Review Category : Top Stories

Surgeon Dances With Former Transplant Patient at Her Wedding 10 Years After Life-Saving Surgery

XiXinXing/iStock/ThinkStock(CLEVELAND) — On Christine Taber’s wedding day, the surgeon who helped give her a new lease on life 10 years ago was again tasked with saving the day by becoming an emergency wedding photographer.

“Our photographer for the reception bailed out last minute,” Taber told ABC News. “Between being a surgeon, saving my life and taking pictures. … He’s incredible.”

Ever since undergoing a liver transplant at 14, Taber said she knew she wanted to invite Dr. John Fung, director of the Cleveland Clinic Health System Transplantation Center, to her wedding.

“He’s been around to make sure I feel confident about my health,” she said.

The pair have known each other since Taber was a teenager in need of a new liver. Born with biliary atresia, Taber’s liver lacked bile ducts and she grew up knowing she would have to get a liver transplant.

When she was 14, complications set in that affected how much blood her lungs were getting. A transplant suddenly became critical.

“I was scared a lot of the time but being at the clinic and talking with my doctors made me feel more confident. I could really tell that they knew what they were doing, and literally [trust them] with my life,” she said.

To get her a liver quickly, Fung performed a rare “split liver” transplant. In this case, a donated deliver is divided in half and given to two patients.

“It’s the same technology as [from] a living donor, instead of getting a half from a liver donor and we’re getting two halves from deceased donor,” Fung explained to ABC News. “This is one way to expand the donor pool.”

Taber quickly recovered from her transplant but still saw Fung periodically for check-ups.

“It was nice having him as a reassurance that … things was going to be OK,” Taber said. “You still have those worries, ‘What if it starts to reject and what if I get sick?’”

Ten years after her transplant, Taber still sees Fung at the airport where she works as a manager.
“I would see her once every 2 or 3 weeks,” Fung said. “You like to think that your patients can lead a normal life. That’s what she was able to do.”

At the wedding, in Cleveland on June 27, the pair even shared a “dollar dance,” where anyone can dance for 30 seconds with the bride or groom for a dollar.

“As an attendee it was a lot of fun,” said Fung, who said he was excited to get to try out his photography hobby at the reception.

“This is a continuation of our relationship and friendship,” he said. “I’m looking forward to when they have kids.”

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Inside Kenyan School Where Everything Is Named Barack Obama

MarkRubens/iStock/ThinkStock(NAIROBI, Kenya) — Barack Obama is a fairly unique name in the United States, but there’s one place in Kenya where it’s very common.

In the village of Kogelo, where Obama’s father was born and buried, two schools are named after the younger Obama — the Senator Obama Kogelo Primary School and Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School.

The schools were dedicated to Obama back when he was an Illinois senator, and his success has inspired many families to name their sons after him — like 7-year-old Barack Obama Okoth, who attends the primary school.

In a recent interview conducted by the BBC, nearly an entire class of 60 students at the secondary school raised their hands when asked if they’d want to be named after the president, whom many in Kenya consider their native son.

At the primary and secondary schools, the Obama name can be seen on children’s pencils, books and even backpacks.

The Kogelo village, along with the rest of Kenya, holds immense pride for Obama, whose ancestry lies in their country.

As he becomes the first sitting American president to visit Kenya this week, American flags are flying next to Kenyan flags and murals and billboards bearing Obama’s image pepper the nation’s capital.

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Marco Rubio Is Ticked Off About The Iran Deal (And He Wants Everyone To Know)

Robert Giroux/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — He hasn’t been as outspoken as some GOP contenders in condemning Donald Trump, he’s been reluctant to criticize other Republicans and he was off the campaign trail for a bit over the past week getting over a cold.

But when it comes to Iran, Marco Rubio, the Florida senator and presidential candidate, is speaking up, loud and clear.

“The Iranian regime and the world should know that a majority of members in this Congress do not support this deal and that the deal could go away on the day President Obama leaves office,” a noticeably angry Rubio told Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.

