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News Briefs, part 2

Virginia Senate Panel Derails Parental Notification Bill

The Washington Post

A Virginia Senate panel killed legislation Monday that would have required notification of a parent before a teenager could get an abortion, setting off a frantic search by Gov. George Allen for a way to revive a proposal he had called a top priority.

Given the more conservative composition of this year's General Assembly and the fact that Virginia has its first Republican governor in 12 years, proponents had expected the bill to pass into law easily. Both chambers approved a similar measure two years ago, only to see it vetoed by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat.

The notification legislation would have required a physician to notify at least one parent before a daughter age 17 or younger could have an abortion. It contained a provision for a judge to waive the requirement if the girl was deemed mature enough or it was otherwise in her best interests not to tell her parents.

Supporters note that parents must give approval before minors undergo any other type of medical procedure and argue that they should be involved in something as emotionally sensitive as an abortion. But opponents say young women frequently are at risk of physical or emotional abuse if their parents know they are pregnant.

Sinatra in Stable Condition After Collapsing During Concert

Los Angeles Times

Entertainer Frank Sinatra was in stable condition Sunday night after collapsing onstage as he was singing "My Way" during a concert in Richmond, Va.

"Frank Sinatra became overheated and passed out for a few moments onstage," said his publicist, Susan Reynolds, in a statement. "Mr. Sinatra's vital signs are stable, he is talking and he is alert."

Sinatra, 78, waved weakly and blew a kiss to the crowd as he was taken offstage in a wheelchair, concert-goers said.

Sinatra was taken by ambulance to the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals about 10:20 p.m. EST. A hospital official reported late Sunday that Sinatra was in good condition.

Sinatra had been nearing the end of the performance, and was in the last verses of his trademark "My Way," when he fell off a stool and hit his head on a monitor, according to drummer Gregg Field, who was about 5 feet from the singer when he collapsed.

Sinatra had complained of the heat earlier in his performance at the historic Richmond Mosque, where he was giving the second of two weekend shows, Field said.

He had launched into the song "My Way" when, according to Field, "he said, Boy, get me a chair. I'm feeling faint.' " His son, Frank Jr., who was conducting the orchestra, went for a chair. Sinatra, who was already sitting on a stool, started to rise, but then collapsed and his face hit the speaker, witnesses said.

Sinatra, who has been performing for nearly six decades, had been in New York last week to accept a Grammy Legends honor at the music awards on Tuesday night. He was due to perform in Hershey, Pa. later in the week, but those shows were canceled because the entertainer was stranded in New York by a snowstorm, Field said.