BLANTYRE, Malawi — An angry mob attacked a senior ruling party official who local residents believed was harboring vampires.
Chiwaya, a senior official with the United Democratic Front party, was hospitalized Thursday after being badly beaten by the mob.
Hundreds of people from a township south of Blantyre stoned the house of Eric Chiwaya Wednesday night. They began stoning him inside his vehicle when he tried to escape by car.
Police had to fire shots to disperse the crowd. Three people were arrested for inciting violence in the incident, police said.
Horrifying stories of vampires attacking villagers in the dead of night and sucking their blood began circulating last month in Malawi.
Malawi's government has been campaigning to quell the vampire rumors, saying opposition elements were using the rumors to discredit the ruling party.
Rumors had spread through the township that Chiwaya was harboring vampires and had approached community leaders asking them to let them into the area.
Frightened villagers have beaten to death a man suspected of being a vampire, attacked and nearly lynched three visiting priests and destroyed an aid group's encampment they feared was the vampires' headquarters.
President Bakili Muluzi called the rumors unfounded and malicious, and accused unnamed opposition groups of trying to undermine him by saying his government gave aid agencies human blood in exchange for food aid.
Bat Spit: Not Just For Witches Brew Anymore
DALLAS - A substance in the saliva of vampire bats could prove to be a potent new treatment for strokes, an Australian scientist says.
"When the vampire bat bites its victim, it secretes this powerful clot-dissolving substance so that the victim's blood will keep flowing, allowing the bat to feed," said Dr. Robert Medcalf of the Monash University Department of Medicine at Box Hill Hospital in Victoria, Australia.
That same substance — Desmodus rotundus salivary plasminogen activator, or DSPA — might someday be given to stroke victims to dissolve clots and thereby limit brain damage, he said.
The findings were reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Stroke, published by the American Heart Association.
Medcalf said that DSPA is not only a potent clot-buster but can also be safely administered up to nine hours after the stroke's onset because it more precisely targets blood clots, which are held together by a string-like substance called fibrin.
One expert warned that the research was limited to mice that had not suffered strokes.
Cedar Rapids To Repeal Fortune Telling Ban
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The City Council has taken the first step to repeal the city's 82-year-old ban on fortune telling.
The council voted Wednesday to remove the law from the city's books. Two more "yes" votes are needed to end the ban.
Public Safety Commissioner David Zahn predicted last fall that the repeal was likely after a religious leader who said fortune telling is used in his faith approached the city about rescinding the ban.
City staff decided it would be best to repeal the law because a court challenge based on freedom of religion might win.
"We decided to repeal it to see how it plays out and then go from there," Zahn said. "Whether we get into licensing is yet to be determined."
Rowdy Reverend Wrestles With Police
A jury in U.S. District Court rejected a claim that Detective Paul Raucci violated the Rev. Richard Moore's constitutional rights. Moore was charged with disorderly conduct during a service at the Living Word Redemption Center, Inc.
The lawsuit alleged that Raucci violated Moore's right to be free from false arrest, and both Moore's and the congregations right to worship freely.
West Haven police arrested Moore on Aug. 16, 2000, in the middle of evening services after neighbors complained that amplified services were too loud.
Moore was charged with disorderly conduct, but the case was never prosecuted.
"It has been a long struggle, and Paul Raucci has been wrongly accused for the past two years," said Raucci's lawyer, Michael Farrell. "The jury has removed this cloud from his record, and this exonerates the police department."
Police said when Raucci moved to arrest Moore, Moore resisted vigorously, and other parishioners started to punch and kick Raucci. One parishioner jumped on the officer's back, police said.