Rubio added: “The Iranian regime and the world should know this deal — this deal is your deal with Iran.”

That same day, in one of three national television interviews since the hearing, Rubio made it clear that as president he would “absolutely” re-impose sanctions on Iran.

“What the President is using is a national security waiver. He’s in essence saying, ‘I’m using this waiver to prevent the sanctions from still being imposed’,” Rubio said in an interview on Fox News. “The next President could just lift that with the stroke of a pen.”

Although many other Republicans candidates have also been critical of the deal to keep Iran’s nuclear ambitions in check, the issue seems to send Rubio fuming. On Wednesday, Rubio said President Obama had “no class” for going “on comedy shows to talk about something as serious as Iran”, referring to the President’s interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Rubio has made his opposition to the deal a pillar of his campaign, emerging as one of the its harshest and most outspoken critics.

One of the outside groups backing his presidential bid, the Conservative Solutions Project, has already released two ads criticizing the deal, calling it a “bad deal” and claiming it would give Iran “a clear path to a nuclear bomb.”

At the Senate hearing, Kerry told Rubio he was confident the next president would have enough common sense to not arbitrarily end the deal if it was being properly implemented.

“If you think the Ayatollah is going to come back and negotiate again with an American, that’s fantasy,” Kerry said. “You’re never going to see that because we will have proven we’re not trustworthy.”

“The fantasy is in believing that they’re going to even live to the accord,” Rubio shot back in an interview with CBS on Friday. “This is a country that has a long history, at least the leaders of Iran do, of violating agreements and of always having a secret nuclear program.”

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Turkish Fighter Jets Hit Islamic State Targets in Syria

webking/iStock/ThinkStock(ISTANBUL) — Turkish officials say the country’s fighter jets hit Islamic State targets inside Syria for the second day.

Warplanes also hit a camp for Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

The strike is the first in northern Iraq since a peace deal was struck in 2013 between the Turkish government and the rebel Kurdistan Worker’s Party.

Tension betweent he Kurds and the Turkish government has mounted since a recent bombing in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast killed 32 people. The Islamic State was blamed for the bombing.

Kurdish groups say Turkish officials haven’t done enough to combat the extremist group.

After the bombing, a cross-border gun battle ensued between Turkish forces and the Islamic State, which left one soldier dead.

The increase in violence comes as the US and Turkey have reached an agreement that allows American warplanes and drones to operate out of Turkish airbases.

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FDA Approves New Cholesterol Fighting Drug

Remains/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first treatment in a new class of drugs for patients who were not able to significantly lower their LDL cholesterol levels with statin therapy.

Praluent, an injection drug, can be used alongside diet in adult patients with heterozygous familial heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) or patients with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks or strokes, according to a statement released by the FDA.

The drug belongs to a new group of inhibitors which target a protein that blocks the number of receptors on the liver that removes LDL or “bad” cholesterol from the blood. This drug will free up those receptors lowering cholesterol levels.

All 2,476 patients involved in the clincal trials all had HeFH, an inherited condition that causes high levels of bad cholesterol, or were at a high risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack.

In five placebo-controlled trials, the patients who were already taking high doses of cholesterol medication saw at least a 39 percent reduction in cholesterol levels.

Trials are still ongoing on the effects Praluent has on patients taking statins in terms of reducing cardiovascular risk.

Side effects of the drug include itching, swelling, pain, or bruising at the site of injection, nasopharyngitis and the flu. Allergic reactions such as a skin rash can also occur. Patients are advised to seek medical assistance if they experience a serious allergic reaction.

Heart disease is the number one killer among men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 610,000 people die each year.

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Five Airlines Probed for Allegedly Raising Fares After Amtrak Crash

1971yes/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Five airlines are being investigated by the federal government over allegations that they raised airfares in the Northeast as desperate travelers flocked their way after the deadly May 12 Amtrak crash in Philadelphia.

“Obviously when service goes down on something like an Amtrak line that carries so many thousands and millions of people on an annual basis and it’s out of service for a number of days, you know the airlines are going to pick up business,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Friday.

