American citizens who had become central figures in al-Qaida.

It was believed to be the first instance in which a U.S. citizen was tracked and executed based on secret intelligence and the president's say-so. And it raised major questions about the limitations of presidential power.

Anwar al-Awlaki, the target of the U.S. drone attack, was one of the best-known al-Qaida figures after Osama bin Laden. American intelligence officials had linked him to two nearly catastrophic attacks on U.S.-bound planes, an airliner on Christmas 2009 and cargo planes last year. The second American killed in the drone attack, Samir Kahn, was the editor of Inspire, a slick online magazine aimed at al-Qaida sympathizers in the West.

"Al-Qaida and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world," Obama said in announcing al-Awlaki's death. "Working with Yemen and our other allies and partners, we will be determined, we will be deliberate, we will be relentless, we will be resolute in our commitment to destroy terrorist networks that aim to kill Americans."

Republicans and Democrats alike applauded the decision to launch the fatal assault on the convoy in Yemen.

"It's something we had to do," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "The president is showing leadership. The president is showing guts."

"It's legal," said Maryland Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. "It's legitimate and we're taking out someone who has attempted to attack us on numerous occasions. And he was on that list."

That list is the classified roster of people the White House has authorized the CIA and Pentagon to kill or capture as terrorists. The evidence against them almost always is classified. Targets never know for sure they are on the list, though some surely wouldn't be surprised.

The list has included dozens of names, from little-known mid-level figures in the wilds of Pakistan to bin Laden, who was killed in his compound in a comfortable Pakistani suburb.

Before al-Awlaki, no American had been on the list.

But the legal process that led to his death was set in motion a decade ago. On Sept. 17, 2001, President George W. Bush signed a presidential order authorizing the CIA to hunt down terrorists worldwide. The authority was rooted in his power as commander in chief, leading a nation at war with al-Qaida.

The order made no distinction between foreigners and U.S. citizens. If they posed a "continuing and imminent threat" to the United States, they were eligible to be killed, former intelligence officials said.

The order was reviewed by top lawyers at the White House, CIA and Justice Department. With the ruins of the World Trade Center still smoking, there was little discussion about whether U.S. citizens should have more protection, the officials recalled, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. The feeling was that the government needed - and had - broad authority to find and kill terrorists who were trying to strike the U.S.

The CIA first faced the issue in November 2002, when it launched a Predator drone attack in Yemen. An American terror suspect who had fled there, Kamal Derwish, was killed by Hellfire missiles launched on his caravan.

The Bush administration said Derwish wasn't the target. The attack was intended for Yemeni al-Qaida leader Abu Ali al-Harithi. But officials said even then that, if it ever came to it, they had the authority to kill an American.

"I can assure you that no constitutional questions are raised here. There are authorities that the president can give to officials," Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser, said. "He's well within the balance of accepted practice and the letter of his constitutional authority."

Al-Awlaki had not then emerged as a leading al-Qaida figure. Before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the New Mexico-born cleric had been a preacher at the northern Virginia mosque attended briefly by two hijackers. He was interviewed but never charged by the FBI.

But at the CIA, the officers in charge of finding targets knew it was only a matter of time before they would set the Predator drone's high-definition sites on an American.

"We knew at some point there would have to be a straight call made on this," one former senior intelligence official said.

It was Obama who ultimately made that call.

After the failed Christmas bombing, the Nigerian suspect told the FBI that he had met with al-Awlaki and said he was instrumental in the plot. Al-Awlaki had also called for attacks on Americans and had attended meetings with senior al-Qaida leaders in Yemen. Al-Awlaki had gone from an inspirational figure to an operational leader, officials said.

In April 2010, the White House added al-Awlaki's name to the kill-or-capture list. Senior administration officials said they reviewed the Bush administration's executive order and discussed the ramifications of putting an American on the list but said it was a short conversation. They concluded that the president had the authority, both under the congressional declaration of war against al-Qaida and international law.

"Anwar al-Awlaki is acting as a regional commander for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters in August.

What if the U.S. was wrong, Gibbs was asked, what recourse does a citizen have to save himself? The CIA had misidentified and imprisoned the wrong person before. Gibbs sidestepped the question.

The U.S. has been inconsistent in how it describes al-Awlaki. The Treasury Department called him a leader of al-Qaida in Yemen. FBI Director Robert Mueller called him the leader. On Friday, Obama called him "the leader of external operations," the first time he has been described that way.

Al-Awlaki's family rushed to court to try to stop the government from killing him, saying he had to be afforded the constitutional right to due process.

The idea of killing an American citizen provided critics with fodder for all sorts of comparisons showing the peculiarities of national security law and policy. The government could not listen to al-Awlaki's phone calls without a judge's approval, for instance, but could kill him on the president's say-so. The Obama administration opposed imprisoning terrorist suspects without due process but supported killing them without due process.

"If the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the president does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state," ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner said Friday.

U.S. District Judge John Bates refused to intervene in al-Awlaki's case.

"This court recognizes the somewhat unsettling nature of its conclusion - that there are circumstances in which the executive's unilateral decision to kill a U.S. citizen overseas is `constitutionally committed to the political branches' and judicially unreviewable," Bates wrote. "But this case squarely presents such a circumstance."

Like Derwish years ago, Khan, a North Carolina native, was called collateral damage in the drone attack, not the target.

Al-Awlaki may have been the perfect test case for the government. His sermons in English are posted all over the Internet and his name has been associated with several attempted terrorist attacks. In the intelligence community, many regarded him as a bigger threat than bin Laden because of his ability to inspire Westerners and his focus on attacking the U.S.

But in taking this step, the Obama administration raised questions about whom else the president has the authority to kill. In principle, such an attack could probably not happen inside the United States because the CIA is forbidden from operating here and the military is limited in what operations it can carry out domestically. But civil rights groups have questioned whether the government has opened the door to that possibility.

At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney refused to even acknowledge the government's direct role in killing al-Awlaki. He repeatedly ducked questions about the extent of Obama's authority and said only that al-Awlaki had been an operational leader for al-Qaida.

"Is there going to be any evidence presented?" Carney was asked.

"You know, I don't have anything for you on that," he responded.

