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Ukrainian president takes sick leave amid crisis
Written by JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 07:07

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's embattled president Viktor Yanukovych is taking sick leave as the country's political crisis continues without signs of resolution.

A statement on the presidential website Thursday said Yanukovych has an acute respiratory illness and high fever. There was no indication of how long he might be on leave or whether he would be able to do any work.

Yanukovych is under pressure after two months of major protests seeking his resignation, early elections and other demands.

In one of a series of moves aiming at resolving the crisis, the parliament this week voted for the repeal of harsh anti-protest laws. Yanukovych must formally sign that repeal. He also has accepted the resignation of his prime minister. But protesters say the moves are insufficient.

Yanukovych made a late-night visit to the parliament on Wednesday before it passed a measure offering amnesty to some of those arrested in two months of protests, but only if demonstrators vacate most of the buildings they occupy. The offer was quickly greeted with contempt by the opposition.

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Snow, ice send South's flagship city reeling
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 07:05

ATLANTA (AP) — The snow and sleet have stopped falling and traffic was moving again around Atlanta following a crippling storm — but transportation and rescue officials said that didn't mean it was safe yet to drive, especially after the sun goes down.

Officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation said Wednesday night that they were concerned with sub-freezing overnight lows potentially leading to layers of black ice coating roads that might appear to be safe.

Temperatures were expected to drop to about 15 degrees overnight in the Atlanta area, according to National Weather Service forecasters. Although it was supposed to be in the high 30s Thursday, it is forecast to dip below freezing again before rising into the 50s on Friday.

"Whatever little leeway that we've gained with melting and slushiness is gonna refreeze," Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Karlene Barron said of local road conditions. She added that the department was especially concerned with semi-trucks jackknifing and leading to additional traffic jams.

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Funeral held for N.Y. boy, 9, credited with saving six
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 14:09

FAIRPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Scores of firefighters are among the mourners attending the funeral service for a 9-year-old New York boy credited with saving six relatives from a fire at the family's mobile home.

Wednesday morning's service for Tyler Doohan is being held at a church in the village of Fairport, near Rochester.

Tyler, his grandfather and step-great-grandfather died when the trailer caught fire early Jan. 20. Fire officials say Tyler awoke six other relatives and was killed when he tried to help his disabled grandfather.

The funerals of the other two victims, 54-year-old Stephen Smith and 63-year-old Lewis Beach, are being held at the same time as Tyler's.

Local media report that firefighters in dress uniforms lined the way into the service as a tribute to Tyler.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Ship where nearly 700 fell ill being sanitized
Written by SAMANTHA HENRY, Associated Press   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 07:02

BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) — Kim Waite was disappointed to fall ill while treating herself to a Caribbean cruise after completing cancer treatment. The London woman thought she was the only sick one as her husband wheeled her to the infirmary — until the elevator doors opened to reveal hundreds of people vomiting into bags, buckets or on the floor, whatever was closest.

"I started crying, I couldn't believe it," Waite said. "I was in shock."

Waite was among nearly 700 passengers and crew members who became ill during a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas.

The voyage was cut short and the ship returned to port in Bayonne on Wednesday, where the ship was being sanitized in preparation for its next voyage.

Long lines of weary travelers arrived to freezing temperatures in New Jersey, as Waite and other passengers recalled days of misery holed up in their rooms with extreme stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.

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W.Va. official: People are inhaling formaldehyde
Written by JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 14:08

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A state official said Wednesday that he "can guarantee" some West Virginians are breathing in a carcinogen while showering after the chemical spill that spurred a water-use ban.

The crude MCHM that spilled into the water supply ultimately can break down into formaldehyde, Environmental Quality Board official Scott Simonton told a state legislative panel Wednesday. He added that the breakdown can happen in the shower and that formaldehyde is most toxic when inhaled.

He also called respiratory cancer the biggest risk with breathing in the chemical.

"I can guarantee that citizens in this valley are, at least in some instances, breathing formaldehyde," Simonton said. "They're taking a hot shower. This stuff is breaking down into formaldehyde in the shower or in the water system, and they're inhaling it."

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