Ex-USC gynecologist George Tyndall pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

LOS ANGELES — Wearing a blue suicide-prevention vest, George Tyndall, the gynecologist accused of sexual misconduct toward hundreds of University of Southern California students, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of sexually abusing 16 patients at the campus clinic where he practiced for decades.

Following a couple of days in the hospital after complaints of chest pain, a disheveled-looking Tyndall made his first appearance in court since his arrest last week on 29 felony counts.

The 72-year-old former USC physician appeared in jailhouse clothing, with matted and uncombed hair. He did not address the judge but whispered with his attorney, Andrew Flier, who entered a not guilty plea as Tyndall leaned against a glass cage that holds inmates.

“He’s not suicidal whatsoever,” Flier told reporters outside the court.

The attorney has fast-tracked Tyndall’s case, refusing to waive a preliminary hearing that was set for July 12.

“We aren’t waiving prelim with this bail,” Flier said outside court. “We didn’t think it would be prudent or in the best interests of the client.”

The move means prosecutors will be forced within days to prove there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

Flier also asked for a hearing Wednesday to review Tyndall’s $2.075 million bail.

— Los Angeles Times

After chaotic handling of Parkland, airport mass shootings, Broward Sheriff’s Office loses its accreditation

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A state panel has voted unanimously to revoke the law enforcement accreditation of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the largest sheriff’s office in Florida.

The loss of accreditation — a voluntary certification sought by law enforcement agencies — won’t affect BSO’s operations in a major way. But it is a further blow to the agency’s prestige at a time when a new command staff, including a new sheriff, are dealing with a string of failures and questionable conduct by deputies.

The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation cited BSO’s mishandling of the Parkland school shooting last year and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting in 2017 as reasons for its decision in a 13-0 vote last week.

Both incidents were marked by chaotic and disorganized responses from the sheriff’s office. Seventeen people died at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, including some who were waiting for rescue as BSO deputies took cover, put on body armor and struggled to find the building where the massacre had taken place. Then-Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, a Democrat, defended his agency but was suspended from office by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Accreditation allows agencies to standardize their practices and make sure they meet widely accepted guidelines. Accreditation can also help buttress agencies in defending themselves against lawsuits as it shows their procedures have been validated by outside experts, as well as lower their insurance rates. In Florida, there are more than 200 standards that an agency must meet to to maintain accreditation.

— Miami Herald

Chicago White Sox address placing Emmett Till photo in scoreboard segment, calling it ‘poor form’

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox addressed a scoreboard segment during Saturday’s game that featured a picture of Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder in Mississippi was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

Under the words “Other famous people from Chicagoland include:” Till’s photo appeared in the middle with Pat Sajak to the left and Orson Welles to the right.

“It was done as a list of famous and iconic Chicagoans, so the person who did it (a member of the scoreboard staff) felt like Emmett Till is an iconic face of the civil rights movement in Chicago,” Scott Reifert, Sox senior vice president for communications, said Sunday. “I pointed out that, probably in retrospect, it’s poor form.

“We talked about it. He regretted it. Certainly, he admitted it was a mistake. The intent certainly wasn’t to insult anybody, not Emmett Till by any means. It was, in a sense, famous Chicagoans.”

Till was 14 and visiting family in Mississippi when he was lynched and brutally murdered in August 1955 after being accused of flirting with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham.

The woman’s husband and his half-brother were acquitted of Till’s murder and kidnapping by an all-white jury. Many years later, the woman admitted she fabricated many of the details.

Reifert said the scoreboard staffer understood the magnitude of what Reifert called “an honest mistake” after a conversation and that “there was no ill will meant by any of it.”

— Chicago Tribune

CDC issues warning about outbreaks of ‘crypto’ — a fecal parasite found in public swimming pools and water parks

Outbreaks of “crypto,” a parasite found in swimming pools that causes long-term diarrhea, are on the rise, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC says outbreaks of the summertime parasite increased an average of 13% each year from 2009-17.

Cryptosporidium is spread through the infected fecal matter of humans or animals. The CDC says people have been getting sick after swallowing the parasite in contaminated water or food or after coming in contact with infected people or animals. It is said to be the leading cause of disease outbreaks in the United States linked to water, specifically outbreaks linked to public pools or water playgrounds.

According to the report:

— 35% of outbreaks were linked to treated swimming water in places like pools or water playgrounds

— 13% were linked to contact with infected people in child care settings

— 15% were linked to contact with cattle, and 3% to drinking raw milk or apple cider

Young children are particularly susceptible to spreading the disease and experiencing severe symptoms, said registered nurse Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program.

— The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

Iran risks rift with Europe by breaching nuclear deal limit

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran says it has exceeded limits set on its enriched-uranium stockpile, a move that risks the collapse of the 2015 nuclear accord and raises concerns that a standoff with the U.S. could lead to military action.

“As I was informed, Iran has crossed the 300-kilogram cap according to plan,” the Iranian Students’ News Agency cited Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying. “We have clearly expressed what we are doing and will act upon it,” he said, saying the step was in line with Iran’s rights under the agreement after it was abrogated by the U.S.

The breach is likely to heighten tensions in the Persian Gulf that have spiked since the Trump administration exited the nuclear accord a year ago and re-imposed crippling sanctions on Iran, prompting a warning that Tehran will ditch elements of the deal unless it’s given an economic lifeline by July 7. Attacks in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital waterway for oil shipments from the Middle East, and the Iranian downing of an American drone have raised concerns of another war in the region.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said earlier Monday that if European nations working to salvage the nuclear deal “take more concrete steps, Iran’s action in cutting back on its commitments can be rolled back,” according ISNA.

— Bloomberg News