Vincent Lambert: Doctors told to restart life support for paralysed patient | World News


French doctors have been ordered to resume giving food and water to a quadriplegic – just 12 hours after they switched off his life support against his parents’ will.

The fate of Vincent Lambert, who has been in a vegetative state since a motorcycle accident in 2008, has renewed a fierce debate over the right to die that has split his family and the country.

Mr Lambert’s doctors in the northeastern city of Reims said earlier this month they would start withdrawing care, and on Monday stopped feeding him food and water through a gastric tube and began administering sedatives.

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His wife Rachel says care should be withdrawn

His mother Viviane, who branded doctors “monsters”, launched a last-ditch legal bid to keep him alive at the European Court of Human Rights and appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron to intervene.

The Strasbourg-based tribunal said there was no violation of Mr Lambert’s right to life in the medics’ decision, while Mr Macron said he could not intervene.

However, the Paris Appeal Court ruled doctors must respect a 3 May request made by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the French government that it prevent the “euthanasia” of Mr Lambert while his case is examined.

During the last 11 years, the 42-year-old has had almost no consciousness, but can breathe without a respirator and occasionally moves his eyes.

A woman holds a placard reading "I am Vincent Lambert" (a quadriplegic man who is currently on artificial life support in a hospital in France) as she takes part in a walk for life "Marche pour la vie", on January 25, 2015, in Paris.
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Mr Lambert’s case has renewed a fierce debate over the right to die that has split the country

His wife, Rachel, and some of his siblings say care should be withdrawn, but his parents, backed by other relatives, say he should be kept alive.

Euthanasia is illegal in France, but in 2016 a law was introduced giving terminally ill patients the right to be put into continuous deep sedation (CDS) by doctors until death.

The law draws a distinction between euthanasia and CDS, making France the first country to legislate in such a way.



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Dallas transgender woman who was attacked in April found dead on street


Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 7200 block of Valley Glen Drive around 6:40 a.m. Saturday, Dallas Police Major Vincent Weddington said.

“Upon arrival, officers found the complainant lying face down in the street — deceased from homicidal violence,” Weddington said during a news conference on Sunday.

The woman was not carrying identification but the medical examiner positively identified her as Muhlaysia Booker on Sunday afternoon, he told reporters.

In a separate incident last month, Booker, 22, was assaulted by several men in the parking lot of a Dallas apartment complex after what police said was a minor traffic accident. Video from the incident showed the suspects repeatedly punching and kicking Booker while she was on the ground.

During the assault, the suspects were reported to have used homophobic slurs, and police trying to determine if it was a hate crime.

“I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at the time. “Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior.”

One man, Edward Thomas, was arrested and faces charges over the April 12 assault. But, Weddington said, Thomas had not been linked to Booker’s death.

“There is nothing at this time to connect Mr. Edward Thomas and the offense that occurred yesterday,” he said. Police are unaware of Thomas’ current whereabouts.

Police are still trying to identify others who participated in the April attack, Weddington said. Weddington encouraged members of the public with information on either case “to come forward with information to bring closure to both these offenses.”

Booker spoke out in the days after the attack to thank the community for supporting her.

“This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community, and also the city of Dallas. But I want to sincerely thank all you guys for coming out,” she said, according to CNN affiliate KTVT. “I will remain strong with your support.”
Late Sunday, Mayor Rawlings tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of her death.





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Vigil at start of trial for German man who killed ex-wife


BERLIN (AP) – Women’s rights activists in Germany have staged a vigil for a woman slain by her ex-husband last year amid anger that he isn’t tried for murder.

Members of a Hamburg women’s shelter remembered the 42-year-old victim, a mother of four, outside the city’s regional court where Marc H. went on trial Tuesday.

The defendant, whose surname wasn’t released for privacy reasons, is accused of stabbing his ex-wife 50 times with a knife at her apartment last December.

Prosecutors have charged him with manslaughter. They say that by law, he can’t be charged with murder because the victim was aware of the 50-year-old’s violent record. The man had previously attacked her by strangling and using an electric shock device.

Activists say cases like this show the law needs changing.



Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.





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Antetokounmpo funds basketball court in fire-ravaged Greece


Greek NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo has agreed to fund the construction of an indoor basketball court in a fire-ravaged area outside Athens where at least 100 people were killed last year.

The mayor of the Rafina area where the fire occurred last July said on Monday the local authority received the offer from the Milwaukee Bucks player to build the court at a new recycling park that is being planned in the area. The mayor, Vangelis Bournous, gave no details of the construction cost but said the venue would be ready at the end of this summer.

