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Happening Today: NATO, Thai Cave Rescue, Alzheimer's Research, ACLU, World's Ugliest Dog

What to Know

  • The soccer teammates rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand lost weight during their 18-day ordeal, but got water from it dripping in
  • Dallas scientists have made a major breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's disease
  • The ACLU released a video to address the situation associated with Trump's previous policy of separating immigrant children from parents

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Trump Slams Germany at Breakfast With NATO Secretary General

In a combative start to his NATO visit, President Trump asserted a pipeline project has made Germany "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia" and blasted NATO allies' defense spending, opening what was expected to be a fraught summit with a list of grievances involving American allies. Trump, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, took issue with the U.S. protecting Germany when the European nation is making deals with Russia. The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany. The vast undersea pipeline is opposed by the U.S. and some other EU members, who warn it could give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe.

Kids Lost Weight But “Took Care of Themselves,” in Cave, Official Says

The soccer teammates rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand lost weight during their 18-day ordeal and in the days before their discovery survived by drinking water dripping into their refuge, a health official said. The 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days "took care of themselves well in the cave," Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said at a news conference at the hospital in Chiang Rai city where the group is recovering. The four boys rescued Sunday can eat normal food and walk around, and the four pulled out Monday were eating soft food. Thongchai said one member of the final group of four boys and the coach who arrived at the hospital evening had a slight lung infection. Two of the first group had a lung infection as well, and Thongchai said they would need medicine for seven days. The average weight loss was 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) for those with known information, Thongchai said. 

China Vows Retaliation as U.S. Proposes $200B More in Tariffs

China slammed the U.S. threat to expand tariff hikes to imports including apples, fish sticks and French doors as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle and vowed to protect its "core interests." The government gave no details but the Commerce Ministry earlier threatened "comprehensive measures." That prompted fears Beijing might go beyond matching U.S. import tax increases by harassing American companies in China. The spiraling conflict over Chinese technology policy threatens to chill global economic growth. It stems from Washington's belief that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology and worries that plans for state-led development of Chinese champions in robots and other fields might erode American industrial leadership.

Texas Scientists Make Major Breakthrough in Alzheimer's Research

Despite billions of dollars spent on clinical trials through the decades, Alzheimer's disease remains one of the most devastating and baffling diseases in the world, affecting more than 5 million Americans alone. But Dallas scientists have made a major breakthrough in the fight. They have discovered a "Big Bang" of Alzheimer's disease — the point at which a healthy protein becomes toxic, but has not yet formed deadly tangles in the brain. According to a study from UT Southwestern's O'Donnell Brain Institute, scientists found the shape-shifting nature of a tau molecule just before it begins sticking to itself to form larger aggregates. The tau protein is believed to be the key driver of Alzheimer's disease.

New Jersey Man Contracts Flesh-Eating Infection While Crabbing

A man crabbing in the Maurice River in South Jersey is suffering from a flesh-eating infection in what one health official described as a very rare reaction to a common bacteria. Angel Perez, 60, is now fighting to keep all his limbs in intensive care at a Camden hospital after effects from the infection began taking hold after his crabbing trip, according to his daughter. His first words after having his breathing tubes removed were, "Don't take my legs. Please, don't take my legs," his daughter Dilena said. The scary medical battle for Perez began when he noticed a skin rash after crabbing in the Cumberland County river near Matt's Landing in Commercial Township. Soon, his legs started to swell and lesions began appearing on his skin. Perez's severe reaction to the infection from a bacteria called vibrio vulnificus is extremely rare, according to Cumberland County health officer Megan Sheppard.

Pain Patients Beg FDA for More Options, More Access to Opioids

The Food and Drug Agency Administration, aiming to be more accommodating to chronic pain patients, held a meeting this week to hear people's stories about their pain, NBC News reported. Several dozen people traveled to FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and the room was full of very unhappy people. One lay on the floor, another eased her back on the wall, another paced. "Suicide is always an option for us," said Mariann Farrell, a Pittsburgh resident who says she has multiple conditions, including fibromyalgia. The agency is considering how to account for the needs of people with chronic, intractable pain while also dealing with the opioid addiction crisis.

Celebrities Bring Awareness to Separated Families in New ACLU Video

The fight is not over yet, according to several Hollywood stars. Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union released a video via their YouTube account in partnership with Maggie Gyllenhaal to address the situation associated with President Trump's previous policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.--Mexico border. The video was a collaboration between Gyllenhaal and attorney Lee Gelernt who also serves as deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. A plethora of famous faces including Amy Schumer, Aubrey Plaza, Ryan Reynolds, James Franco and Julia Louis-Dreyfus appear in the video.

Zsa Zsa, Recent Winner of World's Ugliest Dog Contest, Dies

The world's ugliest dog, Zsa Zsa, has died, Today reports. The English bulldog's owner, Megan Brainard, confirmed that Zsa Zsa died peacefully while sleeping. Brainard said that she, her husband and their 15-month-old daughter had a chance to say their goodbyes. Just weeks ago the 9-year-old, named after Hollywood socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor, drew national attention when she was crowned the World's Ugliest Dog at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. Her rise to fame did not come easy, with the droopy-tongued dog spending five years in one of Missouri's puppy mills before the Underdog Rescue group placed her in the Brainard family's loving home.

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