Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2001

National briefs

April 25, 2001

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DALLAS

'Wife beater' T-shirt draws strong rebuke

A Web site that sells so-called "wife beater" T-shirts has come under attack by domestic abuse agencies who say the retailer encourages violence against women. "We're highly offended," said Leigh Edgar, spokeswoman for the Genesis Women's Shelter in Dallas.

"It's a joke, and I understand that a lot of the women's groups are upset about it," James Doolin, the shirt's creator, said. "I can't do nothing for them." The Web site offers $20 sleeveless shirts embroidered with the words "Wife Beater." Doolin said convicted wife beaters get a discount if they buy one T-shirt, they get the second for half price with proof of their conviction.

Alabama

Chemical firm to pay millions to residents

A company accused of poisoning the community with toxic chemicals for decades and then covering it up has agreed to pay $40 million to settle a lawsuit brought by nearly 1,600 residents.

The chemical contamination allegedly was spread by the Monsanto Co., which manufactured PCBs in Anniston until 1972. Monsanto spun off its chemical business in 1997 into a company now called Solutia Inc. The average payment to plaintiffs will be about $12,000, Ralph Knowles, an attorney for the Anniston residents, said Tuesday. Each plaintiff will receive at least $5,000, he said.

Michigan

Passengers settle for snowstorm delay

A judge on Tuesday approved a $7.15 million settlement between Northwest Airlines and thousands of passengers who endured lengthy delays during a January 1999 blizzard. Passengers filed a class-action lawsuit after they were trapped aboard 30 Northwest airplanes at Detroit Metropolitan Airport during a snowstorm Jan. 2-4. The storm prevented planes from taking off or returning to the gates.

The 1,400 passengers delayed two to five hours will receive an estimated $1,000; 1,300 delayed five to eight hours will get about $1,400; and 600 delayed more than eight hours will get about $2,000.

OKLAHOMA CITY

Contested estate settles with Elian relatives

The relatives of Elian Gonzalez and a Massachusetts family convicted in a sex abuse case will get a portion of the $500,000 estate left by a woman who committed suicide. Anne Katherine Abernathy left her estate to the Gonzalezes in a note she wrote before killing herself last July, but a judge in January refused to accept the note as a valid will and called it "the product of insane delusions." Testimony at a two-day hearing in October challenging the bequest showed Abernathy believed she, the Gonzalezes and the Amiraults were the targets of a government conspiracy and that Satanists and Nazis were out to get her.

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