Weed that sprouted holiday cheer mysteriously uprooted

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A street corner weed that had been decked out with Christmas lights and brought out holiday goodwill in Ohio has apparently met an early demise.

In this Dec. 18, 2018 photo, Jimmy Izbinski, wearing a Santa suit, waves to motorists passing the Christmas weed in Toledo, Ohio. The street corner weed decked out with lights and ornaments is spreading holiday goodwill. (AP Photo/John Seewer)

WTVG-TV in Toledo reports that someone pulled out the “Christmas weed” early Friday morning and drove off with it in his trunk.

The weed had become a holiday attraction after a family decorated it with tinsel to spread some Christmas cheer.

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O Christmas Weed: An overgrown street corner weed now decorated with lights and ornaments has turned into a holiday attraction in Ohio. Read more: http://apne.ws/syUVvy2 1299:56 AM – Dec 20, 201850 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Others added their own ornaments and began leaving behind donations for the needy. It became so popular that Toledo officials set up donation boxes and handed out the items to local charities.

The weed had been scheduled to be cleaned up on Saturday along with all of the decorations and donations surrounding it.


Pope meets father of British toddler at center of battle – Associated Press


ap.jpegVATICAN CITY (AP) — The father of a terminally ill British toddler met Wednesday with Pope Francis and begged him to make another bid for his son’s life, after an appeals court ruled that the child cannot be taken to Italy for further medical treatment.

Francis obliged, holding a minute of silent prayer for 23-month-old Alfie Evans during his weekly general audience and insisting that the only one who can give and take life is God.

“It’s our duty to do everything to care for life,” Francis told the crowd of thousands in St. Peter’s Square.

Alfie’s parents have been engaged in a protracted legal fight with doctors over his care.

Earlier court rulings blocked further medical treatment and ordered life support to be withdrawn. On Monday, the Court of Appeal upheld the lower court conclusion that flying Alfie to a hospital in Rome — the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital — would be wrong and pointless.

Alfie’s father, Thomas Evans, met with Francis before the pope’s general audience and asked him to make a public appeal about the value of life. Evans clutched a green rosary during the emotional encounter, and a visibly moved pope embraced him.

Alfie is in a “semi-vegetative state” as the result of a degenerative neurological condition that doctors have been unable to definitively identify.

It was Francis’ second appeal this week for Alfie, and the second time in recent months that the Vatican has intervened in a case of a sick British toddler.

Last July, Francis spoke out on behalf of Charlie Gard, who died from a rare genetic disease after his parents waged a protracted court fight to obtain treatment for him outside of Britain.

In appealing the lower court rulings, Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, argued their son had shown improvement in recent weeks. But doctors said his brain was eroded and his condition was irreversible.

NYC removes statue of doctor who experimented on slaves -AP NEW YORK

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NYC removes statue of doctor who experimented on slaves

NEW YORK — A statue of a 19th century doctor who did experimental surgery without anesthesia on enslaved African-American women has been removed from New York’s Central Park.

The city’s Public Design Commission voted Monday to accept a mayoral panel’s recommendation to remove the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims, known as the father of modern gynecology.

It was removed Tuesday for relocation to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, where Sims is buried, accompanied by signage with historical context.

The New York Times says the commission’s president wept on Monday when she called for the vote.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a review of “symbols of hate” on city property eight months ago following a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left a person dead.