U.S. airstrike in Somalia targets extremist leader

A U.S. airstrike in Somalia targeted a senior leader of the al-Shabab extremist group, the Pentagon said Monday.

It did not identify the leader or say whether the strike was successful.

A senior defense official said the strike did not target Ahmad Umar, who took over as the top leader of al-Shabab when its previous leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia on Sept. 1.

Al-Shabab is an ultra-conservative Islamic militant group that is linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network and wants to run Somalia by its strict interpretation of Shariah law.

Washington Monument reopens after shutdown

The Washington Monument has reopened after being temporarily closed to visitors because of a leak above the security screening room at the entrance.

National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said the leak affected the X-ray machines Monday morning and was potentially compromising security procedures. The monument reopened just before noon.

The monument reopened this year after a $15 million restoration project to repair damage from an earthquake.


Business groups collect signatures against bag law

Business groups trying to overturn a new California law that bans single-use plastic bags said Monday that they’ve collected more than enough signatures to put their referendum on the November 2016 ballot.

If the referendum qualifies, the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags will be suspended until voters weigh in, effectively buying plastic bag manufacturers more time.

The ban was scheduled to be phased in starting in July at large grocery stores and supermarkets as a way to cut down on litter and protect marine life.


First Ebola case diagnosed inside the United Kingdom

A female health care worker who has just returned from Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being treated in a Glasgow hospital, Scottish authorities said Monday.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called it the first case of Ebola ever diagnosed inside the United Kingdom.

The patient flew to Glasgow via Casablanca and London’s Heathrow Airport, arriving late Sunday, the Scottish government said. The health care worker was admitted to a hospital Monday morning after developing a fever.

Sturgeon said the risk to the public is “extremely low to the point of negligible” and that preplanned steps would be taken to protect the public.


Baby with rare disorder dies days from second birthday

A baby who became the namesake for a Pennsylvania law requiring hospitals to test newborns for certain rare disorders died Sunday.

Hannah Ginion would have turned 2 on Jan. 15. She suffered from Krabbe disease, an inherited condition that destroys nerve cells.

“Hannah was called home to be with the angels this morning,” said a post on a Facebook page that had provided updates about her condition. “She went peacefully.”

Hannah was diagnosed with Krabbe disease when she was 5 months old – too late for a cord blood transplant that could have stopped or slowed its progression.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed “Hannah’s Law” in her honor in October. It requires hospitals to add six lysosomal-storage disorders to the list of conditions for which they screen newborns.

—From news service reports

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