Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

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January 19, 2003

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California: City close to banning declawing cats

West Hollywood officials want the city to become the first in the nation to ban the declawing of cats.

If the City Council approves the ban as expected Tuesday, West Hollywood would join 13 European nations that have outlawed the procedure condemned by many as inhumane because it involves cutting off part of the animal's toes.

The operation is performed on thousands of cats every year mainly to protect people and furniture from slashing.

The activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the ban would be the first of its kind in this country. The organization intends to lobby other cities around the nation to adopt similar laws.

Minnesota: Hospital apologizes for mastectomy mistake

A hospital apologized for a laboratory mistake that resulted in the amputation of a healthy woman's breasts after she was mistakenly told she had an aggressive form of cancer.

Dr. Daniel Foley, medical director of United Hospital, told KARE-TV in the Twin Cities that the St. Paul hospital had made changes so "this kind of mixup would never happen again."

Linda McDougal, 46, said she was diagnosed with cancer in May 2002 after her doctor had a biopsy performed when a suspicious spot appeared on her mammogram.

McDougal said she was told the cancer was so aggressive that a double mastectomy was her only chances for survival. In June, she had the surgery.

Then her doctor said United's lab had switched tissue from McDougal's biopsy with tissue from another woman.

McDougal, fighting several infections and facing several reconstructive surgeries, has not decided whether to sue.

Florida: Teen's flight into building ruled suicide mission

The teenager who flew a small plane into a Tampa skyscraper last year did so to commit suicide, the National Transportation and Safety Board has concluded.

The NTSB released its one-sentence final report on the crash Friday. A preliminary report released in November reached the same conclusion.

Student pilot Charles Bishop, 15, stole the Cessna 172R from a flight school and crashed it into the 28th floor of the 42-story Bank of America Plaza on Jan. 5, 2002. Bishop died in the crash. No one else was injured.

Bishop's family is suing the maker of the acne drug Accutane, claiming the medicine, which Bishop took, caused psychosis and prompted his suicide.

Washington: Assassination plot suspected before arrest

Federal agents say the one-time leader of an anti-government group, arrested for alleged firearms violations, may have been plotting to assassinate Gov. Gary Locke.

The FBI was tipped about an alleged plot nearly two years ago, according to court papers.

Assistant U.S. Atty. John Hartingh on Friday refused to release further details or say whether officials believed there was a credible threat.

James D. Brailey Jr., 43, was charged with federal weapons violations Thursday, a day after authorities converged on a home near Olympia and arrested him after learning he had acquired a weapon, according to the complaint filed against him. Because Brailey has a past domestic violence conviction, he is prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.

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