Britta Palin Gives Birth To Daughter

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8 (UPI) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter-in-law, Britta, has given birth to a girl, a family representative told UsMagazine.com.

Britta, 21, married Palin’s 22-year-old son Track in May.

Their first child was born Sunday, UsMagazine.com reported.

No other details regarding the baby’s birth were immediately available.

Britta is a nursing student. Track is an Army reservist and commercial fisherman.

Sarah Palin was the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. Her teenage daughter, Bristol, was pregnant with her first child during the 2008 presidential election and became a celebrity by speaking publicly about teen pregnancy, competing on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” and writing a memoir.

China Tries To End Sex-selective Abortions

BEIJING, Aug. 8 (UPI) — The Chinese government says it will be cracking down on sex-selective abortions for non-medical purposes.

The family planning policy, announced by the Chinese government in a release Monday, is an attempt to put an end to illegal sex-selective abortions and balance the sex ratio in the country where many people highly value male children to preserve bloodlines, Xinhua reported.

The Outline for the Development of Chinese Children (2011-2020) says efforts to “eliminate discrimination against girls” and continue promoting gender balance should be made.

“Using ultrasonic techniques to conduct non-medical sex determination” should be strictly prohibited, it says.

Family planning policies have been implemented in China for about three decades to control the population. Previously, couples in urban areas were only allowed to have one child.

Nowadays, polices have been loosened. Couples in some parts of the country can have two children if both parents are from one-child homes.

‘Workplace Incivility’ Very High

MARION, Ind., Aug. 8 (UPI) — Incivility in the workplace is “growing and prevalent” as companies lay off workers while expecting to keep productivity up, a U.S. psychologist suggests.

Jeannie Trudel of Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion said academics define workplace incivility as “a form of organizational deviance … characterized by low-intensity behaviors that violate respectful workplace norms, appearing vague as to intent to harm” — in other words, rudeness, insults and plain old bad manners.

“Seventy-five percent to 80 percent of people have experienced incivility. It’s a growing and prevalent problem,” Trudel told USA Today. “It’s very hard to target because you don’t really know if someone actually means to be rude or if it’s just off the cuff, so it’s an insidious problem. There are very, very negative effects of accumulated minor stresses.”

Trudel and study co-author Paul Fairlie of Toronto found 86 percent of 289 workers at three Midwestern companies reported incivility at work.

“White-collar work is becoming a little more blue-collar. There’s higher work demands, longer hours. When you control for inflation, people are getting paid less than in the late ’60s,” Fairlie said. “A lot of people are working much harder. They’ve got fluid job descriptions and less role clarity. So for some people, for a growing fringe, work is becoming more toxic.”

Texas Town Without Water In Heat Wave

KEMP, Texas, Aug. 8 (UPI) — Kemp, Texas, had to shut off its water system due to 37 days of triple-digit temperatures depleting the town’s water supply, officials say.

The Sunday afternoon shutdown was to give the town’s aging water system time to refill its reserves, WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

The hot weather has caused 14 major water mains to break in the past three weeks, which has drained the city’s water reserves, the TV station said.

Kemp Mayor Donald Kile says the old infrastructure has a lot to do with the problem. The local water treatment plant was last replaced 40 years ago, and a lot of the town’s 30 miles of pipelines were installed in the 1930s and haven’t been updated in years.

“It’s sad to say, but it’s poor planning,” said Kile, who was elected mayor recently. “When they put that water treatment plant in, they should have implemented something then … . It just wasn’t ever done.”

Local residents expressed their displeasure with the situation.

“You tell them this old woman is hot down here — and not just because of the heat!” Kay Bloomfield yelled at a utility worker who gave her a notice of the water shutdown.

Clyde Scott, who relies on the city water for his ranch that houses 31 horses and his family, said he also was upset about the water shortage.

“They told me they can’t fill me up with water. I’ve got seven kids … . We can’t be without water!” he said.

Man Living In Tent Had 37 Huskies

LACHUTE, Quebec, Aug. 8 (UPI) — Authorities say they returned 19 huskies taken by animal advocates to a Canadian man living in a tent with 18 more of the dogs.

Canadian broadcaster CTV reported Monday the Lachute, Quebec, man had taken in several of the huskies some time ago after the dog sledding company where he worked went out of business. They weren’t spayed or neutered and eventually he found himself with 37 of the dogs. But the cost of caring for them contributed to his eviction from his home this summer and the man has been tying them to trees near the tent where he’s living, CTV said.

The unidentified man had contacted the SPCA Laurentides-Labelle and the provincial Agriculture Ministry to help him find foster and permanent homes for the animals.

But this past weekend, members of Keepers of Animals Rights for the Mistreated and Abused and other agencies went to Lachute to check on the dogs.

“Apparently the dogs have been there since September last year,” said Dee-Ann Gallant of KARMA.

“Huskies are used to cold climates. They have to be either in the basement or somewhere cool in the summer, they can’t be left outside.”

Gallant had found homes for seven of the dogs another set of animal rescue advocates from Eleven Eleven Rescue say they took 19 of the dogs Sunday evening, considering them abandoned, only to be stopped by police and government officials. The owner of the dog pack told CTV News he was trying to find owners for the animals and is capable of taking care of them in the meantime.

