October 11th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

14 confirmed fungal meningitis deaths, CDC says

The Centers for Disease Control has  released new numbers regarding the fungal meningitis outbreak.

There are now 170 confirmed cases, up from 137. The number of deaths has increased from 12 to 14.

In light of the new numbers, we wanted to share a bit of helpful information for you about the outbreak and help explain what you need to know.

The recent outbreak is linked to injections developed at a compounding center. So, what is that, and why are we getting medications from them?

Many of our readers have had a lot of questions about the outbreak. We've answered them here and we hope they will be helpful for you. 

Here's some more information on the outbreak:

Meningitis outbreak highlights failed oversight efforts

One woman's fight for compounding pharmacy guidelines

October 11th, 2012
01:49 PM ET

Concussion fears to keep Earnhardt Jr. out of 2 races

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the next two races in the chase for the Sprint Cup after sustaining a concussion during a massive wreck on the last lap of Sunday's Good Sam 500 at Talladega, Alabama, Earnhardt said Thursday.

Earnhardt was part of a 25-car pileup at Talladega. He told a press conference Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway that he was hit and spun during the wreck, apparently aggravating a concussion injury he sustained during a test run at Kansas Motor Speedway five weeks ago.

Earnhardt's doctor told him that "if you get hit again right away, it could be catastrophic," Rick Hendrick, owner of the Hendrick Motorsports team for which Earnhardt races, said Thursday.

Though Earnhardt said he felt completely recovered from the Kansas wreck by the time the green flag fell at Talladega, he said he knew immediately that the Talladega wreck had caused an injury.

“You know how your body is and you know when something’s not quite right, and I knew as soon as it happened that I had re-injured myself,” Earnhardt said Thursday.

“It wasn’t even half of the impact I had at Kansas, but it was enough to cause me some concern,” he said.


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Filed under: Auto racing • Health • Sports
October 11th, 2012
01:07 PM ET

Lawyer: South Alabama student killed after police used unnecessary force

A University of South Alabama student was killed after campus police used deadly force that could have been avoided, a lawyer for the student's family said after viewing surveillance video of the incident.

Authorities in Mobile have been investigating why the officer shot and killed an 18-year-old freshman who they say was naked and acting erratically outside the campus police station early Saturday.

The man, later identified as Gilbert Thomas Collar of Wetumpka, Alabama, repeatedly rushed and verbally challenged the officer in a fighting stance, the school said.

The family attorney, Jere Beasley, says, "without reservation, there is nothing on the surveillance tape that justifies the use of deadly force."

"The officer comes out of the building with his gun out of his holster," he added. "It took place over 20 or 30 seconds."

Beasley said the student was unarmed and was shot and killed by an officer who should have had access to pepper spray and a baton.

"Something happened that caused him to act in an unusual, distressed manner," Beasley said. "The fact he came to the police station indicates he was not necessarily looking for trouble. In fact, I think he was looking for help."

Campus police immediately contacted the district attorney's office to request an external investigation, and the Mobile County Sheriff's Department will assist, the school said.

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending internal and external investigations, the school said.

School spokesman Keith Ayers called it a "campus tragedy" for the university family but offered no other details, citing the investigation.

October 11th, 2012
12:38 PM ET

83 killed by security forces in Syria, opposition activists say

Here's the latest information we're learning out of Syria today:

At least 83 people were killed by Syrian security forces across the country, including 21 in Idlib, the Local Coordination Committees for Syria, a network of opposition activists, said Thursday.

For more information on the situation in Syria, you can read our story on the top five things that occurred in the ongoing civil war in Syria that you need to know.

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Filed under: Syria
Basil Plumley, Army veteran of 3 wars, dies at 92
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Basil L. Plumley, left, and retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore help lead the Battle of Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam.
October 11th, 2012
10:46 AM ET

Basil Plumley, Army veteran of 3 wars, dies at 92

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Basil L. Plumley, who fought in some of the U.S. Army's bloodiest battles in three wars, died Wednesday in Columbus, Georgia. He was 92.

