After Travel Ban Delay, ‘Every Day Was Critical’ For Iranian Baby With Heart Defect

Hospital officials in Oregon said that an infant from Iran, who arrived in the U.S. yesterday since the travel ban was suspended, will now be able to undergo surgery to correct her dangerous heart condition.

On Tuesday, Fatemeh was allowed to enter the U.S., finally allowing her doctors to evaluate her in person.

“Fatemeh looks well. Our tests this morning have confirmed her diagnosis and the urgent need for treatment,” Dr. Laurie Armsby, associate professor of pediatrics and interim head, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, said in a statement yesterday. “As we suspected, her heart condition has resulted in injury to her lungs, however the studies today indicate that she has presented to us in time to reverse this process.”

PHOTO: Graphic showing the surgical procedure that Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad, who was born with a complex, life-threatening heart defect known as transposition of the great arteries, or TGA, will undergo to remedy his condition. OHSU
Graphic showing the surgical procedure that Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad, who was born with a complex, life-threatening heart defect known as transposition of the great arteries, or TGA, will undergo to remedy his condition.

Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad was born with a life-threatening genetic heart defect, where two main arteries are reversed, according to officials from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). The hospital said before she arrived that acting quickly would be important with her condition since it can weaken other organs over time, as well.

“Certainly the delay of a few days or week is something we can manage,” Armsby had said in a press conference on Saturday. “There is a point in which the changes in the heart and lungs would be irreversible.”

The infant and her parents had been working with lawyers and other officials to enter the U.S. after President Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban most travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations.

“Their original visa appointment was scheduled for 2/5,” the family’s attorney, Jennifer Morrissey told ABC News. “They were informed of the cancellation on 1/27, when the travel ban was announced. So the delay was just a few days, but obviously every day was critical given her medical condition.”

The family was able to enter the country after working with the Department of Homeland Security, according to Morrissey.

“I can just comment that the reach out to us from the Department of Homeland Security was specific to her case,” Morrissey said at a press conference on Saturday. Physicians at OHSU announced Saturday that they would be treating Fatemeh, since no hospital in Iran was able to perform the delicate surgery to fix her heart. The baby has relatives living near the hospital.

With Fatemeh in the U.S., the doctors expect to do further monitoring before she undergoes the major surgery.

Hospital officials released a statement on behalf of the infant’s family after she safely arrived in the U.S.

“Fatemeh’s family, including her grandparents and uncle who live in Portland, Oregon, are deeply grateful for the outpouring of kindness and support they’ve received throughout their journey to the United States,” the statement said, “and would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make their trip possible.”

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Craig Billings joins Wynn Resorts as new CFO

Casino operator Wynn Resorts has appointed industry veteran Craig S. Billings as the new chief financial officer.

Industry veteran Craig Billings joins Wynn Resorts as new CFOBillings will replace Stephen Cootey starting March 1, the Las Vegas operator said in a statement. Cootey, who held several Wynn financial positions since joining the company in 2014, resigned “to pursue other interests.”

Billings, who specializes in digital innovation, mergers and acquisitions and capital structure management, Billings has held leadership positions at Aristocrat Leisure Limited, including chief digital officer as well as managing director of strategy and business development, and at International Game Technology. He is also a director of Nyx Gaming Group. In 2012, Billings was the president of Zen Entertainment, which supplied Nevada online poker license applicant South Point Poker with its digital back end.

A certified public accountant, Billings was also an executive in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs, where he served numerous clients in the gaming industry, and he began his career in the audit practice of Deloitte & Touche. He received a Bachelors degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia Business School.

“Mr. Billings is a highly respected veteran of both the gaming and banking industries, and brings extensive experience in business innovation to the company,” Wynn Resorts said in a statement.

Billings is the latest executive to join the Wynn Resorts’ management.

Over in Asia, Wynn’s Macau subsidiary—Wynn Macau—appointed  Ciaran Carruthers as the chief operating officer of the Wynn Macau property effective last January 9. Carruthers will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of our peninsula property and reports to Ian Michael Coughlan, president of Wynn Macau.

