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In the Nation


Jury awards $7M

in scout abuse case

A man who says he was sexually abused by a scout leader in the mid-1970s won a $7 million jury verdict against the Boy Scouts of America.

Lawyers for the man said the decision handed down Friday in Waterbury Superior Court was the largest verdict for compensatory damages against the Boy Scouts' national organization. The jury also found the organization liable for punitive damages, with the amount to be determined by a judge.

The man, called John Doe in court documents, alleges he was a member of a New Fairfield Boy Scouts troop when its leader, Siegfried Hepp, sexually abused him three times. Messages seeking comment were left at phone listings for Hepp in New Fairfield and Lady Lake, Fla. He wasn't a defendant in the lawsuit.

Officials with the national Boy Scouts organization will be reviewing the decision, said spokesman Deron Smith. - AP

New surgeon general

The Senate has approved President Obama's nomination of Vivek Murthy, 37, a physician and Harvard Medical School instructor, to serve as U.S. surgeon general. The 51-43 vote late Monday came despite opposition from some lawmakers over Murthy's support for gun control and past statements calling gun violence a public health concern. Supporters said Murthy is well-qualified and has promised not to use the position as a bully pulpit for gun control. - AP

Healed eagles freed

Three weak, emaciated eagles that were nursed back to health at a Michigan raptor rehabilitation facility have been released back into the wild. Sandy Miner of the nonprofit Wildlife Support Team and others opened the birds' cages Monday and allowed them to fly free from the grounds of Consumers Energy's Karn/Weadock Generating Complex near Bay City. - AP