Dec 08, 2019 9:13 PM

Ford recalls big pickups; tailgates can open unexpectedly

Posted Dec 08, 2019 9:13 PM

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 262,000 heavy-duty pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada because the tailgates can open unexpectedly.


The recall covers F-250, F-350 and F-450 trucks from the 2017 through 2019 model years. All the trucks have electric tailgate latch release switches in the tailgate handle.

Ford says water can get into the electrical wiring and cause a short circuit, activating the switches and releasing the latches. That could allow loose cargo to fall onto the road.

The company says it has no reports of crashes or injuries. Trucks with mechanical tailgate latches are not affected.


Dealers will fix the tailgate frame wiring harnesses and install a new tailgate handle release switch. Owners will be notified by mail during the week of Jan. 20.

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Dec 08, 2019 9:13 PM
Supreme Court delays start of federal executions

(Wesley Ira Purkey is from Kansas. His execution is scheduled for Dec. 13, for raping and killing 16-year-old Jennifer Long before dismembering, burning and dumping her body in a septic pond in 2003)



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has blocked the Trump administration from restarting federal executions next week after a 16-year break.


The justices denied the administration’s plea to undo a lower court ruling in favor of inmates who have been given execution dates. The first of those had been scheduled for Monday, with a second set for Friday. Two more inmates had been given execution dates in January.


Attorney General William Barr announced during the summer that federal executions would resume using a single drug, pentobarbital, to put inmates to death.


U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., temporarily halted the executions after some of the chosen inmates challenged the new execution procedures in court. Chutkan ruled that the procedure approved by Barr likely violates the Federal Death Penalty Act.


The federal appeals court in Washington had earlier denied the administration’s emergency plea to put Chutkan’s ruling on hold and allow the executions to proceed.


Federal executions are likely to remain on hold at least for several months, while the appeals court in Washington undertakes a full review of Chutkan’s ruling.


The Supreme Court justices directed the appeals court to act “with appropriate dispatch.”


Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a short separate opinion that he believes the government ultimately will win the case and would have set a 60-day deadline for appeals court action. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined Alito’s opinion.


Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said the legal fight would continue. “While we are disappointed with the ruling, we will argue the case on its merits in the D.C. Circuit and, if necessary, the Supreme Court,” Kupec said in a statement.

Four inmates won temporary reprieves from the court rulings. Danny Lee was the first inmate scheduled for execution, at 8 o’clock Monday morning. Lee was convicted of killing a family of three, including an 8-year-old.


The government had next planned on Friday to execute Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and killed an 80-year-old woman. His lawyers say Purkey is suffering from dementia and he has a separate lawsuit pending in federal court in Washington, D.C.


Then in January, executions had been scheduled for Alfred Bourgeois, who tortured, molested and then beat his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to death, and Dustin Lee Honken, who killed five people, including two children.


A fifth inmate, Lezmond Mitchell, has had his execution blocked by the federal appeals court in San Francisco over questions of bias against Native Americans. Mitchell beheaded a 63-year-old woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter.