Dec 19 2013
A three-year-old boy born with a rare condition that forces his intestines through a hole in his abdomen should make a full recovery after a five-organ transplant, doctors have said.
Adonis Ortiz received a new liver, pancreas, stomach and small and large intestines during the surgery at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital.
His surgeon says there is no sign that his body is rejecting the organs and that Adonis's prognosis is good.
The youngster has been undergoing operations since he was three months old.
His mother Aracelis said: "Everything that they always kept telling me was that he has a 50/50 chance. Nobody would ever give me any other percentage until now.
"So, to hear that he has like an 80 to 85% chance, it's a lot better than 50."
She said she was grateful to the medical team and to the families that decided to donate organs for Adonis.
She said: "I would love to meet them because part of their child is in mine, so their child didn't really die completely, part of their child is still alive and that's a really big gift.
"I know that must have been a horrible decision to make. They gave my baby a second chance.
"I'm really thankful, I'm dying to meet them and send them pictures and everything and say thank you."
The family is now looking forward to a Christmas that they were not certain Adonis would make.
Transplant surgeon Rodrigo Vianna said the procedure was extremely unusual.
He said: "The number is pretty small in the US, about 50 kids a year.
"But at this age maybe only 10 to 15 patients a year go through this in the entire country, so it's rare to have ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Dec 19 2013
A passenger went into labour during a Wizz Air flight from Valencia in Spain to Bucharest and gave birth to a boy inside the aircraft just after it landed in the Romanian capital, the airline said Wednesday.
The woman requested assistance from the crew minutes before it was due to land on Tuesday at Bucharest's Otopeni airport, Romania's busiest, the eastern European budget airline said in a statement.
"During descent and while taxiing to the terminal, the passenger was assisted on a back row of the aircraft by a crew member and a doctor who was travelling on the same flight," it said.
"Mother and newborn baby were met by the airport ambulance and taken to hospital. We are very proud of our crew who handled the situation with professionalism and care."
The airline did not specify the passenger's nationality or age but a spokeswoman said she was nine months pregnant.
"While this mother and her newborn baby seem well, we urge all our pregnant mothers not to risk their well-being and not to conceal their pregnancy," the statement said.
Passengers must produce a certificate from a doctor if they are travelling after their 28th week of pregnancy, and cannot travel after their 34th week of pregnancy, the airline said.
In August a 39-year-old Moroccan woman on a Royal Air Maroc flight between Casablanca and the Italian city of Bologna gave birth moments before the plane made an emergency landing at Barcelona's El Prat airport.
Dec 19 2013
The photo of a young Italian woman kissing a police officer's helmet visor during a protest has gone viral, with a police union threatening to sue her for "sexual violence".
The 20-year-old student, Nina De Chiffre, was snapped by a photographer working for AFP as she went to kiss the policeman, Salvatore Piccione, at a protest against a new high-speed rail line in the Alps.
Her act was interpreted by many as a loving gesture and proved a hit on social media, although the photographer Marco Bertorello and De Chiffre herself pointed out that it was intended as an act of mockery.
The November 16 demonstration had brought thousands of protesters to the picturesque Val di Susa where the contested line is being built between France and Italy.
Franco Maccari, the head of the COISP police union, earlier this month vowed to sue the protester for "sexual violence and insulting a public official".
Contacted by AFP, prosecutors said they had not received a lawsuit but said one could still be submitted for 90 days after the protest.
Dec 19 2013
A Canadian retiree pledged Tuesday to give away a Can$40-million ($37 million USD) lottery prize to charity, telling Canada's public broadcaster that he doesn't need the money.
"I've been fortunate enough, through my career, 44 years with a company. I did very well for myself. I've done enough that I can look after myself, for my kids, so they can get looked after into the future. I don't really need that money," Tom Crist told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The Calgary, Alberta resident retired as chief executive of an electrical wholesale company in September, four months after learning from lotteries officials that he had won the jackpot.
Crist had been golfing in California when he got the call.
He waited until now to claim the jackpot because at the time, he told the CBC, "I just didn?t know how to deal with it."
"As soon as I hung up from my cellphone call from Western Canada Lottery I never thought about it. We finished our lunch, we went out golfing. I've kept it a secret, even my kids didn't know until today," he said.
The funds, he said, will be rolled into a trust fund and doled out to charities chosen by himself and his children over the coming years, in memory of his wife who died of cancer two years ago.
Dec 19 2013
BOSTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A dog injured by a car alongside her owner limped to bark for help and returned to her owner's side in Boston, rescuers said.
The MPSCA Angell Animal Medical Center said John Miles was walking his son's 8-year-old beagle mix, Lucy, near their home Nov. 25 when they were struck by a speeding car, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
The medical center cited reports from Boston Police saying the beagle limped to a nearby dentist's office, barked for help and returned to the side of Miles, who suffered two broken legs, a broken arm and 15 facial fractures.
Police used the address and phone number from Lucy's tags to contact the family of Miles, who was unconscious when they arrived.
Miles is recovering from his injuries in a rehabilitation center.
Veterinarians said Lucy will receive surgery to repair her leg.
