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POSTED August 30, 2013 10:08 p.m.

FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS CALIFORNIA'S FOIE GRAS BAN: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that California can keep in place its ban on the sale of foie gras.

In doing so, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals signaled that a lawsuit filed by foie gras producers seeking to invalidate the California law was on its last legs.

The appeals court said the producers of the delicacy — the fatty liver of a force-fed goose or duck — "failed to raise a serious question that they are likely to succeed on the merits" of the lawsuit. The producers wanted the appeals court to lift the ban while their lawsuit is under consideration in a Los Angeles federal court.

The three-judge appeals panel rejected the producers' arguments that the ban illegally interferes with commerce and is too vaguely worded, among other claims, indicating the court's doubts about the underlying lawsuit in the process.

The ruling upheld a lower court decision, which expressed similar skepticism about the lawsuit filed last year by Canadian and New York producers of foie gras.

Nonetheless, Marcus Henley, the operations manager of New York's Hudson Valley farm, said he and his lawyers would continue to fight the California law. Henley said lawyers would appeal Friday's ruling while continuing to argue in the Los Angeles district court for the invalidation of the California law.

The California law bars state farmers from force-feeding birds with a tube, the procedure used to produce foie gras. It also bans sales of the delicacy.

The Legislature concluded tube-feeding birds to engorge their livers is cruel.

CALTRANS SETTLES S-CURVE DEATH SUIT FOR $700K: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State transportation officials have settled a lawsuit filed by the family of a truck driver who died in 2009 when his rig fell from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after he failed to navigate an S-curve installed as part of work on the new span.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the California Department of Transportation settled for $700,000, but in doing so did not admit any wrongdoing.

In their lawsuit, 56-year-old Tahir Fakhar's family accused Caltrans of not adequately warning drivers about the sharp new curve.

State officials have said Fakhar was traveling too fast and that his truck was carrying tons more weight that it should have.

SERIAL KILLER LINKED TO POSSIBLE 6TH VICTIM: SAN RAFAEL  (AP) — Authorities say they've linked a sixth killing to a former photographer facing a possible death sentence for the murders of four Northern California women.

Prosecutors say new evidence ties 79-year-old Joseph Naso to the killing of Sharileea Patton, whose body was found in Marin County in 1981.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1dysVo8) the 56-year-old Patton was in the San Francisco Bay Area looking for work when her strangled body was found stuffed into two garbage bags.

Naso was convicted earlier this year of killing four women in the 1970s and 1990s. All four had alliterative names: Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya.

Naso also is the suspect in a fifth killing in Nevada County in 1992.

The penalty phase of his trial begins Wednesday in Marin County, after which jurors will decide if he is executed or serves life in prison.

 

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