Tom Brady appeals 'Deflategate' ruling, extends fight with NFL

NEW YORK New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Monday asked a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its ruling reinstating his "Deflategate" four-game suspension, saying the decision runs contrary to federal labor law."The panel decision will harm not just NFL players, but all unionized workers who have bargained for appeal rights as a protection," his lawyers said in a motion filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.Brady, 38, was suspended after the National Football League (NFL) found underinflated footballs were used in the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015's AFC championship game. The victory propelled the Patriots to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Seattle Seahawks, giving Brady his fourth title. The NFL suspended Brady, twice the league's most valuable player, after a lawyer hired by the league to investigate the incident said the quarterback was "generally aware" two Patriots employees had conspired to deflate the balls, which could make them easier to grip.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the suspension in July, prompting a lawsuit from the players union. The quarterback has denied knowing about any plan to deflate footballs. In a split 2-1 decision last month, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a lower court's ruling that threw out his penalty.On Monday, which was the deadline for an appeal, the union and Brady asked for an "en banc" review, in which the court's entire roster of 13 active judges would rehear the case.The 2nd Circuit is known among federal appellate courts for rarely granting such requests. It has held only one en banc hearing since October 2013. If the court denies the motion, the players union could then appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.An NFL spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in New York overturned Goodell's decision in September, ensuring Brady could play the entire 2015 regular season. The judge found Brady did not have the required notice that he could face a long suspension for his alleged conduct. But the 2nd Circuit panel ruled the labor deal between the league and the union gave Goodell "especially broad" disciplinary authority.Brady's motion on Monday said Goodell's decision would undermine labor arbitrations everywhere and "runs roughshod over the rule of law."The union's legal team includes former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, who appeared earlier on Monday on ABC to announce the appeal. Olson represented the players' union during labor negotiations in 2011 and also argued the two Bush v. Gore cases that arose out of the 2000 presidential election. (Additional reporting by Daniel Wallis and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Alan Crosby)

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Canadian firefighters make progress against fire in oil sands region

CALGARY, Alberta Firefighters made progress against a wildfire in the Fort McMurray region of northern Alberta on Thursday as a shift in winds pushed it away from communities and oil sands facilities.The massive blaze has charred 505,000 hectares (1.2 million acres), up from 483,000 on Wednesday. On Thursday, it moved to the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, but Alberta wildfire officer Chad Morrison said cooler weather and rain would aid efforts to get it under control."We saw a trace of rain this morning, so that's actually helped our firefighting efforts," he added. Morrison said the burned area equals the total consumed in last year's entire fire season.The blaze, which hit Fort McMurray in early May, surged north on Monday. It forced the evacuation of 8,000 oil sands workers, destroyed a work camp and prolonged a shutdown that has cut Canadian oil output by a million barrels a day.Alberta's GDP is expected to take a hit as a result of the fire, the government said this week, and comes on the back of a two-year slump in global crude prices.Credit agency S&P lowered its debt rating for Alberta to AA from AA+ on Thursday, citing a weak budgetary performance and high debt. Morrison said the fire burned near Suncor Energy's base plant and the Syncrude facility on Wednesday, but fire breaks held and the threat has diminished.The joint-venture Syncrude project told customers to expect no further crude shipments for May, trading sources said on Thursday, extending a force majeure on crude production from earlier in the month.Syncrude spokesman Will Gibson declined to comment on deliveries. "We are not making any oil and will not have forecasts for some time," he said. Still, in an encouraging sign, Imperial Oil said on Thursday it had restarted limited operations at its Kearl site, which was unaffected by the fires. The return to full operations depends on a number of factors, including safety and air quality, it said.WILDFIRE MAY SLOW RETURNThe fire destroyed a 665-room lodge for oil sands workers on Tuesday, but officials said on Thursday there was no further threat to facilities. Even so, a mandatory evacuation order remains in place at 19 work camps north of Fort McMurray. The latest round of evacuations suggest production may be suspended for longer than companies and analysts had previously anticipated.Some of the 90,000 evacuees who fled as the massive blaze breached Fort McMurray may be allowed to return as soon as June 1, if air quality improves and other safety conditions are met.But Bob Couture, executive director of community and protective services for the Wood Buffalo region, said the wildfire could still potentially slow re-entry."As we see today, our weather has changed dramatically, however we know this beast and the conditions also change very quickly so we want to be prepared for anything," he said. The air quality health index, which usually stands between 1 and 10, was at 3 on Thursday morning but was expected to rise back above 10 on Thursday and Friday. (Additional reporting by Allison Martell and Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Bill Trott and Cynthia Osterman)