King, the Republican lawmaker, said it was necessary that the president to have the authority to act against those at war with the U.S. And it was no secret to the public, he said, that al-Awlaki was at war. But he acknowledged that it set a precedent that could make people uncomfortable.

"There could be a situation where nobody knows the evidence, where you're relying on the government to say what its intelligence is," King said. "With al-Awlaki, it was clear-cut. He made it a clear call."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MLB Annouces Start Times For First Two Phillies’ Playoff Games

MLB Annouces Start Times For First Two Phillies’ Playoff Games

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - For the fifth straight year, the Phillies are getting ready for October baseball. Charlie Manuel’s squad will take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Game time were announced late Thursday for the start of the series.

Game #1 will be Saturday at 5:07pm, at Citizens Bank Park. Game #2 will be Sunday, also in South Philadelphia, with a first pitch at 8:07pm.

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Woman Finds Dead, Mutilated Cats Near Her Coatesville, Pa. Home

Woman Finds Dead, Mutilated Cats Near Her Coatesville, Pa. Home

COATESVILLE, Pa. (CBS) – The Chester County SPCA is asking for the public’s help in finding who is responsible for maiming, killing and dumping several kittens at a home in Coatesville.

Nancy Simes operates a cat colony at her home on Robin Road. She feeds, spays and neuters, and generally cares for feral cats.

Simes told the Chester County SPCA that within the last two weeks, someone has dumped several dead kittens on her property.

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Philadelphia Gun Violence Out Of Control

Philadelphia Gun Violence Out Of Control

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police are working overtime following a rash of gun violence in Philadelphia in the past few days.

The human toll is immense and authorities are once again trying to figure out how to quell the violence.

In the meantime, the family of 19-year-old Shanya Lovett of Grays Ferry is relieved she is alive but their hearts still ache knowing the pain she’s in right now.

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37 Arrested In Drug Raid At Delaware County Boeing Plant

37 Arrested In Drug Raid At Delaware County Boeing Plant

RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – Federal authorities have arrested about three dozen current and former employees of Boeing’s Ridley Park plant, and it is alleged they were dealing and doing drugs on the job.

Most of those charged were arrested at the Delaware County facility early Thursday morning.

U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger says the four year investigation began when Boeing brought their suspicions of drug activity to federal authorities.

“The investigation in this case focused not only on the sellers, but also on the users because of the critical role that these employees play in the manufacture of military aircraft. During the investigation, Boeing officials, who were cooperating with law enforcement, advised us
that they were monitoring the manufacturing process to ensure the integrity and safety of the aircraft. To date, we are not aware of any accidents that occurred during our investigation involving any Boeing aircraft manufactured at the Ridley Park plant,” Memeger explained.

Authorities say the illegal prescription drugs included Xanax and Oxycontin.

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More bad news for bank customers: Debit card fees

More bad news for bank customers: Debit card fees

AP Photo
FILE - In this July 17, 2009 file photo, a customer uses a Bank of America ATM in Charlotte, N.C. Bank of America plans to start charging customers a $5 monthly debit card fee. The fee will be rolled out starting early in 2012.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Will a monthly debit card fee soon be the norm? Bank of America said Thursday that it plans to start charging a $5 monthly fee when customers make debit card purchases. The fee will be rolled out starting early next year.

Paying to use a debit card was unheard of before this year and is still a novel concept for many consumers. But several banks have recently introduced or started testing debit card fees. That's in addition to the spate of other unwelcome changes checking account customers have seen in the past year.

Bank of America's announcement carries added weight because it is the largest U.S. bank by deposits.

The fee will apply to basic accounts, which are marketed toward those with modest balances, and will be in addition to any existing monthly service fees. For example, one such account charges a $12 monthly fee unless customers meet certain conditions, such as maintaining a minimum average balance of $1,500.

Customers will only be charged the fee if they use their debit cards for purchases in any given month, said Anne Pace, a Bank of America spokeswoman. Those who only use their cards at ATMs won't have to pay.

The debit card fee is just the latest twist in the rapidly evolving market for checking account.

A study by this week found that just 45 percent of checking accounts are now free with no strings attached, down from 65 percent last year and 76 percent in 2009. Customers can still get free checking in most cases, but only if they meet certain conditions, such as setting up direct deposit.

The study also found that the total average cost for using an ATM rose to $3.81, from $3.74, the year before. The average overdraft fee inched up to $30.83, from $30.47

The changes come ahead of a regulation that goes into effect next month.

Starting Oct. 1, the regulation will cap the fees that banks can collect from merchants whenever customers swipe their debit cards. Those fees generated $19 billion in revenue for banks in 2009, according to the Nilson Report, which tracks the payments industry.

There is no similar cap on the merchant fees that banks can collect when customers use their credit cards, however. That means many banks are increasingly encouraging customers to reach for their credit cards, in hopes of reversing a trend toward debit card usage in the past several years.

An increasing reliance on credit cards would be particularly beneficial for big institutions like Bank of America, which have large credit card portfolios, notes Bart Narter, a banking analyst with Celent, a consulting firm.

"It's become a more profitable business, at least in relation to debit cards," Narter said.

This summer, an Associated Press-GfK poll found that two-thirds of consumers use debit cards more frequently than credit cards. But when asked how they would react if they were charged a $3 monthly debit card fee, 61 percent said they'd find another way to pay.

With a $5 fee, 66 percent said they would change their payment method.

Several banks are nevertheless moving ahead with debit card fees.

SunTrust, a regional bank based in Atlanta, began charging a $5 debit card fee on its basic checking accounts this summer. Regions Financial, which is based in Birmingham, Ala., plans to start charging a $4 fee next month.

Chase and Wells Fargo are also testing $3 monthly debit card fees in select markets. Neither bank has said when it will make a final decision on whether to roll out the fee more broadly.

The growing prevalence of the debit card fee is alarming for Josh Wood, a 32-year-old financial adviser in Amarillo, Texas.

Wood relies entirely on debit cards to avoid interest charges on a credit card. If his bank, Wells Fargo, began charging a debit card fee, he said he would take his business to a credit union.

If a debit fee became so prevalent that it was unavoidable, Wood said he's not sure how he'd react.

"I might use all cash. Or go back to writing checks," he said.

Bank of America's debit card fee will be rolled out in stages starting with select states in early 2012. The company would not say which states would be affected first.

