Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 2nd 2013 Contents A27
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An ambulance carrying former South African president Nelson Mandela arrives at his Johannesburg home
yesterday. AP PHOTO
NEW YORK---The last day of a New
York City dance music festival featuring
high-profile acts including Avicii, David
Guetta and Diplo was cancelled
yesterday over drug-related health
The city said it recommended that
the Electric Zoo festival not continue
after two attendees died and four
others had to be hospitalised during
the first two days of performances on
Friday and Saturday.
The festival took place on Randall's
Island in the East River.
The city said the deaths appear to
have been linked to drugs, specifically
MDMA, or ecstasy.
Definitive causes of death have not
yet been determined.
The event's founders expressed
condolences on its Web site to the
families of those who died.
The festival has been held since
Music festival stopped over drug deaths
dela went home in an ambulance
yesterday after nearly three
months in a hospital that became
the focus of a global outpouring
of concern, but authorities said
the health of the former South
African president remained critical
and sometimes unstable.
The return of the 95-year-old
leader of the anti-apartheid move-
ment to his home in an affluent
neighbourhood of Johannesburg
allows his family to share time with
him in a more intimate setting.
The office of South African Pres-
ident Jacob Zuma said Mandela will
receive the same level of intensive
care that he did in the hospital,
administered by the same doctors.
Zuma s office said the team of doc-
tors treating Mandela, also known
by his clan name Madiba, is "con-
vinced that he will receive the same
level of intensive care at his
Houghton home that he received
in Pretoria. His home has been
reconfigured to allow him to receive
intensive care there."
The statement also said: "If there
are health conditions that warrant
another admission to hospital in
future, this will be done."
Mandela had been treated in a
hospital in Pretoria, and the areas
near the entrances to both the hos-
pital and his home became
makeshift shrines where people
sang, prayed and left messages of
support for a man who steered
South Africa from white minority
rule to democratic rule in a spirit
of reconciliation that inspired the
Mandela was admitted to the
hospital on June 8 for what the
government described as a recurring
lung infection. Legal papers filed
by his family said he was on life
support, and many South Africans
feared the man widely viewed as
the "father of the nation" was close
One of Mandela s daughters,
Makaziwe Mandela, told the Asso-
ciated Press as she left her father s
home that the family was "happy
that he is home."
Another Mandela family mem-
ber, grandson Mandla Mandela,
said the former president s return
home was a "day of celebration."
Madiba s discharge was "partic-
ularly heartening because it flies in
the face of those who have been
busy spreading lies that he was in
a vegetative state and just waiting
for his support machines to be
switched off," the South African
Press Association quoted Mandla
Mandela as saying
Mandla Mandela, the oldest male
Mandela heir, has feuded with fam-
ily members over the burial site of
the anti-apartheid leader s three
deceased children and it was unclear
whether his remarks reflected the
views of other relatives. The African
National Congress, South Africa s
ruling party, welcomed the hospital
discharge of its former leader.
"We believe that receiving treat-
ment at home will afford him con-
tinuous support from his family
and loved ones," it said in a state-
Zuma s office said Mandela "vac-
illated between serious to critical
and at times unstable" during his
stay in hospital and that "despite
the difficulties imposed by his var-
ious illnesses, he, as always, displays
immense grace and fortitude." (AP)
Mandela goes home
...still critical but released after three months in hospital
DAMASCUS---A top Syrian govern-
ment official yesterday dismissed the
Obama administration as confused
and hesitant, even as Secretary of
State John Kerry said Washington
has evidence of sarin gas use by Syria
and that the case for a military attack
is getting "stronger and stronger."
At the Vatican, Pope Francis con-
demned the use of chemical weapons
and appealed to all sides in Syria s
civil war to lay down their arms.
Francis said he would lead a world-
wide prayer vigil for peace in Syria on
Kerry spoke a day after President
Barack Obama announced unexpect-
edly he would seek congressional
approval before taking military action
against President Bashar Assad s
regime over a suspected chemical
weapons attack on rebel-held areas
near Damascus on August 21.
The decision marked a stark turn-
about for the White House, which had
appeared on the verge of ordering US
forces to launch a missile attack against
Syria s state-run news agency SANA
quoted Assad saying that his govern-
ment is capable of confronting a US
strike, but did not carry his exact com-
ments. Assad said earlier this week
that Syria "will defend itself" against
Western military strikes.
Syria s deputy foreign minister,
Faysal Mikdad, claimed yesterday that
Obama stepped back from his threat
because his administration lacks evi-
dence of Syrian government involve-
ment in purported poison gas attacks.
"The hesitation and the disappoint-
ment is so obvious in the words of
President Obama yesterday," Mikdad
told reporters in Damascus. "The con-
fusion was clear as well."
The Assad regime alleges the August
21 attacks were carried out by rebel
fighters, but has not presented proof.
The state-run Syrian daily Al-
Thawra, striking a gloating tone, said
Obama s decision signalled defeat.
"Whether the Congress gives the
red or green light for an aggression,
and whether the prospects of war have
been enhanced or faded, President
Obama has announced yesterday, by
prevaricating or hinting, the start of
the historic American retreat," wrote
the daily, which expresses the Syrian
government s thinking.
Kerry said in appearances on several
television news shows yesterday that
Obama has the right to take action
against Syria, with or without Con-
But he stopped short of saying
Obama was committed to such a
course even if lawmakers refuse to
Congress is to return from a sum-
mer break September 9.
Kerry maintained there is no weak-
ness in Obama s about-face.
"This case (for an attack) is going
to build stronger and stronger," Kerry
told NBC s "Meet the Press."
He said that "the people of America
should be celebrating that the pres-
ident is not acting unilaterally."
Kerry told CNN s "State of the
Union" that hair and blood samples
from victims in eastern Damascus
have "tested positive for signatures of
He said the samples were provided
to the US, and did not come from UN
chemical weapons experts.
The experts spent a week in Syria,
collecting biological and soil samples
from stricken areas.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he
would present the findings as quickly
as possible. (AP)
Kerry: US has evidence
Syria used sarin gas
JERSEY CITY---Authorities are
searching for the mother of a newborn
baby boy who was found in a pile of
trash in New Jersey.
Prosecutors said the child was found
Saturday afternoon in Jersey City.
The boy was taken to Jersey City
Medical Center, where a spokesman
told The Newark Star-Ledger the boy
was breathing on his own.
Prosecutors did not disclose how
long the child may have been outside.
Residents who live nearby say neigh-
bourhood children heard crying and
saw movement in a pile of trash, then
alerted the building superintendent,
who called police.
Building superintendent Arturo Rivas
told The Jersey Journal he usually kicks
children out of the courtyard where
the baby was found, but this time he s
glad the teens were there. (AP)
Baby dumped in trash
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