Tag Archive: james durbin


Egypt permanently opens Gaza border crossing

Palestinian Yasser Srsaui, right, embraces a family member before crossing into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, southern Gaza Strip, Saturdayhttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110528/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_gaza_border

By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Ibrahim Barzak, Associated Press 2 hrs 58 mins ago

RAFAH, Gaza Strip – Egypt lifted a four-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip’s main link to the outside world Saturday, bringing relief to the crowded territory’s 1.5 million Palestinians but deepening a rift with Israel since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

The Egyptian move will allow thousands of Gazans to move freely in and out of the area — heightening Israeli fears that militants and weapons could easily reach its doorstep.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Islamic militant Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007. The closure, which also included tight Israeli restrictions at its cargo crossings with Gaza and a naval blockade, was meant to weaken Hamas, but it also fueled an economic crisis in the densely populated territory.

Hundreds of Gazans gathered early Saturday as the first bus load of passengers crossed the border at 9 a.m. Two Egyptian officers stood guard next to a large Egyptian flag atop the border gate as the vehicle rumbled through.

Rami Arafat, 52, was among the earliest arrivals. He said he hoped to catch a flight out of Cairo on Sunday to Algeria for his daughter’s wedding.

“All we need is to travel like humans, be treated with dignity, and feel like any other citizens of the world who can travel in and out freely,” Arafat said. He said he believed the relaxing of travel restrictions “will guarantee more support from all Arabs and Palestinians for the new Egyptian regime.”

Nearby, 28-year-old Khaled Halaweh said he was headed to Egypt to study for a master’s degree in engineering at Alexandria University.

“The closure did not affect only the travel of passengers or the flowing of goods. Our brains and our thoughts were under blockade,” said Halaweh, who said he hadn’t been out of Gaza for seven years.

Until Saturday, the Rafah border terminal had functioned at a limited capacity. Only certain classes of people, such as students, businessmen or medical patients, were eligible to travel and the crossing was often subject to closures, leading to huge backlogs that forced people to wait for months.

Under the new system, most restrictions are being lifted, and a much larger number of Palestinians are expected to be able to cross each day.

Inside the border terminal Saturday, the atmosphere was orderly, as Hamas police called up passengers one by one to register their travel documents.

After 5 1/2 hours of operation, terminal officials said 340 people had crossed from Gaza into Egypt. None were forced to return, a departure from the past when Egypt had rejected passengers found to be on “blacklists.” Another 150 people crossed from Egypt into Gaza.

“Today is a cornerstone for a new era that we hope will pave the road to ending the siege and blockade on Gaza,” said Hatem Awideh, director general of the Hamas border authority in Gaza. “We hope this facilitation by our Egyptian brothers will improve travel and will allow everyone to leave Gaza.”

One after another buses crossed Rafah, pulling blue carts behind them with luggage piled high. Inside the terminal, many waited with high hopes.

One woman, who gave her name as Aisha, said she was headed for a long overdue medical checkup in Cairo. She underwent surgery for blocked arteries at a Cairo hospital in October, but Egyptian authorities had prevented her from returning for checkups because a distant relative was caught — and killed — operating a smuggling tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border. During the four-year blockade, a thriving smuggling business has grown along the border.

Salama Baraka, head of police at the Rafah terminal on the Gaza side, said travel has been limited to about 300 passengers a day under the old system. He said it was unclear how many people would pass through Saturday, but that officials hoped to get about three days’ worth of people, or roughly 900, across.

About 100 Hamas supporters marched with Palestinian and Egyptian flags outside the border terminal in a gesture of gratitude to Egypt.

“This courageous step by Egypt reflects the deep historic relations between the Palestinian and Egyptian nations,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri. “We hope this will be a step in the long process to end the blockade imposed on Gaza.”

The new system will not resolve Gazans’ travel woes completely.

While Egypt has dropped its restrictions on who can travel, bureaucratic obstacles remain. Men between the ages of 18 and 40 will have to apply for Egyptian visas, a process that can take weeks. Women, children and older men need easier-to-obtain travel permits, which can be obtained in several days.

Israel, which controls Gaza’s cargo crossings, allows most consumer goods into Gaza, but it still restricts exports as well as the entry of much-needed construction materials, saying they could be used by militants. Israel also enforces a naval blockade aimed at weapons smuggling.