Guard: Jackson doc collected vials before 911 call

Guard: Jackson doc collected vials before 911 call

AP Photo
Deputy District. Attorney. David Walgren, holding a bottle of propofol, questions Alberto Alvarez, one of Michael Jackson's security guards, during Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial in downtown Los Angeles, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. Murray has pleaded not guilty and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- One of Michael Jackson's bodyguards had barely stepped into the singer's bedroom when he heard a scream. "Daddy!" Jackson's young daughter cried.

A few feet away, the singer lay motionless in his bed, eyes slightly open. His personal doctor, Conrad Murray, was trying to revive him when he saw that Jackson's eldest children were watching.

"Don't let them see their dad like this," Murray said, the first of many orders that bodyguard Alberto Alvarez testified Thursday that he heeded in the moments before paramedics arrived at Jackson's home in June 2009.

What happened next - after Alvarez said he ushered Jackson's eldest son and daughter from the room - is one of the key pieces of prosecutors' involuntary manslaughter case against Murray.

According to Alvarez, Murray scooped up vials of medicine from Jackson's nightstand and told the bodyguard to put them away. "He said, `Here, put these in a bag,'" Alvarez said.

Alvarez complied. He also placed an IV bag into another bag.

On the third day of the trial, prosecutors tried to show that Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, delayed calling authorities and that he was intent on concealing signs that he had been giving the singer doses of the anesthetic propofol.

Alvarez said he thought Murray might be preparing to take the items to the hospital, but didn't question him.

The bags never made it to the hospital, and prosecutors claim Murray repeatedly lied to emergency personnel and did not tell them he had been giving Jackson doses of the drug as a sleep aid.

If convicted, Murray, 58, could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.

Defense attorney Ed Chernoff questioned whether there was enough time for Alvarez to shield Jackson's children, survey the room and stow away the drugs in the brief period that phone records show he was in the home before calling emergency responders.

The bodyguard insisted there was, telling the attorney, "I'm very efficient, sir."

Chernoff was not convinced, questioning whether 30 seconds was enough time for the dramatic sequence to play out. Alvarez assured him there was.

The defense attorney also challenged Alvarez's recollection, asking whether the collection of the vials happened after paramedics had come and whisked Jackson to a nearby hospital. Alvarez denied it happened after he called 911.

Chernoff questioned why Alvarez didn't tell authorities about Murray's commands to bag up the medication immediately after Jackson died, but instead waited until two months after the singer's death. The bodyguard said he didn't realize its significance until seeing a news report in late June in which he recognized one of the bags detectives were carrying out of Jackson's mansion.

The burly Alvarez became emotional as the 911 call was played for jurors. Jackson's mother, Katherine, appeared distraught and her son, Randy, huddled next to her and put his arm around her.

"Was that difficult to hear?" prosecutor David Walgren asked.

"It is," Alvarez replied.

After hanging up with dispatchers, Alvarez said he performed chest compressions on Jackson while Murray gave the singer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The doctor remarked it was his first time performing the procedure.

"'I have to,'" Alvarez recalled Murray telling him, "`because he's my friend.'"

Alvarez recalled seeing Murray at the hospital where Jackson was taken and sitting next to the emergency room.

"`I wanted him to make it,'" Alvarez quoted Murray as saying. "`I wanted him to make it.'"

Alvarez's testimony allowed Walgren to present jurors directly with a bottle of propofol that they've heard much about throughout the previous two days of the trial.

Jurors intently looked at the bottle, which appeared to still contain some liquid.

When he entered the bedroom, Alvarez said, he saw Jackson's eyes were open and was surprised to see the singer was wearing a condom catheter, a medical device that allows one to urinate without having to get up.

Alvarez testified that Murray only told him Jackson had a "bad reaction." Jackson's personal assistant, who testified Wednesday, said Murray told him the same thing.

Alvarez said it was a stunning scene, a far cry from the night before when the bodyguard stood backstage at Staples Center, sneaking peeks of Jackson performing during what would be his final rehearsal.

"He was very happy," Alvarez testified. "I do recall he was in very good spirits."

In another effort to cast doubt on the bodyguard's testimony, Murray asked whether Alvarez, another bodyguard, Faheem Muhammad, and Jackson's assistant, Michael Amir Williams, colluded before being interviewed by detectives two months after Jackson's death.

The three men, who were the first to interact with Murray after Jackson stopped breathing, have denied the accusation.

Others who will testify about events at Jackson's rented mansion are Kai Chase, a chef who spoke to Murray briefly on the morning of Jackson's death, and paramedics who also tried to revive the singer.

The medics believed Jackson was already dead by the time they arrived, but Murray insisted the performer be taken to a hospital for additional resuscitation efforts.

Walgren asked whether anything good had happened to Alvarez as a result of his experience in Jackson's bedroom.

"No sir," Alvarez responded.

Media outlets offered him up to $500,000 for interviews, but Alvarez said he always refused. "It's caused a lot of financial problems," he said, starting to choke up. "I went from a great salary to hardly anything."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Phillies Rout Braves 7-1, Tie Franchise Record With 101 Wins

Phillies Rout Braves 7-1, Tie Franchise Record With 101 Wins

(credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves are doing their best to give away what looked like a certain playoff berth just a few weeks ago.

Derek Lowe had another miserable outing, surrendering five runs in four-plus innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies romped to a 7-1 victory Tuesday night that left the Braves on the brink going to the final day of the regular season.

Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins homered to back a three-hit outing by Roy Oswalt (9-10), who tuned up for the playoffs with a strong performance in a largely disappointing season.

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Vick ‘Making Progress in the Right Direction,’ Practicing Today

Vick ‘Making Progress in the Right Direction,’ Practicing Today

(Michael Vick sits on the sideline after injuring his hand on September 25th.  Credit:  Chris Trotman/ Getty Images)
Michael Vick sits on the sideline after injuring his hand on September 25th.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a Tuesday off day, the Eagles are back on the practice field today as they prepare for Sunday’s matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

Head coach Andy Reid met with reporters before practice and updated the condition of quarterback Michael Vick, who is dealing with that bruised hand he suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Giants.

Reid says the swelling in that hand has gone down.

