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Kennedy progresses after surgery

Wed., June 4, 2008

Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy emerged from the most precarious period following surgery to treat a brain tumor without any complications, spending Tuesday walking hospital hallways, spending time with his family and “keeping up with the news of the day,” his office said.

Kennedy had a restful night’s sleep after Monday’s operation, a statement said, and the 76-year-old Democrat is expected to stay at the hospital in Durham for about a week before returning home to Massachusetts for further treatment.

All of that is good news. Dr. John Sampson, the associate deputy director of the brain tumor center at Duke University Medical Center, isn’t involved in Kennedy’s care, but the neurosurgeon said that generally, patients who make it through the first day following surgery without any complications have the strongest prospects for recovery.

“Most of the major complications – the disastrous complications – typically occur within the first six hours or at least the first 24 hours after surgery,” Sampson said.

New York

Woman pleads guilty in sex case

A woman accused of helping run the prostitution ring patronized by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate federal prostitution laws.

Prosecutors said Cecil Suwal, 23, ran the day-to-day operations of the Emperors Club V.I.P. escort service, which charged clients up to $5,500 an hour for the services of its women.

Suwal was accused of supervising the company’s booking agents, paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars to prostitutes and controlling shell companies used to hide the ring’s profits.

“This is the first step in the process of putting this chapter of her life behind her,” her lawyer, Alberto Ebanks, said before the plea in U.S. District Court. “She deeply regrets her actions.”

A former University of Miami student who graduated from the prestigious Blair Academy in New Jersey, Suwal got her job at the Emperors Club after answering a help wanted ad. She later moved in with the man accused of founding the service, Mark Brener.

San Francisco

Teen killed by tiger had drugs in blood

The San Francisco Medical Examiner says a teenager who was killed by an escaped zoo tiger six months ago had marijuana and alcohol in his system.

The toxicology report was released Monday. It is included with an autopsy that concluded 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr. was killed by “blunt force injuries of the head and neck.”

Sousa’s two friends also were seriously injured when a 250-pound Siberian tiger escaped its enclosure at San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day.

Michael Cardoza, a lawyer for the Sousa family, says it’s irrelevant whether the teen was drinking or smoking pot before he was mauled. The family is suing the city.

The wall surrounding the tiger’s enclosure was found to be 4 feet lower than recommended industry standards.


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