A Thai woman raising one of the babies she gave birth to as a surrogate may soon receive help from the Australian government.
Pattaramon Chanbua, 21, was left with Gammy after his biological parents went back to Australia with only his healthy twin sister. Gammy, now seven months old, has Down syndrome and a congenital heart condition. Pattaramon said she's not mad at Gammy's mother and father and is "always willing to forgive them," but does "want to see that they love the baby girl as much as my family loves Gammy. I want her to be well taken care of."
As The Associated Press reports, in Australia, it is illegal to pay a surrogate mother; it can be done for free, but the surrogate then has the right to keep the child and not give it to the biological parents. In some states, including Western Australia where Gammy's biological parents live, it is legal to pay a surrogate living abroad. On Monday, Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told Sydney Radio 2GB the law is "very, very murky," and the government is "taking a close look at what can be done here, but I wouldn't want to raise any false hopes or expectations. We are dealing with something that has happened in another country's jurisdiction."
He added that Pattaramon is "an absolute hero" and "a saint."
Pattaramon said a surrogacy agency in Bangkok promised her 300,000 bhat, or $9,300, but never paid following the twins' birth in December. She also said the agency knew about Gammy's health issues when she was four to five months into the pregnancy, but doctors waited until she was seven months along to tell her and then suggested she abort him. "I asked them, 'Are you still humans?'" she told The Associated Press. "I really wanted to know."
There is some immediate assistance on the way for Pattaramon; an Australian charity called Hands Across the Water has raised $200,000 for Gammy since July 22. Catherine Garcia
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency in Tunisia on Saturday, the state news agency reports. In June, a gunman killed 38 foreigners and injured 39 others in a beachside terrorist attack. Security officers killed the gunman after the attack had stopped.
It's the second terrorist attack Tunisia has seen in three months, The New York Times reports. The state of emergency allows Essebsi to authorize military operations in Tunisia's own cities. Julie Kliegman
Eight-time defending champion Joey Chestnut met his match Saturday in Matt "Megatoad" Stonie, who won Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Stonie downed 62 dogs and buns in 10 minutes, two ahead of Chestnut.
"I trained hard for this, and I came prepared," Stonie said.
Chestnut still has claim to the contest record, though, since he polished off 69 dogs in 2013 — good news for those of you who worried the man famous for binge-eating fast food might've lost his dignity with his defeat. Julie Kliegman
The legal pot market began in Washington on July 8, 2014, and just one year later, it's making bank. The state's 160 stores earn $1.4 million per day. Between state and local governments, pot sales have rolled in about $70 million in taxes, The Associated Press reports.
Business might be good, but all those taxes — on top of federal ones — hurt growers.
"I'm basically doing this for free," James Lathrop, who owns Seattle's first legal shop, told AP. "Nobody's gone out of business, but I'm not driving a new truck either."
So next time you're in Washington, maybe you should think about kicking back with some weed — you know, just for the sake of supporting small business. Julie Kliegman
Donald Trump took to Fox & Friends to defend the comments on Mexican immigrants that landed him in hot water this week with companies like NBC, Macy's, and most recently NASCAR.
"The crime is raging and it's violent. And if you talk about it, it’s racist," he said, referring to accusations against his presidential campaign kickoff that many Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug users.
NASCAR joined a long list of companies cutting ties with billionaire and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump following his controversial remarks last month about Mexican people. The auto racing governing body will not hold its Xfinity and Camping World Truck series banquets at the Trump National Doral Miami as originally planned, USA Today reports.
"Our company will not stand to support any person or organization that associates with such beliefs and we feel strongly about distancing ourselves from any negative and discriminatory comments made against any gender, ethnicity, age group or so forth," said Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, who vowed to not attend the awards if held at Trump's hotel. "I would hope that the entire NASCAR organization would agree with my sentiments."
In his campaign kickoff, Trump classified most Mexicans immigrating to the U.S. as rapists and drug users. NASCAR joins companies like NBC Universal, Univision, and Macy's in denouncing the comments. Julie Kliegman
A Florida judge had one unusual question for the burglary suspect in her bond court: Did you go to middle school with me?
Arthur Booth, 49, was arrested in Hialeah on charges of burglary, grand theft, fleeing, and resisting arrest, NBC 6 South Florida reports. Judge and former middle school classmate Mindy Glazer's question shocked him. He immediately teared up, held his head, and repeated "Oh my goodness."
Glazer had some encouraging words for the man she called "the nicest kid in middle school."
"Good luck to you sir," she said. "I hope you are able to come out of this OK and just lead a lawful life."
JetBlue ran its first official direct flight from New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport to Havana's José Martí International Airport on Friday, the first in a planned series of weekly charter flights.
It's the first major airline to do so, though smaller outfit Sun Country was the first to start servicing the two cities, Time reports.
JetBlue also runs flights to Cuba from Florida cities following the easing of travel restrictions earlier this year as the two nations work to restore diplomatic ties after half a century without relations. Julie Kliegman