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US: HealthWatch: Rep. Giffords And Brain Injury

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
© unknown
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
It has been almost three days since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in Arizona. Tuesday morning she remained in critical condition at a hospital in Tucson. Dr. Max Gomez reports on how she was able to survive such a devastating injury and what will determine how much function she may recover.

Giffords is heading into the most critical time in her recovery, when her brain will usually reach its maximum swelling after the gunshot wound.

"The brain will swell. If the brain is within the closed box of the skull, it has nowhere to swell, and it starts compressing or injring the normal, good part of the brain," said Dr. Philip Stieg of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

To allow the brain to swell, surgeons actually removed a large portion of the congresswoman's skull and reportedly have stored it in the refridgerated bone bank for later replacement after the brain swelling subsides.

That bone may be contaminated after the gunshot and doctors may use a prosthetic bone later.

Bizarro Earth

US: 81-Year-Old Woman Bodyslammed, Mugged In Subway Station

Image
© CBS2
Madeline Klima lays prone on the ground after being bodyslammed and mugged by an unidentified female assailant, top.
Video Shows Elderly Victim Tossed By Another Woman!

New York - She said it felt like she was flying.

That's how an elderly woman described a heartless attack inside a subway station.

And it was at the hands of another woman.

The robbery was caught on camera. As CBS 2's Wendy Gillette reports, the video shows how Madeline Klima was robbed from behind.

A defenseless elderly woman, Klima said she can't make sense of what happened to her.

"Why? Why'd she have to hurt so much? She wanted it so bad she could have asked for it," Klima told Gillette.

The video shows her falling to the ground and hitting her head as the thief runs off with her purse.

"Oohh flying. Picked me up and like, threw me. And went down, and blood, you know. But I couldn't get up," Klima said.

The 81-year-old said she was stunned by how much force the woman used. Klima fractured and dislocated her shoulder in the fall and her eye is heavily bruised. She also needed stitches.

Police said the suspect is dark skinned, in her 20s, about 5-foot-10 and nearly 200 pounds.

Ambulance

Canada: Homeless Man Accused of Killing Toronto Cop with Snowplow Charged with Murder

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair says a homeless man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Toronto police officer who died after being hit by a stolen snowplow.

Red Flag

The 'Food Bubble' is Bursting, Says Lester Brown, and Biotech Won't Save Us

Haitians awaiting food distribution
© U.N./Sophia Paris
Haitians awaiting food distribution from a U.N. food program.
For years -- even decades -- Earth Policy Institute president and Grist contributor Lester Brown has issued Cassandra-like warnings about the global food system. His argument goes something like this: Global grain demand keeps rising, pushed up by population growth and the switch to more meat-heavy diets; but grain production can only rise so much, constrained by limited water and other resources. So, a food crisis is inevitable.

In recent years, two factors have added urgency to Brown's warnings: 1) climate change has given rise to increasingly volatile weather, making crop failures more likely; and 2) the perverse desire to turn grain into car fuel has put yet more pressure on global grain supplies.

Brown's central metaphor -- which he's been using at least since the mid-'90s -- will be familiar to readers who've lived through the previous decade's dot-com and real-estate meltdowns: the bubble. The world has entered a "food bubble," he argues; we've puffed up grain production by burning through unsustainable amounts of three finite resources: water, fossil fuels, and topsoil. At some point, he insists, the bubble has to burst.

Well, for the second time in three years, the globe is lurching toward a full-on, proper food crisis, especially in places like Haiti that have de-emphasized domestic farming and turned instead to the global commodity market for food. In 2008, global food prices spiked to all-time highs, and hunger riots erupted from Haiti to Morocco. Now prices are spiking again, and have already surpassed the 2008 peak, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Newspaper

Acid-laden Tanker Capsizes on Rhine in Germany

Image
© Torsten Silz/AP Photo
Tug boats secure a tanker carrying 2,400 tonnes of sulphuric acid after the barge capsized at the river Rhine near St Goarshausen, south of Koblenz, western Germany, Thursday, Jan 13, 2011.
Berlin - A tanker loaded with sulfuric acid capsized early Thursday on the Rhine river in Germany and two crew members were missing, authorities said.

There was no immediate word on why the ship capsized, the shipping office in Bingen said. The other two crew members were rescued.

The ship, which overturned near St. Goarshausen, in western Germany, was carrying 2,400 tons of sulfuric acid. Initial measurements carried out downstream from the scene showed no abnormalities and there were no indications that the load was leaking, the shipping office said.

Authorities closed the river to shipping. They were working to secure the 360-foot (110-meter) long tanker, which was floating on its side, and to find the two missing crew members.

The German-owned ship was on its way from Ludwigshafen in southwestern Germany to Antwerp, Belgium.