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Pennsylvania Legislature Approves New Restrictions On Teen Drivers

Pennsylvania Legislature Approves New Restrictions On Teen Drivers

(File photo: AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - The Pennsylvania House gave final legislative approval today to a bill that would impose more restrictions on young drivers in the Commonwealth, and governor Tom Corbett is expected to sign the bill.

Passage of the teen driving legislation is the culmination of years of effort by state rep Kathy Watson (R-Bucks County).

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Witness In Murder-For-Hire Case Testifies He Was Offered A Contract To Kill

Witness In Murder-For-Hire Case Testifies He Was Offered A Contract To Kill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A witness has testified he was offered a contract to kill and turned it down, but authorities allege someone else later carried out the contract.

The witness has been challenged by the defense.

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Guard describes scene in room where Jackson found

Guard describes scene in room where Jackson found

AP Photo
Choreographer Kenny Ortega testifies for the prosecution in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Conrad Murray at Superior Court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. Murray has pleaded not guilty and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The last days of Michael Jackson's life were filled with the adulation of fans, a rehearsal performance onlookers described as amazing and intense preparations for his big comeback in London.

In good spirits, Jackson chatted with well-wishers outside his home and at the Staples Center where he practiced songs and dance routines before he returned home. Then, things took a tragic turn, according to Michael Amir Williams, who testified Wednesday in the trial of the doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in the superstar's death.

Williams, who had gone with him to the rehearsal and had dropped Jackson at home, said he got a frantic call the next day from Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray. "He said, `Get here right away. Mr. Jackson had a bad reaction.' He said, `Get someone up here right away,'" Williams told the jury.

A security guard, Faheem Muhammad, testified that he arrived at Jackson's bedroom to find Murray sweating and nervous, leaning over Jackson and trying to revive him. He said that Jackson's two older children, Paris and Prince, were in shock, and that Paris fell to the ground, curled up and weeping.

Moments later, Muhammad said, he heard Murray ask if anyone knew CPR.

The testimony on the second day of the trial helped shed light on what Murray did and didn't do after he found Jackson unconscious in June 2009. Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and would have to relinquish his medical license.

On June 24, 2009, the day before Jackson's death, Murray was in negotiations to join Jackson on his tour as his personal physician, testified lawyer Kathy Jorrie of concert giant AEG Live. She said she was gathering information for an insurance company to make sure Jackson was in good health and could be insured.

"Dr. Murray told me repeatedly that Michael Jackson was perfectly healthy, in excellent condition. Don't worry about it. He's great," she recalled.

Jorrie said Murray had added to his contract a provision for a CPR machine when they got to London for the highly touted show that would include 50 concerts over nine months. "He needed to be sure if something went wrong he would have such a machine available," she said. "He also told me it was customary."

Murray signed the contract, which would give him $150,000 a month, and faxed it to her that night, she said. Jackson, however, would never get to sign it.

In the late afternoon of June 24, Williams, Jackson's personal assistant, said he arranged for a car and accompanied his boss to Staples Center for a key rehearsal. He said Jackson was in good spirits and had the car stop at the gate so he could roll down the window and chat with fans who were always camped there.

"He would make sure we stopped, stick out his hand, anything to show his fans he loved them," he said.

Williams managed to watch Jackson on stage. "I was an employee but I was a fan first," he said. "I would try to sneak in to watch him. I was working constantly, but I was able to see him perform a little."

How was his performance, asked Deputy District Attorney David Walgren.

"Personally, I thought it was amazing," Williams said. "I thought it was the best thing in the world. He had told me he didn't go 100 per cent for the rehearsal. It was about 40 per cent. But I thought it was great."

They returned to Jackson's rented Holmby Hills mansion after that, stopping at the gate again. "He was in good spirits," Williams said. "He wanted to stop and say, `Hi.' He even had some conversation with the fans."

Outside the house, parked in its usual spot, was Murray's car.

Williams brought in gifts that had been given to Jackson and said good night. Williams checked out with the security staff and went home. The next day at 12:13 p.m. his cell phone rang. There was a message from Murray.

"Were you asked to call 911?" Walgren asked.

"No sir," Williams said.

He remembered reaching Jackson security guard Alberto Alvarez. "I said, `I don't know what's going on but you have to get in the house' ... I said, `Run. Hurry.'"

Williams said he rushed from his downtown home and arrived just as Jackson's body was being loaded into an ambulance. He helped to gather Jackson's three children and put them in a car to follow the ambulance.

"What was Dr. Murray's appearance?" Walgren asked.

"Frantic," he said. "I knew it was serious."

Williams said he was standing outside the emergency room area when Dr. Murray and a group of doctors emerged. "He walked out and closed the curtains," he said softly. "He said, `He passed.'"

At one point, Walgren had Williams identify a photograph of Jackson's children. The famous photo was taken at a memorial service shortly after Jackson's death was projected on a large courtroom screen.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Ed Chernoff questioned Williams about Murray's actions at the hospital. He said Murray asked to be taken back to Jackson's home to collect some cream he believed Jackson would not want the public to know about. It was later found to be skin whitening cream that is used in the treatment of vitiligo, a skin condition that the singer had.

Williams said he felt police would not want anyone returning to the home and he did not take Murray there. He then said the doctor said he was hungry and asked for food.

Chernoff suggested that Williams should have known from Murray's call that there was an emergency.

Williams disagreed.

"When I hear someone had a bad reaction, I don't think anything fatal," he said. "He didn't tell me to call 911."

Under questioning from Chernoff, Muhammad revealed that Jackson had asked Williams to contact a nurse four days before his death because he was experiencing "weird symptoms."

"One of his hands was hot and his feet were cold," Muhammad said. He told Chernoff that he did not reveal that he had contacted the nurse, Cherilyn Lee, during interviews with police. He said he wasn't asked about it and didn't think it was relevant.

Chernoff has been questioning witnesses about Jackson's interactions with other physicians, including dermatologist Arnold Klein. Muhammad said at times, Jackson visited Klein's office almost daily. A judge has blocked Klein from testifying in the case.

Obama says he can't fix immigration on his own

Obama says he can't fix immigration on his own

AP Photo
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, left, delivers his back-to school speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Facing weakening support among Hispanics, President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration Wednesday over what he called an inaccurate and damaging perception that he can fix the nation's flawed immigration system on his own.

"This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true," Obama said during a White House roundtable targeting Hispanic voters, a key constituency for the president's re-election campaign.

