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Louise Fletcher, Oscar winner as Nurse Ratched in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ dies at 88

Louise Fletcher dies at 88

Louise Fletcher, who won a best actress Oscar for her role as Jack Nicholson's cruel screen nemesis Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," has died. She was 88.

Fletcher died in her sleep surrounded by family at her home in Montdurausse, France, on Friday her agent David Shaul tells USA TODAY. No cause of death was given.

The classic 1975 film "Cuckoo's Nest" followed the patients and staff of an Oregon psychiatric hospital. The Milos Foreman-directed film won five Oscars in 1976, including best actress, best picture and best director. Jack Nicholson won the best actor Oscar for his indelible performance as patient Randle P. McMurphy, who flouts the tyrannical rule of Nurse Ratched in the ward.

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An Arizona judge rules that the state can enforce a near-total abortion ban

AZ judge: state can enforce neaar-total ban on abortionArizona can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years, a judge ruled Friday, meaning clinics statewide will have to stop providing the procedures to avoid the filing of criminal charges against doctors and other medical workers.

The judge lifted a decades-old injunction that has long blocked enforcement of the law on the books since before Arizona became a state that bans nearly all abortions. The only exemption is if the woman's life is in jeopardy.

The ruling means people seeking abortions will have to go to another state to obtain one. An appeal of the ruling is likely.

The decision from Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson came more than a month after she heard arguments on Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich's request to lift the injunction. It had been in place since shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision in the Roe v. Wade case, which held women had a constitutional right to abortion.

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Doobie Brothers' founding drummer John Hartman dies at 72

John Hartman

John Hartman’s drumming is heard on some of The Doobie Brothers’ most ubiquitous hits: “Listen the Music,” “China Grove,” “Long Train Runnin’” and “Jesus is Just Alright” among them. The founding member of one of rock’s most enduring bands has died at the age of 72.

The current Doobie Brothers – including fellow founders Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons – announced the death of the man they called “Little John,” on their official social media pages.

“John was a wild spirit, great drummer and showman … he was also a close friend for many years and an intricate part of the band personality.”

The Doobie Brothers’ spokesperson confirmed Hartman’s death to USA TODAY.

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Judge blocks Indiana's near-total abortion ban

Indiana Judge blocks abortion banA state judge on Thursday blocked an Indiana law banning abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions from being enforced, a week after it went into effect.

The court order allows for abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother's last menstrual period) to resume in Indiana.
Indiana abortion providers and a nonprofit that operates a pregnancy resource center in the state filed their lawsuit last month, seeking to block the law from taking effect.
Indiana abortion providers and a nonprofit that operates a pregnancy resource center in the state filed their lawsuit last month, seeking to block the law from taking effect.

U.S. charges 47 people with ‘brazen’ theft of $250 million from pandemic food program

US charges 47 people with 'brazen' theftFederal authorities charged 47 people in Minnesota with conspiracy and other counts in what they said Tuesday was the largest fraud scheme yet to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by stealing $250 million from a federal program that provides meals to low-income children.

Prosecutors say the defendants created companies that claimed to be offering food to tens of thousands of children across Minnesota, then sought reimbursement for those meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food nutrition programs. Prosecutors say few meals were actually served, and the defendants used the money to buy luxury cars, property and jewelry.

“This $250 million is the floor,” Andy Luger, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, said at a news conference. “Our investigation continues.”

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Trump, family members sued by New York AG Letitia James, accused of massive fraud

NY AG Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday accused former President Donald Trump of massive fraud in a civil lawsuit following a three year inquiry into the finances of the family business.

James said Trump "falsely inflated his wealth by billions of dollars" to enrich himself and his family and the lawsuit seeks to effectively shutter the former president's namesake business, the Trump Organization.

"Mr. Trump thought he could get away with the art of the steal, but today, that conduct ends," James said. "There aren't two sets of laws for people in this nation: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans."

James said she has referred some of the allegations to federal authorities, including the Manhattan U.S Attorney's Office and the IRS for possible criminal investigation.

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Writer E Jean Carroll to file new lawsuit after accusing Trump of rape

E.Jean Carroll

E Jean Carroll, the writer who accused Donald Trump of raping her more than two decades ago, plans to file a new lawsuit against the former US president.

In a letter made public on Tuesday, a lawyer for former Elle magazine columnist said she planned to sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress under New York state’s Adult Survivors Act.

That law, recently signed by the governor, Kathy Hochul, gives adult accusers a one-year window to bring civil claims over alleged sexual misconduct regardless of how long ago it occurred.

Trump has denied raping Carroll and accused her of concocting the rape claim to sell her book.

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