An eight-year-old girl has died after falling from an upper deck into the lobby of a cruise ship docked in Miami.
The youngster is thought to have fallen between 25ft and 50ft (between 7.5m and 15m) from the interior atrium of the Carnival Glory on Saturday morning.
The ship, operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, had recently arrived in PortMiami, Dodge Island, just off shore from mainland Florida and east of Miami Beach, at the time.
A witness, Raymond Kassim, told Fox News affiliate 7News Miami he heard someone cry out.
“You heard ‘Oh, my baby, oh, my baby’, and when you looked, she was down at the bottom,” he said.
“It happened so fast. She just fell over.”
Passengers described chaotic scenes as those in the ship’s atrium realised what had happened.
On board emergency responders attended the scene and attempted to save her life.
Emergency medical technician Bob Dorr, who was among the first to try to save the girl, said: “She had severe injuries.
“I started doing CPR until the doctor showed up, and then the doctor took over.”
The girl was taken in a critical condition to the Ryder Trauma Centre, about three miles away from the port, but she died.
7News interviewed a relative of her family at the hospital, named only as Zion, who said she was only out of sight for a few seconds when the tragedy happened.
The family are understood to be from The Bahamas and had just completed a seven-day cruise.
A statement from Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of US-British Carnival Corporation & PLC, to 7News said: “Our most heartfelt condolences are with the family at this very difficult time.”
The torrent of accusations against Harvey Weinstein had raised questions about the future of the company he founded.
On Friday, his brother Bob denied suggestions the company would be closed or sold, saying it was “business as usual”.
But 72 hours later came the confirmation of the deal with Colony. Although it is likely to mean one of the great powerhouses of Hollywood remains in existence for the immediate future, major changes are almost certain to take place.
The Weinstein Company, founded by the brothers in 2005, is behind Hollywood blockbusters including Django Unchained, The King’s Speech and Silver Linings Playbook.
In a statement, Mr Barrack said: “We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry.”
A billionaire who made his fortune in real estate, Mr Barrack was the chairman of Mr Trump’s presidential inauguration committee. He previously bought another Weinstein creation, Miramax, and saved Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch from ruin.
As allegations piled up against Mr Weinstein on both sides of the Atlantic, shareholders and business partners of The Weinstein Company had begun to question their continuing involvement with the firm. Amazon Studios and director Oliver Stone were among them.
Weinstein himself has been fired from the company he founded, although it has been reported he will make representations at a board meeting this week that his firing was unlawful.
The producer is reported to be attending a rehab centre in Arizona. At the weekend, the one-time Oscar grandee was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Police in New York and London are examining allegations against him dating back to the 1980s.
The Weinstein Company has seen a number of its directors quit in the wake of the revelations about their most high-profile colleague.
Those remaining are publicly confident about the company’s future.
Board member Tarak Ben Ammar said: “We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilise the company’s current operations as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world.”
Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” all allegations of unlawful behaviour.
Patients in Northern Ireland are waiting three years to see a consultant about having surgery following a GP referral.
The BBC has obtained exclusive figures showing long waiting times before a decision to operate.
In Northern Ireland, targets say most patients should be seen within 9 weeks and none should wait over 15 weeks.
Yet some patients are waiting 155 weeks or more to see a specialist for spinal conditions.
A spokesman for the Health and Social Care board said it was ‘unacceptable’ that waiting lists had grown so long.
Longer and longer waits
The health service has not met the targets for several years.
Figures obtained by Freedom of Information requests in April this year and seen by the BBC show that in one of Northern Ireland’s five healthcare trusts, the minimum waiting time for an appointment with an orthopaedic consultant specialising in spinal conditions was 155 weeks.
For upper limb conditions, the minimum wait was 127 weeks.
By June, waits for spinal appointments at the same trust had risen to 159 weeks.
Megan Fleming, who is 14 years old, needs an urgent operation to correct a curvature, or scoliosis, of her spine.
Her health is deteriorating fast, and she has trouble breathing. Despite her condition, the teenager from Carrickfergus continues to go to dance classes, but says her future is on hold until her operation, which surgeons have told her will be a year away.
Her mother Karen said: “Megan loves dancing. It’s just her life at the minute. She just wants to dance.
“But at the minute she needs the surgery to help her. You could see the consultant was absolutely gutted and you could see it was hurting to say a year, but it’s out of his control.
“I’ve paid taxes, I’ve paid national insurance. So why can’t I get the surgery that she deserves?”
Megan and Karen are now trying to raise the £50,000 that her surgery will cost privately, fearing that the long wait will put Megan’s long-term health at risk.
