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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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Over 60 illegal miners die in South African mine fire

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Over 60 miners were killed in an abandoned gold mine shaft near Welkom, in the Free State province of South Africa, after a fire broke out inside the mine.

36 bodies from the Harmony Gold mining company Eland mine shaft were brought up earlier on the weekend from depths up to 1.4 kilometers (1 mi). On Tuesday, 25 more bodies were recovered by other illegal workers.

“We suspect there was a fire on the 18th of May. We never saw any smoke. Over the weekend [30 May] we were informed by other illegal miners that people had died,” said Tom Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Harmony’s South Region, “The bodies are not burnt. It seems more of a case of gas or smoke inhalation. I don’t know if there are any more bodies down there, we just have to wait.”

The workers may have died from poisonous gasses, smoke inhalation, suffocation, cave-ins or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Harmony gold mine will not send anyone in to the mine as the conditions are extremely dangerous and abandoned shafts are without safety equipment. Illegal workers may gain access bypassing security at one mine site, and exit via a series of interconnected underground tunnels many miles away.

Harmony is internationally the fifth largest gold mining company and has bought up old, abandoned mines.

Police were seeking relatives to help identify the bodies, and are instigating an investigation into the circumstances.

Almost 300 “gold pirates” were arrested over the past two weeks at the Eland mine shaft alone. Thousands of illegal workers can be underground, and remain working for weeks and months continuously. “These are ex-miners and unemployed people – we need to target the syndicates,” said Smith.

There are over 4.18 million unemployed in South Africa due to the economic decline, and another 1 million may soon join the ranks.

Susan Shabangu, the minister of mining, extended her condolences.

Welkom, with a population of over 400,000 is located 160 kilometers (99 mi) northeast of Bloemfontein, the provincial capital.

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Hiker missing from US state of Utah wilderness found in Australia

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A man missing from a camping ground in southern Utah in the Western US since July 30 was found in Australia. His automobile was found in a campground of Dixie National Forest with a note that he would be back in a few hours. An extensive search and rescue operation was conducted to try to locate this hiker by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Utah.

Investigators in the Sheriff’s Office were able to track him down to Cairns, Queensland. Apparently before he was “missing”, he bought a one-way ticket to Australia. Bryan Butas, the missing hiker, apparently had been under a great deal of stress and “got sick of it all”, according to a telephone interview by the Associated Press.

Butas has been charged with insurance fraud, a second-degree felony, by Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap. This was because Butas plotted to obtain a $250,000 life insurance policy before faking his own disappearance. He has also been given a bill for $20,000 by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for their search and rescue operations on his behalf.

His wife and children have since his disappearance moved to the wife’s parent’s home in Ohio. Butas’s parents came to Southern Utah to help in the search and were “embarrassed and shocked” to learn their son had merely run away from marital and financial difficulties, Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith said.

Washington County Sheriff Sgt. Jake Adams said his investigation included tracing an application Butas made for a passport, his purchase of a one-way airline ticket to Australia, and the life insurance policy that names his wife and children as beneficiaries. On August 18, Adams said Butas’s mother called him to say her son had called home the evening of August 11, several days after the search was officially called off for the missing man. Butas asked his mother for money and an airline ticket home, which she sent.

Butas has since been checked into the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Brecksville, Ohio, according to Adams, but will shortly return to Utah.

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First face transplant performed on French woman

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Surgeons in France have performed a face transplant operation on a French woman who had lost her nose, lips and chin after being savaged by a dog. According to Iain Hutchison, an oral-facial surgeon at Barts and the London Hospital, the transplant is the first one to use skin from another person.

Doctors say the woman’s new face will be a “hybrid” between her donor’s face and her own face before the attack. In the five hour long operation, the donor’s tissues, muscles, arteries and veins were attached to the patient’s lower face. It is more favourable to use skin from another person’s face instead of skin from another part of the patient’s body, as the texture and colour of the skin are more likely to match.

A statement released by the hospital in Amiens said that the 38-year-old patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, has not been able to eat or speak properly since the attack in May this year. The woman was reportedly in “excellent general health” and her graft looked normal.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, concerns relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Hutchison warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon’s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

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FDA approves therapeutic use of insulin inhalant

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of an inhalable form of insulin for treating both forms of diabetes in adults. The product, manufactured by Pfizer Inc. is called Exubera and is a inhaled powder form of recombinant short-acting human insulin (rDNA).

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that, when released into the blood, controls the upper limits of glucose presence in the bloodstream. Diabetics cannot produce (enough) insulin on their own, and have to control their blood sugars by appropriate diet, exercise and medication. Untreated Diabetes can have a serious adverse effect on health, it can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, retinal damage and diabetic shock, which can be fatal. Insulin has been used for the treatment of diabetes for many years now, but some patients find it difficult (and costly) to use as it has to be injected into the body, usually several times a day. Currently, about five million Americans take insulin injections. Also, the use of any form of insulin can cause blood sugar to drop below safe levels, a condition called hypoglycemia. As a result, the use of insulin must be accompanied by a careful and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.

The FDA has issued guidelines that the inhalable form should not be used by smokers, patients with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema as tests have shown that its use can reduce the breathing capacity of the lungs. Other side effects associated with Exubera therapy seen in clinical trials included cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and dry mouth. The FDA has given its approval on the basis of safety studies of short-term use and studies of its effects over long-term use are underway.