The president said comprehensive immigration reform continues to be a "top priority" for his administration. But he blamed Republicans in Congress for failing to join Democrats in supporting legislation that would address the flow of foreigners into the U.S. and deal with illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

"Only a few years ago, as I said, you had some Republicans who were willing to recognize that we needed to fix our immigration system," Obama said, noting that his predecessor, George W. Bush, was among them. "Right now you do not have that kind of leadership coming from the Republican Party."

A strong majority of Hispanics supported Obama's election in 2008. But his support among Hispanics has declined, as it has in the broader population. A recent Gallup survey found 48 percent of Hispanic voters approving of Obama's job performance, compared with 60 percent in January.

While Obama has made little progress on comprehensive immigration legislation, he has pushed Congress to pass the Dream Act, which would provide a route to legal status for college students and service members brought to the country as children. The bill passed the House last year when it was controlled by Democrats but was blocked by Senate Republicans.

"I think there's been a great disservice done to the cause of getting a Dream Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow by myself I can go and do these things," Obama said. "We have to pass bills through the legislature and then I can sign it."

Democrats view Hispanic voters as a voting bloc in 2012 that could help determine the outcome in swing states such as Florida, Colorado and Nevada. The Democratic National Committee has aired Spanish-language ads in those states in the past week to tout the benefits of Obama's jobs bill for small business and workers in the construction industry, which the DNC said employs 2.77 million Hispanics.

Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade, exceeding estimates in most states and totaling 50 million.

The burgeoning Hispanic population, Obama said, means it will only be a matter of time before the country sees a strong Latino candidate for president or vice president.

"I am absolutely certain that within my lifetime we will have a Latino candidate for president who is very competitive and may win," Obama said.

The president spent more than 30 minutes taking questions submitted online, covering topics from U.S. policy toward Cuba to the president's $447 billion jobs bill. Obama said the jobs legislation would have a particularly positive impact on the Hispanic community, which has an unemployment rate of 11.3 percent, compared with the national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

Obama also said he believed federal courts would rule "fairly soon" on the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. While the White House backs repealing DOMA through Congress, Obama said Wednesday that he does not believe there are enough votes on Capitol Hill to overturn the law.

The president was also pressed on the status of Puerto Rico, where a statehood referendum is planned for next year. Obama said he believes the island will remain a U.S. commonwealth unless there is a "solid indication" of support for statehood.

"If it split down the middle or 51-49, I think Congress' inclination is going to be not to change but to maintain status quo until there is greater indication there is support for change," he said.

It's unclear whether any Republican presidential candidate can sway Hispanic voters. Several top GOP contenders, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have taken a hard line on immigration, calling for a fence and more troops along the border with Mexico to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been the outlier on immigration in the Republican field, and he is hoping his moderate record will appeal to Hispanics. But his rivals believe Perry's stance on immigration could be a weakness with his party's more conservative wing.

Perry insists that a physical border fence is an impractical way to control the flow of immigrants into the U.S. He also supported a 2001 Texas law that allows the children of undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition at Texas universities if they meet certain requirements.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Sentencing For Vincent Fumo Set To Begin November 9th

New Sentencing For Vincent Fumo Set To Begin November 9th

(Vincent Fumo, after his conviction on 137 counts of fraud.   File photo)

(Vincent Fumo, after his conviction on 137 counts of fraud.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The resentencing of convicted former Pennsylvania state senator Vince Fumo has been scheduled for November 9th, and it is shaping up as another epic battle between prosecutors and defense in his case.

Fumo’s original prison sentence of four years and seven months was overturned after an appeal by the prosecution.

Fumo was convicted of all 137 counts against him when the jury found that he had defrauded the state senate and his own nonprofit organization. The government was outraged by the 55-month sentence imposed by Judge Ronald Buckwalter.

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6-Year-Old Wounded In Point Breeze Shooting Also Battling Brain Tumor

6-Year-Old Wounded In Point Breeze Shooting Also Battling Brain Tumor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The shrapnel left small red scars on the leg of 6-year-old Denean Thomas. She has been on the fourth floor of Children’s Hospital since Sunday night, when she was shot twice in the leg.

“She’s a champion,” said her father, Darnell Thomas. “Strongest little girl I know.”

Denean was sitting with her cousins at 18th and Tasker streets when police say someone opened fire, hitting Denean and her two cousins. Police say one of the cousins, a 17-year-old male, was the intended target. They are expected to be fine, but it is little Denean who will have to fight for her life long after she leaves the hospital.

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New Hotel Planned For 12th and Arch Sts. In Center City Philadelphia

New Hotel Planned For 12th and Arch Sts. In Center City Philadelphia

12arch parking lot  dunn New Hotel Planned For 12th and Arch Sts. In Center City Philadelphia

(The southwest corner of 12th and Arch Streets, site of a planned Hilton hotel.)

“The Convention Center has expanded, and it’s booking, and it’s doing very well,” Parkway Corp. president Rob Zuritsky said today. “There’s a market for new hotel rooms. So we think this is a very good investment.”

Jack Ferguson, CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, agrees.

“Absolutely there’s a need,” he said today. “We have these large conventions coming in, and the demand for rooms gets tougher and tougher all the time.”

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2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls go online

2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls go online

AP Photo
Shai Halevi, a photographer working for the Israel Antiquities Authority, IAA, photographs fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the IAA offices at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. Two thousand years after they were written and decades after they were found in desert caves, some of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls are available online. Israel's national museum and the international web giant Google are behind the project, which saw five scrolls go online Monday.

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Two thousand years after they were written and decades after they were found in desert caves, some of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls went online for the first time on Monday in a project launched by Israel's national museum and the web giant Google.

The appearance of five of the most important Dead Sea scrolls on the Internet is part of a broader attempt by the custodians of the celebrated manuscripts - who were once criticized for allowing them to be monopolized by small circles of scholars - to make them available to anyone with a computer.

The scrolls include the biblical Book of Isaiah, the manuscript known as the Temple Scroll, and three others. Surfers can search high-resolution images of the scrolls for specific passages, zoom in and out, and translate verses into English.

The originals are kept in a secured vault in a Jerusalem building constructed specifically to house the scrolls. Access requires at least three different keys, a magnetic card and a secret code.