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Medical records search warrant carried out in Prince case

A search warrant affidavit obtained by the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday revealed that a doctor who saw the late pop star Prince twice just weeks before his death and was at the musician's home when Prince's body was found had prescribed him medication.The document said Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg was at the star's Paisley Park Studios compound in suburban Minneapolis to drop off test results when Prince's body was found in an elevator on April 21. The affidavit said Schulenberg had also prescribed Prince medication, but did not specify what those medications were or whether the prescription had been filled. The search warrant was carried out on May 5 at North Memorial Medical Center.Health system spokeswoman Lesa Bader told the Los Angeles Times that Schulenberg no longer works for the system. Barb Stevenson, a spokeswoman reached by Reuters, said she could provide no information on the case. Schulenberg, whose name was misspelled in the documents according to the Los Angeles Times, also could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.Detectives also revisited Paisley Park on Tuesday as "a component of a complete investigation," the Carver County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Twitter, without providing further details. Prince died one day before he was scheduled to meet another doctor who specializes in addiction treatment for a "life-saving mission," that doctor's lawyer said at a news conference last Wednesday.California doctor Howard Kornfeld was first contacted by Prince's representatives on April 20, one day before the singer's body was discovered at his home, attorney William Mauzy told reporters. Prescription opioid medication was found at the scene, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation but who is not authorized to speak publicly. (Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Paul Tait)

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Trove of Marilyn Monroe's personal belongings to go up for auction

LOS ANGELES A collection of personal items including handwritten notes and jewelry that belonged to film star Marilyn Monroe will go up for auction in November at Julien's Auctions.     Monroe, one of the most iconic stars of Hollywood's Golden Age of cinema, left numerous items in her will to her acting mentor, Lee Strasberg. More than 500 lots of Monroe's belongings will be at auction in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 and 20, and they are expected to fetch between $2 million and $4 million.Julien's Auctions said the items had never been on the auction block and are being offered for sale by the estate of Strasberg, who taught stars such as James Dean, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Jane Fonda. He died in 1982. "Marilyn was a complex and beguiling figure in her lifetime, leaving generations of adoring fans to speculate, infer and debate about her life," Strasberg's wife, Anna Strasberg, said in a statement. Many of the items are preserved exactly as they were when Monroe died of a drug overdose in 1962, aged 36. A small clutch evening bag or minaudiere is being sold with two 10-cent coins, eight Philip Morris cigarettes and a used Revlon lipstick in the shade "Bachelor's Carnation," a vibrant red hue. It is expected to fetch between $15,000 and $20,000.     "That's a really neat piece and it's like a time warp right back to the 1940s when Marilyn was just becoming famous," said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions. Amid the items are glimpses into Monroe's life, such as a taxi receipt dated Feb. 2, 1960 to 20th Century Fox, the year she was starring in "Let's Make Love" for the film studio, and tax documents that detailed the actress' expenditures. A jewelry case owned by Monroe's former husband, baseball great Joe DiMaggio is expected to fetch between $3,000 and $5,000. The case has a brass monogram and a combination lock set to 555, reflecting DiMaggio's No. 5 player number for the New York Yankees. Another highlight in the auction is a platinum diamond Blancpain watch, estimated to fetch between $80,000 and $120,000, but could likely sell for a much higher price, Nolan said.Ahead of the auction, key pieces from the Monroe collection will be exhibited aboard the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner that will sail from New York to Southampton, England. The items will also be exhibited in London and Los Angeles. (Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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One winning ticket sold in $429 million Powerball lottery

One winning ticket matched the numbers drawn on Saturday night for the multi-state Powerball jackpot for a payout estimated at $429.6 million, the ninth-highest U.S. lottery prize in history, officials said.The winning numbers selected just before 11 p.m. EDT were 25 66 44 5 26 with the Powerball 9. Lottery officials said one ticket, purchased in New Jersey, had the winning combination, according to media reports.The winner was not identified. Winners of huge lottery payouts sometimes do not come forward publicly for months.It was the largest jackpot for any U.S. lottery since January, when three Powerball tickets split a record $1.6 billion. The odds of winning at Powerball are one in 292 million. Statistics experts say that means an American is roughly 25 times more likely to become the next president of the United States than to win the game. Kelly Cripe, a Texas-based lottery spokeswoman, said Saturday's Powerball followed 17 consecutive draws without a winner.A spate of late ticket-buying on Saturday increased the jackpot by some $15 million, to an estimated $429.6 million. Powerball is played in 44 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Chris Michaud; Editing by Digby Lidstone, Eric Meijer and Paul Tait)

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