National briefs: GM recalls Camaros

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DETROIT — Ignition switches once again are causing problems for General Motors.

The company is recalling nearly 512,000 Chevrolet Camaro muscle cars from the 2010 to 2014 model years because a driver’s knee can bump the key and knock the switch out of the “run” position, causing an engine stall. That disables the power steering and brakes and could cause drivers to lose control. GM said Friday that it knows of three crashes and four minor injuries from the problem.

GM said the Camaro switches met its specifications — unlike those at the center of a recall of 2.6 million small cars. That problem has caused more than 50 crashes and at least 13 deaths.

Rockefeller dies in crash

NEW YORK — Richard Rockefeller, son of the billionaire and philanthropist David Rockefeller, was killed Friday when the plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff, a family spokesman said.

Dr. Rockefeller, 65, a family physician, was the only person on board the plane, which the authorities identified as a Piper Meridian single-engine turboprop. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. He took off from Westchester County Airport into dense fog and steady rain.

Dr. Rockefeller, an experienced pilot, was flying home after visiting his father to celebrate his 99th birthday at the family’s estate in Pocantico Hills, a hamlet in the town of Mount Pleasant.

Marriages put on hold

MADISON, Wis. — A federal judge put same-sex marriages in Wisconsin on hold, a week after she struck down the state’s ban as unconstitutional, a move that allowed more than 500 couples to wed over the last eight days.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb’s ruling Friday means that gay marriages will end while the appeal from Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pending. Couples who were in the middle of the five-day waiting period to get a license, which most counties waived, are caught in limbo.

Mr. Van Hollen requested Judge Crabb put her ruling on hold, arguing that allowing the marriages while the underlying case was pending created confusion about the legality of those marriages.

Execution autopsy

OKLAHOMA CITY — A preliminary autopsy, carried out by a pathologist retained by Oklahoma death row prisoners, rejects the state’s explanation of a blown vein as the reason an inmate writhed in pain during a botched execution and puts the blame on Oklahoma officials for the problems.

The autopsy of Clayton Lockett was released Friday. State officials said they could not comment until their own investigation is completed in the next several weeks.

Lockett writhed, groaned and attempted to speak during the execution by lethal injection on April 29. He died 43 minutes after the execution began of what state officials said appeared to be a “massive heart attack.”

Luxury home burned

WHITNEY, Texas — Charred debris from a luxury cliff-side home fell 75 feet into a lake below Friday after fire crews set the $700,000 retreat ablaze rather than wait for it to crumble into the water as the land faltered around it.

The ground around the home above Lake Whitney, about 60 miles south of Fort Worth, cracked and became unstable in recent months. A few days ago, part of the land gave way beneath the 4,000-square-foot home, leaving pieces dangling off the side of a cliff. Authorities condemned the home and the owners consented to Friday’s burn.

— Compiled from news services.


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