Now That's a Thrify Shopper
PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire - Stay-at-home dad Chris Shields wants a new car -- for coupons. Shields has collected more than 200 discount coupons from a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Toyota dealer. Shields figures he should be able to get a get a $42,000 SUV for next to nothing. He claims he has more than $41,000 worth of the $200-off coupons. Shields says there's nothing on the coupon limiting one-per-customer. But that's not the way Toyota of Portsmouth sees it. Dealership owner Jim Boyle says no reasonable person would expect walk in with a bag full of coupons and drive out in a new car. Shields says he's contacting state consumer protection officials about the coupon dispute.
China Monkeys Around With King George
HONG KONG - A British king's statue might be pulled down and placed near the monkeys in a zoo to make room for the likeness of a Chinese hero — and Her Majesty's government seems less than amused.
"It does seem a pity," a spokeswoman for the British Consulate said Friday.
Hong Kong district councilors want to move King George VI from a prime perch in a downtown botanical and zoological park and replace him with Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary recognized as the father of modern China.
George, whose daughter Queen Elizabeth II is now on the throne, would end up near the park's monkey enclosure under the proposal, which has stirred up a rare Anglo-Chinese clash in this former colony.
The British head of a historical society said Hong Kong is a fusion of Eastern and Western influences and said it seemed "racist" to insist on putting a Chinese hero in the king's place, when there are many vacant but high-profile sites where a Sun statue could go up.
"The clear implication is we want to downplay the British part of our history," said Patrick Hase, president of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch. "I consider it extremely likely this is an attempt to curry favor with the Chinese authorities."
Sun founded the first Chinese republic early in the early 20th century and no one is arguing against honoring him, but even some of the district councilors say George should stay in place. A final decision has yet to be made.
Her Breasts Are In Good Hands
EAGLE, Colorado - Stripper-turned-mayor Koleen Brooks has something to get off her chest -- she has testified she wanted to protect her breast implants. Brooks' was on the stand yesterday, charged with faking an assault on herself. But the jury didn't buy all of the story. She was found innocent on a charge of tampering with evidence but guilty of false reporting. Prosecutors had questioned Brooks on why her breasts didn't show signs of injury, which would be typical in that sort of an attack. Brooks said she shielded herself with her hands because it was her fourth breast implant. The former Georgetown, Colorado, mayor claims she's the victim of her political enemies. The ex-stripper lost her mayoral post in a recall election.
Dude Looks Like A Lady
NEW YORK - A 17-year-old male living in foster care may dress as a woman, a state court ruled.
Supreme Court Judge Louise Gans ruled Thursday the city had violated the teen's rights when the Atlantic Transitional Foster Facility, a city-run home, prohibited him from wearing dresses and skirts.
The teen, whose name was withheld because of his age, identifies himself as a female. He has been diagnosed with a gender identity disorder and is considered legally disabled.
Representatives of the foster-care facility had argued the teen wore sexually provocative women's clothing in an all-male home.
A spokeswoman for the Administration for Children's Services told The New York Times it had not yet received the decision but had moved the youth to a home where he can wear what he wants.
Spiders In Outer Space
MELBOURNE, Australia - Eight spiders from Australia will make a trip to outer space to help America's space agency test the effects of zero gravity.
A total of 30 Golden Orb spiders bred at the Melbourne Zoo left for Cape Canaveral in Florida state Thursday packed in a cooler, said zoo keeper Patrick Honan said. Only eight — deemed the most frisky after the long flight — will board a space shuttle Jan. 16 for a 16-day orbit.
Honan said the tiny spiders — which are not poisonous — are ideal candidates for the experiment because they create perfectly symmetrical webs, making any changes easily identifiable.
It's not the first time arachnids have been sent into space.
In 1973, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration sent Arabella, an American common cross spider, into orbit on the Skylab space station.
See What You're Missing On Public Access?
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - Timothy Huffman doesn't have a Constitutional right to pull down his pants. He's been convicted of indecent exposure, after he wasn't allowed to present a First Amendment defense. Huffman exposed himself during a skit on his public-access cable TV show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He claims he was doing a parody of commercials. Huffman could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and fined $500. The prosecutor says Huffman wanted public exposure and he's getting it.