The five scrolls are among those purchased by Israeli researchers between 1947 and 1967 from antiquities dealers, having first been found by Bedouin shepherds in the Judean Desert.

The scrolls, considered by many to be the most significant archaeological find of the 20th century, are thought to have been written or collected by an ascetic Jewish sect that fled Jerusalem for the desert 2,000 years ago and settled at Qumran, on the banks of the Dead Sea. The hundreds of manuscripts that survived, partially or in full, in caves near the site, have shed light on the development of the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Christianity.

The most complete scrolls are held by the Israel Museum, with more pieces and smaller fragments found in other institutions and private collections. Tens of thousands of fragments from 900 Dead Sea manuscripts are held by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which has separately begun its own project to put them online in conjunction with Google.

Photography work on the project began earlier this month in conjunction with a former NASA scientist. An advanced $250,000 camera developed in Santa Barbara, California allows researchers to discern words and other details not visible to the naked eye.

The latest photography effort by two technicians is centered on a fragment of a manuscript known as the Thanksgiving Scroll. On a computer screen was a piece of the Apocryphon of Daniel, an Aramaic text that includes a verse referring to a figure who "will be called the son of God." The first fragments of that will be online by the end of the year.

The Antiquities Authority project, aimed chiefly at scholars, is tentatively set to be complete by 2016, at which point nearly all of the scrolls will be available on the Internet.

Jackson persona to hang over trial of doctor

Jackson persona to hang over trial of doctor

AP Photo
FILE - In this March 5, 2009 file photo, Michael Jackson is shown at a press conference in London. A judge rules that attorneys for the doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death cannot play footage of the singer's news conference promoting his final concerts for jurors. The judge's ruling is among his final in preparation for opening statements in the case on Tuesday Sept. 27,2011.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In the small crowded Los Angeles courtroom, 6-foot-5 Dr. Conrad Murray is an imposing figure. Another imposing figure will loom over the room on Tuesday: the persona of the man he is accused of killing, Michael Jackson.

One of the most famous pop stars of all time will be present in the words of those who knew him, in snippets of video and in the faces of his famous family watching from the courtroom gallery.

The somber-faced Murray has said little in public, except that he most definitely did not cause Jackson's death.

"Your honor, I am an innocent man," Murray said quietly at his arraignment last January. "I definitely plead not guilty."

Murray, 58, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, could face four years in prison and lose his medical license.

Prosecutors will portray him as a greedy, incompetent doctor with a messy personal life who signed on as Jackson's personal physician for $150,000 a month to save himself from financial ruin. The defense says he was Jackson's friend, a capable protector of the singer's health, prepared to travel with him to Europe on his tour, and is still mourning the death.

One of Murray's greatest assets may be what prosecutors say he wasn't good at: being a doctor.

"Jurors generally believe doctors," said attorney Harland Braun, who has defended many doctors in court. "They have had to trust doctors over a lifetime. What the defense has to do is wrap him in the general feeling that doctors are good people. They care about their patients and he was not indifferent to Michael's welfare."

When the trial starts, Jacksons' family will sit in a row in the courtroom. They wanted Murray charged with murder.

Edward Chernoff, the lead defense lawyer, said Murray feels the pressure.

"He feels like David in the David and Goliath story but he doesn't have a slingshot because of the rulings that took his slingshot away," said Chernoff, reacting last month to decisions barring chunks of evidence the defense wanted to present about Jackson's history of drug use.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, who is presiding over the trial, has since instructed lawyers to refrain from commenting on his rulings.

While witnesses will come and go, Chernoff is aware that the superstar's shadow will be hanging over the trial. He's concerned too about the fans who have demonized Murray and are expected to demonstrate outside the courthouse.

"If they love Michael Jackson, what do they think Michael would say about all this?" he asked. "I think he would say, `Leave the man alone.' And that's one of the reasons they love Michael."

Following opening statements by both sides, the first prosecution witness, choreographer and director Kenny Ortega, will take jurors into Jackson's life during the crucial weeks he was rehearsing for his landmark "This Is It" concert. Video clips from the posthumous rehearsal film could be included in his testimony.

Will Murray testify in his own defense? Nobody is saying. Although considered a dangerous strategy, it might be the only way for him to show jurors his personality.

Murray told his story in a three-hour interview with police two days after Jackson's death but the transcript remains sealed. Early on, he posted a short video on YouTube saying, "I have done all I can do. I told the truth, and I have faith the truth will prevail."

The truth, in one way or another, involves the drug propofol, which caused Jackson's death. Prosecutors say Murray was grossly negligent in administering the hospital drug in a private home. Defense lawyers will try to prove that Jackson caused his own death by drinking a dose when Murray was out of the room.

It's a risky strategy that requires depicting Jackson as a self -centered, demanding celebrity while portraying Murray as a kindly doctor victimized by his patient. "They will be doing a little balancing act trying to devalue Michael without attacking him," said Thomas Mesereau Jr., the lawyer who won Jackson's acquittal in a 2005 molestation trial.

The defense team also will be fighting what jurors may have heard about Murray's complicated love life and his distressed financial affairs.

Murray has been portrayed in the media as a womanizer who frequented strip clubs and dated cocktail waitresses, a man who has seven children by various women and has been sued for failure to pay child support. His troubled financial affairs included foreclosure on a Las Vegas country club home.

The defense won a ruling barring testimony about strip clubs and Murray's personal life. The judge sees it as irrelevant to the central question of whether Murray was negligent in his treatment of Jackson. The doctor has many patients who sing his praises, but it is unlikely they can testify.

On Monday, Pastor ruled that jurors couldn't see a recording of a press conference by the singer promoting his final concerts, saying it wasn't relevant. The defense had wanted to show it, claiming it showed that Jackson wasn't healthy.

Murray's official biography paints him as a self-made man who climbed out of a poverty stricken childhood in the Caribbean to become a highly educated, well-respected doctor with loyal patients who defend him as someone who would not harm Jackson.

Born in St. Andrews, Grenada, he lived with his poor farmer grandparents, going to school barefoot because they could not afford shoes for him. At the age of seven, he moved to Trinidad and Tobago to live with his mother and stepfather. He never met his father, a physician, until he moved to the U.S. in search of higher education in 1978.

