Error at USC halts kidney transplants

LOS ANGELES - USC University Hospital shut down its kidney transplant program last month after a kidney was accidentally transplanted into the wrong patient, according to a spokesman for the program that coordinates organ transplants in Los Angeles.

The patient escaped harm apparently because the mistake involved a kidney that happened to be a close enough match, said Bryan Stewart, a spokesman for One Legacy, the transplant program.

In a statement, the hospital confirmed that it had temporarily and voluntarily halted transplants Jan. 29 after a "process error" was discovered.

Babbling TV reporter suffered migraine

LOS ANGELES - A TV reporter who lapsed into gibberish during a live shot outside the Grammys suffered a migraine, her doctors said Thursday.

KCBS-TV reporter Serene Branson was doing a stand-up Sunday outside the Staples Center where the award show was held when her speech became incoherent. The station quickly cut away, and she was examined by paramedics and recovered at home.

Branson's incoherence fueled Internet speculation that she suffered an on-air stroke. But doctors at the University of California said the kind of migraine Branson suffered can mimic symptoms of a stroke.


State Hispanics may outnumber Anglos

AUSTIN - Ethnic minorities accounted for 89 percent of the staggering growth in Texas over the past decade, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data support projections putting Hispanics on pace to soon outnumber whites in the nation's second-largest state.

The explosive Latino growth sparked calls from Hispanic leaders for the creation of new Hispanic-dominated seats in Congress and the Legislature.

Texas is picking up four seats in Congress this year. Latino politicians say it's time their demographic strength translated into political power.

District of Columbia

Monroe, former host of 'Meet Press,' dies

WASHINGTON - Bill Monroe, who hosted the long-running Washington political television show "Meet the Press" for nearly a decade, died Thursday at a Washington-area nursing home.

Monroe, 90, was the NBC show's fourth moderator, from 1975 to 1984, and interviewed prominent political figures ranging from President Jimmy Carter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Tim Russert, the best known host of "Meet the Press," assumed the host's chair in 1991 after a series of short stints by others following Monroe's departure.

New York

Planned blast at JFK brings life sentence

NEW YORK - A former cargo handler was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for hatching a plot to make Kennedy Airport go "up in smoke" by attacking jet fuel supplies with the help of a notorious al-Qaida explosives expert.

Russell Defreitas, 67, and another man were convicted last year of multiple conspiracy counts.

Wire reports