Man has arms transplant
A soldier who lost all four limbs in a 2009 roadside bomb attack in Iraq has received a rare double arm transplant, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, said on Monday. The infantryman is one of just seven people in the nation who have successfully received the complex transplant. The transplant was paired with an innovative treatment to prevent rejection of the new limbs, which involved an infusion of the deceased donor’s bone marrow cells.
Queen to abdicate
Queen Beatrix said on Monday that she would abdicate in favor of her son Crown Prince Willem Alexander after 33 years in power. “It is with the greatest of confidence, that I will hand over the throne on April 30 to my son Willem Alexander, Prince of Orange,” Beatrix said in a televised address. The queen, who turns 75 tomorrow, said her birthday and this year’s 200th anniversary of the monarchy “were the reason for me to step down.” Beatrix’s abdication will end more than 100 years of female reign on the Dutch throne. Willem-Alexander is a 45-year-old father of three young daughters, an International Olympic Committee member, a pilot and a water management expert. Over the years, he has struggled to win the affection of his nation’s 16 million people, but his immensely popular wife, the Argentine-born Maxima, has helped him gain more acceptance.
Wave carries off woman
A woman drowned after she was swept out to sea by a large wave in the third such tragedy in Northern California this season, authorities said. Humboldt County Coroner David Parris on Monday identified the victim as Susan Archer, 32, of Shelter Cove. Archer was walking on a rocky beach near her home with her boyfriend and dog on Sunday when the wave pulled her into the ocean, Parris said. Archer’s boyfriend was hurt when he was thrown against the shoreline rocks, but he was not swept up by the wave, officials said. Her dog was pulled into the water, but was able to swim back to shore.
‘Maternity tourism’ targeted
Los Angeles County is planning a crackdown on makeshift maternity wards where pregnant women, mostly from Asia, stay while giving birth so their children will be US citizens. The county has received 60 complaints about such facilities in the past month, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday. That compared with just 15 complaints in the previous five years. County Supervisor Don Knabe wants to develop a law that would outlaw such facilities. “They’re a moneymaking machine. They’re totally unsafe,” Knabe said. “It’s so obvious that they jeopardize not only the health of the baby, but the mother as well.”
Video urges forgiveness
An order of Roman Catholic priests has produced a video urging relatives of drug cartel victims to forgive killers. The 10-minute, video entitled Brother Narco, tells the story of Miri, a 13-year-old girl who cowers in her bedroom as a gunman murders her parents. The video ends with the girl hugging the killer. The scriptwriter, Father Omar Sotelo, said on Monday that such acts of forgiveness may be improbable, but represent a way to “rehumanize” vicious killers.