Israeli and American officials have expressed concerns that Hamas will exploit the opening to bring weapons and fighters into Gaza. In January 2008, masked militants blew open the Rafah border wall, allowing thousands of people to pour in and out of Egypt.

Egyptian officials say they have security measures in place to keep weapons from crossing through Rafah.

Hamas has long used tunnels to get arms into Gaza. Gaza militants now have military-grade rockets that have hit cities in southern Israel.

Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official, told Channel 2 TV Friday that Israel’s primary concern is that military training personnel could cross to instruct Hamas fighters.

“One trainer who tells them how to set up the rockets and how to use them is equal to a large quantity of weapons,” Gilad said.

Egypt’s decision to open the border is also meant to boost an Egyptian-mediated unity deal between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah. Hamas has governed Gaza since routing Fatah forces in 2007, leaving the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in control only of the West Bank.

Last month, the Egyptian regime brokered a reconciliation deal. With details still being worked out, Hamas will be in charge of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, but Egypt coordinated the opening with the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, said Yaser Afnan, Egypt’s ambassador in the West Bank.

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http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/realityrocks/422572/why-lauren-alaina-will-outsell-scotty-mccreery/

Scotty McCreery was just declared the 10th “American Idol” winner, but as the past two seasons’ Crystal Bowersox and Adam Lambert can tell you, winning isn’t everything. Both of those runners-up have sold more albums than the respective contestants who beat them, and I have a feeling this season’s runner-up, Lauren Alaina, will continue that pattern when she and Scotty release their albums later this year.

Why, do you ask? Read on.

1) Lauren May Get More Airplay – “Idol” fans loved Scotty, yes, but country radio staffers don’t seem to be quite as enthusiastic. Stark Radio recently reported that country radio broadcasters are already resistant to Scotty; WFRE’s Jess Wright even said, “If Scotty McCreery gets signed, I’m gonna need to change my phone number,” and KUZZ’s Toni-Marie quipped, “I’m calling in sick the day they bring Scotty by on the radio tour.” These same programmers also seemed to think Lauren has a good shot, with the right material and proper handling.

2) Lauren May Get Better Material – For her first single, Universal Records honcho Jimmy Iovine gave her “Like My Mother Does,” a catchy, heartstring-plucking ballad about a young girl’s admiration for her mom. Aw. Scotty, on the other hand, got the grammatically awkward “I Love You This Big,” with a silly chorus a boy might sing to his mom at age 5, not age 17. Were the “Idol” powers-that-be, who clearly wanted a girl winner this year, trying to sabotage him by giving him the weaker song? I don’t know–but I don’t think “I Love You This Big” did him any favors, and if he gets material like that for his first album, those above-mentioned radio programmers aren’t going to change their minds about him.

3) Lauren May Get More Label & Management Support – It’s been proven that if the “Idol” powers-that-be don’t get the winner they wanted, they’ll proceed with their original plans anyway. For instance, Taylor Hicks won Season 5, but all the 19 Entertainment marketing efforts that year went into making Chris Daughtry a star. Way more support was given to Adam Lambert than Kris Allen, and we all see how much effort the “Idol” machine put into launching Lee DeWyze’s career. On this week’s final showdown it was obvious how hard Lauren was pimped over Scotty, and while that attempt failed, that doesn’t mean Lauren won’t get a bigger marketing budget and bigger push later on.

4) Lauren Has More Crossover Potential – Let’s face it, most modern country music nowadays doesn’t sound very country at all, save for a bit of steel guitar buried in the mix and the teeniest hint of twang in the singer’s Pro-Tooled voice. I personally like the fact that Scotty doesn’t try to mix too much pop in his country, and keeps it old-school, hearkening back to the classic hat acts of yore. But Lauren’s poppier style does seem more in tune with today’s country scene. Those radio programmers’ comments cannot be discounted, nor can the fact that two of “Idol’s” most successful alums ever are Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. (Lauren has also been compared to that other mega-selling “Idol” lady, Kelly Clarkson.) Carrie and Lauren’s finale night duet almost seemed like a staged symbolic torch-passing, and Lauren later told reporters backstage that Carrie told her, “Wow, that was incredible. We should take that on the road!” So Lauren has the potential to become Underwood 2.0.