"Lucy reminds us all of the important role animals play in our lives," veterinarian Meghan Sullivan said. "She's a true hero to John and her family and to all of us. We won't rest until she's back to her active self, enjoying long walks with her family once again."
BILLINGS, Mont., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A Montana man who shares a name with "Breaking Bad" protagonist Walter White followed in his namesake's footsteps by dealing meth, a court heard.
Walter Jack White, 53, of Lockwood, was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, ABC News reported Wednesday.
Senior U.S. District Judge Don Molloy added 3 1/2 years to the sentence for a firearms conviction, the Billings Gazette reported Wednesday.
Molloy said White was involved in a large-scale meth trafficking ring and was responsible for more than 32 pounds of the drug.
"Thirty two-and-a-half pounds of methamphetamine coupled with guns and violence is about as serious as you can get," Molloy said.
White shares his name with the main character of AMC's "Breaking Bad." The fictional Walter White was a high school chemistry teacher who turned to cooking meth following his diagnosis with cancer, and was transformed into a major drug lord.
Dec 18 2013
Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has died at the age of 84 after years of ill health, Sky sources say.
Biggs was part of a gang that robbed a Glasgow to London mail train in 1963 and escaped with a then record haul of £2.6m, the equivalent of £40m today.
He was last seen in public in March at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds who masterminded the audacious robbery.
The gang pounced shortly after 3am on August 8, 1963 as the train passed through the Buckinghamshire countryside close to Cheddington.
The train driver Jack Mills was struck with an iron bar and never worked again.
Biggs was jailed for his part in the robbery itself but for escaped from jail after serving just 15 months of a 30-year sentence.
He avoided British justice for almost 40 years, mainly living in Brazil and Australia.
He lived his final years in a care home completely reliant on nursing staff.
In his 2011 biography, Odd Man Out: The Last Straw, Biggs said he believed the public saw him as a "loveable rogue".
Asked whether he was remorseful, he firstly replied "No", then qualified it by saying he regrets the robbery but not fleeing justice.
After suffering a series of strokes, Biggs used a homemade letters board to communicate and effectively dictated his book to a ghostwriter.
Dec 18 2013
A man trapped on a crane during a fire has been saved in a dramatic rescue by a Canadian military helicopter.
The crane operator was stranded when a fire broke out in an apartment building under construction in Kingston, Ontario.
A Griffon helicopter from Canadian Forces Base Trenton saved the worker from the crane and took him to a waiting ambulance.
Police say the man is believed to have suffered only minor injuries.
A home near the burning building also caught fire and there was concern for a nearby hotel.
Police say all the construction workers are believed to be accounted for. Dozens of firefighters are battling the blaze.
Fire crews also fear the fire could threaten a nearby gas station.
Dec 18 2013
Two people are dead and another two are injured after a gunman opened fire at a hospital in Reno, Nevada.
One of the dead was the gunman, who police say took his own life.
Reno Police Deputy Police Chief Tom Robison said: "We have two people confirmed deceased in the building, two others injured."
The Nevada Department of Public Safety said the wounded victims were in surgery. One of them is reported to be a doctor.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Gail Powell said the injured doctor is a woman.
She had no additional information about the identity of the victims or the gunman, the type of weapon used or a motive for the attack.
Ms Powell said the shooting happened at the Center for Advanced Medicine and Neurology of Nevada.
A lockdown was enforced at Renown Regional Medical Center as officers descended on the scene and victims were treated by doctors on the hospital campus.
A three-block area near downtown Reno was closed off.
Governor Brian Sandoval tweeted that he and his staff were monitoring the situation and his thoughts and prayers were with those affected by the tragedy.
Dec 18 2013
Police in Los Angeles are investigating whether officers shot and killed an unarmed man live on television because they mistakenly thought they heard "unfriendly" gunfire.
Brian Beaird was shot by officers after an hour-long car chase through LA on Friday night. He died in hospital shortly afterwards.
The shooting was broadcast live by one of the local TV stations which had been airing helicopter images of the pursuit of Beaird's silver Corvette.
The chase had only come to an end when the 51-year-old military veteran broke a red light and ploughed into another car.
The LAPD is now investigating claims that, when one officer fired a non-lethal "bean bag" round, another mistook it for gunfire and opened fire with a real weapon.
Chief of police Charlie Beck has promised a thorough investigation to establish what happened. He has cautioned people not to jump to conclusions based on TV pictures.
Beaird's family is taking legal advice. They say he phoned his brother in a panic during the chase, wondering why he was being pursued.
John Beaird said: "We're pretty angry. There didn't seem to be justification for what happened."
Neighbours of Mr Beaird, in Oceanside, near San Diego, have spoken of their shock.
Yolanda Orozco said: "It is really surprising and shocking. I was born and raised in LA so I know back in the 70s, when I moved away, what used to go on. It is sad."
Flowers and candles have been placed at the scene of the incident. A handmade poster carries the message: "Shame on LAPD. Unnecessary use of deadly force."
A few hours after Mr Beaird's death, four people died when their vehicle overturned during a police chase in the Compton area of Los Angeles.
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