National news briefs: 5/18/14

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Cleric/lawyer heads NAACP

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The NAACP, which has been under interim leadership since its president resigned six months ago, has chosen Cornell William Brooks, an attorney and ordained minister, as its 18th leader.

Mr. Brooks, the head of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, a civil rights research and advocacy organization, was elected president and chief executive by an overwhelming majority of the civil rights organization's 64-person board Friday night, said Roslyn Brock, the chairwoman of the national board of directors for the NAACP.

Mr. Brooks, 53, listed voting rights, economic equality and health equity as some of the most pressing civil rights concerns facing the country today.

Experimental drug law

DENVER -- Colorado became the first state to allow terminally ill patients to access experimental medications Saturday, even when those medicines are years away from getting federal approval.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Colorado's "Right To Try" bill, which was passed unanimously in the state Legislature.

The measure clears the way for drug companies to provide experimental medications to patients outside of clinical trials.

Cottage cheese recalled

NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- Kraft Foods Group is recalling some of its cottage cheese products, company officials announced Saturday.

Some ingredients used in Knudsen Cottage Cheese, Breakstone's Cottage Cheese, Simply Kraft Cottage Cheese and Daily Chef Cottage Cheese were not stored in accordance with proper temperature standards at a Tulare, Calif., manufacturing facility, they said.

The products, with a coded date between May 9 and July 23 stamped on them, were only shipped to stores in the United States. The codes can be found on the cup bottoms or on top of the packages.

Faulty Hyundai air bags

DETROIT -- Hyundai Motor Co. is recalling 137,500 Tucson SUVs because the air bags aren't correctly mounted to the steering wheel.

The recall involves 2011-2014 model years. The affected vehicles were built between Jan. 3, 2011, and Dec. 23, 2013. Hyundai says the air bag assembly in the steering wheel may come loose from its mounting. That increases the risk of injury in a crash.

N.Y. Times denies bias

NEW YORK -- Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, released a statement Saturday detailing his decision to fire the newspaper's executive editor, Jill Abramson, and responding to a growing controversy over accusations by Ms. Abramson's supporters that gender played a role in her dismissal.

The decision to remove her, which was announced Wednesday, "has been cast by many as an example of the unequal treatment of women in the workplace," he wrote. Instead, the statement said, it "was a situation involving a specific individual who, as we all do, has strengths and weaknesses."

Wildfires under control

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- Firefighters were scouring charred hillsides Saturday north of San Diego to guard against a resurgence of flames that ripped through the region as the last of tens of thousands of evacuees prepared to return home.

Several fires spanning 39 square miles in San Diego County damaged 11 houses and destroyed an 18-unit apartment complex and two businesses. A dead body was found in a transient camp, and one firefighter suffered heat exhaustion.

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