5) Girls Dominate The Charts – The biggest sellers right now are Adele, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Rihanna, and the like, and ladies rule the country charts, too (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, the female-fronted Lady Antebellum, and of course, Carrie Underwood). Girls don’t tend to do too well on “Idol” anymore–we’ve had four male winners in a row now–but they sure do well in the real world.

Of course, this is no diss on Scotty; he is the superior performer of the two, a real showman, so he may pick up even more diehard (read: record-buying) fans as he headlines the Idols Live Tour this summer. But hopefully getting all the way to “Idol” finale gave Lauren a confidence boost, and the sassy girl we saw back in Nashville, the one who had the guts to challenge Steven Tyler to a “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” duet, will soon reemerge onstage and on record. On “Idol” Lauren sometimes seemed like a butterfly turning back into a caterpillar, as the pressure of competing got to her, but now it’s time for her to her to break out of her cocoon. So don’t rule out Lauren just yet.

Mission Fuge part one

Hi! everyone. How are ya’ll? I’m fine just dealing with some family problems lately and got I got to think about some stuff I did last year that I shouldn’t have, but any way like the title of today’s posts says I’m going to be talking about Mission Fuge. Yes, I will being going to Mission Fuge this year with the youth group I’m in and we’ll be heading to South Caroline. This is going to be an interseting, but kind of scary because I’ve only been out of state once in my life and I was to young to even remember what happened.( I was two at the time) But yea like it says in the title this is part one and hopefully if I dont forget I’ll do a part two at later date. I guess thats about it for this post so please leave a comment and tell me what you think about my posts or if you went on a mission fuge before tell me how was it.

Bye

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/amplifier/89173/your-burning-american-idol-finale-questions-answered/

The 10th season of American Idol wrapped last night with a two-hour-and-seven-minute finale during which baby-faced country crooner Scotty McCreery won the big prize and Lady Gaga gave the most literal performance of her career. As expected, the show was weird — special guests included Judas Priest and Tony Bennett — but hopefully we can answer all your lingering questions right now:

Did Idol cut away from Scotty maybe kissing Lauren Alaina when the results were read?
Possibly! Business Insider points out that cameras seemed to cut away from the two finalists whenever they got close, and there was definitely a suspicious edit (visible at the :20 mark in the below video). Before McCreery even thanked the Lord, he told Ryan Seacrest, “It’s been a year since me and Lauren Alaina tried out now, me and her have been together since day one, and we’re going to stay together.” Oh, really? Confronted about the dating question after the show, they played it coy. “We’re really close friends… I don’t know about the dating part. She’s just being funny,” said Scotty when Lauren playfully told the press to confront him about their status, according to Zap2it. “She’s such a sweetheart. We’ve grown so close. It’s a special relationship we have.”

Who was in Steven Tyler’s backing band?
Well, it wasn’t Aerosmith! New judge Tyler had promised his band would perform on the Idol finale, but guitarist Joe Perry swore it wasn’t gonna happen. And the winner of this truth contest is… Joe Perry! When Tyler sat down at a white grand piano to play “Dream On,” he was backed by Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert and Dean DeLeo, drummer Marti Frederiksen and pianist Russ Irwin. Frederiksen is a longtime Aerosmith collaborator and one of the “Boneyard Boys” who help write and produce the band’s music. Irwin is best known for his 1991 single “My Heart Belongs to You,” and has been part of Aerosmith’s touring band since the late ’90s.

Who was that dude singing with Bono and the Edge?
Half of U2 were on the scene at Idol to promote their struggling $70 million Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. The young guy trading verses with Bono was Reeve Carney, the 28-year-old musician who plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the show. He fronts a band called Carney whose other members scored a sweet gig playing in the pit orchestra for the production. Last night the trio performed “Rise Above 1,” which was produced by Alex Da Kid. The song gets a solid “meh” from us — we’d have preferred if they’d done the more U2-y “Boy Falls From the Sky.”

Where was last year’s winner?
It’s traditional for the most recent American Idol victor to make an appearance at the finale to A) pass the crown on to the new winner and B) remind America he/she is still alive. This year, though, producers didn’t let season nine Idol Lee DeWyze take the stage. “Hey guys, no I’m not performing at the Finale. I wasn’t asked to,” he tweeted. “A lot of questions so I thought I’d fill you in.”

