Nation & World Briefs 08-11-14 Woman punched by California patrolman thought she would die

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LOS ANGELES -- Marlene Pinnock said she thought she was going to die as a California Highway Patrol officer straddled her, repeatedly punching her head on the side of a Los Angeles freeway.

During an hour-long interview with Associated Press on Sunday -- her first public comments since the July 1 beating was caught on video by a passing driver -- Pinnock spoke haltingly or in a whisper, occasionally putting her hands to her temples and grimacing.

Her attorney Caree Harper frequently interrupted her and limited her responses to a reporter's questions.

"He grabbed me, he threw me down, he started beating me, he beat me. I felt like he was trying to kill me, beat me to death," Pinnock said.

Pinnock, 51, was released from the hospital last week after several weeks of treatment for head injuries and now slurs her speech, Harper said.

"Incident did not take place:" Southeast Michigan authorities are closing an investigation of an 18-year-old woman's claim she was abducted along a road and held hostage for 16 hours, saying it never happened. The Monroe County Sheriff's Department said a detective and an FBI agent re-interviewed the woman Sunday and "determined that the incident did not take place." The department said it's forwarding a report to the county prosecutor's office for review.

Winning ticket sold in Colorado: Someone in Colorado is holding the winning Powerball ticket for a $90 million prize. The Colorado Lottery said it's the largest Powerball jackpot ever won in the state. It says the winning ticket for Saturday night's multistate drawing was purchased at a Kum & Go convenience store in the small eastern city of Rifle. The ticketholder has yet to come forward. The winner matched the five winning numbers -- 3, 12, 31, 34, 51 -- and the Powerball, 24.

Were stuck on roller coaster: Authorities say 24 people stranded on a roller coaster have been rescued from near the top of the ride at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Md. Prince George's County Fire officials say it took about five hours Sunday to rescue 17 adults and seven children from The Joker's Jinx roller coaster. Assistant Fire Chief Paul Gomez said the riders were sitting upright. A few had cramps, back pain and dehydration, but there were no major injuries.

Teen suspect due in court: A 17-year-old boy arrested in the death and sexual assault of a 6-year-old Washington state girl is due in court today. Authorities still haven't released the name of the suspect, who was arrested Saturday in the Bremerton-area mobile home park from which Jenise Wright had disappeared a week earlier. He was booked for investigation of second-degree murder, manslaughter and rape, and was scheduled to make an initial appearance at 3 p.m. in Kitsap County District Court.

Kerry urges calm in Iraq: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is urging the people of Iraq to remain calm as the country faces a political crisis while battling advances by Islamic State militants. Speaking in Australia on today, Kerry said there should be no use of force by political factions as Iraq struggles form a government. He says the people of Iraq have made clear their desire for change and that the country's new president is acting appropriately despite claims of malfeasance by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Gaza war cease-fire holds: An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire halting the Gaza war held into this morning, allowing Palestinians to leave homes and shelters as negotiators agreed to resume talks in Cairo. The truce took effect just after midnight preceded by heavy rocket fire toward Israel. In Cairo, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the cease-fire would allow humanitarian aid into battered Gaza neighborhoods and the reopening of indirect talks on a more lasting and comprehensive deal. This morning, high school students in Gaza filed the streets as they headed off to pick up their graduation certificates after the Education Ministry said they'd be ready. People waited to buy fuel for generators as power and communication workers struggled to fix cables damaged in the fighting. Long lines formed at ATMs.

Drought could limit shipping: Jorge Luis Quintano, the head of the Panama Canal Authority said officials might be forced to limit the draft of ships by the end of this year or early in 2015 if a drought continues and lowers the level of lakes that feed the waterway's locks. Quintano told Panama's Channel 2 television station that unusually light rainfall has dropped the level of Lakes Gatun and Alajuela. He says he's hoping for healthy rainfall in the normally rainy months of October, November and December. But he noted in the Sunday interview that last November's rains were the lowest for that period in the 100-year history of the canal.

Mine spill forces water cutbacks: About 10 million gallons of contaminated wastewater have spilled into rivers from a mine in northern Mexico, and federal officials announced Sunday they are restricting water supply to cities and towns in the country's north, including the Sonora state capital of Hermosillo. The National Water Commission said it was monitoring chemicals in the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers following this week's spill at the Buenavista copper mine in Cananea, about 25 miles south of the U.S. border. The state's civil defense office issued a statement on its Facebook page denying rumors that the contamination includes cyanide, which it said it not used in copper mining.

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