“The question is beyond normal practices, did they gouge prices so high and take advantage of a situation when the public was obviously out of service with the Northeast corridor,” he added.

The department said its investigation involves Delta, American, United, Southwest and JetBlue, and seeks to find out whether the airlines had violated federal regulations.

“We do feel that there’s a sufficient amount of information and evidence to be an investigation and to learn more,” Foxx said.

United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek told ABC News on Friday that travelers at that time had faced last-minute airfares, which are generally higher than flights booked in advance.

“We would never take advantage of an opportunity like that, if you viewed it as an opportunity,” Smisek said.

In a statement, American Airlines said “in response to the Amtrak derailment, we added capacity and our fare structure remained the same. We are cooperating with the [Department of Transportation] and are confident that there will be no finding of wrongdoing by American.”

Many commuters were stranded for nearly a week before Amtrak service returned to normal on May 18 after the derailment of Northeast Regional train No. 188. Eight were killed in the Philadelphia crash and more than 200 were injured, authorities said.

In May, Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut helped spark the federal probe after he wrote a letter to the Obama administration, complaining of increased fares.

“The idea that any business would seek to take advantage of stranded rail passengers in the wake of such a tragic event is unacceptable,” Foxx said in a statement. “This department takes all allegations of airline price-gouging seriously.”

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CIA Confident It Would Catch Iran Cheating on Nuclear Deal

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The number two man at the CIA said Friday he has a “high degree of confidence” that if Iran cheats on the newly-signed, controversial nuclear deal, the U.S. intelligence community would catch them in the act.

“Our assessment of the provisions that are in the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) that provide the real-time, persistent access to the cleared sites, as well as a mechanism for getting scheduled access to suspicious sites, combined with other capabilities and information that we have available to us, gives us a reasonably high degree of confidence that we would be able to detect Iran if it were trying to deviate from the requirements that they’ve signed up to in the JCPOA,” David Cohen, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency said at the Aspen Security Forum. “So I think our assessment is that the JCPOA gives us a good ability to detect Iranian deviation from the limitations on enrichment and the other specific elements in the JCPOA.”

When referring to access to Iranian sites, Cohen was presumably referring to the access provided to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, as stipulated in the agreement, not access by the CIA.

Robert Cardillo, head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, said that from the perspective of his agency, he agreed with Cohen.

“From the physical nature of that which they need to adhere to to remain complaint, I think we’ve got a very good capability to do that, of course with the IAEA’s [International Atomic Energy Agency’s] assistance,” he said at the panel, which was moderated by ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.

The possibility Iran may try to cheat on the nuclear agreement — one of the arguments made by critics against the deal — has been in the mind of Obama and his top officials for months ahead of the signing of the deal.

“The second argument I hear is that no deal is worth the paper it’s written on, because Iran will simply cheat. And it’s true that Iran could try to cheat, whether there’s a deal or not. Now they didn’t cheat under the interim deal… as many were certain they would. But they certainly have in the past and it would not surprise anyone if they tried again,” Vice President Joe Biden said in April. “However, if they did try to cheat, under a deal that we’re talking about, they would be far more likely to be caught. Because as this deal goes forward, we’ll also put in place the toughest transparency and verification requirements, which represent the best possible check against a secret path to the bomb.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on Friday that if Congress backs out of the deal, “we go right back to where we were, and we are gonna head to conflict.”

“I fear that what could happen is that if Congress were to overturn it,” Kerry said, “our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated, and more blamed. We would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take.”

The Iranian nuclear deal was endorsed by the United Nations this week and is currently under review by the U.S. Congress, where it could face stiff opposition from some Republican lawmakers who were long critical of the deal.

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Wall Street Closes Down; Amazon Sees Unexpected Profit

JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was a rough week for the markets as stocks closed in the red Friday after reports of disappointing quarterly results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,568.53 down 163.39 from the start of trading.

The NASDAQ also closed down at 5,088.63 falling 57.78, while the S&P slipped 22.50 to 2,079.65.

