Nearly 20 patients at a North Carolina hospital may have been exposed to a rare and fatal neurological disease while undergoing surgery with surgical equipment that had not been properly sterilized, officials at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center said Monday.

Jeff Lindsay, president of the Winston-Salem hospital, told a news conference that 18 patients may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, an incurable and invariably fatal brain disorder that kills 90 percent of patients within one year.

"While the CDC categorizes such risks as 'very low,' any risk of transmission is simply unacceptable,” Lindsay told reporters. "On behalf of the entire team, I apologize to the patients and their families for this anxiety. We are committed to providing support to patients and their families."

A neurosurgical procedure was done on Jan. 18 on a patient who was later confirmed to have the disease. The other 18 patients, all neurosurgical patients, were exposed to surgical equipment that had been cleaned using a typical sterilization procedures, but not the enhanced sterilization procedures used for Creutzfeldt-Jakob.

Novant vice president for clinical development Dr. Jim Lederer said the operation was performed on a patient that was suspected and later confirmed to have sporadic CJD. While CJD has been associated with mad cow disease, Lederer emphasized this particular strain isn't mad cow.

There's no known cure for CJD, which can lead to death in some cases. It could take years if not decades for other symptoms to show up. The disease causes dementia, impaired vision, involuntary movement and coma, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

"We recognize that the risk to the patients is very small," Lindsay said. "However, we take any potential exposure seriously."

Amanda Morin, who had back surgery at Forsyth Medical ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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A beauty queen revealed her shocking secret to staying thin.

While most people who want to stay thin eat healthy, one teenager went to an extreme to maintain her body weight.

Wi May Nava, 18, who first won runner up in the Miss Venezuela 2013, spoke about her the extreme measures she took to stay slim.

The Venezuelan beauty queen revealed that she had a mesh patch sewn to the tongue so it is difficult for her to eat solid food. All her foods are turned into liquid so she can eat without pain.

Nava also had breast implants and a nose job in order to have a chance to win the competition.

These tongue procedures are also done in the United States.

A prominent cosmetic surgeon in California, reportedly charges $2,000 to sew these patches onto the tongue.


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A man pleaded guilty to beating his wife after he walked in on her having sex with another man.

Learnmore Matore, 38, told the court that he lost his cool when he walked into his home to find his wife “eating another man’s banana.”

Polite Chikanda, 37, of Harare, Zimbabwe, had another man in the bed she shares with her husband.

When the husband came home unexpectedly at 8:00 p.m., he found his wife in bed with a man, who was identified as Frank Mutumwe.

Matore had lost his temper and beat up his wife while the other man watched in horror.

The woman suffered bruising. A medical affidavit of her injuries was produced in court as evidence.

Matore was ordered to pay $50 or spend 20 day behind bars.


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ST. LOUIS, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A Missouri woman sued her bank and a major credit bureau for declaring her dead and failing to correct the mistake.

Kimberly Haman, 46, filed the suit Monday in federal court in St. Louis against Heartland Bank and Equifax, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

She said both entities had declared her dead nearly a year ago even though she's clearly not deceased.

"She's contacting them, and saying, 'Excuse me, I'm not dead.' And even through that process, they continue to report her as deceased," Haman's lawyer, Sylvia Goldsmith, said.

Goldsmith said the mistake has prevented Haman from refinancing her mortgage twice, and she's also been turned down for credit cards.

"At this point, [Haman] is at a complete loss as to what else she can do," the suit says. "The entire experience has imposed upon [Haman] significant distrust, frustration and distress, and has rendered plaintiff hopeless as to her ability to regain her good name and the credit rating that she deserves and has worked hard to earn."


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A popular gay activist walked into court looking like a woman, and had charges against him dismissed.

Cross-dresser Ricky Nathanson, 48, of Zimbabwe, had been arrested for entering into a ladies restroom while dressed as a woman.

Prosecutors said that around 5:00 p.m., Nathanson was spotted entering the ladies toilet at the Palace Hotel in Bulawayo.

A woman claimed that his privates were visible through his clothes so she asked him to leave.

When he refused to do so, the woman called authorities.

Nathanson was ordered to appear in court to face charges of criminal nuisance.

Nathanson, who is the director of a modeling agency, came to court dressed as a woman.

He stood before judge Abednico Ndebele, where he denied any wrongdoing.

Judge Ndebele ruled that he had not committed any crime when he entered the ladies restroom while looking like a woman.

Idris Elba, Sam Worthington join Alive Alone cast

Sam Worthington and Idris Elba have joined the cast of thriller Alive Alone.

The New York-based movie is the directorial debut of Khurram Longi and focuses on the relationship between an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee and a woman on the run from a ruthless crime boss.

Elba has been cast as the male lead Jamal, after Matthias Schoenaerts was forced to pull out of the role for personal reasons.

Worthington will play crime boss Murphy in the Thunder Road Pictures drama, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The pair join the cast alongside previously announced Noomi Rapace, who will play the female lead Sarah.

Basil Iwanyk and Peter Lawson are producing, while Rapace will act as executive producer.