Dr Ursula Brennan, a GP in Belfast, said that seeking private healthcare was a decision more and more patients were having to make in the current climate.
“You’re going to have to wait, and it may be several months. It may be into 52 weeks, or 80 weeks, or beyond.
“It’s very difficult to turn this conversation to – and these are our elderly folk – that you may have to use your life savings to actually improve your quality of life.”
When asked about the long waits, which are far higher than in other parts of the UK, the deputy chief executive of the Health and Social Care Board, Michael Bloomfield, said: “That is absolutely unacceptable, and that’s why we need to clearly illustrate the need for reform.
“There are about 35,000 more surgical procedures required than the health service currently has capacity for.
“Without the additional funding to see those patients or have them treated in different ways, it is regrettably inevitable that waiting times will increase to the position that they are now in.”
The political commentator Deirdre Heenan is working on a report with the Nuffield Trust into the emerging healthcare crisis in Northern Ireland.
She said: “In the last nine months we’ve had no government in Northern Ireland. We’re in a political vacuum.
“This system reverts to keeping the show on the road, and any ideas about transformation or change are simply mothballed.”
“It is not clear that the public are in a position to call for change. They may not have good information about how well the service meets their needs, and have not necessarily been made part of the long conversations about change, which as a result can sound like it brings bad news.
“But the impact on patients of the current impasse in implementing necessary changes is stark. In June this year, for example, one in six of the entire Northern Ireland population was currently on an outpatient or inpatient waiting list. In England the figure is one in 14.
“And over 64,000 people had been waiting over a year for their first outpatient appointment – a quarter of all those on the waiting list. In England, by contrast, around 1,500 people were still waiting over a year – just 2 per cent of the number in Northern Ireland for a population over 30 times larger.”
On Wednesday, the BBC will be publishing its NHS tracker, which allows users to look at how their local hospitals are performing on waiting times for A&E, cancer and planned operations.
A drug-based therapy appears to restore breathing in rats paralysed from the neck down by a spinal injury, according to scientists.
They hope their “exciting but early” findings could ultimately help free patients from ventilators.
The pioneering work, in Cell Reports, suggests the brain may not be needed for respiration if a nerve pathway in the spine can be awakened.
More studies are now needed to better understand and exploit this system.
‘No brain’ breathing
Normally, messages to and from the brain control breathing.
If the spinal cord is damaged high up in the neck, these messages can’t get through and a person will need mechanical assistance or a ventilator to breathe.
Experts have been looking at ways to repair spinal cord damage to reconnect with the brain, but the latest therapeutic approach, being explored at Case Western Reserve University, is entirely different.
Dr Jerry Silver and colleagues believe they have found an alternative nerve pathway for breathing in the spinal cord itself.
The researchers used a drug and a light therapy known as optogenetics to dial up this spinal system.
It appeared to control the body’s main muscle of respiration – the diaphragm, a dome-shaped sheet of muscle that sits underneath the lungs, separating the chest from the abdomen.
The live adult rats that they studied had severed spinal cords, meaning the brain could not be the source of the diaphragm movement or breathing that the researchers saw after they administered the therapy.
They believe the treatment works by stopping other nerve signals that would normally silence the spinal system that they found.
Dr Silver said: “This is a primitive response that has been kept in the spinal cord for emergencies, like gasping and screaming in response to danger.”
Although the researchers say the movements they saw resembled breathing, it’s not clear yet if it would be enough to sustain life. They plan more animal studies to check.
Dr Silver said: “Ultimately, the goal of this research would be to free people with these neck injuries from having to use mechanical ventilators.
“Infections and other complications from mechanical ventilators are a leading cause of death after spinal cord injuries.”
Dr Thomas Becker, an expert in neuroregeneration at Edinburgh Medical School, said: “This is an important discovery on the fundamental working of the spinal cord.
“Understanding the spinal network is the first step toward future therapies.
“This knowledge could be used for future therapies to restore breathing in patients who lost nerve connections from the brain as a consequence of spinal cord injury.”
(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp’s secret internal database for tracking bugs in its own software was broken into by a highly sophisticated hacking group more than four years ago, according to five former employees, in only the second known breach of such a corporate database.
The company did not disclose the extent of the attack to the public or its customers after its discovery in 2013, but the five former employees described it to Reuters in separate interviews. Microsoft declined to discuss the incident.
The database contained descriptions of critical and unfixed vulnerabilities in some of the most widely used software in the world, including the Windows operating system. Spies for governments around the globe and other hackers covet such information because it shows them how to create tools for electronic break-ins.
