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NATION IN BRIEF: Oprah: Drivers must stop using phones in car

Oprah: Drivers must stop using phones in car

WASHINGTON -- Oprah Winfrey wants America's drivers to declare their cars ''No Phone Zones.''

''It's like Russian roulette every time you pick up your phone in the car,'' Winfrey told her viewers from Chicago on Friday. She dedicated her TV show to urging people to sign pledges not to chat or text from behind the wheel.

Safety advocates hope Winfrey's star power will bring attention to the growing scourge of distracted drivers, who are blamed for an estimated 6,000 deaths and a half-million injuries a year.

The advocates hope to mimic the success of safety campaigns in the 1980s that helped reduce drunken driving deaths and increased the use of seat belts.

Obama meets with possible court appointee

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has accelerated his search for his next Supreme Court nominee by interviewing candidates, including a meeting in the Oval Office with one of the people on his list, federal judge Sidney Thomas of Montana.

Obama's roughly one-hour session with Thomas on Thursday was his first known formal interview for the upcoming vacancy on the court. The president has interviewed other candidates in person, too, and talked to some by phone, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.

He did not identify them.

Arizona facing boycott over immigration law

PHOENIX -- Civil rights leaders are urging organizations to cancel their conventions in Arizona. Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks are encountering protesters on the road. And the AriZona iced tea company wants everyone to know that its drinks are made in New York.

Arizona is facing a backlash over its new law cracking down on illegal immigrants, with opponents pushing for a tourism boycott like the one that was used to punish the state 20 years ago over its refusal to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a holiday.

''The goal is to as quickly as possible bring to a shocking stop the economy of Arizona,'' former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez said Friday as a coalition called Boycott Arizona announced its formation.

The outcry has grown steadily in the week since Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the nation's toughest law against illegal immigration. The measure makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally, and directs local police to question people about their immigration status and demand to see their documents if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.

Gang member found guilty in 'hunting' killing

PASADENA, Calif. -- Jurors have convicted a California man who joined fellow gang members in a nighttime prowl for rivals and instead opened fire on a group of innocent bystanders, killing one man and wounding another.

Twenty-year-old Jose Arnaud smiled and made an obscene gesture at detectives when jurors returned guilty verdicts Thursday to first-degree murder, attempted murder and mayhem for the December 2008 shootings.

Jury convicts man of hacking Palin's e-mail

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A federal jury has convicted a former Tennessee college student of two charges in the hacking of Sarah Palin's e-mail account.

The jury convicted 22-year-old David Kernell of unauthorized access to a computer and obstruction of justice. He was found not guilty of wire fraud and the jury failed to reach a verdict on identity theft.

Kernell was charged with breaking into Palin's e-mail while she was the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008.

Defense attorney Wade Davies has said it was a prank, but prosecutors claimed he was trying to damage Palin's campaign.

Court: Author will likely lose fight over 'Catcher'

NEW YORK -- A Swedish author is unlikely to win approval through the courts to publish his novel in the United States, because it is substantially similar to J.D. Salinger's ''The Catcher in the Rye,'' an appeals court said Friday.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan delivered another blow to Fredrik Colting's bid to prepare a U.S. release of ''60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye.''

Colting's book was released in England, but Salinger sued last year prior to his death.