SAO PAULO, Brazil

Surgeons remove blade three years after bar fight

A man in northeastern Brazil is recovering after surgeons removed a 4-inch blade that had been stuck in his head for three years following a bar fight.

Edeilson Nascimento, a 29-year-old tire repairman, told reporters Friday he is feeling great after the three-hour surgery earlier this week.

He is expected to be released from a hospital in the city of Recife next week.

Nascimento said he got into a bar fight in 2007 and was attacked by assailants when he returned home.

At the time, doctors only removed the knife handle, fearing that pulling the blade from his head would cause brain damage.

But three years of intense headaches led Nascimento to take a chance on the surgery.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand

Rescuers manage to save 14 of 74 stranded pilot whales

Rescuers who battled exhaustion and darkness succeeded in saving 14 pilot whales from a pod of 74 that stranded on a remote New Zealand beach.

Late Friday, a total of 24 whales were trucked 30 miles from Spirits Bay, where they beached Wednesday, to be refloated in more sheltered waters of Rarawa Beach, an hour’s drive south.

Two died en route, another on the beach and seven had to be euthanized after re-stranding.

Rescuers in boats and on shore worked strenuously to prevent those seven whales from beaching themselves again but were unsuccessful, Department of Conservation incident controller Jonathan Maxwell said.

“that stage it was dark, and all of us were pretty exhausted. We all agreed we had done everything we could for these animals. The most humane course of action was to end their suffering,” Maxwell told the New Zealand Herald.

The whales were transported between beaches in six trucks packed with straw and sand, in the largest operation of its kind in New Zealand.

New Zealand has one of the world’s highest rates of whale strandings, mainly during their migrations to and from Antarctic waters, one of which begins in September.

Since 1840, the Department of Conservation has recorded more than 5,000 strandings of whales and dolphins around the New Zealand coast. Scientists have not been able to determine why whales become stranded.

LAGOS, Nigeria

Authorities open dam gates, flooding neighboring state

Nigerian authorities opened the gates at two swollen dams Friday in the country’s rain-soaked north, sending a flood into a neighboring state that has displaced 2 million people.

The torrent of water from the Challawa and Tiga dams swept through rural Jigawa state, bordering the nation of Niger, said Umar Kyari, a spokesman for the state governor. Kyari said the rushing waters affected about 5,000 villages in the typically arid region approaching the Sahara Desert.

“They released water indiscriminately,” Kyari said. “That’s why the water flows.”

Nigeria, an oil-rich nation of 150 million in West African, typically has strong seasonal rains that wash through the country. However, this year has seen particularly strong rains that already broke a dam and flowed over levees in another northern state.

State information commissioner Aminu Mohammed said local officials had begun putting displaced families in rural schoolhouses and other government buildings out of the reach of the floodwaters. However, Mohammed said the water had coursed across to the border with neighboring Yobe state.

“The flood has washed away all the farms and houses,” Mohammed said.