VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press



BOSTON (AP) -- A Vermont woman revealed her new face Wednesday, six years after her ex-husband disfigured her by dousing her with industrial-strength lye, and said she went through "what some may call hell" but has found a way to be happy.


Carmen Blandin Tarleton of Thetford had face transplant surgery at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital in February and spoke publicly for the first time at a news conference at the hospital Wednesday.


"I'm now in a better place, mentally and emotionally, than I ever could have imagined six years ago," Tarleton said. "I want to share my experience with others, so they may find that strength inside themselves to escape their own pain."


In 2007, the 44-year-old mother of two was attacked by her now ex-husband Herbert Rodgers, who believed she was seeing another man. Police say he went to the house looking for that man, then went into a fury directed toward Tarleton, striking her with a bat and pouring lye from a squeeze bottle onto her face.


When police arrived, Tarleton was trying to crawl to a shower to wash away the chemical. It had already distorted her face.


In 2009, Rodgers pleaded guilty to maiming Tarleton in exchange for a prison sentence of at least 30 years.




STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) -- Among the procedures Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce performed on "M.A.S.H." was an end-to-end anastomosis.


Most of the viewers, actor Alan Alda concedes, had no idea he was talking about removing a damaged piece of intestine and reconnecting the healthy pieces.


Today, the award-winning film and television star is on a mission to teach physicians, physicists and scientists of all types to ditch the jargon and get their points across in clear, simple language.


The former host of the long-running PBS series "Scientific American Frontiers" is a founder and visiting professor of journalism at the Stony Brook University Center for Communicating Science, which has just been named in his honor.


"There's no reason for the jargon when you're trying to communicate the essence of the science to the public because you're talking what amounts to gibberish to them," Alda said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.


A better understanding of science, Alda said, can benefit society in ways great and small. Physicians can more clearly explain treatments to patients. Consumers can decipher what chemicals may be in their food. And lawmakers can make better decisions on funding scientific research.




NEW YORK (AP) -- A slump in global media freedom driven by Mali's turmoil, Greece's decline and tightening media control in Latin America pushed the percentage of the world's population in countries with a completely free press to its lowest level in 16 years, the democracy watchdog group Freedom House said Wednesday in its annual survey.


Last year's gains in press freedom in the Middle East and North Africa remained precarious, with Tunisia and Libya mainly holding onto their Arab Spring gains while Egypt significantly backslid, Freedom House said.


"Two years after the uprisings in the Middle East, we continue to see heightened efforts by authoritarian governments around the world to put a stranglehold on open political dialogue, both online and offline," said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House.


The Freedom House report came out two days before the observance of U.N.-declared World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

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