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CRITICS SLAM WOMAN'S FORCED C-SECTION IN BRITAIN

Wednesday, 04 December 2013 06:53 Published in Health & Fitness

LONDON (AP) -- A local British authority is coming under harsh criticism for having a court declare a pregnant Italian woman incompetent, forcing her to have a cesarean section and then taking her baby into custody.

Much is unknown about the case of an unidentified Italian woman with a history of mental illness who came to London last year. According to a court ruling in June, she was "profoundly unwell" and experiencing paranoid delusions when she was detained at a hospital in Essex, east of London, under Britain's Mental Health Act.

In August, the Court of Protection, which makes decisions for people deemed unable to decide for themselves, made an "unusual order" that gave doctors in Essex permission to perform a cesarean section against the woman's will. Essex officials say the woman was too sick to care for her baby, which has been put up for adoption.

The woman has since hired a British lawyer to try to get her baby back. She has two other children in Italy who are being cared for by her mother. The baby's father is a Senegalese man living in Italy who has not been involved in the case.

Legal experts said the decision to force the woman to have a C-section was very rare but potentially justifiable if the woman was unable to make medical decisions for herself.

"You can only perform a C-section against a woman's will if she lacks capacity and it is in her best interest (medically)," said Penney Lewis, a medical law expert at King's College London.

John Hemming, a member of parliament and the chair of an advocacy group called Justice for Families, has questioned why the baby was placed for adoption.

"We still need answers," he said, wondering why the Italian woman was kept in England for six weeks before being given a C-section. He also called for an explanation as to why the woman's mother was not given custody of the baby.

Hemming said the failure of Essex officials to contact Italian authorities about the mother's detainment and the care of her baby violates international law. He has put forth a parliamentary motion that calls for increased transparency and says the British government must comply with international treaties.

The Essex County Council said in a statement that its social workers liaised extensively with woman's extended family to see if anyone could care for the child and that adoption was not considered until all other options were exhausted.

The British charity Bipolar UK also called the forced C-section and the continued separation of mother and child "unprecedented."

"If there were continuing concerns about the care of the child, one would have thought Italian social services would have been involved in determining what was best for the child," the group said in a statement.

It was not known exactly what mental illness the woman was diagnosed with.

Lewis, the legal expert, said there have been only a handful of forced C-sections in the past 15 years in Britain.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

BIDEN: US-CHINA TIES RELY ON TRUST, GOOD MOTIVES

Wednesday, 04 December 2013 06:51 Published in National News

BEIJING (AP) — Emerging from a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that U.S.-China relations depend on trust and a positive notion of each other's motives. Neither leader made public mention of a major clash over disputed airspace that's pitted China against the U.S. and its Asian allies.

Appearing somber and subdued, Biden said the relationship between the two major powers will significantly affect the course of the 21st century. If the U.S. and China can get that relationship right, the possibilities are limitless, Biden said as reporters were allowed in briefly at the conclusion of the meeting in Beijing.

"Complex relationships require sustained, high-level engagement, and that's why I'm here," Biden said after a meeting than ran more than an hour longer than scheduled. Biden and Xi had a second, expanded meeting and a working dinner planned for later Wednesday.

Absent from Biden's comments was any discussion of U.S. concerns over China's new air defense zone. In Tokyo a day earlier, Biden pledged to raise those concerns "with great specificity" with Xi and other Chinese leaders, adding that China's move was deeply concerning.

"This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation," Biden said Tuesday after meeting with Japanese President Shinzo Abe, whose government has been on edge for the past two weeks since China unilaterally asserted its authority over airspace above tiny islands that China and Japan both claim.

For his part, Xi said the relationship between the U.S. and China had gotten off to a good start this year "and has generally maintained a momentum of positive development." But he said the situation in the region and around the world is changing, with more pronounced challenges and regional hotspots that keep cropping up.

"The world as a whole is not tranquil," Xi said through a translator, adding that the U.S. and China shoulder important responsibilities for upholding peace. "To strengthen dialogue and cooperation is the only right choice facing both of our countries."

Added Biden, "The way I was raised was to believe that change presents opportunity."

TOFFOLI LEAD KINGS OVER BLUES 3-2

Tuesday, 03 December 2013 10:57 Published in Sports

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Rookie Tyler Toffoli scored two goals, Jarret Stoll also tallied and Ben Scrivens made 25 saves for the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Scrivens, who has performed brilliantly in place of the injured Jonathan Quick, was heading toward his fourth shutout of the season when Kevin Shattenkirk and Vladimir Tarasenko scored in the final 5:54. Scrivens has given up fewer than three goals in each of his last 10 starts and has posted two shutouts since Quick went on injured reserve with a Grade Two groin strain on Nov. 12 at Buffalo.

Los Angeles has allowed fewer than three goals in a franchise-record 13 consecutive games. The streak includes a pair of 3-2 shootout losses to Buffalo and San Jose.

Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for the Blues, who have lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season following their 6-3 defeat at San Jose on Friday. Halak had allowed just five goals in his previous five starts after getting pulled with a 3-0 deficit in the first period of a 4-1 loss at Washington on Nov. 17.

The Kings, who hadn't had a first-period goal in any of their previous four home games - all losses - opened the scoring at the 10:38 mark. Stoll got the puck from Justin Williams near the top of the left circle and took a 40-foot wrist shot that glanced off defenseman Barret Jackman's leg and past Halak with Dustin Brown screening the goalie.

Toffoli made it 2-0 at 16:13 of the period, beating Halak from short range after Drew Doughty's long snap shot from the high slot deflected off Toffoli's stick and Halak's right shoulder before hitting the crossbar. He gave the Kings a three-goal cushion at 5:48 of the second, scoring from the low slot after Willie Mitchell's wrist shot from the left point caromed off teammate Mike Richards.

Toffoli, a 21-year-old center who was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft, has six goals and 11 points in 14 games since he was recalled from the minors on Nov. 2 - and four of his goals have been game-winners. His only other two-goal game in the NHL was on November 9 at Staples Center in a 5-1 win over Vancouver.

NOTES: St. Louis has yet to be shut out this season. ... The Kings eliminated the Blues from the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons. In 2012, they beat St. Louis in the second round on the way to their first Stanley Cup title. The Blues, who entered the NHL with the Kings in the 1967 expansion, are still looking for their first Cup. ... Kings captain Dustin Brown has been held to a goal and an assist in his last 13 games. ... Los Angeles C Jeff Carter, playing in his fourth game after missing the previous 10 because of a lower body injury, carried the puck into the Blues' zone and took a 50-wrist shot that beat Halak to the stick side - but hit the left post with 9 1-2 minutes into the second period. ... The Kings are 8-0-0 when leading after two periods. ... Los Angeles is 0 for 20 on the power play over its last six games.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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