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Police Conclude Investigation Into Suicide Of Boeing Whistleblower

John BarnettA former Boeing manager who raised safety questions about the aircraft maker and was found dead after several days of depositions in South Carolina took his own life, police said Friday after concluding their investigation.

John Barnett, 62, of Louisiana, was found dead March 9, and police had said earlier that his injuries were self-inflicted.

Barnett was a longtime Boeing employee and worked as a quality-control manager before he retired in 2017. In the years after that, he shared his concerns with journalists.

Barnett said he saw discarded metal shavings near wiring for the flight controls that could have cut the wiring and caused a catastrophe. He also noted problems with up to a quarter of the oxygen systems on Boeing’s 787 planes.

Dabney Coleman, Emmy-winning actor from '9 to 5', 'Tootsie', dies at 92

Dabney Coleman

Dabney Coleman, the Emmy-winning TV and film actor who starred in "9 to 5," "Tootsie" and "On Golden Pond," has died.

He was 92 years old.

Coleman "took his last earthly breath peacefully and exquisitely" Thursday afternoon at his home in Santa Monica, California, his daughter, Quincy Coleman, said in a statement on Friday that was provided to USA TODAY by his manager.

"My father crafted his time here on earth with a curious mind, a generous heart, and a soul on fire with passion, desire and humor that tickled the funny bone of humanity," she said. "As he lived, he moved through this final act of his life with elegance, excellence and mastery.


High drug prices and pharmacy deserts: Protesters blame drug middlemen, demand regulation

Pharmacy Benefits ManagerDiscouraged by a lack of action from Congress, leaders from America’s largest pharmacy associations marched with dozens of demonstrators Friday outside the St. Louis-based headquarters of Express Scripts, a major prescription drug middleman whose practices the group accuses of harming everyday Americans.

Protestors waved signs, shouted slogans and gave speeches at a makeshift podium across the street from the glass-and-brick building of the nation's second largest pharmacy benefits manager, or PBM.

As third-party administrators of health insurers’ prescription drug programs, PBMs negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, determine which drugs will be covered by insurance plans and set reimbursement rates for the pharmacies that buy and sell the drugs.


Man who attacked Pelosi's husband with hammer gets 30 years in prison

David Depape gets 30 years

The man who broke into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022 and assaulted her husband with a hammer was sentenced on Friday to 30 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

In a politically motivated attack, David DePape forcibly entered Pelosi's home in San Francisco early in the morning on Oct. 28, 2022, just a week before that year's congressional elections. At the time, Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, was in Washington.


Ukraine says it has checked Russia’s offensive in a key town, but Moscow says it will keep pushing

Ukranian forces battle RussiansUkrainian units locked in street battles with the Kremlin’s forces in a key northeastern Ukraine town have halted the Russian advance, military officials in Kyiv claimed Thursday, though a senior Moscow official said the frontline push had enough resources to keep going.

Russian attempts to establish a foothold in the town of Vovchansk, which is among the largest towns in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region with a prewar population of 17,000, “have been foiled,” Ukraine’s general staff said in a midday report.

It was not possible to independently verify the claim.


US military says aid pier anchored to Gaza beach

Floating pier Gaza

US troops on Thursday anchored a long-awaited temporary pier aimed at ramping up emergency aid to a beach in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip, the US military and Israel said.

The US Central Command said the pier was "successfully affixed to the beach in Gaza" with around 500 tonnes of aid expected to enter the Palestinian territory in the coming days.

"It's a pretty substantial amount, and it's spread out over multiple ships right now," Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, deputy CENTCOM commander, told reporters in Washington.

Israel's military also said in a statement that the connection was "successfully completed".

But Farhan Haq, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said negotiations remained ongoing on distribution of the aid -- particularly on the safety of workers.


Biden ending new leases in America's top coal region

Giant truck hauls coal

In a pair of controversial environmental decisions, the Biden administration is moving to end all new coal leasing in the country's largest producing coal region, the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.

The announcement Thursday by the federal Bureau of Land Management is in response to a lawsuit by environmental groups and is expected to face protests from the industry and coal producing states including Wyoming. In the agency's final environmental study, the BLM's Buffalo, Wyoming field office ruled that new coal leasing would have significant impacts on human health and the climate, due to the coal being burned at power plants.

Environmentalists called the decision a victory, estimating that it would keep six billion tons of "highly polluting coal in the ground."

"The BLM released a common sense plan that reflects the reality of today's coal markets," said Mark Fix of the Montana-based Northern Plains Resource council, in a statement.


The Dow Jones hits 40,000 for the first time. What to know about this major milestone

DJ hits 40,000 for the first time

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 40,000 points on Thursday for the first time ever, signaling a strong endorsement of the health of the U.S. economy.

The trigger that drove the market to a historic high was new data released Wednesday showing annual inflation easing after three consecutive months of higher-than-expected reports.

For investors the news of cooling inflation was a huge relief. Stubborn inflation has been one of the top challenges for an economy that otherwise is doing remarkably well.

The question now is whether these gains in the markets can be sustained. The Dow eventually gave up its earlier gains and ended down slightly at 39,869 points.

Here are three things to know about where things stand in stock markets.


Riot police arrest 50 people at UC Irvine and clear pro-Palestinian encampment

Riot police arrest 50 at UC Irvine

Hundreds of police officers in riot gear launched a crackdown on a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Wednesday at the University of California, Irvine, arresting 50 people and threatening students and faculty with batons and munitions.

Campus police and officers from across the region descended on the southern California public university after students with a Gaza solidarity encampment occupied a campus lecture hall. Photos and footage from the protest show sheriff’s deputies and other police officers grabbing students, pointing “less lethal” weapons at them and arresting students and at least one tenured professor with zip-ties.

Law enforcement officers cleared the encampment, which had been in place for more than two weeks and removed demonstrators from the building. The arrests at UC Irvine in Orange county mark the latest militarized responses to protesters in California and in campuses across the US. The crackdown follows a violent police raid and mass arrests at UCLA earlier this month.


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