Carruthers previously served as senior vice president for property operations at Sands China. Prior to joining Sands China, Carruthers served as president and chief executive of Asia Pacific Gaming Consultancy and has also worked as a senior executive with Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.



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Mississippi governor prods lawmakers to enact lottery bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant gave lawmakers a last-minute prodding on Thursday to enact a lottery bill, which he said will generate the state multi-millions in revenue annually.

Mississippi governor prods lawmakers to enact lottery billThe Ledger-Enquirer reported that the pro-lottery governor made a last ditch attempt to convince members of the House and the Senate to enact a lottery as tax collections continue to fall short of expectations.

Earlier this week, the cash-strapped state made its third round of spending cuts since the budget year started July 1.

“When you’re looking at some of the challenges that we’re having and you see a revenue bill that would generate somewhere between 50 and 60 million dollars — just an estimate — I think that’s something that needs to be taken seriously by the members of both the House and the Senate,” Bryant said, according to the news website.

The Mississippi governor has been very vocal in supporting a lottery in his jurisdiction. Bryant even supported Mississippi residents driving to Arkansas to buy lottery tickets in his one of his speeches in January.

Mississippi’s lottery proposals died in the House earlier this month but could be revived in the Senate in the next few weeks. The three-month legislative session is about to start and is scheduled to end April 2.

“When I was lieutenant governor and president of the Senate, if I had a majority of my members who wanted to vote, I thought it was incumbent upon me to let them have that opportunity to exercise that right,” said Bryant, who served one term as lieutenant governor before starting his current job in 2014. “It may not be just popular with some members, but I think the majority wants to have an opportunity to vote on a state lottery, and we’d certainly look at that with great interest.”



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Problem gamblers more likely to enter slots “immersive zone”

slots-zone-problem-gamblingNew research appears to confirm the hypothesis that problem gamblers are more likely to enter a ‘zone’ when sitting at a slot machine.

This month, the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors journal published the results of a new study by the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Gambling Research. The study sought to determine if problem gamblers displayed more “attentional pathology” than subjects with no history of gambling problems.

The study involved two groups: one was composed of UBC undergrads with no history of problem gambling while the other group consisted of individuals for whom slots play was a familiar activity. This latter group included some self-identified problem gamblers.

The subjects were asked to play a real slot machine in the UBC lab. The machine had video panels mounted on each side that displayed moving shapes, including white circles. The subjects were asked to press a button whenever they noticed a white circle morph into a red square to measure their “peripheral target detection.”

The subjects were also hooked up to machines measuring their heart rates during slots play, and were asked following their play to report if at any point they’d felt like they were in a trance or lost track of time, aka “probe-caught mind wandering.”

Researchers determined that those subjects deemed to be at a higher risk of problem gambling reported greater levels of immersion and the experienced gamblers who’d identified as problem gamblers were also more apt to miss the white circles changing to red squares.

The study’s lead author, Spencer Murch, said his group had found that “a very strong predictor of a person’s risk of problem gambling is not remembering how long they’ve been playing.” Murch said slots are the type of gambling “most consistently linked to gambling addiction” and he hoped the study would help identify ways to “design slot machines that promote more responsible play.”

Centre director Luke Clark said the findings suggested that slots could be reconfigured to promote more responsible use by “disrupting the slot machine zone state … Since static signs and stickers on slot machines are unlikely to distract immersed players, [responsible gambling] messages should be eye-catching and as close as possible to the slots’ reels.”



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Scientists Offer Lab Space for People Affected by Trump Travel Ban

Scientists across the globe are offering up laboratory space to U.S.-based researchers who may be impacted by President Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban most travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations.

One list started on Wednesday already has more than 460 offers of assistance after it was launched by the European Molecular Biology Organization. A spokesman for the EMBO, a professional organization based in Germany for researchers specializing in life sciences, said the group has had a new offer of help every few minutes.

“It was really a spontaneous thing,” EMBO spokesman Tillman Kiessling told ABC News today of the decision to create the “Science Solidarity” list. “The entry restrictions are harming scientists and their careers.”