Another #@$!% Traffic Ticket
HOWELL, Mich. — A judge is cracking down on people who write vulgarities on checks they use to pay traffic fines.
Judge John Pikkarainen sentenced one man to two days of community service for writing a vulgar insult on the memo line of a check. He charged someone else with contempt for similar prose. A hearing is set in that case for Jan. 14.
"The issue as I see it is if someone came into the court and used that language in front of me it would be contemptuous," Pikkarainen told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.
Geoff Mann, 30, of Howell, spent his two community service days picking up trash at park-and-ride parking lots and volunteering at the Howell Humane Society.
The technical writer had sent Pikkarainen and the court a one-and-a-half-page apology letter, which he says was sincere. But he also says Pikkarainen abused his authority.
"I must say I would hesitate to write something so blunt on the check again, but I would definitely write something and choose my words carefully," Mann said.
He said his apology should have been enough to get the charge dismissed, and he thought the community service sentence was excessive.
"If what he was doing was trying to instill a little bit more respect for the court then he failed," Mann said.
Warning! These Warnings Are Absurd!
SOUTHFIELD, Michigan - Warning! Keep your pants on when sitting in the massage chair. That safety tip is the winner of the annual Wacky Warning Label contest. The text of the label reads: "Do not use massage chair without clothing ... and, never force any body part into the backrest area while the rollers are moving." The second place label warns not to use a snowblower on a roof. That's followed by the label that warns: "Do not allow children to play in the dishwasher." The contest is sponsored by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch. The group wants to show that fear of lawsuits has led to a loss of corporate common sense.
Phone Booth Graveyard Discovered
RICHMOND, California - Now we know where telephone booths go to die.
Police in Richmond, California, say a tip sent them to a field where they found about two dozen telephone booths. They had been dumped there after the coin boxes were removed.
Police say they also found the remains of newspaper racks and other coin-operated devices -- all with the change boxes gone.
The case broke when an officer spotted a white flatbed truck like one witnesses had reported was used to rip a pay phone out of the sidewalk.
The officer stopped the truck and detained the driver after discovering there was a warrant out for his arrest and the truck had been stolen.
Then came the tip that sent them to the phone booth graveyard.
The case remains under investigation.
City For Sale
MONSE, Wash. — For sale: Tiny mountain town with Okanogan River views. Asking price: $575,000.
For the last six months, this 60-acre town with only seven residents and no business or industry to speak of has been on the market.
"Right now, it's nearly a ghost town," said Jay Roberson, an agent with Laura Mounter Real Estate, which has the listing.
Monse (pronounced mahnz) sits on a placid stretch of the Okanogan River in north-central Washington. Selling points: Fiber optics, water rights, railroad access, a public boat launch, a bridge and bass fishing.
In late December, the northern California town of Bridgeville — 80 acres, 13 homes and a cemetery — sold for almost $1.8 million on the online auction site, eBay.
Computer Glitch Labels Thousands Dead
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Believe Cathy Uhl, not the computer, when she insists she's alive.
A computer error at Saint Mary's Mercy Medical Center mistakenly identified her and thousands of other patients as deceased.
"We've had problems with insurance before. But when I got this letter, I said, 'Brad (her husband), you're not going to believe this. According to this, I'm dead,"' said Uhl, an administrative supervisor at The Grand Rapids Press.
Uhl is one of 8,500 people who got the Jan. 2 letter, which notified patients that bills issued between mid-October and Dec. 11 had been coded incorrectly to indicate that the person was dead.
The glitch happened during a routine update of Saint Mary's computer files in October, Jennifer Cammenga, a spokeswoman for Saint Mary's, told The Grand Rapids Press.
One digit was dropped from a computer code to indicate the patients were "deceased," rather than "discharged to home."
The mistake was discovered by a Saint Mary's employee who was helping a patient with a billing problem. She noticed that the bill said the patient died, but the patient was standing in front of her, said Saint Mary's chief financial officer, Steve Pirog.