While Capital One and Biogen plunged after reporting less than stellar second quarter earnings, Amazon reported a 15 percent profit surge.

Consumer groups expressed concerns Friday over Anthem’s plan to buy Cigna in a deal worth more than $54 million. They say it could lead to higher premiums, while Anthem argues it would create the nation’s largest insurer in terms of enrollment and would expand member options when it comes to in-network doctors.

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Fiat Chrysler USA Recalling 1.4 Million Vehicles

Tramino/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(AUBURN HILLS, Mich.) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles USA is issuing a safety recall on more than one million U.S. vehicles due to concerns that they could be hacked through their radio systems.

“The recall aligns with an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation,” a press release from the company says. The company is also applying network-level security measures to prevent hacking — actions which require no customer or dealer action to be put in place.

Fiat Chrysler says it is unaware of any injuries related to hacking of their vehicles, and it has not received any complaints or warranty claims and has not received reports of any accidents due to hacking, outside of “media demonstration.”

The vehicles in question include Dodge Viper, Durango, Challenger and Ram, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 200 and 300 sedans from the 2013 to 2015 model years with 8.4-inch touchscreens. A total of approximately 1.4 million vehicles are covered by the recall. Vehicle owners can visit this website to input their Vehicle Identification Numbers to determine if their vehicle is included in the recall.

Fiat Chrysler USA points out that no defect has been found in the vehicles being recalled, but that the campaign is being conducted “out of an abundance of caution.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a statement Friday that his agency “encouraged” the recall, which he added “meets the critical responsibility of manufacturers to assure the American public that vehicles are secure from such threats, and that when vulnerabilities are discovered, there will be a swift and strong response.”

The NHTSA further opened a recall query investigation to assess the action take by Fiat Chrysler USA. “Opening this investigation,” Rosekind says, “will allow NHTSA to better assess the effectiveness of the remedy proposed by Fiat Chrysler.”

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New Horizons Catches Dark Side of Pluto

Backlit by the sun, Pluto’s atmosphere rings its silhouette like a luminous halo in this image taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft around midnight EDT on July 15. This global portrait of the atmosphere was captured when the spacecraft was about 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Pluto and shows structures as small as 12 miles across. The image, delivered to Earth on July 23, is displayed with north at the top of the frame. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI(NEW YORK) — New Horizons continues to yield a bounty of discoveries, with NASA on Friday showing stunning new photos, including haze and flowing ice on Pluto.

Taken seven hours after New Horizons made its closest pass by Pluto, an image released on Friday shows the dwarf planet shrouded in darkness and surrounded by a band of light. Most curious to scientists were the layers of haze which appeared higher than expected from Pluto’s surface.

“You can only get this image from going to Pluto and crossing to the dark side and looking back,” New Horizons’ principal investigator Alan Stern said at a news conference on Friday. “Emotionally, it also represents a huge scientific discovery.”

Initial analysis shows two layers of atmospheric haze located 30 and 50 miles above Pluto’s surface, upending scientists’ previous belief that temperatures would be too warm for hazes to form that high above Pluto’s surface.

“The hazes detected in this image are a key element in creating the complex hydrocarbon compounds that give Pluto’s surface its reddish hue,” New Horizons co-investigator Michael Summers said.

The creation of the haze is believed to follow this model: Methane gas is broken down by ultraviolet sunlight, creating a buildup of more hydrocarbon gases. Those gases are then believed to fall to the lower parts of the atmosphere where they cool and condense as ice particles, creating the spectacular haze New Horizons caught on camera.

Inside the Tombaugh region, the name NASA has given Pluto’s heart-shaped feature, New Horizons found evidence of flowing ices moving across Sputnik Planum, a relatively young geological area in the western part of the heart.

NASA expects to learn even more about Pluto over the next 16 months as it sends its trove of data back to Earth. Stern said just five percent of the data has been transmitted to Earth so far.

“We are only scratching the surface,” Stern said.

ABC US News | World News

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