What was the ballad Beyoncé sang?
If the super sexy song Beyoncé performed didn’t sound familiar, there’s a good reason for that — it’s brand new! “1 + 1” is the opening track on the singer’s June 28th LP 4 and a big chance of pace from her frantic first single “Run the World (Girls),” which she performed at the Billboard Music Awards earlier this week.

Now is the perfect time to follow The Amplifier on Twitter!

See Also:
Lady Gaga Brings Extremely Literal Performance to ‘Idol’ Finale

[Photo: Kevin Winter/American Idol 2011/Getty Images]

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/realityrocks/422566/sand-your-new-american-idol-is/

It was pretty obvious–after three consecutive seasons of cute, guitar-strumming male “Idol” winners–that the “American Idol” powers-that-be wanted a female champion this season. And in finalist Lauren Alaina, a girl that judge Steve Tyler declared “The One” after her very first audition–they had a very strong contender. Many fans actually thought she did better than Scotty on Tuesday’s final showdown. But even Lauren, a likable girl next door in the Clarkson/Underwood/Sparks mold, could not break the girls’ dry spell on this show. Yes, baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low, because it’s just been announced that, despite all of the show’s blatant Lauren pimping this week…Scotty McCreery is the tenth American Idol.

This is hardly an upset, of course. Lauren was a season-long favorite of both the judges and viewers, but if there was anyone who seemed even more of a shoo-in than her, it was Scotty. Unlike Lauren, he’d never been in the bottom three before, and the boy seemed to be coated in Teflon no matter what he did. He forgot the words to one of his songs during Hollywood Week, was peripherally involved in the Hollywood Week bullying of Jacee Badeaux that ended up ruining Clint Gamboa’s chances, and delivered similar live performances week after week without the judges ever encouraging him to mix it up…and he got a free pass every time. Scotty was simply unstoppable. It almost seemed like his ascendance to the “Idol” throne was pre-ordained, since he was glowingly mentioned in some of producer Nigel Lythgoe’s promotional interviews before Season 10 even began.

It’s also not a huge surprise that Scotty won considering that, while he hardly had the stronger voice of these two (Lauren was one of this season’s best singers), he was the better all-around entertainer. Scotty always projected a certain unshakable confidence that Lauren sadly seemed to lose after her stellar first audition, as the pressures of live competition clearly got to her. Lauren’s confidence probably received another big blow when she lost this week, but she may be better off coming in second and having a little more luxury of time to mature outside of the “Idol” bubble.

But now, of course, the real work begins, for both contestants. While Scotty is “Idol’s” first male country winner–which, to be fair, differentiates him from previous male winners Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, and David Cook–it’s unclear whether the country world will accept him (Stark Radio posted a surprising report about country radio programmers already snubbing him), or if, at such a young age, he will be able to establish an identity outside of the country stars he sometimes imitates (like Josh Turner). Meanwhile, Lauren, who obviously wanted to win badly (she actually used to entertain her relatives by pretending to perform on “American Idol” as a little girl), and had trouble concealing her girlish disappointment when she came in second, may end up victorious in the long run; considering that her pop-country style has more crossover potential than Scotty’s more old-school, hat-act style, she could sell more records when she inevitably lands her own record deal. (It should be noted that the last two “Idol” runners-up outsold their respective seasons’ winners.)

However, both contestants are very young and have a lot of growing up to do, and now they’ll be growing up on the road and in the studio. So let’s hope Interscope and 19 Entertainment surround them with the right people.

Do you think viewers elected the right American Idol? And who do you think will ultimately be more successful, sales-wise? Let me know on the message board below.

