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POSTED September 16, 2013 8:51 p.m.

WOMAN FEATURED IN STARK CDC ANTI-SMOKING ADS DIES : ATLANTA (AP) — A North Carolina woman featured prominently in a graphic government ad campaign to get people to stop smoking died Monday of cancer.

Terrie Hall died at a hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., federal officials said. She was 53.

"She was a public health hero," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the campaign. "She may well have saved more lives than most doctors do."

A former smoker whose voice box was removed years ago, Hall took a leading role in the campaign that showed how smoking-related cancer ravages the body. Officials believe the "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign led as many as 100,000 Americans smokers to quit.

Hall's first ad showed her putting on a wig, putting in false teeth and covering a hole in her throat with a scarf. It was the campaign's most popular spot by far, receiving more than 2.8 million views on YouTube.

It was the federal public health agency's largest and starkest anti-smoking push, and its first national advertising effort.

In another ad, the Lexington resident addressed the camera in the buzzing sound of her artificial voice box. She advised smokers to make a video of themselves reading a children's book or singing a lullaby. "I wish I had. The only voice my grandson's ever heard is this one," her electric voice growled.

FALLING LIGHT POLE STRUCK BY VEHICLE KILLS MAN: PHOENIX (AP) — A freak accident in Phoenix has claimed the life of a 25-year-old man.

Police say Michael Vince Miller was killed instantly about 7 p.m. Sunday when he was struck by a falling light pole. It fell after being hit by one of two vehicles involved in a collision at a midtown intersection.

Police say the pedestrian was walking away from the intersection and might not have seen the pole falling.

"It's one in a million," Jeff Gullick, who lives nearby, told KSAZ-TV. "I can't believe somebody was standing right under that pole when it happened."

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos says impairment isn't believed to have been a factor in the bizarre accident, but authorities are still investigating.

Injuries to people in the vehicles involved in the collision weren't considered life-threatening.

JUDGE: IRAN-BACKED COMPANY BEHIND NYC OFFICE TOWER: NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan office tower is subject to forfeiture because revenues from it were secretly funneled to a state-owned Iranian bank in violation of a U.S. trade embargo, a judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest made the forfeiture finding in Manhattan, ruling in a case brought by the U.S. government in 2008.

The government had said the Alavi Foundation's sole partner in the ownership of the 36-story Fifth Avenue building was a shell company fronting for a secret interest held by the state-owned bank of Iran, Bank Melli.

The judge agreed that monetary transfers by the shell company, Assa Co., to Bank Melli violated money laundering statutes. The Iranian government has been designated by the U.S. as a sponsor of international terrorism, an allegation it has repeatedly denied.

"There is substantial, un-contradicted evidence that Assa is owned and controlled by Bank Melli, and that Bank Melli is wholly owned and controlled by Iran," Forrest said.

She rejected Alavi's "core defense:" that a jury should decide whether the foundation knew that Assa was controlled by Iran between 1995 — when providing services to Iran became illegal — and the date of the lawsuit.

 

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