The blaze gutted the seaside resort of Mati, east of Athens, and other coastal areas, destroying more than a thousand homes.

“Antetokounmpo, the well-known Giannis Antetokounmpo, has made a donation at the site to build an indoor court — I’m announcing this for the first time,” Bournous said at a campaign event ahead of local elections on Sunday.

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“It will be built with a modern method using a steel building frame so it can be ready by the end of the summer.”

Antetokounmpo’s Bucks are leading in the NBA Eastern Conference finals 2-1 over the Toronto Raptors.

The forward, the son of immigrants from Nigeria, was born and grew up in Athens and moved to the United States in 2013 to join the Bucks. He has a huge following in his home country, with fans following his games in the middle of the night.

Antetokounmpo maintains close ties with Greece and has taken part in campaigns to promote a Greek airline and tourism, as well as recycling. His older brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, lives in Athens and plays for local club Panathinaikos, coached by Rick Pitino, formerly of the Boston Celtics and the Louisville Cardinals.



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Secret Service Officers Are Being Sent to the Border


The U.S. Secret Service is now participating in a not-so-secret undertaking: dealing with the influx of migrants at America’s southern border. According to a communication from the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters reviewed by The Daily Beast, the small law enforcement agency has sent personnel to the border already and is looking to send more in the coming weeks.

The move came in response to a directive then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sent out earlier this spring asking each component of the department to find volunteers and dispatch them to the border. Even though it’s most closely associated with the White House, the Secret Service—along with a host of other entities and agencies—is a component of DHS. And as a result, it’s shipping people south.

A DHS spokesperson did not dispute this reporting.

“As we have consistently said, the Department is considering all options to address the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” said the spokesperson. “We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem. As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress.”

The Daily Beast reported last week that the arm of DHS that handles threats to America’s cybersecurity and critical infrastructure, called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has struggled to find enough volunteers to head to the border and fulfill DHS headquarters’ request. The agency works to secure election systems, schools, and places of worship—all of which face acute threats.

Besides protecting the president, the first family, and other prominent government figures, the Secret Service also conducts criminal investigations. Its focuses include financial crimes and cybersecurity threats.

The diversion of law enforcement and national security personnel to the border has concerned some congressional Democrats, who say it may be a misuse of limited government resources. But pushing back against the dramatic increase in people trying to enter the U.S. through the southern border has become has become a singular priority of President Trump. In both March and April, law enforcement officials apprehended more than 100,000 people trying to enter the U.S., according to DHS statistics.

During the Obama administration, the agency was beset by scandal: Washington socialites slipped past agents and crashed the president’s first state dinner; a Secret Service agent told his counterparts to stand down after a man fired a gun at the White House, thinking the sound came from a car backfiring; an agent who traveled to Amsterdam with the president to protect him got drunk and passed out in a hallway; and more, as NBC News has detailed.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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U.S. garlic growers profit from trade war as most farmers struggle


GILROY, California (Reuters) – Unlike millions of other U.S. farmers, garlic growers are profiting from the trade war with China and have cheered President Donald Trump’s latest economic attack accordingly.

Ken Christopher holds a garlic plant at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, California, U.S., March 29, 2019. Picture taken March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Sales of California-grown garlic are now increasing after decades of losing ground to cheaper Chinese imports. Sales are poised to get even better as Chinese garlic faces even higher tariffs, with no end to the trade war in sight.

“In a perfect world, we’d love to see the tariffs stay on forever,” said Ken Christopher, executive vice president of family owned Christopher Ranch, the largest of three remaining commercial garlic producers in the United States.

While many farmers are suffering through the trade war because they relied heavily on imports to China, U.S. garlic growers benefit because they rely overwhelmingly on domestic sales.

Tariffs on Chinese garlic increased from 10 to 25 percent on May 9, when the U.S. hiked tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and dashed hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal could come soon.

While soybean farmers in the U.S. Midwest watched silos fill with unsold crops as top buyer China all but stopped purchases, Christopher Ranch saw domestic garlic sales rise 15 percent in the last quarter of 2018 after the U.S. applied a 10 percent tariff on imports of Chinese garlic in September.

Then Trump ordered even higher tariffs this month after trade talks broke down when China backtracked on a host of issues crucial to U.S. officials.

The escalation came just a few weeks before the U.S. garlic harvest.

“The timing couldn’t be better for us,” Christopher said. “We anticipate a surge in demand for California garlic in the coming weeks.”