Pfizer has said the product wouldn’t be widely available until June or July and that exact prices haven’t been set. A Pfizer spokesperson has said that the price will be “competitive” to injected insulin.

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May

23

Ed Sheeran wins Song of Year Grammy for Thinking Out Loud

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Ed Sheeran wins Song of Year Grammy for Thinking Out Loud
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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Yesterday, UK singer Ed Sheeran won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for his song Thinking Out Loud from his album × ahead of Kendrick Lamar’s Alright; Wiz Khalifa’s, featuring Charlie Puth, See You Again; Little Big Town’s Girl Crush; and Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. Girl Crush won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

Welsh singer Amy Wadge co-wrote the song. Sheeran during the ceremony said they wrote the song on a couch in his house. In remarks to the Western Mail, Wadge said the album was already complete when they wrote the song.

Thinking out Loud remained #2 on Billboard Hot 100 for almost two months, and topped the UK rankings last year. Its video song has 969 Million YouTube views and has more than four million likes. The song also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.

US singer Stevie Wonder announced the winner for the Song of the Year, and the envelope was written in Braille script. He joked about it saying “You can’t read it, you can’t read Braille!”

Along with Ed Sheeran’s first Grammy, Canadians The Weeknd and Justin Bieber won Grammy awards for the first time.

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May

21

Wikinews holds a follow-up interview with Max Riekse, Constitution Party candidate for the 2008 U.S. presidential election

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Wikinews holds a follow-up interview with Max Riekse, Constitution Party candidate for the 2008 U.S. presidential election
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Friday, April 25, 2008

In March, Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Max Riekse, one of the candidates for the Constitution Party nomination for the 2008 United States presidential election. With the Constitution Party’s national convention underway this weekend, we spoke with him one last time before he either becomes his party’s candidate or loses.

Riekse is a retired decorated Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army who served in both the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. He is also a former public school teacher and Assistant Professor of Military Science at Western Michigan University. He has a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of South Florida as well as two M.A.s, one in Political Science and International Relations, the other in Education and History. Both are from Western Michigan University.

We asked him if he thinks he has a good shot at winning the Constitution Party nomination and ultimately the presidency. He replied, “I will know Saturday the 26th if I win the nomination of the Constitution Party. As to wining the general election, I’m very sure that I will do far better then we have done in the previous 20 years as a ‘third’ party. I’m not only more qualified to be commander in chief then either the Democrat or Republican, but will be far better for the country.”

When asked about America’s illegal immigration problem he replied, “I will send all 20 to 30 million home. End birth right babies; no social security for them, etc. They are here illegally; now what part of that does anyone not understand?”

Riekse is running for president because “the Republicans and Democrats would not be having candidates that would solve the problems we have in this country and I know that I could do a lot better with my 32 years of military experience and over 20 years in Education, both in the K-12 public school venue and teaching at the University level.”

Contents

  • 1 Interview
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
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May

21

Scholastic sued for Harry Potter copyright infringement

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Scholastic sued for Harry Potter copyright infringement
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

A trustee of the estate of the late author Adrian Jacobs filed a lawsuit against the US publisher of the Harry Potter series, Scholastic Inc, on Tuesday. He claimed that J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, had copied scenes from Jacob’s novel, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard, to the fourth novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The suit followed a similar case last year, in which the trustee sued the UK publisher of the series, Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Both of these cases are currently pending.

The complaint stated that in both books, the protagonists “are required to deduce the exact nature of the central task in the competition”, and had done so in a bathroom. Both books also involved “rescuing hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal creatures.” The suit also claimed that Christopher Little, a literary agent of Rowling, was originally the literary agent of Jacobs. The claim was denied by Scholastic.

Scholastic called the claim “completely without merit”. They pointed out that Rowling had said in February that she had never read Jacobs’ book. The trustee said that the US was the world’s largest foreign market, so they brought their first overseas action there. He demanded that all copies of the Harry Potter novel be destroyed, and all the profit made by the book given to him.

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May

21

First free Iraqi election begins; insurgents strike

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First free Iraqi election begins; insurgents strike
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Sunday, January 30, 2005

IRAQ –The first free elections in over 50 years have begun in Iraq, via proportional representation, to choose members for a 275-strong assembly that will then draw up a constitution.

Interim President Ghazi Al-Yawar was among the first to cast a ballot.

However violence has already begun to overshadow the event, both inside Iraq and abroad, with a suicide bomber blowing himself up close to a polling place in western Baghdad, and a riot and bomb scare in Sydney, Australia.

According to police reports four people were killed and at least nine injured in the Baghdad bombing. A total of at least 36 people have so far been killed in Iraq today in various suicide bombing since the opening of the polls.

As well as suicide bombings, insurgents have used mortars to attack the people. In southern Baghdad they killed at least two people, and in Hilla one person was killed. Mortar rounds have also been fired on other cities, including Mosul and Baquba.

28,000 polling booths in 5,578 stations opened at 7 am (local time), closely guarded by both coalition troops and Iraqi security forces. Turn out has so far been described as “sporadic”, with queues in Shia areas but few people voting in Sunni areas.

“Thank God, thank God.” said the Interim President, “Blessed are the Iraqi elections. We greet all Iraqi people and urge them not to give up their rights, to vote for Iraq, elect Iraq and not to give up on Iraq”

“Deep in my heart, I feel that Iraqis deserve free elections,” he went on, “This will be our first step towards joining the free world and being a democracy that Iraqis will be proud of.”

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May

21

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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