"Once we identified the problem, getting it fixed took only a few days," Pirog said.
Just Follow Your Nose
SPOKANE, Wash. - Two women accused of growing marijuana in their homes made so much money they bought three neighboring houses so they could grow more plants, prosecutors allege.
But investigators learned of their activities last summer when a bank teller called police to say that the women's cash deposits smelled like marijuana.
In documents made public Monday, prosecutors contend Kathleen Jenny and Virginia Erickson were the brains behind the $1 million pot growing operation that began in 1994 in their basements.
The women, both 59, agreed last week to plead guilty to money laundering, authorities said. They face up to six years in prison, instead of the mandatory 10-year federal prison term.
The business was so successful that the women eventually involved their husbands and bought the three other neighborhood homes in which to grow more marijuana, court documents allege.
Drug agents who searched the homes found more than 500 marijuana plants, $110,000 in cash and psychedelic mushrooms. Investigators said as many as 4,000 plants were grown.
The women's husbands, Francis Jenny, 65, and Jack Erickson, 66, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants, and face between two-and a half and three years in prison. A fifth defendant, Gregory Montgomery, 54, pleaded guilty Monday to the same charge.
All five will remain free until they are sentenced in the spring.
One Tough Granny
LEWISVILLE, Ark. - James Sharp may be a little embarrassed to tell his cellmates how he ended up behind bars. He tried to rip off an old lady, who beat him with her cane. The Lewisville, Arkansas, man has pleaded guilty to burglary charges and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors say Sharp would have to serve at least seven before becoming eligible for parole. Sharp was captured last March after his would-be victim, a 90-year-old woman, escaped to a neighbor's house and called police. Sharp was arrested the following day.
To Sever And Protect?
DETROIT - Police asked prosecutors Tuesday to file charges against an officer who cut off a woman's fingertip with a 4-inch utility knife as he tried to arrest her in a bar parking lot.
Officer Anthony Johnson also deeply cut another finger of the suspect as he tried to cut off her coat sleeve so he could put her in handcuffs. The fingertip was recovered but could not be reattached.
Johnson was placed on desk duty after Sunday's incident.
"The department has no policies and procedures that would cause an officer to use a knife to make an arrest," Deputy Chief Gary Brown said. "We don't issue knives."
Johnson had asked Joni Gullas, 45, for identification as she sat in a van in parking lot. He said she refused and smelled of alcohol.
The plainclothes officer said he reached inside to open the door, but Gullas pinned his hand with her knee and began moving the van. The two struggled and fell onto the pavement. According to the police report, Johnson pulled on Gullas' coat sleeve and she pulled her hand inside.
Concerned that she might be reaching for a weapon, Johnson pulled out the knife and cut the sleeve off, he wrote.
Gullas, who has not been charged with a crime, said she thought she was being attacked.
HENDERSON, Neb. - Just say no. That's what a convenience store clerk did when a masked man tried to pull a stick-up. Authorities in Henderson, Nebraska, say the clerk at the local Fuel Mart near I-80 refused to cooperate with a would-be robber who demanded money. The guy even had a concealed weapon. The astonished bandit just turned around and walked back out the door. The weapon turned out to be a screwdriver. Investigators say the crook "wasn't too intelligent" and was high on speed. The man now faces charges of attempted robbery.
Cocateil Saves Couple From Fire
NORRFLAERKE, Sweden - A couple in Sweden doesn't need a smoke alarm — they've got Gilbert the cockatiel.
When fire broke out in a room where a candle had been left burning, the couple was awakened by the panicked shrieking of Gilbert. They managed to put the fire out before it got too big.
Niki La Roche says if it hadn't been for Gilbert, the house about 260 miles north of Stockholm would probably have burned down. She says, "I don't want to think of what might have happened."