Worthington recently signed up to reprise ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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A perfectly healthy young giraffe was shot dead at Copenhagen zoo on Sunday despite an online petition to save it signed by thousands of animal lovers.

Marius, an 18-month-old giraffe, was put down with a bolt gun early on Sunday, zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro confirmed.

The body of the giraffe, which was killed in a bid to prevent in-breeding, will be chopped up and fed to carnivores at the zoo.

"It was put down at 9:20. It went as planned. It's always the people's right to protest. But of course we have been surprised," Stenbaek Bro told AFP.

The zoo explained that it had no choice other than to prevent the animal attaining adulthood.

Under European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) rules, in-breeding between giraffes is to be avoided.

Although Marius is healthy, his genes are already well represented at the zoo and he cannot be taken in by the 300 other EAZA-affiliated zoos.

Castration is considered cruel with "undesirable effects", while releasing him in the wild is thought unlikely to succeed.

The giraffe's impending death sparked outrage online, with more than 5,000 people signing a "Save Marius" Facebook petition. More than 3,000 people signed a similar Danish-language online petition and nearly 24,000 an English-language version.

There were reportedly several attempts made to save Marius.

A Swedish zoo, which is not part of the EAZA network, tried in vain to get Marius transferred, the Expressen daily reported.

And another daily, Denmark's Ekstrabladet, quoted a Danish promoter living in Los Angeles, Claus Hjelmbak, as saying he had found a buyer for the animal.

"One of my close friends, a billionaire, said that he wanted to transfer a few million so we could save the giraffe," Hjelmbak was ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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Authorities say an Albuquerque ambulance worker catching some sleep in the back of his vehicle woke up to find himself the victim of a carjacking.

Police have arrested a man and a woman accused of driving off in the ambulance around 3 a.m. Saturday while it was parked outside Lovelace Medical Center in downtown Albuquerque.

Police spokesman Elder Guevara says the employee was asleep in the vehicle's rear but was able to jump out when the ambulance slowed near an intersection.

Officers then pursued the ambulance as it headed eastbound, and then westbound, on Interstate 40.

The ambulance finally came to a rest on I-40, over Tramway, after authorities used spikes to deflate the ambulance's tires.

Police have not released the names of the suspects or the victim, who was uninjured.


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Boozed up Chinese motorist Tian Lin, 33, kept traffic cops busy after he fell asleep at a red traffic light in the city of Liuzhou in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China.

Police noticed the red Range Rover with the engine running with the driver inside and motorists parked behind who were banging on the window trying to get his attention.

A police spokesman said: "The officers also tried to get his attention but he was fast asleep. In the end we had to get an expert from the car company to open the window so that we could move the car was causing an obstruction. It was extremely dangerous because he was in an automatic car and the drive mode was on, but he seemed to have left his foot on the brake however had he moved the car would have gone off with him asleep at the wheel."

The man admitted drinking and then feeling suddenly very tired while on the way home - and added that after that he didn't remember very much.

A police spokesman said: "Fortunately there was not much traffic on the road, otherwise he would almost certainly have been in an accident given the amount he had clearly been drinking."


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DENVER, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Four teenage burglary suspects were arrested after they unknowingly attempted to sell stolen items back to the victim, Denver police said.

Lacinda Robinson, 24, found a kitchen window broken and several items stolen when she returned home last week.

She asked police to meet her at a nearby McDonalds because she felt unsafe in her home, KMGH-TV, Denver, reported.

"I pulled into the McDonalds parking lot and two guys approached my car and asked me if I wanted to buy a PS3 (video game console)," she said. "I see another guy walking out, trying to approach my car, and he's wearing the jacket I believe belonged to me."

It then occurred to her the teenage salesmen were attempting to sell her possessions back to her, KMGH-TV said.

She approached off-duty Denver police officers Matthew Reierson and Brian Husum at a nearby gas station, who arrested the four unidentified suspects for investigation of burglary, the police said on its Facebook page.

Responses to the Facebook post include the comments, "Sweet Justice!" and "Well played, Denver."


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ADELAIDE, Australia – A man was killed by a shark on Saturday while spear fishing with friends off the south Australian coast.

The 28-year-old was part of a group spear fishing off Yorke Peninsula, west of the South Australia state capital of Adelaide, when witnesses reported seeing a shark attack him at midday, state police said in a statement.

Police and emergency services crews searched the area around Goldsmith Beach with boats and helicopters, but found no trace of the man, who is from Adelaide, the statement said.

Police warned swimmers who flocked to the peninsula's beaches in hot summer weather to leave the water.

Australia averages fewer than two fatal shark attacks a year. Two men were killed in shark attacks off the east and west coasts in the space of a week in November last year. They were the only fatalities for 2013.

The death of a 35-year-old surfer off the west coast on Nov. 23 prompted the Western Australia state government to begin a contentious cull of large sharks off popular beaches. The surfer was the seventh shark fatality off that state's beaches in three years.

Conservationists argue that trapping sharks on baited hooks attached to offshore drums will do nothing to reduce the shark danger.

Fox News

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