After getting his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., he trained at various hospitals and then pursued a specialty in interventional cardiology. In 1999, Murray moved to Las Vegas, opened a storefront medical practice and another in Houston where his father practiced. He also had a license in California, which is now suspended.

Former patients speak of his kind, reassuring manner. "He would go over tests with me. He would say, `There's nothing to be afraid of.' He cares about his patients, that old-fashioned care, like a real doctor," said Donna Digiacomo of Las Vegas.

Murray met Jackson when the singer took one of his children to see him for treatment in 2008. Murray quickly became his doctor and friend. At the time, Murray was in a $780,000 financial hole, with unpaid debts and bill collection lawsuits. Then, the $150,000-per-month job came along.

Mesereau, the lawyer who won Jackson's acquittal, said of Murray: "I think when he met Michael Jackson he thought he had hit the lottery and was not going to do anything to jeopardize his role. Because he refused to say no, in my opinion, he cost Michael Jackson his life."

Murray was never paid a cent.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Phillies Rout Mets, Snap 8-Game Losing Skid

Phillies Rout Mets, Snap 8-Game Losing Skid

(credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Roy Halladay, Hunter Pence and the fully loaded Philadelphia Phillies snapped their eight-game losing streak, looking playoff-ready in every way Sunday by routing the New York Mets 9-4.

Playing their regular lineup for the first time since clinching the NL East, the Phillies posted their major league-leading 99th victory. Pence homered during a three-run first inning, each starter had a hit by the third and Carlos Ruiz’s single made it 9-0 in the fourth.

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Man Recovering After Stabbing Inside National Constitution Center

Man Recovering After Stabbing Inside National Constitution Center

(National Constitution Center) (credit: Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man is recovering at an area hospital after he was stabbed inside the National Constitution Center Sunday morning.

At about 3:30 a.m., authorities said an altercation developed between two men working in the kitchen. The argument escalated at which point a 36-year-old man stabbed the 21-year-old victim in the leg three times, according to police.

Officials say the suspect fled the scene after the incident. The victim was transported to Jefferson Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

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Manning leads Giants over Eagles 29-16; Vick hurt

Manning leads Giants over Eagles 29-16; Vick hurt

AP Photo
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Eli Manning delivered the knockout blow after Michael Vick got knocked out of another game.

Manning threw four touchdown passes, including two to Victor Cruz, and the New York Giants beat the Philadelphia Eagles 29-16 Sunday.

Vick started despite suffering a concussion in last week's 35-31 loss at Atlanta. He left with a broken right hand in the fourth quarter after helping the Eagles overcome a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to take a 16-14 lead.

It's uncertain how long Vick will be out. He'll have a CT scan Monday.

"I don't know anything right now except my hand is broken," Vick said.

Vick wasn't happy with the hit, either. He completed a 23-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin before taking a hard shot from Chris Canty.

"I felt I got hit late. No flag," Vick said. "At some point something catastrophic is gonna happen. Not to blame the refs, but more precautions should be taken. I'm on the ground all the time in the pocket."

Without their Pro Bowl quarterback, the Eagles (1-2) hardly look like the "Dream Team" that entered the season with Super Bowl or bust expectations.

Manning threw a pair of TD passes in the fourth quarter to rally New York. The Giants (2-1) have won two in a row and snapped a six-game losing streak against their division rivals.

"It's always good to beat those guys, especially here," Manning said. "They have good players and we new we had to come in with the same game plan as last year and just finish it this time."

In their previous meeting at the Meadowlands last December, the Eagles rallied from a 21-point deficit with 8:17 left, and won 38-31 on DeSean Jackson's 65-yard punt return for a touchdown on the last play.

The teams traded a lot of trash talk in the offseason and during the week. The Giants backed it up.

"I think I responded today," Giants safety Antrel Rolle said. "I'm not scared of anyone on the field. I thing it's more mental than physical. They tried to get in my head sticking their hands in my face, blocking me after the play, but if they want to fight, I'll fight anyone, but in between the lines, I'm too smart to get thrown out of the game."

Manning threw for 254 yards, and Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 86 and had 53 more receiving, including a TD. Filling in because Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon are out, Cruz had three catches for 110 yards and his first two career scores.

Aaron Ross, who was benched in the second half of New York's win over St. Louis last Monday, had two interceptions that led to 14 points.

LeSean McCoy had 128 yards rushing and one TD for Philadelphia, which has blown two fourth-quarter leads in consecutive games.

After McCoy was stopped for a 3-yard loss by Michael Boley on fourth-and-1 from the Giants 43, Manning drove New York in for the go-ahead score. He tossed a 28-yard TD pass to a well-covered Cruz to put the Giants up 20-16. Jacobs ran in for the 2-point conversion to make it 22-16.

Cruz outfought Nnamdi Asomugha and Jarrad Page to make the catch near the goal line and fell into the end zone, losing the ball after he crossed.

"It means the world to me because a lot of people were saying our receivers were down and who would step up and I was happy to be that guy that stepped up to help my team," Cruz said.

Mike Kafka replaced Vick on the ensuing possession and Ross intercepted his first pass. Manning connected with Bradshaw for an 18-yard TD pass to put the game away.

Vick finished 16 of 23 for 176 yards and one interception. He ran for 31 yards. Vick looked shaky early, but made a few nice throws before leaving.

He didn't seem all that happy after the Eagles kicked a field goal to pull within 14-13 at halftime. Vick looked angry as he walked off the field, waving his arms and pointing. Jackson tried to calm him down, but Vick didn't seem interested in listening.

"He was just frustrated with the offensive line," Jackson said.

The Eagles dominated time of possession by a nearly 3-1 margin throughout the first three quarters, but didn't take the lead until the final minute of the third when Alex Henery kicked a 21-yard field goal.

It was a disappointing end to a drive that began at the 10 and stalled at the Giants 1. The Eagles had a first down at the 2 and failed on four runs to get it in. McCoy didn't get one of the handoffs.

Philadelphia got a lucky bounce on that drive. Vick ran 8 yards for a first down on third-and-6 from the 14. Vick fumbled at the end of the run, but the ball bounced forward and left tackle Jason Peters caught it in the air. Peters rumbled for 5 more yards.

Vick left the game for X-rays on his right hand after that drive and was temporarily replaced by Kafka. But he returned during a time out while Kafka was in the huddle and played one more drive before going to the bench.

