Bicyclist killed in panic to avoid aggressive bird

By Jessie Yeung, CNN
(Michael Dodge/AsiaPac/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A cyclist was killed in Australia on Sunday when he crashed his bike trying to get away from an aggressive bird.

The 76-year-old man was riding his bike in Nicholson Park in Wollongong, south of Sydney, when he veered off the path to avoid a swooping magpie, according to Wollongong police.

He crashed into a fence post, was thrown to the ground and suffered serious head injuries. The man was airlifted to Sydney’s St. George Hospital and died that evening, police said.

Magpie swooping season occurs each year across the country in September and October, when the bird breeds during Australia’s springtime. This year, the season started early after a warm winter, according to CNN affiliate Seven News.

The territorial birds begin breeding in August and often swoop to protect their young from perceived threats.

To ward off the birds, pedestrians have taken to carrying large sticks, and bike riders wear helmets with a dozen zip ties positioned so they stick up into the air.

The magpies, just over a foot in length, can cause quite a bit of damage with their sharp beak. Last year, a toddler in Perth narrowly avoided being blinded by a magpie after it swooped down and attacked his face as he sat in a stroller.

So far this year, there have been 1,570 swoopings nationwide, resulting in 189 injuries, according to the community-run Magpie Alert website. Last season, there were more than 3,000 reported swoopings.

The greatest concentration of attacks so far this year is along Australia’s east coast, in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Magpies are a protected native species in Australia and it’s illegal to kill them or take their eggs or chicks. Local councils will act if one is reported to be a real menace; otherwise residents …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy as part of opioid settlement

By Geoff Mulvihill | The Associated Press

Purdue Pharma, the company that made billions selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in White Plains, New York, days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids.

The filing was anticipated before and after the tentative deal, which could be worth up to $12 billion over time, was struck.

“This settlement framework avoids wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and years on protracted litigation,” Steve Miller, chairman of Purdue’s board of directors, said in a statement, “and instead will provide billions of dollars and critical resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opioid crisis. We will continue to work with state attorneys general and other plaintiff representatives to finalize and implement this agreement as quickly as possible.”

But legal battles still lie ahead for Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue, which is spending millions on legal costs as it defends itself in lawsuits from 2,600 government and other entities. About half the states have not signed onto the proposal. And several of them plan to object to the settlement in bankruptcy court and to continue litigation in other courts against members of the Sackler family, which owns the company. The family agreed to pay at least $3 billion in the settlement plus contribute the company itself, which is to be reformed with its future profits going to the company’s creditors.

In a statement, the families of late company owners Mortimer and Raymond Sackler said they have “deep compassion for the victims of the opioid crisis” and believe the settlement framework “is an historic step toward providing critical resources that address a tragic public health situation.”

Objections came over the amount of the deal, which some officials say will not reach close to the $12 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Oil prices surge as attack on Saudi facility disrupts output

By Tali Arbel | The Associated Press

An attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant pushed crude prices sharply higher Monday, though its longer-term impact depends on how long production is disrupted and the attack’s future implications.

U.S. crude oil jumped $5.61 per barrel, or 10.2%, to $60.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, surged $7.84 per barrel, or 13%, to $68.06 per barrel.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack on the Saudi Aramco facility. It halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabia’s global daily exports and more than 5% of the world’s daily crude oil production. Most output goes to Asia.

“To take Saudi oil production down 50%, that’s shocking,” said Jonathan Aronson, a research analyst at Cornerstone Macro.

The attack may add to anxiety about the stability of the world’s oil reserves. “Saudi Arabia has been a very reliable supplier of oil in the world,” said Jim Burkhard, who heads crude oil research for IHS Markit. This attack is “adding a geopolitical premium back into the price of oil.” That means oil prices would rise because of worries about more unrest hurting supply. Higher oil prices tend to hurt the economy as consumer costs rise.

Work is under way to restore production at the Abquaiq plant. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Saudi officials said a third of crude output will be restored Monday, but bringing the entire plant back online may take weeks. Officials said they would use other facilities and existing stocks to supplant the plant’s production.

The world’s richest countries have oil reserves of more than 2 billion barrels, but releasing those to alleviate supply concerns could potentially backfire and result in higher prices on the market as …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Over 2,000 fetal remains found at ex-abortion doctor’s home

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — More than 2,000 medically preserved fetal remains have been found at the Illinois home of a former Indiana abortion clinic doctor who died last week, authorities said.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release late Friday that an attorney for Dr. Ulrich Klopfer’s family contacted the coroner’s office Thursday about possible fetal remains being found at the home in an unincorporated part of Will County in northeastern Illinois.

The sheriff’s office said authorities found 2,246 preserved fetal remains but there’s no evidence medical procedures were performed at the home.

The coroner’s office took possession of the remains. An investigation is underway.

A message left Saturday seeking additional comment on the discovery was not returned by the Will County Sheriff’s Office investigations department.

Klopfer, who died Sept. 3, was a longtime doctor at an abortion clinic in South Bend, Indiana. It closed after the state revoked the clinic’s license in 2015. The Indiana State Department of Health had previously issued complaints against the clinic, accusing it of lacking a registry of patients, policies regarding medical abortion, and a governing body to determine policies.

The state agency also accused the clinic of failing to document that patients get state-mandated education at least 18 hours before an abortion.

Klopfer was believed to be Indiana’s most prolific abortion doctor, with thousands of procedures performed in multiple Indiana counties over several decades, the South Bend Tribune reported.

Mike Fichter, the president of Indiana Right to Life, said in a statement sent Friday night that “we are horrified” by the discovery of the fetal remains at Klopfer’s Illinois residence. He called for Indiana authorities to help determine whether those remains have any connection to abortion operations in Indiana.

“These sickening reports underscore why the abortion industry must be held to the highest scrutiny,” Fichter said in the statement.

A …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

1 2 3 4 26