[photo courtesy of Fox]

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The Japanese Language

So, if you’re reading this one of two things have happened. 1.) You were bored and was looking for something to read or 2.) You like to read my blog posts. But, hey your reading my blog and I aperate that. Thank you. 🙂 Let see what can I put in today’s post. Well, I really want to learn the Japanese language, but the problem is I’m not sure how I can do that. I mean there aren’t many people here in Grenada willing to teach me. If any of know someone please let me know.  What else, uhm….yea I’m looking for new ways to study up on math so I’ll be ready for the ACT in September. So yea that’s it. If you have anything you’s like to see me post or anything like that please leave a comment. Bye.

here we go again

Here we go again.lol Hello everyone how are you? I’m ok my computer is acting a little better today but we’ll have to wait and see how things go before anyone can say its fixed. I just got home from church. It was an awesome service today. I can’t wait til this evening and see what Bro. Brent will preach about. Well, I guess I’ll close out for today. See ya’ll later. Bye

hello

hello! how are ya’ll? I’m back! I just thought I’d post something else before I get for good tonight. Well, today was about the same as any other day for me.(boring) One thing I did do ,however,that I haven’t done in a while was go to the beach. I’m really not much of a swimmer, but today while I was doing some house work I got this eurge to go to the beach, so I did. Lets just say I had fun. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to the beach this summer, but hey you never right? 🙂

In other news…….I may be going to a wedding either in July or August I’m not really sure though, so that’s something to look forward to.

Well that’s it for today see ya’ll later. 🙂

Triple bombing kills 27 at Iraqi police station

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110519/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq

By YAHYA BARZANJI and LARA JAKES, Associated Press Yahya Barzanji And Lara Jakes, Associated Press 1 hr 34 mins ago

KIRKUK, Iraq – A triple bombing killed 27 people and wounded scores outside a police station Thursday, heightening tensions in a northern Iraqi city already on edge after a string of kidnappings and attacks against security officers.

The new violence adds to strain that already besets Kirkuk, a city that has long been plagued by ethnic squabbles over land and oil fields. Iraqi and U.S. officials long have feared Kirkuk and the disputed lands surrounding it — sandwiched between Arab villages and an autonomous Kurdish region — could destabilize the country if American forces leave at the end of this year on schedule.

“This shows there is no government in this country,” railed Ahmed Salih, 55, sitting next to a hospital bed where his 30-year-old son, Omar Ahmed, lay with bandages around his head and legs. “How such an incident can take place at the police station, where there is security, is nonsense.”

The first blast, a bomb stuck to a car in a parking lot in central Kirkuk, lured policemen out of their fortified headquarters to investigate around 9 a.m., said police Capt. Abdul Salam Zangana. Three minutes later, a second blast rocked the lot when a car packed with explosives blew up in the crowd of police.

“The boots of police officers were scattered at the scene,” said one a police officer, Ahmed Hamid, who survived the strike. “I saw a severed hand on the ground.”

The third bomb, planted on a road leading to a hospital, set cars and trucks ablaze when it exploded about 550 yards (500 meters) away less than an hour later. Zangana said it targeted a police patrol near a mosque.

In all, the blasts killed 27 — most of them police officers — and wounded at least 60 people, said provincial health director Siddiq Omar. Eyewitness Adnan Karim described the scene as “a chaos of terror and fear.”

Located 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Kirkuk has been an ethnic flashpoint for years among Kurds, Arabs and Turkomen, who each claim the oil-rich city as their own. Kirkuk’s two largest ethnic groups have their own competing security forces — the Arab national police and the predominantly Kurdish peshmerga forces — and that division has stoked tensions.

Within the last 10 days alone, police patrols in Kirkuk have been targeted in five roadside bombings and an Iraqi army base has been hit by two Kaytusha rockets, said city police Col. Sherzad Mofari.

In Mosul, another major city within the disputed territories, four Iraqi army soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb Thursday afternoon, a policeman said.

Also, Kirkuk kidnappers also killed a policeman and a Christian construction worker. The latter was dismembered after his attackers gave up on collecting the $100,000 random they had demanded.

Mofari blamed the violent upsurge on al-Qaida and its allies in Iraq, which seek to stir up Kirkuk’s tensions. “They are trying to keep this instability of security in the city for a long time,” he said.

American military commanders have long worried that the simmering fight over Kirkuk could provoke violence that could spread to the rest of the country. For the last several years, U.S. troops have worked to build partnerships between Iraqi army forces and the Kurdish security forces, known as peshmerga, to secure the swath of disputed lands that stretches over three northern Iraqi provinces — and over some of the world’s most lucrative oil reserves.

But as the U.S. troops withdraw, there is little indication the Kurdish-Arab partnerships will hold, and officials gloomily predict they could return to violence if the Americans leave as scheduled on Dec. 31.

