BC-MA--Massachusetts News Digest, MA

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Associated Press

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 8 at 8:01 PM

Massachusetts at 9:05 p.m.

The breaking news staffer is Sylvia Lee Wingfield. The New England news editor is Cara Rubinsky. To reach the AP bureau in Boston, call 617-357-8100 or 1-800-882-1407. To reach the photo department, call 617-357-8106. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns also are available from customer support at 877-836-9477.

Adds MENINGITIS OUTBREAK, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, BOEING-787 WOES, DOUBLE-DECKER DEBATE-SAVANNAH

TOP STORIES:

PREGNANCY DRUG-LAWSUIT

BOSTON — Eli Lilly and Co. failed to test a drug's effect on fetuses before promoting it as a way to prevent miscarriages, a lawyer says in opening statements in a trial over a lawsuit brought by four sisters who believe their breast cancer was caused by the medicine their mother took when she was pregnant with them. The sisters' case is the first to go to trial out of scores of similar claims filed around the country. By Legal Affairs Writer Denise Lavoie.

AP photos.

WHITEY BULGER

BOSTON — A lawyer for James "Whitey" Bulger has asked an appeals court to remove the judge set to preside over the Boston mobster's murder case. The defense told the federal appeals court that reasonable people might have a reasonable doubt about U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns' impartiality. The defense claims Stearns has a conflict of interest because Bulger was an FBI informant when Stearns was a federal prosecutor. They say Bulger got an immunity deal from the FBI before Stearns headed the U.S. Attorney's Office criminal division. But a government lawyer argued that Stearns didn't participate in and didn't know of any investigations involving Bulger. By Bridget Murphy.

MENINGITIS OUTBREAK

BOSTON — An independent trustee must be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy of a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak because of the firm's "gross mismanagement," among other reasons, a Justice Department official argued Tuesday. U.S. Trustee William Harrington also argued in his motion that an accountant the New England Compounding Center hired to lead it through the Chapter 11 process had a hopeless conflict of interest because the NECC's board can fire him at any time. By Jay Lindsay.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick said he will file legislation that would freeze unemployment insurance rates for Massachusetts businesses and end parts of the state's landmark 2006 health care law that is at odds with the federal Affordable Care Act. Patrick said the bill would freeze the unemployment rates for the fourth year in a row, saving employers another $500 million. Over four years the savings for employers would amount to about $1.7 billion, he said. By Steve LeBlanc.

BOEING-787 WOES

MINNEAPOLIS — Federal safety investigators intensified their scrutiny of a Monday fire aboard a Boeing 787 as concerned investors sold shares in the aircraft maker for a second day. Boeing on Tuesday confirmed that the fire aboard a Japan Airlines plane at Boston's Logan Airport appeared to have started in a battery pack for the plane's auxiliary power unit. By Joshua Freed.

AP Photo NYBZ137.

— AIRPLANE FUEL LEAK — Officials at Boston's Logan International Airport say crews have contained a fuel leak from an outbound Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo, marking the second time in two days that JAL planes at Logan reported problems.AP Photos MACK104, MACK103.

TV ON THE INTERNET

NEW YORK — The Barry Diller-backed Internet company that challenged cable and satellite TV services by offering inexpensive live television online plans to expand beyond New York City this spring. In the wake of a federal court ruling that tentatively endorsed its legality, Aereo will bring its $8-a-month service to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and 18 other markets in the U.S., as well as to New York's suburbs. By Technology Writer Anick Jesdanun.

AP Photos.

DOUBLE-DECKER DEBATE-SAVANNAH

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A proposal by two Boston businessmen to put double-decker tour buses on the streets of Savannah's historic district has residents rallying to bring the plans to a screeching halt, with critics fearing the buses would hit ancient oak limbs and give sightseers a peeping Tom's view into Victorian homes. By Russ Bynum.

AP Photos GADG105, GADG104, GADG102, AX101, GADG101, GADG103.

ALSO:

— TEACHER-CHILD PORN — Prosecutors say a former Boston-area elementary school teacher has been sentenced to 45 years in prison by a Louisiana federal judge for taking part in an international child pornography ring.

— WARREN-HAGEL — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she is reserving judgment on President Barack Obama's nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense.

— CONVERSE-HEADQUARTERS MOVE — Converse Inc. said on Tuesday that it will move its headquarters from North Andover, Mass., to Boston, where a new downtown office is being developed for the shoe and apparel maker.

— FINGERPRINTING TEACHERS — Teachers, workers at child care centers, school bus drivers and others could soon be required to submit fingerprints for criminal background checks.

— HOSPITAL RECORDS DUMPED — The former owners of a medical billing practice that threw away sensitive health records at public dump as well as the medical practices involved have agreed to pay $140,000 in a settlement with the attorney general's office.

— MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS CONFIDENCE — A monthly survey of Massachusetts businesses showed a slight boost in confidence in December, but employers were still less optimistic at the end of 2012 than at the close of the previous year.

— MASSACHUSETTS GAMBLING-PROSECUTOR — Attorney General Martha Coakley has named a veteran prosecutor to head a new unit that will keep watch over the casino industry as it takes shape in Massachusetts.

— AMGEN-BIND BIOSCIENCES — Drug developer Bind Biosciences said Tuesday that it will study potential cancer treatments with biotechnology company Amgen Inc. as part of a deal that could be worth more than $180 million.

— ANTIQUE FIRE TRUCK — Lee firefighters are trying to figure out who's been stealing thousands of dollars' worth of parts from an antique 1939 fire truck they hope to restore.

— BOOKS-BOBBY ORR — One of hockey's greatest and most private stars, Bobby Orr, is finally telling his life story.AP Photo NY150.

— DOG KILLED — A Framingham man prosecutors say tortured and killed his own dog, then tossed the body in a trash container, has been charged with animal cruelty.

— JACKHAMMERING-BOTTLE ASSAULT — Police say a Beverly woman apparently frustrated by a construction crew jackhammering in the street outside her home vented her anger by tossing a beer bottle at an officer working a detail.

TOP SPORTS:

HKN--BRUINS-PRACTICE

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins gather at Boston University to practice while they await official word on the beginning of the NHL season. By Jimmy Golen.

AP Photos.

FBN--PATRIOTS-FACING FOSTER

FOXBOROUGH — When they faced Arian Foster a month ago, the New England Patriots limited his rushing opportunities by taking a big lead and forcing the Houston Texans to pass. Now Foster is coming off one of his best games of the season, and the Patriots defense knows that stopping him may not be so easy in Sunday's divisional playoff game. By Howard Ulman.

AP Photos.

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