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Retrial begins in FAMU frat hazing case

Published December 12, 2006


A new jury was selected Monday in a test of a new Florida law making it a felony to cause serious injury through hazing.

A six-member jury failed to reach a verdict in October, and a mistrial was declared in the case of five Florida A&M University members of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. They are being retried for allegedly hazing an aspiring member, Marcus Jones, 20, of Decatur, Ga., by punching his head and beating his buttocks with canes during an initiation, or by aiding the perpetrators. Jones suffered severe bruising and a broken eardrum.

Florida man's suit against Atkins tossed 

NEW YORK - The Atkins Diet is protected by the First Amendment against the claims of a Florida man who said the low-carbohydrate meal plan was dangerous and to blame for his heart troubles, a judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin tossed out a lawsuit in which Jody Gorran of Delray Beach claimed his cholesterol level soared after he began the diet, leading to severe chest pain and an angioplasty.

Gorran, 56, a businessman, wanted the judge to order warnings put on Atkins books and related merchandise.

The judge said a book about the diet was not an advertisement for products but rather guide to leading a controlled-carbohydrate lifestyle.

Besides, he noted, Gorran admitted consuming large amounts of pastrami and cheesecake, which could be expected to increase cholesterol levels and risk to the heart.

Gorran, who seeks unspecified damages against Atkins Nutritionals Inc. and the Dr. Robert C. Atkins estate, said he would appeal the ruling.

Critic of 'Third World' Miami to say more

WASHINGTON - Colorado U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo is headed back to Miami a month after sparking a tense exchange with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by likening the city to a "Third World country."

Tancredo plans a speech next week to the Miami Rotary Club titled, "Renewing America: The Need for Assimilation." It will include more of his thoughts on how to address "problems" in Miami, said Carlos Espinosa, spokesman for the Republican.

While visiting Palm Beach for an immigration conference last month, Tancredo angered Bush and others by criticizing Miami's poverty and crime, and said the city suffers because a growing number of residents don't speak English.

"It has become a Third World country," he told a conservative online news site. " ... You would never know you're in the United States of America."

Bush replied in a letter that Miami is a "city filled with diversity and heritage that we choose to celebrate, not insult."


[Last modified December 12, 2006, 01:04:03]

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