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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ikea Recall Comes Amid Growing Concerns Over Furniture Tip-Overs

Ikea Recall Comes Amid Growing Concerns Over Furniture Tip-Overs
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The simulation, a dresser toppling on to a dummy, is disturbing. The reality, even more so for at least three families who say their children were killed when an Ikea dresser fell and trapped the toddlers underneath.

Alan Feldman represents the family of a local victim, Curren Collas.

“They decided that they would not meet standards. They had a profitable item in the Malm dresser. They were selling millions of them and this is one of those instances where they appear to have prioritized profit over safety,” Feldman said.

The recall impacts Malm and other Ikea brand chests and drawers, some 29 million units.

The most recent death happened in February when a 22-month-old Minneapolis boy died when a drawer fell on him. Two years before that death is when Curren, from West Chester, died of a similar incident.

Experts say furniture tip-over, and not just Ikea brand, is a major problem and parents may not realize it.

“Furniture tip-over kills about one child every two weeks. Many more are injured and I have to believe there are many more near misses that don’t get reported to anybody,” Nancy Cowles, of Kids In Danger, said.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Philly Wins “Every Place Counts” National Design Award

Philly Wins “Every Place Counts” National Design Award
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Jim Kenney and other city and community officials were on hand

Monday when the U.S. Secretary of Transportation announced that Philadelphia is one of four cities to win the Transportation Department’s “Every Place Counts” design challenge.

The announcement was made on the 10th Street Plaza, a lone shaded island halfway across the Vine Expressway. The highway’s intrusiveness — complete with wailing sirens and rattling dump trucks — was on full display as Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation Executive Director John Chin spoke.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Philly’s Welcome America Festival Returns With Variety Of Family Events

Philly’s Welcome America Festival Returns With Variety Of Family Events

 (credit: Hadas Kuznits) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 2016 Wawa Welcome America Festival kicked off Monday with an American Flag Mural Restoration and Rededication event. This year’s week-long celebration has a special Philadelphia focus.

This year’s festivities include family movie nights, citywide book readings at the 54 free libraries, as well as free museums days.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Artists Show Off Their Work At The Manayunk Arts Festival

Artists Show Off Their Work At The Manayunk Arts Festival
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands came out to support local and regional artists for the Annual Manayunk Arts Festival.

“It can tend to get slower in the summer, so it’s nice to have a show that the community supports,” says Sola, who is one of the many artists showcasing her unique designs. “It’s a great show. Philly: they are loyal about their teams, and they are loyal about coming back to shop with me, and I like that.”

Sola owns Scarvelous.com and drove up from Maryland, to sell colorful, hand-crafted clutches, hats and coin bags.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

MD Anderson Applauds State of the Union Call to Cure Cancer

MD Anderson Applauds State of the Union Call to Cure Cancer 
 
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is grateful Vice President Joe Biden has inspired the creation of a national cancer moonshot, and we applaud President Barack Obama’s commitment to support this collective fight to end cancer.

“This is the golden era of cancer research. Our team of world-leading cancer experts, along with many others in the field, continue to confer with Vice President Biden about the scope and potential of a national cancer moon shot,” said MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, M.D. “We are encouraged by his leadership and look forward to working together on this global humanitarian endeavor. Patients and families around the world are counting on us to end cancer.”

In the fall of 2012, MD Anderson created the Cancer Moon Shots Program to accelerate declines in cancer mortality across several major cancer types. By building a new organizational paradigm of multidisciplinary teams and platforms focused on execution, these pioneering efforts have taught us that knowledge available today can be converted into new preventive measures and life-saving therapeutic advances for cancer patients here and around the world.

“Knowledge and technology have converged, enabling researchers to make a decisive assault on these deadly diseases. We also can bend the arc of cancer through concerted efforts in prevention and early detection, as up to half of all cancers can be prevented and catching cancer at its earliest stages offers markedly improved survival,” says DePinho. “The efforts of Congress to provide the strongest funding for the National Institutes of Health in more than a decade will make a significant impact on the future of the fight to end cancer.”