“We are overwhelmed by the [good] will of the researchers on this list who have volunteered to help other scientists in trouble,” Kiessling added.

Scientists are offering up laboratory space, desk space and even free accommodation to other researchers who may be affected by Trump’s order.

The executive order has put serious pressure on the medical and scientific community because scientists often travel across the globe for conferences and to share information. For doctoral and post-doctoral students affected by the executive order, their careers could be seriously affected if they are unable to return to the labs where they have been working, scientists have noted.

Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, an associate professor at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, said a student at her college affected by the ban has been unable to get back to the U.S. to continue his work at the school laboratory.

“He’s continuing the project work [abroad, but] there’s a real question, ‘Is he going to come back at all to finish his degree?'” Golbeck said.

Golbeck organized a list earlier this week to help people affected by the ban find new lab space or positions at research institutions outside the U.S. She said she has had 1,000 offers of support from scientists but that many of those affected so far have been relying on their academic institution for guidance and help.

“We’re sort of a last resort,” Golbeck said. “It’s not surprising that there is a lot of existing support in the academic community.”

She said she knew of one chemistry student, who wished to remain anonymous, who was affected by the order and stuck outside the U.S. He has received calls from multiple people offering to help him continue his research abroad, Golbeck said.

“He’s been in touch with a lot of people,” Golbeck said. “Getting into a new program, it’s an administratively intense process … [but] we had 25 people directly in touch with him.”

The American Medical Association voiced its concern on Wednesday to the Trump administration that medical students and residents with legal visas were being impacted by the executive order.

“The AMA is concerned that this executive order is negatively impacting patient access to care and creating unintended consequences for our nation’s health care system,” Dr. James Madara, chief executive officer of the AMA, said in a statement Wednesday. “Specifically, there are reports indicating that this executive order is affecting both current and future physicians as well as medical students and residents who are providing much needed care to some of our most vulnerable patients.”

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BTC China extends bitcoin withdrawal freeze into March

The fallout from the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) crackdown on domestic digital currency exchanges continues, and this time BTC China has announced that it will stop cryptocurrency withdrawals for one month.

BTC China extends bitcoin withdrawal freeze into MarchOn Thursday, the Shanghai-based bitcoin exchange said on its website that the hold will be extended to March 15—marking the third time BTC China has extended the ongoing bitcoin and litecoin withdrawal on its platform.

Considered to be one of China’s “Big 3” exchanges, BTC China announced early this month that it will subject all bitcoin withdrawals to a 72-hour review as it upgrades its internal systems. Days later, the 72-hour delay was upped to 10 days.

This time, BTC China said it plans to continue the audit of its system.

“After the upgrade of the industry and the completion of the audit system, the bitcoin and litecoin currency will be back to normal. If the system upgrade can be completed ahead of time, all business will return to normal immediately,” the bitcoin exchange said on its website.

With the withdrawal freeze, existing BTC China clients are unable to get their digital currency deposits out, but the company said withdrawals in Chinese yuan are still allowed, “if customers want to withdraw funds within a shorter period, they can first trade their bitcoins and litecoins for CNY on the exchange and then withdraw the CNY.”

Aside from BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin also halted bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals while they undergo an upgrade to fight “money laundering, exchange, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities.”

Two other companies were also forced to make several changes following PBoC’s harsh warnings. This week, bitcoin mining company HaoBTC announced that it is closing its exchange operation “given the fact that the prospect of a regulatory policy for a bitcoin exchange isn’t clear yet,” while Shenzhen-based bitcoin marketplace BitKan said it will stop new registrations as the company upgrades its anti-money laundering checks.

Current bitcoin price

Bitcoin traded at a high $1,038.5 early Friday morning.



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Shares of fantasy sports app SportsHero up in Aussie market debut

Singapore-based SportsHero is in for a good start in its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange with its share prices up in Wednesday’s trading.

SportsHero, which claims to be the world’s first social network dedicated to sports prediction, opened at a high of AU$0.06 versus its initial public offering (IPO) price of AU$0.05 per share.

