Houston hospital: Giffords can attend launch

Posted April 25, 2011, at 9:37 p.m.

HOUSTON — Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords can fly to Florida this week to watch her astronaut husband rocket into space as commander of the space shuttle Endeavour, but she will return shortly after the launch to resume rehabilitation, her doctors in Houston confirmed Monday.

The doctors at TIRR Memorial Hermann said Giffords is “medically able” to travel and that they view the trip to Cape Canaveral as part of her rehabilitation from a gunshot wound to the head.

The last time Giffords flew was when she was taken on a private jet from the hospital in Tucson, Ariz., that treated her immediately after the Jan. 8 shooting to Houston, where she has been undergoing intensive rehabilitation. But this time, her flight is not an ambulance transport, Kim added.

“She is medically able and well enough to travel without additional risks,” said Kim, who also serves as professor and chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.

ABC and CBS News initially reported on Sunday that doctors had given Giffords the green light to attend the launch.

Being there for the Endeavour’s final flight — commanded by Giffords’ husband, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly — was a goal for the congresswoman and her family.

Report: Climate change worsens Western water woes

WASHINGTON — Climate change is likely to diminish already scarce water supplies in the Western United States, exacerbating problems for millions of water users in the West, according to a new government report.

A report released Monday by the Interior Department said annual flows in three prominent river basins — the Colorado, Rio Grande and San Joaquin — could decline by as much 8 percent to 14 percent over the next four decades. The three rivers provide water to eight states, from Wyoming to Texas and California, as well as to parts of Mexico.

The declining water supply comes as the West and Southwest, already among the fastest-growing parts of the country, continue to gain population.

Transgender victim in Md. McDonald’s attack alleges hate crime

ROSEDALE, Md. — A transgender woman whose brutal attack at a McDonald’s restaurant in Maryland was captured on video that later went viral said Saturday she was the victim of a hate crime.

Twenty-two-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis told The Baltimore Sun that since the attack last Monday, “I’m just afraid to go outside now because of stuff like this.”

The video posted online shows a woman being attacked and apparently having a seizure. Baltimore County police say a 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile and an 18-year-old woman faces an assault charge in the case.

Lt. Robert McCullough, a spokesman for the Baltimore County police, told The Associated Press on Saturday evening that police are working with the state’s attorney’s office to determine whether other charges should be brought and whether anyone else should face charges.

12 killed as Gadhafi troops shell rebel-held Misrata

MISRATA, Libya — Artillery shells and rockets rained down on rebel-held Misrata on Monday, killing at least 12 people, as troops loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi who fled the city over the weekend continued to launch bloody air attacks.

Gadhafi’s fighters, stationed outside the western Libyan city, shelled a residential neighborhood and a hospital well into the evening. The attacks left women and children dead, set a car ablaze, destroyed a house and terrified aging female hospital residents whose rooms were struck by shrapnel.

The rebels, a ragtag force of middle-class professionals and students, waged an effective guerrilla battle to expel Gadhafi’s fighters from inside the city, where they had taken up positions in the main commercial district and at a university campus. The rebels cut off the Gadhafi soldiers’ access to one another. Starting Thursday, Gadhafi’s soldiers, low on weapons and food, retreated to  encampments that ring Misrata.

Gadhafi’s government said late Friday it was handing the fight over to local tribes, but there was no sign of any assault by tribes on Misrata. Instead, Gadhafi’s fighters began to fire rockets and artillery randomly into the once wealthy port, now decimated by war.

 

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