The experience was a little much for Gilbert. His owners found him in a corner, squawking and screaming, his feathers covered with soot.
Suspected Bank Robber Burned Loot For Warmth
BANGKOK - The suspected mastermind of a bank van robbery set fire to part of the loot, saying he wanted to keep himself warm on a cold night, police said Wednesday. Police suspect the story is a ploy to hide the bulk of the stolen cash.
Sawai Khongrum gave himself up on Tuesday and led police to the bonfire site in Pakchong district of Nakorn Ratchasima province, about 130 miles northeast of the capital Bangkok.
Police found charred remains of bank notes worth $24,000, but more than $117,000 remains unaccounted for, Bangkok police commissioner Lt. Gen. Damrongsak Nilkooha told reporters.
"He claimed that the weather was too cold and he burned the entire loot to warm himself while he was on the run," Damrongsak said. The lowest night temperature in northeastern Thailand this week has been 61 Fahrenheit.
Damrongsak said the remaining money could be with Sawai's relatives or friends.
Sawai had been implicated in the robbery by the van driver who was arrested with his two brothers on Monday after driving away with more than $1.16 million during deliveries to fill up ATMs around Bangkok last week. The vehicle was found Saturday with $1 million inside. Some $24,000 was recovered from the driver and his brothers.
No formal charges have been filed against any of the four suspects. Theft is punishable by up to five years in prison and destroying money and evidence is punishable by five years.
Judge Hits Vandal Where It Hurts
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - There'll be no more fun, fun, fun for one of Albuquerque's biggest graffiti vandals now that the mayor's taken his T-bird away.
Noah Aime, blamed by city officials for graffiti at 250 sites across New Mexico's largest city, handed over his keys and title to his 1987 Ford Thunderbird to Mayor Martin Chavez during a news conference Monday.
Aime also gave the mayor a check for $1,500 and will make monthly payments for a year as part of a restitution agreement with the city. Aime agreed to pay a total of $4,500 plus the car.
"I now understand that this form of expression is not acceptable," he said.
The mayor said the episode should send the message that the city will pursue graffiti vandals and sue them for money to clean up the damage.
"These are not harmless kids. This is a serious category of offense," Chavez said.
Albuquerque has collected about $31,000 from 57 people, including about 15 parents of young people blamed for graffiti, said Pete Dinelli, deputy city attorney. He called Aime the biggest graffiti vandal caught in the crackdown.
Castro Crank Calls Chavez
MIAMI - Two radio show hosts who use jumbled recordings of Fidel Castro to trick callers into believing they're talking with the Cuban president say they have duped another victim — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan officials said Tuesday they could not immediately verify the call, but a recording provided by the Cuban-American radio announcers contains a voice that sounds like Chavez.
The tape appears to have Chavez, who is struggling to end a month-old national strike by opponents, happily answering what he thought would be a friendly call Monday morning from Castro, one of his closest allies.
But on the other end of the line were WXDJ-FM disc jockeys Joe Ferrero and Enrique Santos, who ended the conversation by calling Chavez "terrorist" and "animal," along with a few expletives.
On Monday, Ferrero said, he and a woman told a Chavez secretary that they needed the president's personal phone number to connect him with Castro, who supposedly was in a hidden location and could not receive calls.
"Hello Fidel?" Chavez answered, according to a copy of the call provided by the announcers.
"Yes. Did you receive my letter?" Castro asked.
After greeting Castro, Chavez said: "Yes, I received everything fine."
"I am ready to cooperate with you," the voice of Castro replied.
After an exchange about the day of the week, Santos broke in and said they were calling from Miami.
"Get out of Venezuela, (expletive) terrorist! ... Animal, assassin, (expletive)!" Santos said before hanging up.
Ferrero said the station was inundated with congratulatory phone calls, but Santos said WXDJ owner Raul Alarcon Jr. was "not very happy."
However, the pair said they will not be disciplined. Alarcon did not return a call seeking comment.
