National News

National News

2014-01-05T00:00:00Z National NewsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
January 05, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Ex-first lady Barbara Bush leaves Houston hospital

HOUSTON | Former first lady Barbara Bush praised the staff of a Texas hospital where she spent nearly a week being treated for pneumonia before going home Saturday.

Jim McGrath, a spokesman for President George H.W. Bush and his wife, says doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital decided Saturday morning to allow Barbara Bush to go home. The 88-year-old Bush family matriarch had been hospitalized since Monday.

"I cannot thank the doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist enough for making sure I got the best treatment and got back to George and our dogs as quickly as possible," Bush said. The Bushes are well-known dog lovers and live in Houston.

McGrath had no immediate information on future treatment for Bush.

Small plane makes emergency landing on New York City highway

NEW YORK | A small plane has made an emergency landing on an interstate highway in New York City.

Fire Department officials say the plane touched down at 3:20 p.m. Saturday on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx, in an area where the highway passes through Van Cortlandt Park.

The Federal Aviation Administration said three people were on board.

Fire officials say all were taken to a hospital, but there have been no immediate reports of serious injuries.

The FAA said damage to the aircraft was minor. It wasn't immediately clear why the plane set down.

Candy-craving thieves flee warehouse empty-handed

HESPERIA, Calif. | For a pair of thwarted Southern California thieves, taking candy from a well-alarmed warehouse proved a lot harder than taking it from a baby.

Video surveillance captured the would-be candy swipers as they approached Candy Crate's warehouse in Hesperia on Friday. The men broke a window and fled.

The company sells retro sweets like candy cigarettes and Astro Pops.

Candy Crate operations manager Randi Caporale said an alarm went off that likely scared away the thieves, and "not even a Blow Pop" was taken.

Cruz hopes to 'soon' renounce Canadian citizenship

AUSTIN, Texas | Canada-born U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has yet to renounce his birth country's citizenship as promised — but a spokeswoman said Saturday the tea party darling plans to have that finished soon.

Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for the junior senator from Texas, said lawyers are preparing the necessary paperwork.

The 43-year-old Cruz "has been fully focused on fighting for Texans' values and interests in the Senate for the last year," Frazier said via email. "He looks forward to the process being completed soon."

Frazier's response comes after Canadian immigration attorney Richard Kurland suggested Friday that the process was relatively simple and quick. Kurland wondered what was taking Cruz so long.

Amid questions this summer about his eligibility for the White House, Cruz released his birth certificate in August to the Dallas Morning News and pledged to renounce his Canadian citizenship.

Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970, while his parents were working in the Canadian oil business. His mother, Eleanor, was born in Delaware, while his father, Rafael, is a Cuban who didn't become a U.S. citizen until 2005.

The U.S. Constitution says only a "natural born Citizen" may be president. Legal scholars, though, generally agree the description covers foreign-born children of U.S. parents. Canada, like the United States, gives automatic citizenship to anyone born on its soil.

Historic smoking report marks 50th anniversary

ATLANTA | Fifty years ago, ashtrays seemed to be on every table and desk. Athletes and even Fred Flintstone endorsed cigarettes in TV commercials. Smoke hung in the air in restaurants, offices and airplane cabins. More than 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked, and there was a good chance your doctor was among them.

The turning point came on Jan. 11, 1964. It was on that Saturday morning that U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released an emphatic and authoritative report that said smoking causes illness and death — and the government should do something about it.

In the decades that followed, warning labels were put on cigarette packs, cigarette commercials were banned, taxes were raised and new restrictions were placed on where people could light up.

"It was the beginning," said Kenneth Warner, a University of Michigan public health professor who is a leading authority on smoking and health.

It was not the end. While the U.S. smoking rate has fallen by more than half to 18 percent, that still translates to more than 43 million smokers. Smoking is still far and away the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Some experts predict large numbers of Americans will puff away for decades to come.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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