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Protesters blast Ariz. gov. at Boston meeting


Protesters blast Ariz. gov. at Boston meeting

Immigrant advocates and their allies are protesting Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer as she attends the National Governors Association meeting in Boston.

A coalition of immigrant groups bused in advocates from around the East Coast for a rally Saturday to protest Arizona’s controversial immigration law, recently signed by Brewer.

Protesters in Copley Square said Brewer was a bigot and called for the end of what they said was “racist deportation.” They later marched to a hotel where Brewer was attending the annual governors meeting.

The Arizona law, which is facing a U.S. Justice Department challenge, requires police to question people about their immigration status while enforcing other laws if there’s reason to suspect someone is in the country illegally.

Brewer has said Arizona had to act because the federal government isn’t doing enough border enforcement.

Mass. Senate to consider shock therapy bill

The Massachusetts Senate could consider legislation allowing shock therapy and similar techniques to be used only in extreme cases.

The bill, which may be considered this week at the Statehouse, would create a new class of “behavioral treatment interventions.”

Those techniques could only be used if less intrusive methods fail, or when an individual presents a clear risk of harm or injury to themselves or others.

Besides shock therapy, the restricted treatments would include those that use food and sleep deprivation.

Settlement in Mass. jail strip search cases

An attorney says Franklin County officials have agreed to pay more than $1.1 million to non-drug and nonviolent arrestees who were strip searched at the county jail.

Attorney Howard Friedman announced the settlement last Thursday, about eight months after a federal magistrate ruled the searches unconstitutional because there was no reason to believe the arrestees had contraband.

Jail officials did not immediately return a call for comment.

The suit was initially filed by a Hurricane Katrina refugee from Mississippi, Gregory Garvey, now of Sunderland.

Garvey was strip-searched at the jail in January 2007 after being arrested on a traffic warrant. He was held overnight and was strip-searched again before a court appearance where his case was dismissed.

Friedman said the settlement will be divided among 486 people.

Civil rights expert named new Brandeis president

The dean of the George Washington University Law School has been named president of Brandeis University.

The appointment of Frederick Lawrence, a civil rights expert, was announced last Thursday by Malcolm Sherman, chairman of the Brandeis trustees. He becomes the university’s eighth president next year.

Lawrence succeeds Jehuda Reinharz, who announced in September he would step down after more than 16 years.

Lawrence has a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, and a law degree from Yale. From 1988 to 2005, he taught at Boston University’s law school and served as an associate dean.

Brandeis, like many institutions during the economic downturn, has announced job and program cuts to deal with a shrinking endowment and fewer donations. It was criticized for a now-suspended plan to close its noted art museum and sell some of its collection.

Mass Gov. Patrick says Brown talked slots recently

Gov. Deval Patrick says Sen. Scott Brown lobbied for adding slot machines at a Massachusetts racetrack during a meeting about a critical federal finance bill, but he doesn’t think the senator was trying to trade one for the other.

Brown has long supported adding slot machines at the Plainridge Racecourse harness racing track in his former state Senate district. Patrick opposes placing slot machines at the state’s four racetracks, fearing they would cut into business at the three resort-style casinos he favors for Massachusetts.

The House and Senate are trying to settle the question while working to produce an expanded gambling law for the state.

A Brown spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Mass. hospital outpatient care above average

Hospitals in Massachusetts are outperforming hospitals nationwide when it comes to the quality of outpatient care.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data last week that showed Massachusetts hospitals perform better than average on a variety of measures, including providing fast treatment to emergency room patients with chest pain; protecting surgery patients from infections; and providing appropriate follow-up with women who have had routine mammograms.

The data also included information about whether hospitals overuse MRIs and other imaging tests. The agency tracked the percentage of patients with low back pain who had an MRI without trying physical therapy or other treatments first. A high number may indicate that a hospital is doing unnecessary imaging tests.

Material compiled from Associated Press reports.