Christopher, 33, whose farm has 59,000 acres of grass-like garlic fields in Gilroy, California, traveled to Washington D.C. in July to urge the Trump administration to include garlic in the list of imports that would face tariffs.

In lobbying for tariffs, Christopher follows in the footsteps of his father, who fought to implement an anti-dumping duty of up to 400 percent on Chinese garlic in the 1990s.

“We understand in a broader economic sense that a trade war is not in the U.S. best interest,” he said, “But since the tariffs were happening anyway, we needed to be sure that garlic was part of the equation.”

Not everyone is a fan of the garlic tariff. While Christopher was testifying in favor of tariffs to congressional committees, executives from one of the world’s top seasoning companies, McCormick & Company Inc., were arguing against them.

McCormick says its recipes mostly rely on Chinese garlic, calling it a different product from what is grown in the United States.

“They’re not substitutable,” CEO Lawrence Kurzius told Reuters in an interview. “Just like wine, origin matters and terroir matter.”

Taste differences aside, California garlic has traditionally sold at far higher prices than Chinese garlic. It now sells for about $60 per 30-pound box on the wholesale market, according to Christopher. Until recently, Chinese garlic sold for $20 per box, but that has risen to $40 with tariffs and will likely soon rise further, he said.

The new profits U.S. garlic farmers have enjoyed from tariffs are an exception in the U.S. farm sector.

China last year retaliated to Trump’s tariffs with duties on U.S. goods including soybeans, corn and pork.

Trump has pledged up to an additional $20 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers hurt by the prolonged dispute after groups such as the American Soybean Association criticized the failure to reach a deal. That’s on top of $12 billion the administration promised last year to compensate farmers for trade-war losses.

Slideshow (28 Images)

The trade war has also left many West Coast specialty crop farmers, like nut and cherry growers, scrambling to find alternative markets after China imposed steep duties on imports that made their products too expensive to sell there.

Jamie Johansson, an olive farmer and president of the California farm bureau – which represents 400 crops and 36,000 members – said the Trump administration had put California farmers in the middle of tariff wars with four of the state’s five top markets, including China.

“Among our members, I have not heard of anyone benefiting from the current trade war and tariffs,” Johansson said.

Additional reporting and writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Simon Webb and Brian Thevenot



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West Virginia city manager pleads guilty to drunken driving


WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) – The city manager of Wheeling, West Virginia, has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Intelligencer reports suspended City Manager Robert Herron entered his plea Monday and was sentenced to 104 hours of a community service. He was also ordered to pay a $200 fine.

Authorities have said Herron was involved in a car crash in March and arrested with a blood-alcohol level of about .305%. The legal state limit is .08%. He was initially charged with aggravated DUI, but that charge was later downgraded to non-aggravated.

The city has suspended Herron indefinitely without pay. Mayor Glenn Elliott has said the city would address Herron’s employment status this month. Herron’s attorney, Robert McCoid, says his client plans meet with the City Council on Tuesday.

___



Information from: The Intelligencer, http://www.theintelligencer.net

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.





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Ren Zhengfei says US government ‘underestimates’ Huawei


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Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has remained defiant towards US moves against his company, saying the US “underestimates” its abilities.

Speaking to Chinese state media, Mr Ren downplayed the impact of recent US curbs and said no-one could catch up to its 5G technology in the near future.

Last week the US added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence.

The move marked an escalation in US efforts to block the Chinese company.

“The current practice of US politicians underestimates our strength,” Mr Ren said, according to transcripts from state media.

Huawei faces a growing backlash from Western countries, led by the US, over possible risks posed by using its products in next-generation 5G mobile networks.

The potential fallout from the US decision to place Huawei on its “entity list” was drawn into focus on Monday after Google barred the Chinese tech giant from some updates to its Android operating system.

Later on Monday, the US Commerce Department issued a temporary licence that enabled some companies to continue supporting existing Huawei networks and devices.

The US said it would issue the 90-day licence that “will allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks,” said US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Still, Mr Ren played down the significance of the move, saying that Huawei had already made preparations ahead of the US restrictions.

Huawei has been at the epicentre of the US-China power struggle for months.

Consumers are worried about what this all means for them, while the implications for Huawei are also likely to be significant.



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Trump loses lawsuit challenging subpoena for financial records


(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday ruled in favour of a U.S. House of Representatives committee seeking President Donald Trump’s financial records from his accounting firm, dealing an early setback to the Trump administration in its legal battle with Congress.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington also denied a request by Trump to stay his decision pending an appeal.

Last Tuesday Mehta heard oral arguments on whether Mazars LLP must comply with a House of Representatives Oversight Committee subpoena.