Shares of fantasy sports app SportsHero up in Aussie market debutPrior to its debut, the company said that it was able to raise AU$3.2 million ($2.44 million) through the issue of 64 million shares. SportsHero’s listing came via a reverse takeover of Nevada Iron Ltd.

Dinesh Bhatia, CEO of SportsHero, said that the fantasy sports app firm will be focusing on customer acquisition, introducing additional sports, and enhancing the features and user experience while sustaining strong engagement among users over the next 12 to 18 months.

“The Board and management team look forward to creating accelerated value for our shareholders with the successful listing on the Australian Securities Exchange,” Bhatia said in a statement. “The listing will give SportsHero access to both domestic and international investors and the proceeds raised will allow the Company to advance the development and commercialisation of SportsHero on an Asian and global scale, including developing ecommerce and engagement features for further monetisation of the platform.”

SportsHero’s listing comes at a time when mobile penetration in Asia-Pacific and consumer demand and interest in sports are increasing.

Data provided by research firm Statista showed that there will be 2.3 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2017. SportsHero, meanwhile, pointed out that the sports industry has played a pivotal role in the worldwide economic growth.

In China alone, the government there is aiming their domestic sports industry to exceed US$727 billion (5 trillion yuan) in value by 2025. Pursuant to the recent prospectus the SportsHero mobile app has already seen a growing level of engagement with over 80,000 users and retention rates increasing.

“The Company looks to build the world’s largest social network dedicated to sports by bringing together sports fans from around the world and helping them make better predictions on the outcomes of games through harnessing the power of other fans within SportsHero’s social community. The Company’s largest shareholder, MyHero Limited is backed by investors including 500 Startups, Samsung Ventures, KPCB and IPV Capital,” the company said.



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Four Great Sexual Health Apps

By Gillian Hatcher, 18, Staff Writer

February 14, 2017

We all have our phones on us most of the day, and we all use at least five apps a day, so why not add a few great sexual health apps?

Recently, Answer—the organization that publishes Sex, Etc.—published a report in which they asked teens to use and review apps and other web-based digital tools related to sexual health. The report looks at what is working in the world of sexual health digital tools and recommends how organizations in the field of sexual and reproductive health can do an even better job of using technology to provide us with accurate sexual health info.

Here are four apps that received all-around high praise!

Bedsider’s Birth Control Reminders

This is an app for people like me who always need a reminder to take their birth control. The cool thing about this app is that each day you get to learn a weird fact, get a beautiful quote or some new reading material, all while being reminded about your birth control of choice. Some of my favorites have been a link to a women’s literature list, the quote “There is a moon, that rests in the quiet corners of a lover’s lips” and insight into Cleopatra’s signature lipstick.

Circle of 6

I personally had all of my friends download this app. Circle of 6 allows you to keep in contact with your friends and family anytime: while you’re out and alone, feeling uncomfortable at a party or not feeling safe while on a date, for example. You can send a text to your “circle” with the press of a button, asking them to “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.” You can also easily send texts like “I’m home safe” and “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely” with your location. Circle of 6 makes it that much easier to have the support and help of your family and friends when you need it most.


Eve is not your normal period tracker app; it’s actually a lot more. Just like other period trackers, there are reminders when your period should start and a log to track all of your symptoms. But it also has a bunch of articles, quizzes and an active community you can participate in. Here you can talk to other people about their periods and share advice and tips to get through your period. It might be weird to call a period tracker app “fun,” but Eve is definitely a fun app to have on your phone.

Planned Parenthood Chat/Text

While Planned Parenthood Chat/Text isn’t an app, it is a great digital tool that you can access on your phone. Go to the Planned Parenthood website and click the “Chat Now” button. Through the chat, you can have your sexual questions answered by a professional. This tool is beyond valuable and something that you should use if you ever have a question about your sexual health and need a quick answer.

I hope that these apps make it onto your phone to stay. Are there other sexual health apps or digital tools that you love? Leave a comment below.