Rapid progress in curing advanced cancers is being made by harnessing the formidable capability of MD Anderson’s world-leading and largest clinical trials engine in cancer to test many targeted therapies, including those that reawaken the immune system. Of its 1,200 active clinical trials involving more than 11,000 patients per year, MD Anderson’s Cancer Moon Shots Program has launched 125 immuno-oncology trials across all major cancer types involving nearly 6,000 patients.

These trials have yielded practice-changing advances with improved long-term survival for a number of deadly cancers. Leveraging the world’s largest clinical trials program for cancer and strategic alliances with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies, MD Anderson is rapidly expanding several hundred additional immune-therapy trials, which will include deep analysis of genomic, immunological and clinical data to inform the use of these drugs in the right patient populations.

These big data analyses are led by computational biologist Andrew Futreal, Ph.D., and the father of modern immunotherapy, Jim Allison, Ph.D., who invented immune checkpoint blockade to treat cancer and leads the immunotherapy platform. Based on our early findings, we anticipate these concerted efforts will impact significantly on cancer deaths for several major cancer types in the next five to 10 years.

“Unleashing the immune system on many types of cancer will be a key development in this transformational moment in cancer research and care. MD Anderson’s moon shots, supported by 10 platforms with leading expertise and technology under the direction of Dr. Giulio Draetta, as well as significant support from philanthropy, NIH grants and other sources, are helping us in Making Cancer History®,” DePinho said.

Argentina's 'stolen babies' seek truth, face ghosts

Argentina's 'stolen babies' seek truth, face ghosts
 
AP Photo
In this May 11, 2016 photo, Pedro Sandoval, who was stolen as a baby, poses holding a framed image of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo group, that include both of his biological grandmothers, who helped him recover his true identity, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sandoval stopped celebrating Mother's Day, Father's Day and even his own birthday after he found out the truth: The mom and dad he knew growing up had stolen him from his biological parents, who were kidnapped, tortured and never heard from again during Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship.
  
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Pedro Sandoval stopped celebrating Mother's Day, Father's Day and even his own birthday after he found out the truth: The mom and dad he knew growing up had stolen him from his biological parents, who were kidnapped, tortured and never heard from again during Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

"I'm still jealous of friends who can hug or get into arguments with their parents," said Sandoval, 38, alluding to the biological parents he never met. "But I'm also thankful that I could at least hug my grandfather and grandmother."

Four decades after the ruling military junta launched a systematic plan to steal babies born to political prisoners, Argentina's search for truth is increasingly focused on the 500 or so newborns whisked away and raised by surrogate families. Several hundred have yet to be accounted for.

This spring a visiting U.S. President Barack Obama and Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced, on the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought the junta to power, that Washington would open up a trove of U.S. intelligence files from Argentina's Dirty War era, when an estimated 30,000 people were killed or forcibly "disappeared" by the regime. It may take a few years for the documents to be released, but the news gave families hope for word on the fate of other stolen babies.

For the children who have already been found, coming to grips with the past is a painful process.

Sandoval, known then as Alejandro Rei, never suspected anything was amiss growing up in a middle-class household on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. But in 2004, Victor Rei, a former border patrol officer and the man that Sandoval called his father, became the target of an investigation and his life turned upside down.

Sandoval said he felt both fury and crushing guilt after a childhood he describes as full of wonderful memories. And yet like others, he was torn over where his loyalties lay: At one point during the investigation Sandoval tried unsuccessfully to protect Rei by tainting DNA samples used to identify the older man.

"I made some mistakes," he said. "It was part of a defense mechanism."

Ultimately DNA matched Sandoval to Pedro Sandoval and Liliana Fontana, who were kidnapped by security forces in July 1977 when Liliana was two months pregnant. She gave birth to Pedro in captivity, and four months later he was taken away. His birth parents were never seen again.

"It's still tough and bizarre," Sandoval said. "But I found it beautiful that at least for four months I was in her arms."

