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LOUISIANA/Family: Justice Thomas' nephew tased at hospital

A nephew of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suffered a seizure after he was beaten and tased during a scuffle with security guards in the emergency room of a New Orleans-area hospital, relatives alleged Friday. Derek Thomas, 25, was immobilized with a stun gun during a visit Thursday to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero. A doctor tried to make Thomas put on a hospital gown, and when the patient refused and attempted to leave, hospital security tried to stop him, according to what his sister, Kimberly Thomas, told WDSU, a local television station. She said security officers used an electronic device, possibly a Taser, to immobilize her brother. Thomas has epilepsy, she said, and suffered a seizure shortly after the stun gun was used. A Supreme Court spokeswoman told The Washington Post that the justice had no comment. The hospital issued a statement Friday saying officials are investigating the incident.

WASHINGTON/Pentagon survey blasted

The Pentagon is at odds with gay rights groups after sending out a survey asking troops what they would do if gays were allowed to serve openly. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters Friday it was "nonsense" to suggest that the survey was biased. But gay rights groups say the survey assumes troops don't want to serve with openly gay service members and uses the term "homosexual," which they say is derogatory. The survey also doesn't ask troops if they think the current ban is harmful.

FAA orders jet inspections

Airlines must inspect cockpit window heaters on 1,212 Boeing airliners and perhaps replace the windows under a safety order the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it plans to issue next week. The window heaters have been tied to dozens of in-flight fires, smoke, open streams of electricity known as electrical arcing, and shattered windshields in Boeing planes. The source of the problem is a loose screw that chafes power wires where they connect to heating wires in the windows.


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