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Galentine’s Day: More Than Romantic Love

By Grace Wampold, 17, Staff Writer

February 14, 2017

Of the many commercial holidays celebrated year round, Valentine’s Day deserves a handwritten card for being the one that commemorates love, intimacy and passion. While many couples make dinner reservations or order flowers, the love we are celebrating is not reserved only for those in romantic relationships. Whether your closest loved one is your partner or friend, all intimate moments are valuable reminders of the support we give to one another.

Since 2010, women have been using February 13th to celebrate Galentine’s Day, a concept made up by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation. Groups of “gal pals” come together and celebrate friends (the other loves of your life) just before Valentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day reminds us that intimacy is not necessarily physical or romantic; it’s an unapologetic, familiar comfort with someone else. Coming together, passionate about the happiness of someone close to us, can better connect us to our own understanding of what we value and cherish. From hugging your mom to smiling at a stranger, that moment of connection taps into the same feeling. Valentine’s Day is more or less an opportunity to give tokens of love to those we love. The pressure we put on ourselves to find romantic fulfillment, especially this time of year, can make it difficult to acknowledge the platonic loves in our life. Never devalue yourself by the types of relationships you have in your life. Champion them, because when talking about love and building strong relationships, every moment of intimacy, of connectivity, is meaningful.

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Youngster Dies as Authorities Validate 2 Circumstances of Unusual Neurological Health issues

Two kids have been diagnosed with a uncommon neurological ailment known as acute flaccid myelitis, which can lead to paralysis, the Washington State Department of Health and fitness stated nowadays.

At the very least nine circumstances have been identified as portion of a likely cluster of AFM circumstances, which include the two confirmed circumstances. Just one little one, who died after acquiring neurological symptoms, has not been confirmed to have experienced produced AFM, according to the Washington State Department of Health and fitness.

The kids amongst the ages of 3 to 14 in Washington point out ended up hospitalized at Seattle Children’s Clinic after acquiring symptoms which include weakness or decline of movement in a single or additional of their limbs.

5 of the kids ended up released from the healthcare facility, 3 remain hospitalized and a single died after acquiring the symptoms, the Washington State Department of Health and fitness stated Monday. The family stated the little one died on Sunday. No link amongst any of the circumstances has been detected, according a spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Health and fitness.

Due to the nature of the symptoms, authorities are investigating if they have identified a cluster of AFM. The syndrome is a uncommon ailment that is not contagious on its have and impacts the anxious system, especially the spinal cord. It can happen thanks to different will cause which include viral infections. Because AFM is generally induced by a selection of viruses, officials are looking to see if any viral infections in the location may perhaps have led to the cluster.

CDC officials stated nowadays that they are “worried about the maximize in circumstances in the latest months.” Because the get started of this year via September, there have been 89 circumstances of AFM in 33 states, according to the CDC. In 2015, there ended up just fifty circumstances. In 2014, one hundred twenty circumstances of AFM ended up noted during the U.S. amongst August and December. At the time, the CDC and other overall health agencies ended up investigating the enterovirus D68.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disorder professional at Vanderbilt University Medical Heart, stated the target will be to definitively diagnose the kids with AFM and then search for a likely lead to.

“The very first detail the investigators will do, they will glimpse at clinical records to see if they fit the CDC definition of AFM,” Schaffner stated. “They will at the same time go to all of these individuals and make certain that they have the finest doable specimens to be despatched to lab to build viral diagnosis.”

If the little one who died experienced symptoms of viral infection, it may perhaps aid the CDC determine out if other kids are at chance for acquiring AFM, Schaffner stated.

“They will glimpse to see if they obtain proof of the virus in the anxious tissue,” Schaffner discussed.

In 2014, dozens of kids produced AFM close to the time an outbreak of a respiratory virus known as enterovirus D68 started out to unfold via the nation. In typical, selected enteroviruses, these types of as the polio virus, maximize the chance that individuals will acquire AFM. Having said that, after the 2014 enterovirus D68 outbreak, the CDC has not “constantly detected a pathogen” in the spinal fluid of infected individuals that joined the virus to AFM circumstances.

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