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In brief: Rescued women release video

Tue., July 9, 2013

CLEVELAND – Three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade issued a YouTube video Monday night in which they thanked the public for the encouragement and financial support that is allowing them to restart their lives.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight broke their public silence in the 3-minute, 30-second video posted at midnight. They said the support and prayers of family, friends and the public is allowing them to rebuild their lives after what Berry called “this entire ordeal.”

The women had gone missing separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16, and 20 years old. Cleveland resident Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment alleging he kidnapped them off the streets and held them captive in his two-story home.

Knight said in the video, filmed July 2, that she is building a “brand new life.”

Two families among plane crash victims

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Two families from Greenville, S.C., were among those killed in a fiery Alaska plane crash Sunday that left all 10 on board dead.

The father of Kimberly Antonakos said Monday his daughter and her family decided to travel to Alaska this year for vacation.

H. Wayne Clayton said his son-in-law was Melet Antonakos, and the children were 16-year-old Olivia, 14-year-old Mills and 11-year-old Anastacia.

South Carolina House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister said the other victims were Chris and Stacey McManus and their two children.

Investigators have begun their probe into the crash of a de Havilland DHC3 Otter that crashed and burned at the airport in Soldotna, about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage. The plane had just taken off and apparently was en route to a fishing lodge, according to National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Otter was operated by Rediske Air, based in Nikiski. The pilot of the downed plane was Nikiski-based Walter “Willie” Rediske, company spokesman Andy Harcombe said.

Perry says he won’t seek re-election

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday he would not seek re-election in 2014, a move that will end his reign as the longest-serving chief executive in state history and one of the most powerful.

He did not rule out another run for president.

Speaking to a hand-picked audience of supporters in San Antonio and quoting from the book of Ecclesiastes, Perry said there was a time for everything and, for him, “The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership.”

In a voice that sometimes quavered with emotion as he recounted his decade-plus in office, Perry said he would “work and pray” to determine his path forward. “Any future considerations I will announce in due time,” he said.

Perry’s decision against seeking a fourth full term should have little, if any, impact on the nascent 2016 White House contest. It has been widely assumed that Perry, 63, might make another try for the GOP presidential nomination.

Heinz Kerry doing better, State says

BOSTON – Doctors evaluating Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, reported improvement in her condition Monday, according to the State Department, but few details were being disclosed about her illness.

Heinz Kerry, 74, was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Sunday after first being brought by ambulance to a hospital on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket.

Heinz Kerry showed symptoms consistent with a seizure, said a person in close contact with the family who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Doctors upgraded Heinz Kerry’s condition from critical to fair Monday and was undergoing further evaluation, Glen Johnson, a spokesman for Kerry, said in a statement.

Lung recipient has pneumonia

PHILADELPHIA – A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who had a pair of adult-lung transplants after her parents sued to change national rules regarding organ donations has developed pneumonia in her right lung, which her mother described on Monday as “a large setback.”

Sarah Murnaghan’s mother wrote on her Facebook page that after a “tough” day on Sunday, Sarah’s condition had become more stable on Monday.

Officials at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Sarah is being treated, have declined to comment on her case.

Sarah has been hospitalized for months with end-stage cystic fibrosis.


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