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Chronicle briefs for Nov. 8, 2022

Nov. 8, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 8, 2022 at 4:58 p.m.

Holmes loses bid for new trial and faces sentencing

Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes’ quest for a new trial is over after a federal judge ruled that the whistle-blower witness who showed up unannounced at her home in August testified truthfully on the witness stand a year ago.

The decision, made late Monday, means that Holmes, who was found guilty in January of defrauding investors in her blood-testing startup, remains on track to be sentenced Nov. 18. The 38-year-old entrepreneur faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, although she’ll probably get far less than that.

The ruling follows a hearing during which former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff stood by his testimony after lawyers for Holmes had raised concerns that the scientist expressed misgivings about what he told jurors. They said Rosendorff sounded deeply distressed on the evening he visited Holmes, and told her partner, Billy Evans, that he couldn’t sleep because prosecutors had twisted his testimony.

“The court finds that the statements Dr. Rosendorff made to Mr. Evans do not stand for any of the proposed meanings that Defendant would want and, even if they did, they would not be material to the issues at trial,” US District Judge Edward Davila wrote in his ruling. “Accordingly, a new trial is not warranted,” he wrote.

Hurricane warning issued for east coast of Florida

MIAMI – Tropical Storm Nicole continued strengthening on Tuesday as Florida’s east coast prepares for a possible tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane later this week.

Overnight, the National Hurricane Center nudged its predicted track north toward Melbourne, moving Miami-Dade and Broward out of the cone of uncertainty, but Nicole’s wind field is already nearly the size of the entire state, so its effects will be felt throughout Florida starting as early as Wednesday.

Hurricane watches on Florida’s east coast were upgraded to warnings on Tuesday for most of the coast, except Broward and Miami-Dade, which remained under a hurricane watch and tropical storm watch, respectively.

In addition to the hurricane watches already issued along Florida’s east coast, the hurricane center early Tuesday upgraded the east coast’s tropical storm and hurricane watches to warnings and issued a tropical storm watch for portions of the state’s western coast.

Pelosi Says Attack on Husband Will Affect Her

In her first televised interview since her husband, Paul Pelosi, was violently attacked, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the first terrifying moments after she learned from the Capitol Police what had happened inside their San Francisco home, and said that the traumatic episode would affect her decision about her political future.

“I never thought it would be Paul,” Pelosi, 82, appearing visibly emotional, said in a sit-down interview with Anderson Cooper that aired on CNN on Monday night.

When Cooper asked if she had made a decision on whether to retire if Democrats lose the House, Pelosi said that her decision would be affected by the attack, but she did not specify how.

Pelosi said that on the morning of the attack, she was asleep at her home in Washington when she heard the doorbell ringing and knocking on her door.

Capitol Police officers told her that Paul Pelosi had been attacked in their San Francisco home and was hospitalized, she said. She immediately got on a plane and traveled to a hospital in San Francisco where her husband lay in recovery after sustaining a skull fracture that had thankfully “not pierced his brain,” Pelosi said.

Paul Pelosi, 82, was injured when an intruder hit him on the head with a hammer early in the morning Oct. 28 before being tackled and restrained by police officers. The intruder had demanded to see Nancy Pelosi, according to authorities.

Paul Pelosi underwent surgery for a skull fracture and serious injuries to his hands and right arm. Doctors said they expected him to make a full recovery.

The man charged in the attack, David DePape, later told police that he saw Nancy Pelosi as “the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party.” and that he wanted to break her kneecaps if she lied to him.

DePape was charged by federal prosecutors with attempting to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and assaulting a relative of a federal official. He has pleaded not guilty to several state felony charges.

Researchers create molecule that kills cancers

DALLAS – Researchers from two North Texas universities have created a molecule that kills a spectrum of hard-to-treat cancers, including an aggressive form of breast cancer. Their work was published in the journal Nature Cancer.

The researchers tested the molecule in isolated cells, human cancer tissue and in mice, with a goal to test in humans by mid-2023. They hope their work could eventually lead to treatments that make a difference in the lives of patients that suffer from these cancers.

“What motivates me now is, it’s not just (that) we understand a particular thing scientifically,” said Jung-Mo Ahn, an associate chemistry professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and an author on the study. “We realize that this molecule could be very useful, and it can help other people’s lives.”

Ahn worked with UT Southwestern Medical Center professor Dr. Ganesh Raj and Ratna Vadlamudi from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio on the research.

U.S. citizen gunned down in Baghdad

A U.S. citizen who worked at a local English language institute was shot dead in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the U.S. Embassy announced Monday, marking a rare attack on foreign visitors to the country.

“We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen, Stephen Edward Troell, in Baghdad. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death,” the statement said. It had no further comment “out of respect to the family.”

Iraqi officials said Troell’s vehicle was attacked by “unknown” gunmen as he drove through central Baghdad on Monday. The weapon was fitted with a suppressor, they said, but they provided no further information. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive case.

Iraq’s new prime minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, has ordered an investigation into the killing.

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