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Baby with heart condition dies from mould exposure at hospital after open heart surgery

A baby with a serious heart condition has died after she received an infection from mould in a Seattle hospital’s operating room, her mother says. 

Elizabeth Hutt was born with a heart condition that she battled for the entirety of her six-month-long life. The young child underwent three open heart surgeries, and after the third one is when it’s believed she contracted an Aspergillus mould infection in the hospital’s operating room. 

Her mother, Katha Hutt, revealed in a Facebook post her daughter died early Wednesday morning at Seattle Children’s Hospital. 

“Elizabeth Vera Hutt gained her wings on her 175th day of life at 4:40 am. Late last night, Beth told us she was ready,” Mrs. Hutt wrote. 

“I cannot begin to express the gratitude we have for the team that worked through the night to make sure Beth’s transition was as painless and smooth as possible. We will post when we’ve had the chance to make plans for celebrating our brave, courageous, beautiful warrior.”

The mould in the hospital’s operating rooms was first detected in November, around the same time as the child’s third surgery. 

Ms Hutt created a Facebook page titled Beth’s HLHS Journey to keep people updated on her daughter’s condition throughout her surgeries. She revealed in January her daughter was battling an infection that stumped her doctors. 

It was later determined the infection was contracted from the mould discovered in three of the 14 operating rooms at the hospital in November. The mould came from the hospital’s air-handling units in the operating rooms, and 14 patients have developed infections from the mould since 2001, the hospital revealed. Seven of those 14 children have since died from their infections. 

“I’m always going to wonder if there were different interventions that could’ve taken place, had the Aspergillus not been there,” Ms Hutt said.

Aspergillus is a common mould typically present in the air that people breathe. It normally does not cause one to get sick, but it can be harmful to people who lack strong immune systems or those who are surgical patients. 

Ms Hutt and her husband, Micah Hutt, told WBTV they knew about the hospital’s Aspergillus problems in 2018, but they still picked the location for their daughter due to the quality of doctors and medical staff at the facility. 

At the time, the parents thought the mould problem was solved. 

They joined a class action suit against Seattle Children’s Hospital in January, which alleges facility managers knew about the mould since 2005 and failed to fix the problem. 

The hospital currently has 11 of its 14 operating rooms shut down, as new HEPA filtration units are installed. The other three operating rooms received the new air units and are open for use. 

Seattle Children’s Hospital said in response to the baby’s death: “Losing a child is incredibly devastating for everyone whose lives were touched by that child. Our deepest condolences go out to families and loved ones who have experienced a loss.”

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#Brexit – UK open to looser ‘Australia-style’ trade deal with EU: source

“There are only two likely outcomes in negotiation – a free trade deal like Canada or a looser arrangement like Australia – and we are happy to pursue both,” the source said.

Johnson is due to give a major speech on trade on Monday, following Britain’s departure from the EU on Friday after nearly 50 years of membership.

Previously Johnson has said his main goal is to reach a Canada-style trade deal with the EU before an 11-month transition period expires at the end of the year, after which British firms would face tariffs to sell goods to the EU.

But Johnson has also said Britain will not commit to continue following EU rules after the transition period, and Saturday’s remarks suggest he is growing less willing to make the trade-offs that many businesses want to smooth a deal.

Canada does not follow EU rules, but some EU governments are reluctant to give Britain similar leeway to diverge on labour and environmental standards, given the much greater trade volumes involved.

In some areas, such as the minimum wage, maternity leave and the elimination of single-use plastics, British standards significantly exceed EU minimums.

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Australian Open 2020 results today LIVE: Kontaveit vs Halep, Rafael Nadal vs Thiem and Zverev vs Wawrinka

Welcome back to the Evening Standard’s live coverage of the 2020 Australian Open. 

Quarter-final action continues tonight with Stanislas Wawrinka and Alexander Zverev squaring off before Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem collide at the Rod Laver Arena. 

To kick off the the day’s action however, Simona Halep takes on Anett Kontaveit before Garbine Muguruza continues her bid for another grand slam against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Who will make it to the final four? Follow the action LIVE on Standard Sport overnight!

Live Updates

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Australian Open 2020 results (Monday January 27)

Men’s Singles 4th round: (1) Rafael Nadal (Spa) bt (23) Nick Kyrgios (Aus) 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4), (5) Dominic Thiem (Aut) bt (10) Gael Monfils (Fra) 6-2 6-4 6-4, (15) Stan Wawrinka (Swi) bt (4) Daniil Medvedev (Rus) 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2, (7) Alexander Zverev (Ger) bt (17) Andrey Rublev (Rus) 6-4 6-4 6-4

Women’s Singles 4th round: (28) Anett Kontaveit (Est) bt Iga Swiatek (Pol) 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 7-5, (4) Simona Halep (Rom) bt (16) Elise Mertens (Bel) 6-4 6-4, Garbine Muguruza (Spa) bt (9) Kiki Bertens (Ned) 6-3 6-3, (30) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) bt (17) Angelique Kerber (Ger) 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2

Men’s Doubles 3rd round: Henri Kontinen (Fin) & Jan-Lennard Struff (Ger) bt Simone Bolelli (Ita) & Benoit Paire (Fra) 7-5 6-3, (11) Rajeev Ram (USA) & Joe Salisbury (Gbr) bt (6) Marcel Granollers (Spa) & Horacio Zeballos (Arg) 6-4 7-6 (13-11), (4) Ivan Dodig (Cro) & Filip Polasek (Svk) bt (13) Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA) 6-3 6-4, Santiago Gonzalez (Mex) & Kenneth Skupski (Gbr) bt (16) Austin Krajicek (USA) & Franko Skugor (Cro) 6-3 6-4

