A heart-attack patient died after she was moved from a hospital emergency room to make way for a flu-stricken Michael Jackson, the dead woman's family alleged on Friday. \nRelatives of 74-year-old grandmother Manuela Gomez Ruiz told ABC television they had hired a lawyer to sue the already-embattled pop icon and the Marian Medical Center in the California town of Santa Maria. \nJackson, 46, was rushed to the hospital's emergency room on Feb. 15 when he began vomiting in his car on his way to the courtroom where his child molestation trial is underway. \nThe family of Ruiz, who has been taken to the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest, said that she was removed from a ventilator and taken to a smaller room when Jackson arrived to give the star more space. \nWhile she was being moved, her breathing was assisted by a hand pump, her family told ABC News. \n"Why does she have to be moved if he's coming in for a stomach flu?" asked Maria Elena Ortiz, the ailing woman's daughter. \n"I said, `My mother just had a heart attack and I think it's more critical than a stomach flu.' They didn't say anything," she said. \nJackson was admitted to the hospital where he spent 33 hours before being dicharged to recover pending the resumption of jury selection in his trial that was dramatically interrupted by his illness. \nThe dead woman's daughter, Amandina Aguillar, said she believed that Jackson's presence in the hospital affected the care of her mother. \n"They paid more attention to him than they did to my mom," she said. \nThe hospital denied the allegations, saying in a statement that all its patients were treated equally. \n"Our patients have and continue to receive high quality, compassionate and timely care," the statement said. \nJackson's spokeswoman Raymone Bain said that while Jackson was sorry Ruiz had died, he was not responsible for what happened. \n"Michael Jackson sends his condolences to the family of the deceased," she said in a statement. \n"However, it is outrageous that Michael Jackson's name would be invoked into a situation of which he had no authority or control. It appears that ABC is deliberate in its attempt to circumvent Michael Jackson from receiving a fair trial."
The US and the Philippines plan to announce new sites as soon as possible for an expanded Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which gives the Western power access to military bases in the Southeast Asian country. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr last month granted the US access to four military bases, on top of five existing locations under the 2014 EDCA, amid China’s increasing assertiveness regarding the South China Sea and Taiwan. Speaking at the Basa Air Base in Manila, one of the existing EDCA sites, US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said the defense agreements between the two countries
‘DUAL PURPOSE’: Upgrading the port is essential for the Solomon Islands’ economy and might not be military focused, but ‘it is not about bases, it is about access,’ an analyst said The Solomon Islands has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to a Chinese state company to upgrade an international port in Honiara in a project funded by the Asian Development Bank, a Solomon Islands official said yesterday. China Civil Engineering Construction Co (CCECC) was the only company to submit a bid in the competitive tender, Solomon Islands Ministry of Infrastructure Development official Mike Qaqara said. “This will be upgrading the old international port in Honiara and two domestic wharves in the provinces,” Qaqara said. Responding to concerns that the port could be deepened for Chinese naval access, he said there would be “no expansion.” The Solomon
CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS: The US destroyer’s routine operations in the South China Sea would have ‘serious consequences,’ the defense ministry said China yesterday threatened “serious consequences” after the US Navy sailed a destroyer around the disputed Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) in the South China Sea for the second day in a row, in a move Beijing claimed was a breach of its sovereignty and security. The warning came amid growing tensions between China and the US in the region, as Washington pushes back at Beijing’s growingly assertive posture in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway it claims virtually in its entirety. On Thursday, after the US sailed the USS Milius guided-missile destroyer near the Paracel Islands, China said its navy and
Seven stories above a shop floor hawking cheap perfume and nylon underwear, Thailand’s “shopping mall gorilla” sits alone in a cage — her home for 30 years despite a reignited row over her captivity. Activists around the world have long campaigned for the primate to be moved from Pata Zoo, on top of a Bangkok mall, with singer Cher and actor Gillian Anderson adding their voices in 2020. However, the family who owns Bua Noi — whose name translates as “little lotus” — have resisted public and government pressure to relinquish the critically endangered animal. The gorilla has lived at Pata for more