ATLANTA (AP) _ Singer Connie Francis left Atlanta Wednesday after spending a few hours in jail on trespass and battery charges filed when she refused to put out a cigarette aboard a Delta jetliner which was refueling.

Miss Francis posted $1,100 bond and waived a preliminary hearing before boarding an Eastern Airlines flight to Los Angeles. A Feb. 12 hearing is scheduled in state court, said Clayton County Police Chief B.J. Graves.

The singer's troubles began Tuesday when the flight crew asked passengers to extinguish cigarettes as the Nassau to Los Angeles flight was refueling, Delta spokesman Bill Berry said. Police were called when Miss Francis refused to put out her cigarette despite a personal request from the captain, and then would not leave the plane, Berry said.

Police escorted her off the aircraft and Miss Francis kicked one of the officers, said Atlanta police spokesman Kevin Forier.

She was taken to the Clayton County jail at 4:15 p.m. and released at 11:30 p.m., according to Graves.

Miss Francis, 48, who recorded such hits as ''Where The Boys Are'' and ''Who's Sorry Now,'' said ''Oh, boy, this is one for the books,'' after she was released.

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BOSTON (AP) - Spurred by actor Robert Urich's ''Spenser: For Hire'' television series, the Legislature has approved a bill allowing actors to use firearms without violating Massachusett's strict handgun law.

The bill, approved by the Senate Tuesday, exempts actors from the law requiring a one-year prison term for anyone who uses a firearm without a personal license.

''I'm told you can't get the kind of sound you need when firing the blank,'' said Mary Lou Crane, director of the Massachusetts Film Bureau, which has been pushing for passage of the bill.

Under the legislation, the production company for ''Spenser,'' a detective series shot in Boston, and other companies could apply to the state public safety commissioner for a temporary firearms license. A fully licensed person would supervise the use of the weapons during filming.

Most weapons used in such productions cannot shoot real bullets. Some have semiplugged barrels so they can fire blanks.

The bill, already approved by the House, is expected to be signed by Gov. Michael S. Dukakis. Current state law covering the use of firearms in theatrical productions expires Dec. 31.

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ROME (AP) - Franco Modigliani, an Italian-American who won this year's Nobel Prize for Economics, has received Italy's highest civilian award for merit.

President Francesco Cossiga presented the Knight of the Great Cross of the Italian Republic's Order of Merit to Modigliani during a brief ceremony at the presidential palace Tuesday.

Modigliani was born in Rome in 1918 and fled the fascist regime just before the start of World War II.

He is now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He won the Nobel Prize for developing theories on how people save for their old age.

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CHICAGO (AP) - Jill Wine-Banks, a prosecutor who helped put Watergate defendants in prison, was a consultant for the hit movie ''Jagged Edge,'' but she says the film's portrayal of women lawyers is not quite accurate.

Two years ago while in private practice, Ms. Wine-Banks, now an assistant state attorney general, was asked for suggestions on how female lawyers think, act and dress.

''There were some things that were clearly absurd,'' said Ms. Wine-Banks in an interview Tuesday. ''She was wearing frilly clothes. Women lawyers wear suits.''

''Jagged Edge'' stars Jeff Bridges as a man accused of murdering his wife for her money and Glenn Close as his attorney.

Ms. Wine-Banks, 42, who helped prosecute the Watergate cover-up trial of John Ehrlichman, H.R. Haldeman and others, said for their first meeting, the attorney goes to the defendant's house and brings her children. She said most attorneys prefer their clients to come to them and they would not dress casually or bring their children to a first meeting.

Ms. Wine-Banks also criticized a teary scene where the lawyer goes to the judge's house for advice.

''A judge would have thrown her out,'' Ms. Wine-Banks said.

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - Attorney Richard ''Racehorse'' Haynes says he can't be the father of a former associate's 4-year-old child because he had a vasectomy 17 years ago.

Haynes appeared Tuesday as a defense witness in Margaret Covington's trial on charges stemming from the Nov. 2, 1981, shooting of Cage Wavell, a Corpus Christi lawyer. She is charged with burglary with intent to commit aggravated assault.

Wavell said two men hired by Ms. Covington shot him three times and beat him at his law office four days after he refused to sign an affidavit saying he was the father of her son. He later acknowledged paternity.

Wavell named Haynes in earlier testimony as one of 16 men who might have fathered Ms. Covington's child.

Ms. Covington, a psychologist and attorney now living in Sweetwater, worked for Haynes when he defended millionaire Fort Worth industrialist T. Cullen Davis in the murder-for-hire trial.