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Third woman accuses Mayor Filner; Silversea Cruise Line fails inspection; Alabama abortion law gets blocked

Mitch McConnell (25208)
Mitch McConnell


A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order that blocks Alabama from enforcing a key portion of a new abortion law that requires doctors at an abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson’s ruling on Tuesday puts on hold what is considered the lynchpin of Alabama’s new abortion law, which is considered one of the toughest in the nation. Thompson barred the state from enforcing that portion of the law until March 2014, a month after oral arguments are scheduled in a lawsuit brought against the state’s attorney general by Planned Parenthood. The state has argued the measure is designed to protect the health of a patient. The plaintiffs call it medically unnecessary due to the safety of abortion procedures and said enforcement of the section will force them to shut down. Thompson’s order comes just days after federal judges in Wisconsin and North Dakota blocked those states from enforcing new abortion laws.


A surprise inspection of a Silversea Cruise Line ship by the Centers for Disease Control has resulted in a failing grade for one of the plushest cruise ships afloat. According to a report by the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program, the cruise ship Silver Shadow was cited repeatedly for using an “organized effort” to remove 15 trolleys of food from the ship’s galley to individual crew cabins to “avoid inspection.” The snap inspection of the Silver Shadow on June 17 in Skagway, Alaska, was conducted after an anonymous crew member sent still photographs to the CDC showing meat in crew cabin sinks and trays of food in the corridors in the hallways outside those cabins. It resulted in a failing grade of 82 for the Silver Shadow. Any grade less than 84 is considered “less than satisfactory,” according to the Vessel Sanitation Program website.


The longtime boyfriend of a female corrections officer at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Winslow said she was brutally attacked by two prisoners while escorting more than 50 unrestrained inmates by herself. The officer, identified only as Officer Benavidez, is hospitalized after recently undergoing facial reconstructive surgery after the attack. Benavidez’s boyfriend of 20 years, Bill, only wanted to use his first name for fear of retaliation. He said there is no doubt in his mind the two men who attacked her were trying to kill her. “Officers found a hit list with her and four other people’s names on it,” Bill said. Bill told CBS 5 News on Friday that a phone, as well as drugs, were confiscated from an inmate on a tip that came from Benavidez, a six-year law enforcement veteran. A few hours later, prison officials confirmed two men attacked Benavidez while more than 50 other inmates watched.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. (25207)


A third woman—a school psychologist in San Diego—came forward Wednesday, alleging that she was sexually harassed in April 2009 by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. Morgan Rose told CNN she met Filner—then a congressman—at a Southern California restaurant to talk about her nonprofit organization. Rose said that Filner tried to kiss her at least four times during that meeting. In recent days, Rose has called the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department tip line set up for those alleging wrongdoing by Filner. Phone calls made Wednesday by CNN to the mayor’s office and lawyer Cory Briggs —who spearheaded the original complaints against Filner—were not immediately returned. Filner has been battling allegations of sexual harassment for several weeks, but none of the women leveling those claims came forward before his former spokeswoman, Irene McCormack Jackson, sued him for sexual harassment Monday.


A train derailed in western Florida early Thursday, causing 15 rail cars to topple over and leading to an ethanol spill. The derailment took place at the Port of Tampa, said Tampa fire department Capt. Lonnie Benniefield. Firefighters used foam on the spill to reduce flammability. The operation to upright the cars and clean up the spill were expected to last well into Thursday afternoon. There was no immediate word on injuries.


Prosecutors in the Andrea Sneiderman trial in Atlanta intend to drop murder charges against the widow, according to HLN affiliate WSB. Sneiderman was charged with malice murder and felony murder related to the death of her husband. Prosecutors also will drop one count of aggravated assault. Sneiderman is still facing four counts of perjury and seven counts of making false statements to law enforcement officials, and one count of hindering the apprehension of a criminal. Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood in November of 2010, in a busy parking lot outside a preschool with children in a playground less than 30 feet away. He was shot four times. Hemy Neuman, the gunman, is serving life in prison for Rusty Sneiderman’s murder.


As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell fends off attacks from the left in his 2014 Senate campaign, the Kentucky senator will now have to beat back an opponent from the right. But McConnell wasted no time in pushing back against his new primary challenger. Louisville businessman Matt Bevin announced Wednesday he’ll take on McConnell in a Republican primary, saying the five-term incumbent has been in office long enough. He also made a formal announcement Wednesday morning at an event at the state capital in Frankfort, the first of eight scheduled campaign stops across the state in the next three days. Bevin’s newest campaign ad criticizes McConnell’s record, including criticizing his vote for the fiscal cliff deal at the beginning of the year, and for his confirmation vote of two “liberal judges,” referring to Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.


James “Whitey” Bulger’s defense lawyer continued hammering away at one of the government’s star witnesses in a Boston courtroom Wednesday, trying to portray the convicted killer as a pathological liar who should have called it quits and gone to the electric chair when he had the chance. “Why not take the death penalty and get it over with?” Bulger attorney Hank Brennan asked Steven Flemmi. “I was dead either way,” responded the Bulger henchman, who has spent five days on the witness stand. Flemmi said he decided to cooperate with the government to spare his friends and family from having to suffer through endless trials: “I took the path of least resistance.” Key to any deal, he said, was testifying against his former crime partners. “I was facing life in prison, plus 30-year consecutive sentences, plus the electric chair in two states,” he said, describing his testimony as non-negotiable and a package deal, “It was a global situation.” Flemmi pleaded guilty in 2003 to 10 murders.

Anthony Weiner (25206)

New York

Anthony Weiner, the embattled New York City mayoral candidate who admitted this week to sending raunchy chats to a young woman last summer, estimated Thursday he had online relationships with three different women after his 2011 resignation from Congress. Weiner stepped down from his House seat in 2011 after admitting to sending lewd photos and messages to multiple women online. He pointed out Thursday that when he left the House of Representatives, he admitted to exchanging messages with six women. Weiner has resisted calls from his rivals to withdraw from the race for New York City mayor, saying the decision of whether he’s trustworthy enough for the job should be up to voters.

Compiled By Juliana Norwood. CNN News Wire contributed to this report.