Family

UK: Nine arrested in child sex abuse investigation

Image
© Christopher Thomond
Rochdale The girls claim they were plied with drink and drugs and then taken to flats and houses for sex
Rochdale arrests made after a police inquiry into the sexual exploitation of teenage girls

Police investigating a group of men who allegedly groomed young girls for sex in Rochdale have made a series of arrests.

Greater Manchester police said nine men had been arrested on suspicion of causing or inciting child prostitution, sexual activity with a child and paying for the sexual services of a child.

The men, aged between 20 and 40 from Rochdale and Heywood, were arrested on 21 December.

They have been released on police bail until March pending further inquiries.

Butterfly

Even The Troops Are Waking Up

Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer.


Stop

South America: Royal Navy's Falklands ship turned away by Brazil

HMS Clyde Falklands
© EPA
HMS Clyde was refused permission to stop in Rio de Janeiro
The Royal Navy's Falkland Islands protection ship has been turned away from docking in Rio de Janeiro in an indication that Brazil's new government could back Argentine claims to the islands.

Despite continuing tensions with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, the Navy had until now enjoyed cordial relations with its Brazilian equivalent.

But last week, within days of the former left-wing guerilla Dilma Rousseff succeeding Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as Brazil's president, HMS Clyde was refused permission to stop in Rio.

Miss Rousseff is due to visit Argentina at the end of this month, in her first international trip, with closer trade relations between South American countries due to be discussed.

The decision to block the Royal Navy ship from docking "satisfied" the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Buenos Aires, according to the Argentine newspaper Clarin.

HMS Clyde was forced to re-route and instead dock later in Chile, where the Royal Navy still enjoys good relations.

It is the first time that Brazil has refused permission for a British ship to dock in such circumstances and the decision appears to be a clear indication that Miss Rousseff wanted to send a message to Britain and Argentina over the Falklands.

War Whore

4 dead as forces raid Ivory Coast neighborhood

Ivory coast civil war
© Reuters/Luc Gnago
Police on patrol in armoured vehicles pass people walking on a road in Abobo in Abidjan January 11, 2011. At least five people were killed in clashes between supporters of Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara and forces loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan on Tuesday.
Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader, who refuses to cede power, on Tuesday fired volleys of gunshots, leaving at least four people dead after they cordoned off a large section of a neighborhood known to be his rival's stronghold.

United Nations peacekeepers arriving in a convoy of 13 vehicles were forced by a mob to make a U-turn as they attempted to enter the area. Young men allied with incumbent Laurent Gbagbo amassed on the highway, wielding sticks and throwing large objects in their path.

PK 18, where the early morning raid occurred, is part of Abobo, an Abidjan district that supported Alassane Ouattara, who won the Nov. 28 election with a margin of over half a million votes, according to results verified by the United Nations.

He has been recognized as the president-elect by the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the United States, but international pressure has not been able to dislodge the 65-year-old Gbagbo. He accuses the U.N. of bias after it endorsed Ouattara's victory and is refusing to leave office. He is backed by the army as well as a militant youth group that has been organizing daily rallies - including one planned for Tuesday near PK 18 - to warn the international community against interfering in Ivory Coast.

Residents and the mayor of the area say police awoke them between 4 and 5 a.m. and began conducting house-to-house searches accusing them of hiding arms. A 39-year-old mother of five said the soldiers burst in and told her and her children to lie down on the floor. One of them placed his boot on Habiba Traore's back, as the others opened her suitcase and went through her belongings. They made off with cash as well as her husband's pants and two shirts, she said.

Wall Street

Portugal, refusing bailout, faces key bond test

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates
© AP Photo/Armando Franca
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates addresses journalists Tuesday, Jan. 11 2011, at his official residence, the Sao Bento palace in Lisbon. Socrates called a news conference to announce that Portugal cut the 2010 budget deficit to below its target of 7.3 percent of gross domestic product, according to provisional data.
Portugal insists that it does not need an international bailout to solve its debt problems. It faces a bond auction Wednesday that could reveal the price of going it alone - and perhaps even add to the European financial crisis.

Investors have identified the debt-burdened country as the potential next victim of the crisis and have pushed its borrowing costs to barely sustainable levels by demanding higher premiums to lend it money.

Market tensions were eased slightly Tuesday after Japan, taking advantage of high interest rates and echoing a similar pledge by China, said it would help finance European bailout efforts.

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates sought to soothe frayed nerves with evidence that his government, which has introduced pay cuts and tax hikes, is reducing its budget deficit. Preliminary data show last year's will be below the government target.

"The government is doing its job and is doing it well," Socrates told a news conference. "I'd like to stress again that ... Portugal won't request any financial help for the simple reason that it doesn't need it."

But reports have said Germany and France, Europe's two main financiers, are pushing Lisbon to accept assistance to keep the debt crisis from spreading to bigger countries that would be much costlier to rescue.