Warning on heart device
Federal health officials say that defects in some Medtronic devices used in heart procedures are severe enough that they could cause serious injury or death. Medtronic announced Friday night that the Food and Drug Administration had classified a recall as Class I, a category reserved for products with reasonable potential to cause serious injury or death. The warning covers about 15,000 recalled guide wires, which are inserted through an artery and used to guide other devices into place, such as stents to hold open blocked arteries. A recall of the guide wires began Oct. 21 after Medtronic received reports of four complaints, including one patient who went into cardiac arrest but was resuscitated, company spokesman Joseph McGrath said Saturday. The company said it has taken steps to prevent new shipments of the wires.
Party split deals blow to Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi's center-right political movement, a powerful force in Italy, split Saturday, dealing another blow to the former prime minister as Italian lawmakers prepare for a final vote this month on whether to expel him from the Senate. The breakaway group was led by Berlusconi's longtime protege, Angelino Alfano, who announced that he and other former lieutenants would refuse to join the rebranded political party, Forza Italia (or Go Italy), that Berlusconi unveiled Saturday.
Unknown group claims 2 killings
Greek police are investigating a statement by an unknown group claiming responsibility for the killing of two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party. The group, Fighting Popular Revolutionary Forces, said the Nov. 1 killings were retribution for the slaying of a left-wing activist rapper by a Golden Dawn member in September. The Zougla (Jungle) news website said it reported the statement Saturday after receiving an anonymous phone call saying it could be found on a USB stick in a plastic bag at an Athens location.
Protester free after T-shirt arrest
An opposition protester arrested in Belarus for wearing a T-shirt criticizing authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko was freed on Friday after spending five days in jail. Leonid Smovzh, a 53-year-old railroad engineer, said that for the first two days he was held in a cell with no heat or light, and he was given no food. On the front of the T-shirt he had written "For Belarus without Lukashenko." On the back was "For Belarus without dictatorship."
Chess champion falls behind
For more than three years, Magnus Carlsen, a 22-year-old Norwegian, has been the uncrowned king of chess. It appears likely he will officially wear the crown of world champion. The world champion has been Viswanathan Anand, who won the title in 2007. The match for the title began a week ago in Chennai, India, Anand's hometown. It is a best-of-12 series, with wins counting as 1 point and draws a half-point. On Saturday, Carlsen won his second straight game. He leads 4 points to 2, with 6.5 points needed to win the title. The seventh game is Monday.