- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2003

AUSTRIA

Tongue recipient recovering well

VIENNA — The man believed to be the first recipient of a human tongue transplant was recovering yesterday and showed no signs of rejecting the organ, his doctors said.

The 42-year-old patient, who had a malignant tumor on his tongue and part of his jaw, underwent a 14-hour operation Saturday in which doctors amputated his tongue and attached the new one.

“The tongue now looks as if it were his own — it’s as red and colorful and getting good blood circulation,” said Dr. Rolf Ewers, head of the team of nine physicians who performed the operation in Vienna’s General Hospital.

HAITI

U.S. AIDS program targeted for children

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haiti has become the first country to implement a program spearheaded by President Bush to stem mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission.

The mother-to-child program is part of Mr. Bush’s proposal to spend $15 billion over five years to help the hardest-hit African and Caribbean nations battle AIDS and the virus that leads to the disease.

Some $4 million has been earmarked for the first year of the five-year program in Haiti. The United States expects to spend $60 million on AIDS in Haiti over the next five years.

SINGAPORE

Conjoined twins from Korea separated

Infant Korean sisters connected at the lower back were separated at Singapore’s Raffles Hospital yesterday, just two weeks after the hospital’s failed attempt to separate adult Iranian twins.

The 4-month-olds, Sa Rang and Ji Hye, were separated at 2:40 p.m., said Dr. Prem Kumar, spokesman for Raffles Hospital. The girls, whose names mean Love and Wisdom in Korean, also underwent plastic and reconstructive surgery, he said.

Doctors said the operation was a success and that the twins were resting in stable condition in the intensive care unit.

HONG KONG

China praised on political crisis

British Prime Minister Tony Blair praised China yesterday for taking a hands-off approach to a government crisis in Hong Kong that exploded when a half-million people protested a national security law they saw as a threat to freedoms.

Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa was forced to withdraw the antisubversion bill for further public consultations after the huge outpouring of discontent on July 1. Beijing was supporting Mr. Tung in the move and said nothing about the mass street protest, which would be unheard of on the mainland.

Mr. Blair said Beijing appeared to be living up to the “one country, two systems” concept. The arrangement leaves Hong Kong with Western-style civil liberties.

ISRAEL

Antiques dealer arrested in forgeries

JERUSALEM — An Israeli antiques dealer was arrested on suspicion of forging the “James ossuary” and a tablet said to date back to the ninth century, both recently exposed as fakes.

Oded Golan was arrested Monday and was to be held for questioning for four days, judicial sources said yesterday.

The fake ossuary bore an inscription with the name of “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” which originally was hailed as a reference to the founder of Christianity.


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