LONDON – For the first time ever, the World Health Organization on Monday declared the spread of polio an international public health emergency that could grow in the next few months and unravel the nearly three-decade effort to eradicate the crippling disease.
The agency described current polio outbreaks across at least 10 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East as an extraordinary event that required a coordinated international response.
It identified Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon as having allowed the virus to spread beyond their borders, and recommended that those three governments require citizens to obtain a certificate proving they have been vaccinated for polio before traveling abroad.
Florida mother on trial in kids’ deaths
In January 2011, just days before police said she shot her two teenagers to death for being mouthy, Tampa mom Julie Schenecker wrote in her journal about taking her son to soccer practice and making her daughter’s favorite chicken dinner. But she also detailed a fight she had with her daughter, how the 16-year-old called her pathetic and an evil soul.
The evil starts Thursday, Schenecker wrote, according to Matthew Evans, a Tampa Police crime scene technician, who read parts of the journal passages Monday as Schenecker’s trial began. The former Army linguist, 53, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder.
Sooners return to fire-swept town
Residents in an Oklahoma community where a wildfire killed one person, burned thousands of acres and destroyed at least six homes returned to survey the damage Monday as firefighters continued to battle the stubborn blaze.
The fire in Guthrie, about 35 miles north of Oklahoma City, went awry Sunday and swept through the parched countryside with wind gusts at 30 mph. About 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes Sunday. Authorities said the man who died in the fire Sunday night had refused to leave his mobile home.
Fire officials said Monday the blaze was about 75 percent contained, and they are investigating to determine whether any criminal conduct occurred when it was set. A burn ban was not in place at the time.
Aspirin undue with no disease history
Aspirin generally shouldn’t be used to prevent heart attacks or stroke for patients with no history of the disease, U.S. regulators said Monday.
The use of the medicine raises serious risks of bleeding in the stomach and brain, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. While evidence shows that aspirin’s benefits for people who have already had a cardiovascular event outweigh the increased risk of bleeding, the data don’t support using the drug to help people prevent a first attack, the agency said.
Study: Baby gates put hundreds in ER
Baby gates meant to protect young children aren’t always as safe as parents think. A new study says nearly 2,000 U.S. kids get emergency room treatment each year from injuries resulting from falling through or climbing on these gates.
Most injuries weren’t serious. But the researchers say parents should know about precautions. That includes using bolted gates, not pressure-mounted ones, at the top of the stairs.
Nobel-winning economist dies
Gary Becker, a University of Chicago professor who received the Nobel Prize in economic sciences and is credited with pioneering the approach to economics as the study of human behavior, has died at age 83.
Becker, who died Saturday in Chicago, was cited for applying economic analysis to a wide range of human behavior and interactions such as marriage and divorce, crime and punishment, addiction and household decisions.
I was interested in social problems but felt that economics had the tools by which to handle these long-term interests and social questions, he said when he won the Nobel in 1992.
Health care law like Holocaust train?
A Tennessee state senator’s blog post likening the Affordable Care Act to the forced deportation of Jews during the Holocaust drew condemnation Monday from leaders of both parties in the state.
Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory sign ups for train rides’ for Jews in the 40s, wrote Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield in a post titled Thought of the Day.
At least 22 dead as migrant boat sinks
At least 22 people – including families trapped in a flooded cabin – drowned when a yacht and a dinghy filled with migrants trying to slip into Greece capsized Monday in the eastern Aegean Sea, authorities said.
Rescuers searched for up to seven more people missing, in what was one of the deadliest migrant boat accidents in Greek waters in recent years and the third fatal one this year. Many on board were from war-torn or unstable countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Diver dies in search for ferry victims
A civilian diver involved in searches for dozens of missing people from the South Korean ferry disaster died early today, as other divers helped by better weather and easing ocean currents were picking up efforts to retrieve more bodies from the sunken ship.
The Sewol carried 476 people, most of them students from a single high school near Seoul, when it sank off South Korea’s southern coast on April 16. The sinking left more than 260 people dead, with about 40 others still missing.
Egyptian general: Brotherhood over
Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the former military chief who removed Egypt’s Islamist president and is now poised to win the post in elections this month, said the Muslim Brotherhood will never return as an organization, accusing it of using militant groups to destabilize the country.
El-Sissi spoke in the first TV interview of his campaign Monday, vowing that restoring stability and bringing development were his priorities. The comments ruled out any political reconciliation with the Brotherhood, which was Egypt’s most powerful political force until el-Sissi removed President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the group, last summer.