Plumley saw action in some of the largest battles of World War II, including the Battle of Normandy, the Battle of Salerno in Italy and Operation Market Garden.

He then fought in the Korean War, but it was his role in the Battle of Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam that brought him the most fame. The battle was chronicled in the book "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young," which was later a 2002 movie starring Mel Gibson. Sam Elliott played Plumley.

The National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia, tweeted a picture of Elliot and Plumley in noting the veteran's death.

[tweet https://twitter.com/infantrymuseum/status/256052293928112129%5D

Plumley, along with Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, led the Army's 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment in the November 1965 battle that saw 450 U.S. forces face off against 2,000 troops from the North Vietnamese army in the first major engagement between the two armies. More than 230 U.S. troops were killed.

Plumley was at Landing Zone X-Ray, where 79 U.S. troops died.

"That was a long day. I was the second one in and next to the last to leave," Plumley was quoted as saying by The Bayonet in 2010 when he donated a large print of himself and Moore in Vietnam to the National Infantry Museum.


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Filed under: Military • Obituary • U.S. Army
Farmers sue oil giant Shell over Niger Delta pollution
Four Nigerian farmers sit in the law courts in The Hague on October 11, 2012.
October 11th, 2012
08:59 AM ET

Farmers sue oil giant Shell over Niger Delta pollution

Four Nigerian farmers and the environmental group Friends of the Earth took oil giant Shell to court Thursday in the Netherlands to demand a proper cleanup and compensation for pollution in the Niger Delta.

The farmers want the Anglo-Dutch multinational to "clean up the oil pollution in their fields and fishponds" and make sure their pipelines are maintained and kept secure to prevent leaks in the future.

The civil case has been filed against the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and its international headquarters in the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell.

Based on "years of oil pollution in three villages in the Niger Delta," it could have "major legal consequences internationally," the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth, known locally as Milieudefensie, said in a statement ahead of the first hearing.

The three villages concerned are Goi, hit by a spill in 2004, Oruma, affected by a spill a year later, and Ikot Ada Udo, hit by various spills in 2007, according to Friends of the Earth.

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Filed under: Netherlands • Nigeria
October 11th, 2012
08:40 AM ET

Blasts kill 12 in oil-rich area of Pakistan

Two bomb blasts in different parts of southwest Pakistan killed 12 people and injured 25 Thursday, officials told CNN.

More than 55 pounds of explosives were packed into a rickshaw near a hotel near a crowd of people in the city of Sibi in Balochistan, Ghullam Ali Lashari, a local police officer, told CNN.

Balochistan province has Pakistan's largest reserve of gas and has seen violent clashes between suspected insurgents and security forces in the past few years.


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Filed under: Pakistan
China's Mo Yan wins literature Nobel
Mo Yan of China won the Nobel Prize in literature, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Thursday.
October 11th, 2012
07:10 AM ET

China's Mo Yan wins literature Nobel

Writer Mo Yan of China won the Nobel Prize in literature, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Thursday.

On the Nobel website, he was called a writer "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".

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Filed under: Nobel
Oakland stuns Tigers to stay alive in playoffs
The Oakland Athletics celebrate after their victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of their AL Division Series.
October 11th, 2012
01:49 AM ET

Oakland stuns Tigers to stay alive in playoffs

The Oakland A's kept their unlikely postseason alive by scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in Game 4 of their AL division series.

The final game of the series is tonight in Oakland.

In the ninth, Seth Smith's double drove in two runs to tie the game 3-3 before Coco Crisp singled to right field, bringing home Smith and forcing Game 5, where the A's will have to face Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

The late-game comeback is familiar territory for Oakland, which had 14 victories in its last at-bat this season, most in the major leagues.

In the other playoff series, the Yankees beat Baltimore 3-2 when pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez homered in the bottom of the 12th inning, giving New York a 2-1 series lead; the San Francisco Giants got a solid outing from Tim Lincecum and beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 to tie the series 2-2; the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 8-0 and lead their series 2-1.

All four series are in action today.

Filed under: Baseball