Men’s Doubles Quarter-final: Alexander Bublik (Kaz) & Mikhail Kukushkin (Kaz) bt James Duckworth (Aus) & Marc Polmans (Aus) 7-6 (8-6) 7-5

Women’s Doubles 3rd round: Jennifer Brady (USA) & Caroline Dolehide (USA) bt Lara Arruabarrena (Spa) & Ons Jabeur (Tun) 6-2 6-1, (4) Barbora Krejcikova (Cze) & Katerina Siniakova (Cze) bt (16) Sofia Kenin (USA) & Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 7-5 3-6 7-5, (7) Hao-Ching Chan (Tpe) & Latisha Chan (Tpe) bt Misaki Doi (Jpn) & Monica Niculescu (Rom) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, (3) Elise Mertens (Bel) & Aryna Sabalenka (Blr) bt (13) Veronika Kudermetova (Rus) & Alison Riske (USA) 5-7 6-3 6-2, Cori Gauff (USA) & Catherine McNally (USA) bt (10) Shuko Aoyama (Jpn) & Ena Shibahara (Jpn) 4-6 7-5 6-3, (2) Timea Babos (Hun) & Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) bt (15) Viktoria Kuzmova (Svk) & Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Blr) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3

Mixed Doubles 2nd round: Saisai Zheng (Chn) & Joran Vliegen (Bel) bt (8) Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) & Neal Skupski (Gbr) 3-6 6-3 11-9, Iga Swiatek (Pol) & Lukasz Kubot (Pol) bt (4) Hao-Ching Chan (Tpe) & Michael Venus (Nzl) 6-2 6-3, Astra Sharma (Aus) & John-Patrick Smith (Aus) bt (7) Samantha Stosur (Aus) & Jean-Julien Rojer (Ned) 6-3 4-6 10-4

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Malaysia open to Davos talks with India amid palm oil spat

Malaysia’s trade minister is open to meeting his Indian counterpart at the World Economic Forum gathering this week, his ministry said on Monday, after New Delhi said no such encounter was possible amid a spat over palm oil supplies, Trend reports citing Reuters.

It was the second time in the last four days Malaysia expressed the possibility of such a meeting in Davos, during a standoff between a major supplier and buyer of palm oil caused by Malaysia’s criticism of Indian policies.

Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) reiterated that India’s trade ministry first sent a request on Dec. 24 – before India placed curbs on imports of refined palm oil – for a bilateral meeting between the two ministers in Davos.

“In the spirit of economic partnership between our two nations, Malaysia has made every effort to accommodate the official request by India, but due to the busy schedule of both ministers, a mutually agreeable time has not been reached at the time of this statement,” MITI said.

“In the absence of a formal meeting, it is common for interested parties to meet informally and exchange views on the sidelines.”

It said MITI minister Darell Leiking “has expressed his openness to such discussion” with his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal, mainly regarding India’s participation in the trade bloc Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

An Indian trade ministry official, speaking on behalf of the ministry, told Reuters on Sunday that Goyal would not meet Leiking in Davos because of his tight schedule. No other meeting was scheduled between them, he said.

Hindu-majority India has been agitated by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last month speaking out against a new citizenship law which critics say discriminate against Muslims. Mahathir had angered New Delhi last year too when he accused India of invading and occupying Kashmir, a Muslim-majority disputed region also claimed by Pakistan.

Malaysia, a Muslim-majority nation, is the second biggest producer and exporter of palm oil and India’s restrictions on the refined variety of the commodity imposed on Jan. 8 have been seen as a retaliation for Mahathir’s words.

Mahathir, the world’s oldest premier at 94, told a small group of reporters including from Reuters on Monday that India’s new citizenship law was “grossly unfair”.

But he said his nation of 32 million people was too small to take retaliatory action against India following its palm curbs.

Since the restrictions, thousands of tonnes of refined palm oil have been delayed or got stuck at various Indian ports, multiple sources told Reuters.

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England boss Gareth Southgate confirms door still open for Jamie Vardy to make Three Lions return

England manager Gareth Southgate has reiterated that ‘the door is open’ for in-form Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy to make an international return.

Vardy stepped back from the national team following the 2018 World Cup in Russia, citing his age and a desire to spend more time with his family.

The Foxes striker never formally retired, and the understanding was that Southgate might recall him should circumstances deem it necessary, for example in an injury crisis.

However, the 32-year-old’s run of scoring in eight successive Premier League games has led to calls for him to be reconsidered ahead of next summer’s European Championships. 

“[His form] is not a surprise to me because physically he’s in great condition,” Southgate told beIN Sports. “He’s a bit like James Milner, not having the international week where you’ve got a couple of extra games, and as you’re getting a bit older you can manage your body differently.

“I’m sure he could do both, but at the time after the World Cup he felt that was the decision he wanted to make. We had a very grown up conversation about it and we’ve always said that the door is open.”

Part of Vardy’s decision in 2018 was based around the fact that captain Harry Kane was clearly established as England’s main centre-forward.

In Vardy’s absence, it is Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who sits second to Vardy in the race for the Premier League golden boot, that looks likely to play the role of Kane’s backup at Euro 2020, and Southgate is happy with how things have worked out.

“We think it’s been the right thing to look younger players,” he added. “Tammy Abraham, as an example, is also right up in those goalscoring charts and is going to push for selection for the next few years, I’m sure.

“So we are blessed with good options, but we know what Jamie can do, we know the personality he brings to the group as well, and it’s been great to see him play as well as he has with Leicester.”

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