Nation/World | page 37

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30, 2015

Planned home births entail small but significantly increased risk of death, study says

Couples that plan to have their babies at home instead of in a hospital take on a slightly increased risk of serious complications for their newborns, including death, a new study shows. An analysis of births in Oregon finds that for every 1,000 deliveries intended to occur at home or in a residential-style birthing center, 3.9 end in perinatal death. That compares with 1.8 of every 1,000 births expected to take place in a hospital, according to a report in Thursday’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rescue crews assist with evacuations in Midwest flooding

ST. LOUIS – As swollen rivers and streams pushed to heights not seen in nearly a quarter-century, officials in Missouri and Illinois helped residents get to higher ground Wednesday amid fears that already dire conditions could worsen as floodwaters began spilling over federal levees protecting communities and farmland. In Eureka southwest of St. Louis, firefighters and their boats have been in high demand since Tuesday, accounting for roughly four dozen rescues of people in their homes, businesses or vehicles. Television news footage showed at least one home there drifting in the swollen river Wednesday, when firefighters rescued by boat a man and a dog as floodwaters lapped at the eaves of the house roof on which they’d been trapped for a night.

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Bill Cosby charged with 2004 drugging, sex assault of woman

ELKINS PARK, Pa. – Bill Cosby was arrested in the twilight of his life and career Wednesday and charged with a decade-old sex crime after a barrage of accusations from dozens of women made a mockery of his image as TV’s wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable. Holding a cane, the 78-year-old comedian walked slowly and unsteadily into court on the arms of his lawyers to answer charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman less than half his age at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He had no comment as he was released on $1million bail.

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TUESDAY, DEC. 29, 2015

Former Defense Secretary William Perry, shown in 2010,  is troubled by the risks of catastrophe from the very nuclear weapons he helped develop decades ago.

Crusading former Pentagon chief says nuke danger is high as ever

WASHINGTON – Late in a life lived unnervingly near the nuclear abyss, William J. Perry is on a mission to warn of a “real and growing danger” of nuclear doom. The 88-year-old former defense secretary is troubled by the risks of catastrophe from the very weapons he helped develop. Atop his list: a nuclear terror attack in a major U.S. city or a shooting war with Russia that, through miscalculation, turns nuclear. A terrorist attack using a nuclear bomb or improvised nuclear device could happen “any time now – next year or the year after,” he said in an interview with reporters earlier this month.

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Guinea declared free of Ebola

CONAKRY, Guinea – The World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak over in Guinea on Tuesday, a huge step in the fight against the world’s largest epidemic and the first time there are no known cases anywhere since the virus emerged in Guinea two years ago. The West Africa-concentrated outbreak last year spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Liberia is on a countdown to become Ebola-free on Jan. 14, which could mark a final end to the epidemic. Sierra Leone, the third West African country to be hammered by the epidemic, was declared free from transmissions on Nov. 7. No new cases have been reported anywhere in the world in at least 21 days, according to WHO.

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Ten Islamic State leaders killed in airstrikes, officials say

WASHINGTON – U.S. and coalition airstrikes killed 10 Islamic State leaders over the past month, including several linked to the Paris attacks or other plots against the West, a U.S. military official in Iraq said Tuesday. U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren told Pentagon reporters that the militants were killed mainly by drone strikes in Iraq and Syria. He offered few details, but said at least two of those killed were linked to the Paris attacks.

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Pakistani security officials examine the site of a suicide attack that killed at least 26 people in Mardan, Pakistan, on Tuesday.

Pakistan suicide blast 26, wounds 45

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a government office in a northwestern Pakistani city on Tuesday, killing at least 26 people and wounding 45 in an attack claimed by a breakaway Taliban group. The bombing took place in the city of Mardan, outside the regional office of the National Database and Registration Authority, or NADRA, which issues identity cards, according to senior police officer Saeed Khan Wazir.

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Abandoned cars sit on the flooded parking lot of the Imperial Youth Association Ball Fields this week in Kimmswick, Mo.

Flooding spreads through the St. Louis region

ST. LOUIS – Widespread flooding has shut down dozens of businesses, pushed sewage into the Meramec River, forced evacuation from hundreds of homes and is to close a section of Interstate 44 early Wednesday. It’s been more than 20 years since such extensive flooding has hit the St. Louis region. And while the record downpours over the weekend and Monday have subsided, area rivers continued rising Tuesday, bringing with it anxiety of more damage.

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In this Dec. 15, 2015,  photo, George Pataki makes a point during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

George Pataki quits presidential race

NEW YORK – George Pataki, the three-term governor who led New York through the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on Tuesday quit the race for the Republican presidential nomination. “While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I’m confident we can elect the right person – someone who can bring us together,” the 70-year-old former governor said in his campaign valedictory.

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‘Affluenza’ teen, mother planned flight to Mexico, officials say

FORT WORTH, Texas – A teen fugitive who’s known for using an “affluenza” defense and his mother attempted to disguise themselves and disappear among the American tourists thronging a Mexican resort city for the holidays, but are now in custody and will be returned to the U.S., authorities said Tuesday. Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said 18-year-old Ethan Couch – who was on juvenile probation after killing four people in a drunken driving wreck – and his mother had prepared to be gone a while, even dyeing Couch’s blond hair black, before being detained Monday in the Pacific Coast city of Puerto Vallarta.

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Chicago officer pleads not guilty to murder

CHICAGO – A white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Jason Van Dyke is “hanging in there” and wants to tell his side of what happened so he’s not seen “as this cold-blooded killer,” defense attorney Dan Herbert said after the court hearing. Herbert added that they haven’t ruled out asking for a change of venue. The case is in Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago where demonstrators have staged marches protesting the shooting and how it’s been handled.

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California drought endangering millions of trees, study says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As many as 58 million large California trees are facing severe danger because of the drought, according to a new scientific study. The study, released this week by the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., was based on high-tech imagery gathered by an airplane flying over California earlier this year. It revealed that as many as 888 million large trees experienced “measurable losses of canopy water” since the drought began four years ago. Of those, as many as 58 million trees lost enough water to be considered “extremely threatening to long-term forest health.”

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Times Square on New Year’s to be ‘safest place in the world’

NEW YORK – With the nation still jittery over shooting massacres in California and Paris, New York City officials sought to assure revelers Tuesday that the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square will be the safest place in the world – heavily secured by thousands of New York Police Department officers, including a new specialized counterterrorism unit. “Leave the worrying to the NYPD,” said James O’Neill, chief of the department. “People should feel safest this New Year’s Eve because we’re there.”

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Supreme Court set to decide politically charged cases in 2016

WASHINGTON – As the nation heads into a presidential election year, the Supreme Court is set to decide a half-dozen politically charged cases in 2016 on such topics as abortion, affirmative action, contraceptives and immigration. In several cases, conservatives are hoping the high court will shift current law to the right or block President Barack Obama’s policies, while liberals are defending the status quo.

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Indicted doc sanctioned year ago

A Coeur d’Alene doctor indicted as part of an alleged multistate drug trafficking ring surrendered his passport Monday and was released from federal custody. Dr. Stanley Alvin Toelle, 61, a ...

Closeout sale blues

There has been a strange vibe at Macy's in recent days. We all know how Spokane residents love a bargain. And there have been bargains, to be sure. It's a ...



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