Washington, Dec 14 (AP/UNB) — Melania Trump spread her anti-bullying message on an annual Christmas season visit to a Washington children's hospital on Thursday, reading a story about a Christmas ornament named Oliver who is bullied by other ornaments in a family's collection.
"Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year," the first lady said after she finished reading "Oliver the Ornament" at Children's National Health System. The author, Todd Zimmerman, sat a few feet away.
Mrs. Trump launched an initiative earlier this year to teach kindness to children, naming it Be Best.
Zimmerman thanked the first lady "from the bottom of my heart" for inviting him to be part of the visit, an annual tradition that dates to first lady Bess Truman, who served in the role from the mid-1940s to 1953.
"It is such an honor and I'm humbled by your kindness," Zimmerman added. "I also want to thank you for everything you do to promote kindness through your Be Best foundation and all of your daily activities. It's that same type of kindness that we're trying to promote with 'Oliver the Ornament' and it's that same message that I hope all of you receive this Christmas season and throughout the entire year."
Mrs. Trump is using the initiative to encourage children and young people to be kind online.
The first lady recently told ABC News during an interview in which she promoted Be Best that she could be "the most bullied person" in the world, judging by "what people are saying about me." Critics have pointed out that her husband, President Donald Trump, routinely mocks people on Twitter.
Before taking a seat in front of a towering Christmas tree in the hospital's atrium, Mrs. Trump toured part of the neonatal intensive care unit and met with three families and children who had been treated there after they were born prematurely at 24 weeks.
The two boys and one girl, ages 16 months to 6 years old, each weighed about 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) at birth.
Mrs. Trump sat with the families while the children played and listened as Nikki Watkinson told the story of her son Grayson's early delivery in her husband's truck during a snowstorm.
"You will have an incredible story to tell him," the first lady replied.
Wellington, Dec 11 (AP/UNB) — New Zealand's government has passed a law that will make medical marijuana widely available for thousands of patients over time.
The legislation passed Tuesday will also allow terminally ill patients to begin smoking illegal pot immediately without facing the possibility of prosecution.
The measures come ahead of a planned national referendum on recreational marijuana use. The government has pledged to hold that referendum some time over the next two years, but has not yet set a date or finalized the wording.
The new law allows much broader use of medical marijuana, which was previously highly restricted. But patients wanting to use marijuana for conditions like chronic pain will have to wait a year until a new set of regulations, licensing rules and quality standards are put in place.
London, Dec 5 (AP/UNB) — Brazilian doctors are reporting the world's first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor.
Eleven previous births have used a transplanted womb but from a living donor, usually a relative or friend.
Experts said using uteruses from women who have died could make more transplants possible. Ten previous attempts using deceased donors in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the U.S. have failed.
The baby girl was delivered last December by a woman born without a uterus because of a rare syndrome. The woman — a 32-year-old psychologist — was initially apprehensive about the transplant, said Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team's lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.
"This was the most important thing in her life," he said. "Now she comes in to show us the baby and she is so happy,"
The woman became pregnant through in vitro fertilization seven months after the transplant. The donor was a 45-year-old woman who had three children and died of a stroke.
The recipient, who was not identified, gave birth by cesarean section. Doctors also removed the womb, partly so the woman would no longer have to take anti-rejection medicines. Nearly a year later, mother and baby are both healthy.
Two more transplants are planned as part of the Brazilian study. Details of the first case were published Tuesday in the medical journal Lancet.
Uterus transplantation was pioneered by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom, who has delivered eight children from women who got wombs from family members or friends. Two babies have been born at Baylor University Medical Center in Texas and one in Serbia, also from transplants from living donors.
In 2016, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor, but it failed after an infection developed.
"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option," said the clinic's Dr. Tommaso Falcone, who was involved in the Ohio case. "It may give us a bigger supply of organs than we thought were possible."
The Cleveland program is continuing to use deceased donors. Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for nearly eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is. Doctors try to keep the time an organ is without blood flow to a minimum.
Other experts said the knowledge gained from such procedures might also solve some lingering mysteries about pregnancies.
"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant," said Dr. Cesar Diaz, who co-authored an accompanying commentary in the journal. "These transplants will help us understand implantation and every stage of pregnancy."
Geneva , Dec 4 (AP/UNB) - The head of the World Health Organization said Monday it can fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo despite the withdrawal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insisting: "We can cover it."
The comments by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus came in the wake of commentaries in two medical journals appealing to the CDC to return to the epidemic zone in Congo — saying its expertise is needed. The U.S. experts have been sidelined for weeks, ordered away from the region because of State Department security concerns.
Violence by rebel groups has complicated efforts to battle what is now the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak. The CDC — which is twice as large as WHO — has said its staff would return to the epidemic area once it is safe.
Tedros said the U.N. health agency mostly needs the United States to continue the financial and other support it has provided. He noted the U.S. and many other developed countries have security guidelines that prevent deployments in conflict-ridden zones like the Ebola-hit area of eastern Congo.
"We can mobilize from other parts, from those institutions who don't have very strict security provisions like that," Tedros told reporters at WHO headquarters. "We can cover it."
Tedros praised a commitment from U.S. President Donald Trump, expressed at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina over the weekend, about his administration's "support in any way possible" in the fight against the outbreak.
"They promise to continue supporting us in finance and other (ways), and that, I think, would suffice," Tedros said.
He said experts from the CDC are still helping, sharing data and analysis.
The Ebola response director for the International Rescue Committee, Dr. Stacey Mearns, said the absence of CDC experts can be felt acutely, telling The Associated Press on Friday that they have rich experience in tracking cases, testing and treatment.
Tedros said WHO has now counted some 440 cases of Ebola and 255 deaths from the outbreak in Congo's North Kivu regions that first emerged in August. He said the risk of international spread remains.
Unlike the far-deadlier outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people from 2014 to 2016, international health experts have this time deployed a new experimental vaccine to fight Ebola. Tedros said some 39,000 people have been vaccinated during the current outbreak.
Dhaka, Nov 28 (UNB) – The unsung heroes behind Britain’s favourite cuisine were honoured once again at the 14th Annual British Curry Awards on Monday at Battersea Evolution in London.
The pioneering and foremost celebration of the nation’s favourite cuisine paid homage to the industry’s finest establishments, said a press release.
Hosted by comedian and impersonator Jon Clegg, British Curry Awards, or the ‘Curry Oscars’ as fondly coined by David Cameron, welcomed a guest list of personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, television, showbiz and entertainment, as well as leading celebrity chefs, restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.
Among others, comedian, actor, author and activist Russell Brand, MP’s Sir Vince Cable, Chris Grayling, Brandon Lewis and Baroness Verma, footballer David Seaman MBE and Frankie Poultney, comedian Hardeep Kohli were attended the programme.
The full list of winners at the British Curry Awards 2018 is as follows:
Best in North East: Mumtaz, Bradford
Best in North West: Indique, Manchester
Best in Casual Dining: Dabbawal High Bridge, Newcastle
Best in London City and Suburbs: Baluchi, Tooley Street, SE1
Inspiration Award: Asha's, Birmingham
Best in Wales: Rasoi Waterfront, Swansea
Best Newcomer: Dishoom, Edinburgh
Best in South East: Malik's Cookham, Maidenhead
Best in Scotland: Light of Bengal, Aberdeen
Best in South West: Koloshi Indian Restaurant, Cheltenham
Best in Midlands: Pushkar, Birmingham
Best Takeaway: Chilli Tuk Tuk, London N12
Special Recognition Award: Chef Rezual Karim from Stockholm