The SPCA Laurentides-Labelle was to house the remaining animals at the organization’s shelter.

100 Birds, Live And Dead, Found In House

TROY, Ohio, Aug. 8 (UPI) — A veterinarian is asking for help in removing as many as 60 exotic birds from a condemned house in Troy, Ohio, they say are being mistreated.

Daniel Brauer of Dayton South Veterinary Clinic removed 10 macaw, cockatoo and African Grey parrots from the house but he says many more need to be saved, the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News reported Saturday.

When Brauer arrived at the house to seize the birds, he and his crew noticed at least 30 dead birds throughout the house.

“I was horrified by what I saw,” said Jim Tinnell, a veterinary technician who says he convinced Doug Ratcliff, the homeowner, to agree to let go of the 10 birds seized. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my 40 years of caring for animals.”

Many of the birds taken from the home were extremely malnourished and missing all or most of their feathers, Tinnell said.

Ratcliff had been buying exotic birds and releasing them in his house, which he no longer lives in due to health conditions. Workers said the floors of the house were covered in feces and raw peanuts.

Brauer said he was having trouble getting help from law enforcement to remove the rest of the birds.

“Apparently there is no state law relating to cruelty or treatment of these types of birds,” Tinnell said. “We are trying to figure out what our options are.”

Woman Offers $5,000 Reward For Missing Cat

KELOWNA, British Columbia, Aug. 8 (UPI) — A Canadian woman says she is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can find her missing cat Kitty.

Barbara Cook, a teacher in Fort St. John, said her 2-year-old, gray-and-white cat disappeared July 30 while being cared for by Cook’s mother in Kelowna while Cook was on vacation, The Okanagan Sunday reported.

Despite searching the neighborhood, putting up flyers, taking out classified ads and posting online, Cook says she hasn’t found any sign of her pet, the newspaper said.

“I’m very desperate. She’s my family,” Cook told GlobalBC.com. “I’m not a crazy cat lady. I just really want her back.”

101-year-old Man Assaulted, Robbed

SAVANNAH, Ga., Aug. 8 (UPI) — A 101-year-old man was assaulted and robbed as he walked to his home in Savannah, Ga., police say.

The elderly victim had just gotten off a bus Sunday afternoon and was walking toward his home when he was attacked, the Savannah Morning News.

Police say the attacker grabbed the centenarian and tried to open the door to his house. When the man resisted, the robber threw him to the ground, stole his wallet and ran. The wallet contained $61 and the victim’s ID.

The man suffered minor scrapes on his face and hand, and pain in the right side of his body. He received medical care by emergency workers at the scene, but refused to be taken to the hospital until he spoke with police.

“Most of the crimes we see are senseless, but throwing a 101-year-old man to the ground is reprehensible,” Lt. Racine Chaney of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, said in a news release. “Anyone who will do that will hurt someone and we need to get him off the streets.”

Study: Mature Heart Can’t Regenerate Cells

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8 (UPI) — U.S. researches say adult human cardiac cells lose their ability to proliferate, perhaps explaining why the human heart has little regenerative capacity.

Stem cell researchers at UCLA say the discovery may lead to methods of reprogramming a patient’s cardiac myocytes, or muscle cells, within the heart itself to create new muscle to repair damage.

Recent research suggests mammals have the ability to regenerate the heart for a very brief period, about the first week of life, but the ability is quickly lost, a UCLA release said Monday.

The UCLA study suggests it might be possible to turn back the cellular clock to a time when cardiac myocytes had the ability to proliferate and re-grow heart muscle.

Some animals like newts and salamanders can spontaneously regrow damaged organs such as the heart at any point in their life, the researchers say.

During human development, progenitor stem cells create cardiac myocytes that proliferate to form the heart, but once the heart is formed the myocytes transform from immature cells into mature cells that cannot proliferate.

In newts and salamanders cardiac myocytes can go back and forth between immature, or primitive, states to proliferate and repair damage and then revert back into mature cells once the damage is repaired.

“In mammals, we’ve lost that potential,” UCLA study leader Robb MadLellan said. “If we knew how to restore that, or knew the reason why adult myocytes can’t do it, we could try to figure out a way to use nature’s methods to regenerate the heart.”

Maid Files Civil Suit Against Frenchman

NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (UPI) — The New York hotel cleaning woman who accuses the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund of sexual assault is suing him, her lawyer says.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by Nafissatou Diallo, a Sofitel hotel housekeeper originally of Guinea, in state Supreme Court in the Bronx, comes at an unusual time, as the criminal proceedings against Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France, have yet to be settled, The New York Times reported.

“Ms. Diallo has filed her lawsuit now because she wants to vindicate her rights and hold Dominique Strauss-Kahn accountable for the violent and deplorable acts that he committed against her,” said her attorney, Kenneth Thompson.

Strauss-Kahn, who had been considered a top contender for president of France prior to his arrest, is due back in court Aug. 23, which is when Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is expects to announce whether or not he will pursue the criminal case, the New York Daily News reported.

Strauss-Kahn, accused of attacking Diallo in a suite at the Sofitel in Times Square, has pleaded not guilty.

“With violence and depravity in his heart, and having the confidence of sexually assaulting other women in the past who did not immediately come forward, defendant Strauss-Kahn forced Ms. Diallo all the way to the back of the suite and down on her knees,” the suit alleges.