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MASSACHUSETTS: Rare death from rabies

A man has died after being critically ill for about a month with the state's first reported case of human rabies since 1935. Kevin Galvin, 63, from Barnstable, is suspected of having been infected by a bite from a little brown myotis bat. He died Jan. 23 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The cause of death was rabies encephalitis. The source of the virus was confirmed as a type of mouse-eared bat that is common in North America. Most U.S. cases of human rabies have been linked to exposure to bats.


CALIFORNIA: Flag-burning stirs dispute

The burning of the U.S. flag outside Oakland City Hall on Saturday was denounced by Occupy supporters as a black mark on the movement. Others called it justified. The flag-burning raised questions about whether the act will tarnish a movement of largely peaceful protests and alienate people who agree with its message against corporate excess and economic inequality. But at Occupy Oakland, flag-burning is nothing new. Three were burned during protests that temporarily shut down the Port of Oakland in November. In Saturday's protest, more than 400 people were arrested; three officers and one protester were injured. Police said they were still trying to determine how many of those arrested were from Oakland. Mayor Jean Quan has called on the movement to "stop using Oakland as its playground."


WASHINGTON: Army speaker withdraws

A retired general who portrayed the U.S. fight against Muslim radicals as a battle with Satan has withdrawn from speaking to the West Point military academy after a veterans' advocacy group objected, the academy said Monday. Retired three-star general William Boykin had been invited to speak at a Feb. 8 West Point prayer breakfast. VoteVets, which describes itself as the biggest U.S. progressive veterans' organization, objected, saying Boykin's views endangered U.S. troops.

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