Steve Smith made a crucial mistake on the first ball that came his away against his former team. Smith left the Giants for Philadelphia and returned ahead of schedule from knee surgery to be ready for Week 1. Vick's third-down pass on Philadelphia's first drive hit Smith in the hands and bounced in the air to Ross, who caught it at the Giants 8. Ross returned the interception 19 yards, and Manning needed six plays to lead New York into the end zone.

Rookie linebacker Casey Matthews, who was moved from the middle to the weakside spot earlier in the week, bit badly on a play-fake that allowed Jacobs to get wide open. Manning's perfect throw hit him in stride and the Giants went up 7-0.

Manning connected with Cruz late in the first to give New York a 14-0 lead. Cruz caught a short pass at the Giants 34, but broke Kurt Coleman's tackle and sprinted down the sideline. Cruz again got away from Coleman, when he collided with Asomugha at the Eagles 46, and the second-year pro cruised into the end zone for his first career score.

After the Giants turned it over on downs at the Eagles 29, Vick got going. He had completions of 13 and 17 yards on a drive that was finished off by McCoy's nifty 11-yard TD run. McCoy broke a tackle, cut outside and ran into the end zone to get the Eagles within 14-10.

Notes: Miami Heat star LeBron James was on the field before the game. He was in town to play in an exhibition basketball game with other NBA All-Stars at The Palestra. ... The Giants were again without Pro Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora and first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara. WRs Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon also were sidelined. Hixon is out for the season. ... The Eagles didn't have defensive ends Darryl Tapp and Juqua Parker. ... The Eagles reshuffled all three of their starting linebackers this week, moving each one into a new spot. ... Vick lined up at receiver for one play with Ronnie Brown in the shotgun formation behind center. McCoy took the direct snap and ran 3 yards.

Obama says GOP would 'cripple' America

Obama says GOP would 'cripple' America

AP Photo
President Barack Obama greets supporters after disembarking Air Force One at Boeing Field Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Seattle.

SEATTLE (AP) -- President Barack Obama charged Sunday that the GOP vision of government would "fundamentally cripple America," as he tried out his newly combative message on the liberal West Coast.

Aiming to renew the ardor of Democratic loyalists who have grown increasingly disenchanted with him, the president mixed frontal attacks on Republicans with words of encouragement intended to buck up the faithful as the 2012 campaign revs up.

"From the moment I took office what we've seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity," the president said at an intimate brunch fundraiser at the Medina, Wash., home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley.

About 65 guests were paying $35,800 per couple to listen to Obama at the first of seven fundraisers he was holding from Seattle to Hollywood to San Diego on Sunday and Monday. The three-day West Coast swing, ending Tuesday in Denver, offered him the chance to re-engage with some of his most liberal and deep-pocketed supporters.

The trip comes as Obama has shifted from focusing on compromise with Republicans on Capitol Hill to calling out House Speaker John Boehner and others by name. The president has criticized them as obstructionists while demanding their help in passing his $447 billion jobs bill.

The revamped approach is a relief to Democratic activists fed up by what they viewed as the president's ceding of ground to the GOP on tax cuts and other issues while the economy has stalled and unemployment is stuck above 9 percent.

Obama said 2012 would be an especially tough election because people are discouraged and disillusioned with government, but he also said he was determined because so much is at stake.

The GOP alternative, Obama said, is "an approach to government that will fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st century. And that's not the kind of society that I want to leave to Malia and Sasha."

Obama got a friendly welcome from invited guests at his first stop. But later, liberal activists greeted the president with a demonstration.

"We want to see Obama stand up as strongly as he can to fight for the people of this country who are working out there to make ends meet," said Kathy Cummings, communications director for the Washington State Labor Council. The council helped organize a demonstration outside Seattle's Paramount Theater, the site of an Obama fundraiser with about 1,800 guests. Activists held signs promoting environmental and other causes and urging Obama, "Tax the rich."

Obama and the Republican presidential candidates are working overtime to raise campaign cash ahead of an important Sept. 30 reporting deadline that will give a snapshot of their financial strength. Obama's West Coast visit was heavy on fundraisers: two each in Seattle and the San Francisco area Sunday, followed by one in San Diego on Monday and two in Los Angeles.

He's meeting with the Silicon Valley and Hollywood elite, including an event Sunday night in Atherton, Calif., at the home of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

The expected haul from all seven events: $4 million or more.

In addition to the fundraising, Obama scheduled a town hall-style event Monday in Silicon Valley, hosted by social networking company LinkedIn. The trip ends Tuesday with a speech to supporters in Denver, where he accepted the Democratic nomination three years ago.

Obama was pushing throughout for his job proposal, which combines tax cuts, unemployment benefits and public works spending. The bill faces a hostile reception on Capitol Hill, particularly because Obama wants to pay for it with tax increases opposed by Republicans.

A top aide, David Plouffe, said the White House expects a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate in October. Despite deep reservations even from some in the president's own party, "I think it's got a very good chance" of passing, he told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

If he can't persuade Congress to pass the bill, Obama has said he wants to make sure the public knows who's standing in the way.

Jobs are a major concern in California, where unemployment stands at 12.1 percent, highest of any state except Nevada.

Mark DiCamillo, director of California's Field Poll, said that's contributed to a softening of support for Obama among Democratic and independent voters. Obama's job approval rating dropped to 46 percent among Californians in a Field Poll this month. Among Democrats it was 69 percent, but that was down 10 percentage points from June.

"Californians voted for him by 24 points in 2008 and the Democrats and nonpartisans were the backbone of his support and he's losing some of that now," DiCamillo said. "They're looking for Obama to do something."

The summer's nasty debate over raising the government's borrowing limit turned off voters. Many liberals bemoaned the deal that cleared the way for a higher debt ceiling, with Obama agreeing to Republican demands for steep budget cuts without new taxes.

But Democratic supporters are heartened by the jobs plan and Obama's insistence that Congress must raise taxes to pay for it. Now they're hoping that the confrontational Obama they're seeing now is the same one they'll see through the 2012 campaign.

"We wish that his fighting spirit had been there a few months ago, but it's here now," said Rick Jacobs, head of the Courage Campaign, a progressive online organizing network in California.

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