The Microsoft flaws were fixed likely within months of the hack, according to the former employees. Yet speaking out for the first time, these former employees as well as U.S. officials informed of the breach by Reuters said it alarmed them because the hackers could have used the data at the time to mount attacks elsewhere, spreading their reach into government and corporate networks.
“Bad guys with inside access to that information would literally have a ‘skeleton key’ for hundreds of millions of computers around the world,” said Eric Rosenbach, who was U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber at the time.
Companies of all stripes now are ramping up efforts to find and fix bugs in their software amid a wave of damaging hacking attacks. Many firms, including Microsoft, pay security researchers and hackers “bounties” for information about flaws – increasing the flow of bug data and rendering efforts to secure the material more urgent than ever.
In an email responding to questions from Reuters, Microsoft said: “Our security teams actively monitor cyber threats to help us prioritize and take appropriate action to keep customers protected.”
Sometime after learning of the attack, Microsoft went back and looked at breaches of other organizations around then, the five ex-employees said. It found no evidence that the stolen information had been used in those breaches.
Two current employees said the company stands by that assessment. Three of the former employees assert the study had too little data to be conclusive.
Microsoft tightened up security after the breach, the former employees said, walling the database off from the corporate network and requiring two authentications for access.
The dangers posed by information on such software vulnerabilities became a matter of broad public debate this year, after a National Security Agency stockpile of hacking tools was stolen, published and then used in the destructive “WannaCry” attacks against U.K. hospitals and other facilities.
After WannaCry, Microsoft President Brad Smith compared the NSA’s loss to the “the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen,” and cited “the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities.”
Only one breach of a big database from a software company has been disclosed. In 2015, the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation – which develops the Firefox web browser – said an attacker had gotten access to a database that included 10 severe and unpatched flaws. One of those flaws was then leveraged in an attack on Firefox users, Mozilla disclosed at the time.
In contrast to Microsoft’s approach, Mozilla provided extensive details of the breach and urged its customers to take action.
Mozilla Chief Business and Legal Officer Denelle Dixon said the foundation told the public about what it knew in 2015 “not only inform and help protect our users, but also to help ourselves and other companies learn, and finally because openness and transparency are core to our mission.”
The Microsoft matter should remind companies to treat accurate bug reports as the “keys to the kingdom,” said Mark Weatherford, who was deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when Microsoft learned of the breach.
FILE PHOTO: An advertisement about the Microsoft Cybercrime Center plays behind a window reflecting a nearby building at the Microsoft office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. on May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo
Like the Pentagon’s Rosenbach, Weatherford said he had not known of the Microsoft attack. Weatherford noted that most companies have strict security procedures around intellectual property and other sensitive corporate information.
“Your bug repository should be equally important,” he said.
ALARM SPREADS AFTER INTERNAL PROBE
Microsoft discovered the database breach in early 2013 after a highly skilled hacking group broke into computers at a number of major tech companies, including Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc.
The group, variously called Morpho, Butterfly and Wild Neutron by security researchers elsewhere, exploited a flaw in the Java programming language to penetrate employees’ Apple Macintosh computers and then move to company networks.
The group remains active as one of the most proficient and mysterious hacking groups known to be in operation, according to security researchers. Experts can’t agree about whether it is backed by a national government, let alone which one.
More than a week after stories about the breaches first appeared in 2013, Microsoft published a brief statement that portrayed its own break-in as limited and made no reference to the bug database.
“As reported by Facebook and Apple, Microsoft can confirm that we also recently experienced a similar security intrusion,” the company said on Feb. 22, 2013.
“We found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations. We have no evidence of customer data being affected, and our investigation is ongoing.”
Inside the company, alarm spread as officials realized the database for tracking patches had been compromised, according to the five former security employees. They said the database was poorly protected, with access possible via little more than a password.
Concerns that hackers were using stolen bugs to conduct new attacks prompted Microsoft to compare the timing of those breaches with when the flaws had entered the database and when they were patched, according to the five former employees.
These people said the study concluded that even though the bugs in the database were used in ensuing hacking attacks, the perpetrators could have gotten the information elsewhere.
That finding helped justify Microsoft’s decision not to disclose the breach, the former employees said, and in many cases patches already had been released to its customers.
Three of the five former employees Reuters spoke with said the study could not rule out stolen bugs having been used in follow-on attacks.
“They absolutely discovered that bugs had been taken,” said one. “Whether or not those bugs were in use, I don’t think they did a very thorough job of discovering.”
That’s partly because Microsoft relied on automated reports from software crashes to tell when attacks started showing up. The problem with this approach, some security experts say, is that most sophisticated attacks do not cause crashes, and the most targeted machines – such as those with sensitive government information – are the least likely to allow automated reporting.