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In the Nation


2d opinion ordered in life-support case

With a family fighting a hospital to keep their brain-dead daughter on life support just days before Christmas, a California judge on Monday ordered a second medical evaluation for Jahi McMath, 13.

Jahi had complications after a tonsillectomy at Children's Hospital in Oakland.

Alameda County Judge Evelio Grillo called for Jahi to be independently examined by Paul Graham Fisher, the chief of child neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Doctors at Children's concluded the girl was brain dead on Dec. 12 and wanted to remove her from life support. Jahi's family wants to keep her hooked up to a respirator and eventually have her moved to another facility.

Given the public battle over Jahi's treatment, Grillo pleaded with attorneys on both sides to continue speaking with each other and the family to help prepare for his eventual final order. - AP


Guilty plea in caging

A New Mexico woman pleaded guilty Monday to locking her 8-year-old niece with developmental disabilities in a wooden cage and leaving her alone while she left to watch a movie. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop four related charges against Cindy Patriarchias, 33, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported. She faces a maximum of six years in prison. Sentencing has been scheduled for March. - AP

59 test TB-positive

Las Vegas public health officials say dozens of people linked to a tuberculosis outbreak at a neonatal unit have tested positive for the disease. The Southern Nevada Health District reported on Monday that of the 977 people tested, 59 showed indications of the disease and two showed signs of being contagious. Joe Iser, chief medical officer at the health district, says the report demonstrates the importance of catching tuberculosis early. - AP