Teen ordered off life support
A judge on Tuesday ordered that a 13-year-old Northern California girl declared brain dead after suffering complications after a tonsillectomy be taken off life support.
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo gave Jahi McMath’s family until 5 p.m. Monday to file an appeal. She will stay on life support until then.
Judge Grillo issued the order after a Stanford doctor testified that Jahi is brain dead. Dr. Paul Graham Fisher’s evaluation was the second to reach that conclusion.
Children’s Hospital of Oakland, where Jahi is hospitalized, has asked that the girl be taken off life support after doctors there also concluded she was brain dead.
Her family has said it believes she is still alive and that the hospital should not remove her from the ventilator without its permission.
Astronauts repair cooling system
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.
Space station astronauts repaired a crippled cooling system during a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk Tuesday, braving a “mini blizzard” of noxious ammonia as they popped in a new pump.
It was the second spacewalk in four days for U.S. stronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins, and only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk ever.
Syrian airstrikes kill at least 15
A new round of Syrian government air raids on rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo killed at least 15 people Tuesday, including three children, activists said.
The strikes extended the furious aerial assault by President Bashar Assad’s warplanes and helicopters on the embattled city into its tenth day. Activists say more than 360 people were killed in the first nine days of the campaign, which began Dec. 15.
Tuesday’s airstrikes hit the rebel-held Sukkari neighborhood of Aleppo and at least 15 were killed, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Israel launches airstrikes in Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
Israeli air and ground forces launched a series of attacks Tuesday on targets across the Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding 10 in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper.
It was the heaviest burst of violence in the volatile area since November 2012, when Israel and Hamas’ rulers engaged in eight days of heavy fighting. The sudden flare-up threatened a cease-fire that halted that fighting and which largely has held up for the past 13 months.
Study: Reliving trauma of rape helps teen victims
It almost sounds sadistic — making rape victims as young as 13 relive their harrowing assault over and over again. But a new study shows it works surprisingly well at eliminating their psychological distress.
The results are the first evidence that the same kind of “exposure” therapy that helps combat veterans haunted by flashbacks and nightmares also works for traumatized sexually abused teens with similar symptoms, the study authors and other experts said.
After exposure therapy, 83 percent no longer had a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. They fared much better than girls who got only supportive counseling — 54 percent in that group no longer had PTSD after treatment.