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January 25, 2019

AUSTRALIAN HEAT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Melbourne residents have been warned that they could endure power outages on Friday as Australia’s second-largest city is forecast to experience its hottest day in a decade.

The Victoria state capital, with a population of 5 million, is set to reach 111 degrees. That would be Melbourne’s hottest day since Feb. 7, 2009 — a day of catastrophic wildfires that than is remembered as Black Saturday.

That day, the temperature soared to 115.5 degrees. Wildfires killed 173 people and razed more than 2,000 homes in Victoria.

Scores of wildfires are raging in southeast Australia, with authorities warning the fire risk is high.

Victoria’s Energy Minister says three power generators had shut down, as infrastructure struggled to keep up with demand.

MAN TO ARGUE INSANITY FOR EX-GIRLFRIEND’S DEATH AND EATING PARTS OF HER BODY

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Attorneys for an Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body plan to argue he was insane at the time.

The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky reports court documents show two psychiatrists will examine 37-year-old Joseph Oberhansley to determine whether he was legally insane. The same psychiatrists are required to testify at his trial, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 19.

Prosecutors say Oberhansley broke into the Jeffersonville home of 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton in September 2014, raped her, fatally stabbed her and ate parts of her body. He’s charged with murder, burglary and rape.

A judge ruled in November that Oberhansley was competent to stand trial following a 21-month stay at a state psychiatric hospital.

POSSIBLE SENTENCING APPEAL IN POLICE KILLING OF BLACK TEEN SHOT 16 TIMES

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois attorney general’s office has signaled it may be considering a rare sentencing-related appeal if it concludes a white Chicago police officer’s less-than-seven-year prison sentence in the slaying of black teenager Laquan McDonald was wrongly calculated.

The office said in a statement yesterday it is reviewing Jason Van Dyke’s sentence. With credit for good behavior, Van Dyke will likely serve only around three years for firing 16 bullets into McDonald in 2014.

An activist who helped force the city to release dashcam video of the shooting in 2015, William Calloway, echoed the sentiment of many Chicago residents last week when he said the sentence amounted to “a slap on the wrist.”

Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, says raising the idea of an appeal is “about politics not the law.”

NEW YORK MAN CLEARED IN MOM’S STABBING DEATH AFTER 19 YEARS IN PRISON

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York man who spent 19 years in prison after being accused as a teenager of stabbing his mother to death has been cleared of the charges.

Huwe (hyoo) Burton says he feels like a weight has been lifted off him after a Bronx judge threw out his conviction yesterday. Burton was released on parole in 2009.

While he had his freedom, he says living with a wrongful conviction in the 1989 killing of his mother was “a lot to bear.”

Questioned at 16, Burton gave a confession he immediately recanted.

His Innocence Project lawyers and Bronx prosecutors say a re-investigation found detectives used problematic interview techniques now understood to generate false confessions.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark says she doesn’t have confidence that Burton’s confession was true.

KANSAS CITY TO CREATE PUBLIC MEMORIAL TO MLK

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials in one of the nation’s largest cities without a public memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. have voted to rename a 10-mile stretch of roadway after the slain civil rights leader.

The City Council in Kansas City, Missouri, voted 8-4 yesterday to rename the Paseo in the city’s predominantly black east side as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The Kansas City Star reports the vote came after a months-long debate over which Kansas City landmark should honor King.

Opposition mostly centered on whether residents and business owners along the Paseo had been properly consulted about the name change, and whether a different choice — such as the city’s airport — would be a better way to honor the civil rights leader.

SCHOOL OFFICIALS DENY GIRLS WERE STRIP-SEARCHED FOR DRUGS AT N.Y. STATE SCHOOL

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) — School officials are denying a report that four 12-year-old girls were strip-searched for suspected drug use at an upstate New York middle school.

Community members packed a Binghamton school board meeting this week to demand answers after reports circulated on social media that the girls, who are black, were strip-searched by the school nurse and assistant principal because they seemed giddy in the lunch room.

A community group distributed a statement at Tuesday’s meeting saying the children were “ashamed, humiliated and traumatized” after being told to remove clothing Jan. 15.

The school district issued a statement yesterday saying officials did not conduct a strip search. It says a medical evaluation may require removal of bulky outside clothing to expose an arm to take blood pressure, but that’s “not the same as a strip search.”