Flesh-eating disease victim ‘excited to leave’ hospital

A Georgia woman diagnosed with a rare, flesh-eating disease will soon leave the hospital where doctors gave her little chance of surviving when she was admitted nearly two months ago, her father said Tuesday.

Doctors plan to discharge 24-year-old Aimee Copeland on Monday. Instead of going home, she’ll move to an inpatient rehabilitation clinic and spend the next several weeks learning to move herself with the aid of a wheelchair after having her left leg, right foot and both hands amputated.

“She’s real excited about leaving,” Copeland’s father, Andy Copeland, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “She just wants a change of venue.”

Copeland was diagnosed with the rare infection, called necrotizing fasciitis.

It came after she suffered a deep cut May 1 by falling from a broken zip-line along the Tallapoosa River. The bacterial infection emits toxins that cut off blood flow to parts of the body. It can destroy muscle, fat and skin tissue.

Copeland’s speedy recovery has defied doctors’ initial prognosis. Her father says they at first gave her just a slim chance of surviving.


Names of cops removed from report ordered released

Siding with the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee, an Alameda County Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered the release of the names of University of California, Davis police officers that were removed from a critical report on the pepper-spraying of student protesters.

The newspapers sued the University of California Regents last month under the California Public Records Act to compel release of the names – all but two of which had been withheld under a settlement agreement in a separate case.

In that case, Judge Evelio Grillo had disagreed with the police officers’ union that significant swaths of the report pertaining to officer conduct should be withheld from the public. But he had allowed for the redaction of most names after the union asserted that those officers would probably face harassment.

On Tuesday, Grillo said his earlier injunction did not apply to information sought under the California Public Records Act and ordered the policy report – written by a task force headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso – released in its entirety.

“The court today provided valuable transparency that was missing from the earlier litigation,” Thomas Burke, an attorney who represented the newspapers, said after the hearing. “The Reynoso report will now be publicly released without any police censorship.”


Emancipation Proclamation copy sells for $2 million

A rare original copy of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation sold Tuesday at a New York auction for more than $2 million.

It’s the second-highest price ever paid for a Lincoln-signed proclamation – after one owned by the late Sen. Robert Kennedy that went for $3.8 million two years ago.

The latest copy of the 1863 document ordering the freeing of slaves, which was auctioned at the Robert Siegel Auction Galleries, went to David Rubenstein, managing director of The Carlyle Group investment firm.

The American seller remained anonymous.

The $2.1 million purchase price includes a buyer’s premium.

This price and the one for the Kennedy copy are the highest ever paid for the proclamation, reflecting a “growing appreciation for documents that capture the most important moments in our history,” said Seth Kaller, a dealer in American historic documents and expert on the Emancipation Proclamation; he’s handled eight signed copies.

The document will go on public exhibit somewhere in Washington, he said. The name of the institution is yet to be announced.

QUITO, Ecuador

Semisubmersible seized while under construction

Ecuador’s coast guard says the country’s marines have seized a semisubmersible capable of transporting 10 to 15 tons of cocaine. The vessel was under construction on a small island in the Gulf of Guayaquil.

The coast guard says in a statement that the vessel was 50 feet long and 13 feet wide and about 70 percent finished.

The state-run Andes news agency said the craft was similar to a semisubmersible seized Monday by Colombia off the neighboring country’s southwest coast.

The craft discovered in Ecuador late Monday was the second semisubmersible found this year in the country.

Semisubmersibles move just below the water’s surface, requiring air intake and exhaust pipes as they are powered by internal combustion engines.

They are widely used to smuggle cocaine to Mexico for transit to the United States.


Doctors remove 33-pound tumor from 2-year-old

Mexican doctors say they have successfully removed a 33-pound benign tumor from the body of a 2-year-old child.

Dr. Gustavo Hernandez says the tumor was heavier than the child who at the time of the June 14 surgery weighed 26 pounds.

Hernandez said Tuesday the child from the northern state of Durango was born with a lump that eventually covered the right side of his body from his armpit to his hip.

Hernandez says it took doctors at the La Raza Medical Center in Mexico City 10 hours to remove the tumor. Hernandez is the director of pediatrics at La Raza hospital.

He says the boy is recovering and doing well. The doctor also said the operation marked the first time Mexican doctors have removed a tumor bigger than the person carrying it.