Bush out of intensvie care
Former president George H.W. Bush’s condition improved enough on Saturday for him to be moved out of the intensive care unit (ICU) and into a regular room at the Houston hospital where he was admitted last month for respiratory problems, a spokesman said. Bush, 88, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, entered Methodist Hospital on Nov. 23 for treatment of what doctors said was bronchitis and he was moved into the ICU on Dec. 16 after suffering a number of medical complications. “President Bush’s condition has improved, so he has been moved today from the intensive care unit to a regular patient room at the Methodist Hospital to continue his recovery,” the family said in a statement from spokesman Jim McGrath. McGrath on Friday said that Bush’s condition was improving and that he was even singing at times in his communications with doctors and nurses.
Haitian president sings duet
Haitian President Michel Martelly performed a duet late on Friday with Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias in a celebrity-studded concert in an amphitheater in Altos de Chavon, east of Santo Domingo, to help raise money for impoverished children. Among the attendees were local fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera and US journalist Barbara Walters. Martelly, better known by his stage name, “Sweet Micky,” thanked Iglesias for dedicating a concert of his “1 World Tour 2012” to Haiti’s children. The proceeds will go to the Pink and White Foundation, a charity run by Martelly and his wife, Sophia. The duet represented Martelly’s first performance outside Haiti since he was elected in May last year. He was previously known for his often bawdy performances before becoming Haiti’s president. Iglesias visited Haiti following the 2010 earthquake that Haitian officials say killed an estimated 300,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
Animal cruelty laws passed
Mexico City lawmakers have approved prison terms for animal cruelty, previously considered a civil offense sanctioned with fines and detentions. The capital’s legislative assembly unanimously agreed that people who intentionally abuse and cause animals harm will face up to two years in prison and a maximun fine of US$500. If the animal is killed, they will face up to four years in prison and a US$2,000 fine. Antonio Padierna, president of the assembly’s law enforcement and justice committee, said late on Friday that if animals are killed for food, the death must be quick and not cause pain. The lawmakers agreed that current administrative laws were not doing enough to end animal cruelty. In Mexico City, animals are sometimes killed by being burned, beaten or shot.
Vultures attack park visitors
Visitors to parts of Everglades National Park in Florida are getting tarps and bungee cords to make their vehicles less delectable to vultures. Migrating vultures have developed a habit of ripping off windshield wipers, sunroof seals, and other rubber and vinyl vehicle parts. Visitors to the park’s Homestead and Flamingo entrances are loaned “anti-vulture kits” to protect their vehicles. Park wildlife biologist Skip Snow told the Miami Herald that the vultures are migrating as normal. It is just not clear why the birds are picking at parked cars and trucks. Park employees have tried to scare away the vultures, but nothing has worked.