He has since severed ties with the people who raised him and has become close to relatives of his biological parents. His wife is expecting their first baby.

To date, 119 cases of stolen children have been resolved. Each discovery makes for banner headlines and prompts both personal and national soul-searching.

"These cases are moving because they are unique, painful and about suffering and trauma that doesn't stop," said Claudia Salatino, a psychologist who has treated some of the victims.

Guillermo Perez Roisinblit, 38, was Guillermo Gomez for decades before he was contacted by his biological sister and the Grandmothers of the Playa de Mayo, a human rights group that formed in 1977 to search for the disappeared. They showed him a family picture; Perez was shocked by his resemblance to the man who would later be confirmed as his real father.

"It took me 21 years to find my grandson and 15 years to win his love," said Rosa de Roisinblit, 96, who is vice president of the Grandmothers.

"It was such a difficult process," Perez said, sitting next to her.

Today both are plaintiffs in a trial that began last month against the former head of Argentina's air force for the 1978 abduction and disappearance of activists Patricia Roisinblit and Jose Manuel Perez Rojo. Patricia gave birth to Perez at the Naval Mechanics School, where thousands of leftist dissidents were jailed and tortured during the Dirty War.

Francisco Gomez, the man who raised Perez, served time for stealing Perez when he was an infant and is now accused in the same trial involving the ex-air force chief, who is charged in the kidnapping of Perez's parents.

Perez said he visited Gomez in prison in 2003, and Gomez angrily blamed him for his confinement.

"When I get out," Perez recalled Gomez saying, "I'm going to put a bullet in your forehead, in your two grandmothers and in your sister."

During the dictatorship, the Grandmothers marched weekly at Buenos Aires' main square to demand the return of their loved ones. Since Argentina's return to democracy, they have lobbied the government to create a DNA database and dedicate judicial resources to the search.

"They're the closest to real heroes," Perez said. "They fought against a dictatorship risking their own lives. ... And that's how I see my grandmother, as a hero."

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A 9/11 Memorial May Be Coming To Philadelphia… Soon

A 9/11 Memorial May Be Coming To Philadelphia… Soon

 Photo credit:  Provided by the DRPA. 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Delaware River Port Authority board on Wednesday decides whether to approve a September 11 memorial.

The memorial would be built on the Philadelphia side of the Ben Franklin Bridge, on a triangular DRPA-owned parcel at Sixth and Race, just north of the Constitution Center.
 
Proposed renderings show two symbolic towers – each 9 feet eleven inches tall – with a replica of the Liberty Bell hanging between them. DRPA CEO John Hanson says the memorial will contain authentic artifacts.

“There will be a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, a limestone granite block from the Pentagon, and loose soil and a rock from Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” Hanson said.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Families Celebrate Father’s Day At Please Touch Museum

Families Celebrate Father’s Day At Please Touch Museum

 Many sons took their fathers to The Please Touch Museum for Father's Day 
Photo: Molly Daly 

CENTER CITY (CBS) — The Please Touch Museum was a popular Father’s Day destination on Sunday for many families.

Deip Nandi was with his parents, his brother, and daughter Ananya, who’s almost two. Nandi said seeing his children grow and learn is his favorite part of being a father.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Philadelphia Church Celebrates ‘Juneteenth’

Philadelphia Church Celebrates ‘Juneteenth’

 (credit: Kirsten Johanson) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On June 19th in 1865, two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War Union soldiers finally reached Texas to inform slaves they were free. Now the day, June 19th, is celebrated across the nation as ‘Juneteenth’ or ‘Freedom Day.’

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Elkins Park, Montgomery County, held a festival in the day’s honor, complete with a barbecue, local shop vendors and music.

“We wanted to come out and celebrate the underground railroad, and be with the community and it’s a wonderful day to do that,” said Angela who came with her daughter, Gabrielle.

For full story go to:   http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Friday, June 17, 2016

Court Clears Way For Wildwood Charity Concert

Court Clears Way For Wildwood Charity Concert

 (credit: BeachGlow: Concerts for Charity Inc.) 

WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – A New Jersey Superior Court judge has cleared the way for a two-day charity concert on the Wildwood beach next month, despite concerns voiced by the people at Morey’s Piers over the entertainment planned for the event.

Attorneys for The Morey Organization cited a 2014 concert hosted by BeachGlow Concerts for Charity that prompted several complaints about profanities from the stage.

For full story go to:http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Monday, June 13, 2016

Philly’s Summer Reading Program Offers Kids A Chance To Call The Mayor June 13, 2016 9:00 PM By Pat Loeb

Philly’s Summer Reading Program Offers Kids A Chance To Call The Mayor

 File Photo (credit: RAMZI HAIDAR/Getty Images) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Free Library has kicked off its summer reading program. This year, it’s offering kids the chance to chat about their books with a prominent Philadelphian.

As book lovers know, your reading experience is not complete until you’ve told someone about it. Mayor Jim Kenney has offered his ears to kids in the library’s summer reading program via a recorded phone line, where young readers can leave their synopses, reviews and critiques.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/


Sunday, June 12, 2016

GoFundMe Campaign Raises Big Bucks For Orlando Shooting Victims

GoFundMe Campaign Raises Big Bucks For Orlando Shooting Victims

 ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12:  Law enforcement officials investigate near the Pulse Nightclub where Omar Mateen allegedly killed at least 50 people on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The mass shooting killed at least 50 people and injuring 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) 

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: Law enforcement officials investigate 
near the Pulse Nightclub where Omar Mateen allegedly killed at 
least 50 people on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The mass 
shooting killed at least 50 people and injuring 53 others in what 
is the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history.

 PHILADELPHIA (CNN) – A crowdfunding campaign to support the Orlando Pulse shooting victims and their families pulled in three quarters of a million dollars in nine hours on Sunday.
 
Equality Florida, the largest LGBT rights group in the state, posted the GoFundMe fundraiser shortly after a gunman killed 50 people and injured 53 at a gay club in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history Sunday morning.

By about 8 p.m. ET, more than 19,500 people contributed a total of $767,000 to the fund.
Ida Eskamani, one of five Equality Florida staff members based in Orlando, said when world of the tragedy spread, the organization was “overwhelmed” with inquiries from people.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mount Airy Students Honored For CD Release

Mount Airy Students Honored For CD Release

 Students at Henry Houston Elementary School open copies of their new CD.
(credit: Mike DeNardo) 

Students at Henry Houston Elementary School open copies of 
their new CD.
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The CD “A Day in My Life” is written and performed by students at Houston Elementary, and on this day of its release, they’re being recognized by the state House.

The CD started as a creative writing project and grew into a musical expression, says Houston music teacher Ezechial Thurman.

“What’s in their world right now, but also consider ten years down the road or even in adulthood what life would look like,” he said.

The 16 songs range from “Writers Block Blues” to “One Life Taken, One Life Saved.”

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

3 Dogs Rescued From Dog Meat Farm Look For Their Forever Home

3 Dogs Rescued From Dog Meat Farm Look For Their Forever Home

 Golden Retriever, Joey is looking for a new home after being rescued from a Korean butcher. (credit: Camden County public affairs) 

Golden Retriever, Joey is looking for a new home after being 
rescued from a Korean butcher.
 
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Three dogs, rescued from a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea, are now up for adoption at the Camden County Animal Shelter.

“Tisha” is a Tosa Inu, approximately two to three years old. The shelter says she loves people and playing with her toys. She’s also good on a leash but is somewhat picky when it comes to foods and is unsure of new dogs. The pup is currently on pain medication for an old leg injury.

“Joey” is a one-year-old Golden Retriever. She too likes to play with her toys, as well as other dogs. The shelter says she is a little unsure of people and still needs some leash training but is very food-motivated.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Ex-Florida cop charged in shooting of armed black musician

Ex-Florida cop charged in shooting of armed black musician
  
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A fired Florida police officer was arrested and charged Wednesday with manslaughter and attempted murder in the fatal shooting of a legally armed black musician after prosecutors say an audio recording and physical evidence show the musician had thrown his weapon to the ground and was running away when the lethal round was fired.

