August 19, 2013

Oscar Pistorius.     Photo: Karva Javi/Flickr

Pistorius Indicted on Murder Charges

Trial set for March

Oscar Pistorius was indicted Monday on the charge of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in February. His trial date was announced as March 3 of next year, giving his legal team over six months to prepare his defense, the Associated Press reports.

The awaited indictment revealed new details about the case. Prosecutors said that witnesses heard a woman screaming before the Olympian fired shots in the early morning hours on Valentine's Day. Using witness testimony and forensics, the prosecution will look to prove that he shot "with the intention to kill a person."

If convicted, Pistorius could face a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison. The case will be tried before a judge in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa.

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The Lyme bull's-eye     Photo: Getty Images/Kallista Images

Lyme Disease 10 Times More Common Than Estimated

300,000 diagnosed each year

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that rates of Lyme disease are 10 times higher than previously reported, bringing the estimated number of Americans diagnosed each year to a massive 300,000 people. Sunday night, at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases, the CDC released the results of three ongoing studies that indicate that the 30,000 cases reported to the government is just the tip of the iceberg.

In a press release, Paul Mead, chief of epidemiology and surveillance for the CDC's Lyme program, said that the extent of the disease calls for a reconsideration of current medical strategy.

"We know that routine surveillance only gives us part of the picture, and that the true number of illnesses is much greater," said Paul Mead, M.D., M.P.H. "This new preliminary estimate confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous public health problem in the United States, and clearly highlights the urgent need for prevention."

For more on the growing threat from tick-borne diseases, read The Rise of the Tick.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Shark Attacks Surfer Off Hawaii

9th attack in the state this year

A 16-year-old surfer has been hospitalized after being attacked by a shark Sunday afternoon off the Big Island of Hawaii. His condition remains unclear, though reports note that he was bitten on both legs and airlifted to a local hospital for treatment.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the water along the coastline, southeast of hilo, after the attack. Earlier that day, officials at another Hawaii beach closed the waters after lifeguards spotted a shark, the Associated Press reports.

Last Wednesday, a shark attacked a German tourist off Maui. Monday's incident marks the 9th shark attack this year, compared to 12 in 2013. Scientists are blaming the uptick in shark encounters on murky water from tropical storm Flossie.

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