In February, for example, the Kurdish government sent thousands of peshmerga around Kirkuk, claiming to be protecting the city from planned demonstrations that might turn violent. But the incursion scared Arab and Turkomen residents, who called it a thinly veiled attempt to surround Kirkuk with Kurdish forces. The peshmerga pulled back a few weeks later and the crisis passed without bloodshed.

In Baghdad, lawmakers are still haggling over rules for taking a national census that that would determine Kirkuk’s residency — and therefore which ethnic group can rightfully claim power — trying to shape the eligibility requirements to best suit their constituents.

Hours after the bombings, the U.N. envoy to Iraq, Ad Melkert, called on all sides to quickly settle the disputes to prove that Iraqi leaders want to ensure security and stability across the country. The U.N. has been working with Kirkuk’s leaders for years to settle the dispute over the territory and get the census taken, but few believe it will be resolved any time soon.

At one hospital where victims were taken, some said they were close to giving up hope.

“This is because of carelessness of security,” said Awaz Kamal, 45, crying as she watched her son, policeman Saman Salih, being prepared for an operation to remove shrapnel from his stomach.

Around them, bloodied and bandaged victims lay on the floor, because the beds were already filled with patients.

Then a police truck pulled into the hospital driveway with four bodies lying motionless in the truck bed. It was not clear whether they were alive or dead.

___

Jakes reported from Baghdad. Associated Press writers Hamid Ahmed and Rebecca Santana also contributed.

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press Ramit Plushnick-masti, Associated Press 1 hr 15 mins ago

HOUSTON – A day after surgery to repair her skull, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ doctor has dubbed her “gorgeous Gabby,” encouraged by how she looks and is communicating after an operation considered a major milestone in her recovery from a gunshot wound.

Giffords had some pain and nausea shortly after the surgery, but a scan of her brain showed the operation was successful, said Dr. Dong Kim, the neurosurgeon who performed the intricate, three-and-a-half-hour procedure.

She’s doing so well that doctors are beginning bedside rehabilitation therapy, and say she’s on the path to being released, although they won’t discuss a timetable.

Giffords’ head was shaved for the surgery, and she’ll be able to stop wearing the cumbersome helmet that was protecting her head from further injury. Kim described her new look as “cute.”

“I started calling her gorgeous Gabby today,” Kim said at a hospital news conference Thursday. “She hasn’t looked in the mirror yet, but as soon as she does she’ll be very pleased.”

Doctors had to remove a piece of the congresswoman’s skull to allow for her brain to swell after she was shot in the head four months ago at a political meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed in the attack and thirteen others injured, including Giffords.

To replace the missing bone, Kim attached a piece of molded hard plastic with tiny screws.

Giffords’ astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, who is orbiting Earth on the space shuttle Endeavour, said he kept in touch with his mother-in-law, his identical twin brother Scott, and his wife’s chief of staff throughout the surgery, and that he is pleased with how it went.

“She’s doing really well. Everything went as planned,” Kelly said in a TV interview from space. “Her neurosurgeons are very happy, she’s recuperating and she’s actually getting back to therapy today. So it went really, really well.”

Kelly also said that Giffords will receive outpatient care in Houston, meaning she will remain away from her home district in Arizona for the start of the next phase of her recovery. “We don’t know exactly when that is going to be, but I’m looking forward to that.”

Giffords also had a permanent shunt placed in the skin behind her ear to drain spinal fluid from her brain and into her abdomen, Kim said. It will relieve pressure from fluids that often build up in patients with a brain injury, but it’s not visible and many patients forget they have one, doctors said.

The surgery carries a 5 to 10 percent risk of infection, Kim said. There are still some remaining bullet fragments in Giffords’ brain that will not be removed because doing so could make her condition worse, he said.

Once Giffords returns to TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston from the nearby Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center where she underwent the surgery, the shunt and the skull surgery will further help her recovery.

“We’re optimistic that when she comes back we’ll see a lot of changes that will allow us to upgrade the rehabilitation,” said Dr. Gerard Francisco, the head of Giffords’ rehabilitation team.

___

Ramit Plushnick-Masti can be reached at http://twitter.com/RamitMastiAP

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110519/ap_on_he_me/us_congresswoman_shot_surgery

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