Nation briefs

NEW YORK

J&J denies asbestos in baby powder

NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson on Friday forcefully denied a media report that it knew for decades about the existence of trace amounts of asbestos in its baby powder.

The report by the Reuters news service sent the company’s shares into a tailspin, suffering their worst one-day sell-off in 16 years.

Reuters cited documents released as part of a lawsuit by plaintiffs claiming that the product can be linked to ovarian cancer.

TEXAS

Judge: Health care overhaul ‘invalid’

FORT WORTH — A federal judge in Texas has ruled the Affordable Care Act “invalid” on the eve of the sign-up deadline for coverage next year.

In a 55-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled Friday that last year’s tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under “Obamacare” by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage.

Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal.

MISSOURI

Cow steals spotlight at photo shoot

COLUMBIA — University of Missouri students were stunned when a towering dairy cow appeared on campus to make a cameo in a graduation photo shoot.

The Columbia Missourian reported that senior animal sciences major Massimo Montalbano brought the 3-year-old cow, named Amelia, to campus on Thursday to join his commencement photo shoot.