Prosecutors also allege that the recording shows Palm Beach Gardens Officer Nouman Raja misled investigators and lied to a 911 operator to make it appear that Corey Jones, 31, was still armed and a threat more than 30 seconds after he had been felled by the officer's bullets last Oct. 18.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg announced the charges at a news conference after a grand jury found the shooting unjustified. If convicted, Raja could face life in prison. Aronberg declined to answer questions about the case.

Jones family issued a statement saying they are relieved by the arrest.

"While we understand that nothing can bring back our son, brother and friend, this arrest sends a message that this conduct will not be tolerated from members of law enforcement," the statement said.

Raja's attorney, Richard Lubin, did not immediately respond to phone calls or email.

The charges, according to court documents, center on a recording of Jones talking to a tow truck operator after his SUV had broken down on an Interstate 95 off ramp before dawn as he returned home from a performance. Jones, a drummer who also worked as a housing inspector, had purchased his gun only days earlier because he was worried about being robbed of his music equipment, his family has said. He had a concealed weapons permit.

Jones and the operator had talked uneventfully for about two minutes when Raja, who is of South Asian descent, pulled up the ramp from the wrong direction and parked in front of Jones' SUV, according to charging documents. Raja, who was investigating a string of auto burglaries, was driving an unmarked cargo van with no police lights and was in civilian clothes: a tan T-shirt, jeans, sneakers and a baseball cap.

Raja's sergeant told investigators that he had instructed Raja to wear his tactical vest that has police markings while on this assignment for his own safety and to identify himself, but it was found in Raja's van along with his police radio, the documents say. Raja, 38, had been a police officer for seven years, but only about six months with Palm Beach Gardens, a well-to-do suburb. He also taught police classes at a local community college.

Charging documents say that, on the recording, as Jones and the operator talked, the door chimes from Jones' SUV sounded, indicating he stepped out as Raja approached. It recorded an exchange where Raja repeatedly asks variations of "You good?" to which Jones repeatedly replies he is. Raja never says he is a police officer.

Suddenly, the officer shouts, using an expletive, for Jones to put his hands up.

Jones replies: "Hold on!" And Raja repeats his demand.

Raja then fired three shots in less than two seconds, according to the charging documents. Ten seconds of silence then pass before three more shots, each fired about one second apart, are heard.

"A reasonable person can only assume the thoughts and concerns Corey Jones was experiencing as he saw the van approaching him at that hour of the morning," prosecutors wrote in the charging documents. "At no time during the recording did Raja say he was a police officer" and acted confrontationally, prosecutors wrote.

Immediately after the shooting, Raja used his personal cellphone to call 911. As the operator answered 33 seconds after the last shot was fired, according to charging documents, Raja yelled at someone to drop the gun even though Jones' autopsy showed a bullet had pierced his heart and lungs and would have felled him almost immediately.

Raja told the 911 dispatcher that he had identified himself as a police officer and that he began firing as Jones came at him with a gun, prosecutors say. He said he continued firing because Jones was pointing his gun at him as he ran away.

When Raja's sergeant and other officers arrived, they found Jones' body between some trees almost 200 feet from the back of his SUV. A police dog found Jones' gun about 75 feet from his SUV, near where Raja told his sergeant he had seen Jones throw it. The safety was on and it had fired no shots.

Prosecutors say in their charging document that given the distance between the gun and Jones' body - and the heart wound that would have incapacitated him - they believe Raja fired the last three shots after he knew Jones had thrown down his gun and was running away.

David S. Weinstein, a former state and federal prosecutor, said Aronberg probably charged Raja with manslaughter and attempted murder instead of murder to make it more likely to get a conviction. If Aronson went for first-degree murder and there were no provisions allowing for the jury to convict Raja of a lesser charge such as manslaughter, Weinstein said, he risked an acquittal or a hung jury if jurors believed Raja feared for his life when he fired the first shot.

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