Mehta said in Monday’s ruling that the committee “has shown that it is not engaged in a pure fishing expedition for the President’s financial records” and that the Mazars documents might assist Congress in passing laws and performing other core functions.

“It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behaviour would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct – past or present – even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry,” Mehta said.

Mehta said Mazars has seven days to comply with the subpoena.

It was the first time a federal court had waded into the tussle about how far Congress can go in probing Trump and his business affairs.

Trump told reporters the decision was “crazy” and that it would be appealed.

“It’s totally the wrong decision by obviously an Obama-appointed judge,” Trump said.

Trump is refusing to cooperate with a series of investigations on issues ranging from his tax returns and policy decisions to his Washington hotel and his children’s security clearances.

The standoff deepened on Monday when Trump told former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a subpoena to testify about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation before a different congressional committee.

Trump’s lawyers have argued that Congress is on a quest to “turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the president now and in the 2020 election.”

The House Oversight Committee claims sweeping investigative power and says it needs Trump’s financial records to examine whether he has conflicts of interest or broke the law by not disentangling himself from his business holdings, as previous presidents did.

Lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization, his company, last month filed a lawsuit to block the committee’s subpoena, saying it exceeded Congress’ constitutional limits.

Mehta was appointed in 2014 by Democratic former President Barack Obama, who was often investigated by Republicans in Congress during his two terms in office.

Mazars has avoided taking sides in the dispute and said it will “comply with all legal obligations.”

The ruling was “a resounding victory for the rule of law,” Elijah Cummings, the House Oversight Committee chairman, said in a statement.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the National Association of Realtors’ Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, U.S., May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“Congress must have access to the information we need to do our job effectively and efficiently, and we urge the President to stop engaging in this unprecedented cover-up and start complying with the law,” Cummings said.

A judge in Manhattan will hear arguments on May 22 in a similar lawsuit Trump filed to block subpoenas issued to Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp.

Mehta’s ruling “will probably have considerable weight in similar factual contexts where the House is seeking other records,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Writing by Jan Wolfe and Howard Goller; Editing by Dan Grebler, Grant McCool and James Dalgleish



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India to post highest level of growth from 2020


Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, CEO, Rare Enterprises.

Hemant Mishra | Mint | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

Indian billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said he is very bullish about the country’s medium-to-long term growth prospects.

In an interview this week with CNBC’s Tanvir Gill, Jhunjhunwala, who is commonly referred to as the “Warren Buffett of India” said things have begun to improve in the economy following five years of a banking crisis, subpar capital expenditure and the introduction of important reforms such as the country’s Goods and Services Tax and demonetization.

“We are now having improvement in credit culture, we are having integrity come to the fore,” he said, adding that the government has taken steps to improve the ease of doing business in the country. “The China-America spat on trade is (also) a great opportunity for India. I don’t see any reason why growth in India will not come back with a bang.”

The investor said he sees India’s growth reach around 8%-9% in the near future and them jump into double-digit figures in the longer term.

“We’ve raised our rate of growth in every decade since independence,” he said. “I think India’s sitting on what is going to be the highest level of growth it has ever seen from 2020 to 2030.”

Still, reports have said that economists and investors are increasingly skeptical of India’s official growth numbers, questioning if the statistics put out by the government paint an accurate picture.

Reuters reported that a study conducted by a division of India’s statistics ministry in the 12 months ending June 2017 found that as much as 36% of the companies in the database used in the country’s GDP calculations could not be traced or were wrongly classified.

Former Reserve Bank of India governor, Raghuram Rajan, also expressed doubts over India’s growth number. He was reported to have said that it was unlikely India grew at 7% when not enough jobs were being created, according to local media. He said India should consider appointing an impartial body to look at the data.

Jhunjhunwala, for his part, downplayed the concerns about the numbers.

“Just because you don’t agree with your figures, you’re suspicious of them, you can’t say the method of calculation is incorrect,” he said. “If they were incorrect, Mr. Raghuram Rajan should’ve corrected them. When he was the RBI governor, what was he doing?”

He added that he was also bullish about India’s future because of the diminishing presence of Indian crony capitalism — which refers to the mutually advantageous relationship between government officials and businesses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was said to have taken a strong stance against corrupt businessmen in some of India’s top companies, particularly as India underwent its banking crisis and revamped its bankruptcy laws.

“The journey to limit crony capitalism: It’s a journey, it’s not a destination,” Jhunjhunwala said. “Slowly but surely, in India, crony capitalism has died and governance is what brings about real growth.”



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