Man dies during surgeryfor artificial heart
HOUSTON -- A man suffering from chronic heart failure died from severe bleeding during surgery to implant a self-contained mechanical heart, doctors said.
The surgical team performing the procedure at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital on Tuesday spent 20 hours trying to control the bleeding. The man's name was not released.
The heart device performed well during the surgery, officials said Wednesday.
The revolutionary AbioCor, a battery-run, plastic-and-titanium device the size of a softball, has been implanted in five patients since July. All have done well, though the first recipient suffered a stroke earlier this month.
Dr. O.H. Frazier, who led the surgical team, said the bleeding was related to the patient's previous cardiac surgery and heart failure, which required blood thinning treatment and other medications.
The patient was not a candidate for a heart transplant, said Frazier, the chief of cardiopulmonary transplantation at the Texas Heart Institute.
"He was a man of courage, well-liked and committed to participating in this clinical trial," Frazier said.
Plains snowstormblamed for 12 deaths
DALLAS -- Storms that pounded the southern Plains with frozen rain and heavy snow began to taper off as Texas and Oklahoma tried to restore electricity and clear slick roads in the aftermath of the treacherous weather.
The southern Plains' first snowstorm of the season was blamed for hundreds of traffic accidents Wednesday, with five deaths in Texas and seven in Oklahoma.
At least 9 inches of snow fell in Aspermont, Texas, about 100 miles northwest of Abilene, and Lubbock and Wichita Falls both reported several inches. Bridges were coated with ice in other cities in the Panhandle and west Texas.
About 4,000 TXU Electric and Gas customers were without power early today as gusty wind and ice downed power lines in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. About 100 employees and contractors were working to restore service, spokesman Ray Granado said.
"We don't anticipate any long-term problems. Mainly it's the high winds and the ice," he said.
American Airlines canceled 50 percent of its flights Wednesday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the carrier's main hub, but no flights were being delayed early today, airport spokesman Ken Capps said.
Historians seek releaseof presidential papers
WASHINGTON -- Historians and public interest groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging President Bush's executive order that controls the release of presidential records beginning with Ronald Reagan.
Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, filed the suit against the National Archives in U.S. District Court, saying that if U.S. Archivist John Carlin follows the order, he will violate the 1978 Presidential Records Act.
"Bush's executive order violates not only the spirit but the letter of the law," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. "We will not stand by while the administration tramples on the people's right to find out about their own government."
The suit seeks to block implementation of the order.
It also seeks the immediate release of 68,000 pages of presidential papers left by Reagan and tens of thousands of vice presidential records left by former Vice President Bush. By law, the records were to be available to the public in January, 12 years after Reagan left office, but the White House postponed their release while it crafted the order Bush issued on Nov. 1.
LONDON -- Police in 19 countries carried out dozens of arrests as part of an international operation that targeted people who downloaded and distributed child pornography over the Internet.
British police arrested seven people in a series of raids Wednesday morning. Across Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States, authorities carried out 130 arrest and search warrants as part of the operation, code-named Landmark, the National Crime Service said.
British police made the raids after a 10-month operation in which they sifted through data from Internet newsgroups specializing in explicit images of children.
Police monitored traffic from the Demon Internet service provider, discovering that about 10,000 Internet users had accessed more than 30 Web sites featuring child pornography
"It is particularly disturbing that all these newsgroups carrying pedophilic images are available for everyone to access -- even young children themselves," said Det. Supt. Peter Spindler, who led the British investigation.