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Woman fighting back against rare disease

ATLANTA (AP) -- A young Georgia woman fighting a flesh-eating disease is now able to breathe on her own, a milestone that sent the family's spirits soaring, her father said Monday.

Aimee Copeland is now focused on taking each breath without the aid of a ventilator, which will help her lungs recover, her father, Andy Copeland, told the Associated Press. He wrote on his Facebook page a day earlier that "Aimee is being Aimee," cracking jokes, speaking candidly and displaying "her usual early morning grumpiness."

Her hands were amputated Thursday because they had turned purple and were threatening her recovery.

Copeland, 24, developed a rare condition called necrotizing fasciitis after suffering a cut to her leg May 1 in a fall from a homemade zip line over the Little Tallapoosa River in west Georgia.


Soldier wears mask in bomb plot trial

WACO, Texas (AP) -- A soldier accused of planning to bomb troops from Fort Hood wore a mask in court for the first time Monday as jury selection began in his federal trial.

Army Pfc. Naser J. Abdo has been accused of biting through his lip and spitting blood on a deputy U.S. marshal and a sheriff's deputy who were escorting him after a court hearing last month. Officials reported a previous blood-spitting incident on a jailer.

Abdo, 22, wore an oval mask over his nose and mouth Monday, while several U.S. marshals standing near him wore protective glasses.

Abdo, a Muslim soldier who was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., is accused of planning to bomb a Killeen restaurant filled with Fort Hood soldiers and shoot any survivors last summer.


Firm aids Smithsonian with genome exhibit

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is developing its first major exhibit on the human genome with a $3 million pledge announced Monday from a biotechnology company.

The philanthropic foundation of Life Technologies Corp. is the lead sponsor for a 2,500-square-foot exhibition slated to open on the National Mall in June 2013.