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NATIONAL BRIEFS


NEW MEXICO: Another airline hero?

America's latest folk-hero flight attendant may be the one on a Southwest Airlines jet who took a 13-month-old baby from her mother after the woman slapped the crying child. The attendant's actions set off an intense debate: When and how should bystanders intervene? Parents on both sides of the corporal punishment debate agreed that hitting a baby that young was wrong. But they also empathized with the mother, saying they've been exactly where she found herself on Monday on the Dallas-to-Seattle flight: stressed, and trapped on an airplane. Attendant Beverly McCurley told officers she saw the mother hit the child on the face with her open hand while the father yelled at the mother to stop screaming at the girl. McCurley described the mother as agitated. The mother told police she "popped" the tired tot when the child kicked her, because "when she's screaming and she can't hear me say no, that's the only way I can get her to stop." McCurley took the baby to the rear of the plane, where the father took the child and stood there with her until she fell asleep.


FLORIDA: Oiled turtles back into Gulf

The first rehabilitated turtles oiled by BP's massive leak were released back into the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, with scientists saying animals taken in by rescuers, including birds, appear more resilient than first feared. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is overseeing the oil crisis for the government, helped release the 22 oiled sea turtles about a mile off the coast of Cedar Key, an area unaffected by the spilled crude.


OREGON: Jackie kin sentenced

James Auchincloss, who as a boy carried the wedding train of his half sister Jackie up the aisle as she married John F. Kennedy, was jailed Wednesday in Medford after admitting to possessing child pornography. Auchincloss, 63, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of encouraging child sex abuse for having computer images of naked boys. Jackson County Circuit Judge Mark Shiveley ordered him to serve 30 days in jail on each count, to be served concurrently, as part of three years of supervised probation.

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