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Baby with no intestines dies prior to transplant

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- A Romanian baby born with virtually no intestines who confounded doctors by tenaciously clinging to life and captured international attention and offers of medical help, died Thursday. He was 9 months old.

In April, following an Associated Press article, people in Europe and the United States began offering funds and medical expertise to help Baby Andrei get a complicated intestine transplant, and discussions about arranging the procedure were ongoing.

But Dr. Catalin Cirstoveanu, the Romanian pediatrician in charge of the baby's care, said the attempts were too slow for the boy, who spent most of his life in the intensive care unit of the Marie Curie Hospital in Bucharest.

Elaine McEwen, who heads Nobody's Children, a U.S. children's charity that has brought over children from Romania, Bosnia and Venezuela for surgery not available in their home countries, said Andrei was an inspiration.


Reasons for Putin skipping G8 unclear

MOSCOW -- Vladimir V. Putin's decision to skip the G8 summit at Camp David next week suggests that Russia's president has encountered unfamiliar challenges in the first days of his new term, compelling him to hunker down and demonstrate here and abroad who is in charge.

Only Putin himself really knows why he chose to send Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the long-planned summit in his place, but the fast-moving and unpredictable events in Moscow over the past few days have clearly provoked intense behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

By one account, Putin has had to rethink the shape of his Cabinet because of continuing protests, and so really does have to remain in Russia. Other theories see him as peeved by the United States -- when at a disadvantage, he often resorts to anti-Americanism -- or avoiding the international stage at a moment when he appears thrown off stride. Putin's return to the presidency turned bumpy Sunday, when an unexpectedly large number of demonstrators gathered in Moscow to protest his inauguration the next day.

-- Washington Post


Smoke bombs disrupt Montreal's subway

MONTREAL (AP) -- Police said several smoke bombs were set off at multiple points in Montreal's subway system during morning rush hour Thursday, briefly cutting off service and creating a nightmarish morning commute.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest condemned the attack, saying he hopes the guilty parties are found. "It's inexplicable," Charest said. "There's no reason to commit acts of intimidation and violence. There's no excuse for this."

Bombs were tossed onto the tracks at three stations along the transit network that connects numerous neighborhoods in Canada's second largest city, sending clouds of smoke billowing through stations at key transfer points, said police.

Montreal police spokeswoman Marie-Elaine Ladouceur said officers are hunting for several suspects whose photos they received from witnesses.

Subway service has been interrupted in recent weeks as the city deals with student protests over planned tuition increases. Police have said some radical groups have been taking advantage of the anti-tuition battle to create their own damage.