When Store Clerks Attack!
ANDERSON, S.C. — Three store clerks and a paint can were enough to stop an armed robber last weekend.
A Florida man, armed with a gun, walked into the Family Dollar store at a shopping center Saturday and told two workers to give him the cash in their registers.
They complied, and the robber ordered them to lock the door. But then a third clerk in the back charged the thief and hit him in the head with a paint can, according to an Anderson County Sheriff's Office report.
The burglar was stunned and another employee tackled him and held him down until police got there.
Richard James Foster, 57, has been charged with armed robbery, police said.
Phone Message Prompts Hostage Fears
COPENHAGEN - Witty, clever messages on answering machines are supposed to make a caller chuckle.
But one Danish family's recorded greeting prompted police to rush to the house because of fears of a hostage situation.
"We have been taken hostage by two children. Hurry. Please bring some help after the tone," the droll message recorded by Lene Becker said, according to Monday's edition of the Politiken newspaper.
But when family relatives called long distance and heard the recording, it sounded like "We have been taken hostage WITH two children." They called the police.
The police in Gladsaxe, a Copenhagen suburb, where the family lives, listened to the answering machine several times and decided to err on the side of caution. Two police cars went to the two-story home and crept around it, using flashlights. Finally, a neighbor living on the ground floor came outside and let the four police officers into the Becker's apartment on the second floor.
The Beckers have since changed the outgoing message on their answering machine. "We're doing fine. Please don't call the police."
Former Mayor On Trial For Attacking Herself
EAGLE, Colo. - The stripper-turned-mayor is getting her day in court. Ex-Georgetown, Colorado, mayor Koleen Brooks went on trial yesterday for faking an attack on herself. Brooks claims she's the victim of her political enemies. She is charged with evidence tampering and filing a false police report. It's not the first time she's gained national attention. The one-time mayor was once accused of flashing her breasts in a bar. She lost her mayor's job in a recall election -- but went on to pose for Playboy.
Every Kid's Fantasy For Sale On eBay
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Look! Up in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane. No -- it's a guy in a strap-on flying machine. Designers of the SoloTrek XFV will debut the aircraft on eBay this week. The SoloTrek is worn like a backpack and has two fan-like propellers above the pilot. The designers say the Solotrek can fly at nearly 70 miles an hour, has a range of 100 miles -- and can hover like a helicopter. But there is a catch to the Internet auction. The Solotrek isn't approved by the government for flight, so the winner of the bidding war must promise to keep it on the ground. Officials of the California-based company expect the prototype to sell for about $1 million. The buyer will likely be a museum or aviation collector.
Jilted Man Sues Fiancee For Ring
DES MOINES, Iowa - The wedding is off -- and stockbroker Joseph Bisignano wants the ring back. The jilted man is suing Mary Toon, claiming he spent more than $330,000 wooing her. Bisignano says he bought his fiancee a fur coat, a Vera Wang wedding dress and a nine-plus-carat diamond ring. In the lawsuit, Bisignano accuses Toon of fraud, breach of contract and "unjust enrichment" if she gets to keep all the gifts. Toon's lawyer says they'll file a response to the lawsuit by Friday.
They're Not Getting Any Younger
HAMILTON, Ohio - Deciding they weren't getting any younger, two eighty-somethings who had been sweethearts six decades ago tied the knot — in the local Wal-Mart where she works.
Betty Howard, 82, a greeter at the store, and Estel Barrett, 84, married Friday during a ceremony thrown for them by Howard's co-workers.
"I'm just a plain, simple old lady," Howard said. "I've never had anything exciting in my life. This is so wonderful."
Friends in childhood, Howard and Barrett kept in touch over the years. Both were married for more than 50 years before the deaths of their spouses three years ago.
"They happened to meet just before Thanksgiving and began seeing each other," said Howard's lifelong friend, Pearl Bowling. "And he said to her, 'You know, we're not getting any younger.'"
Recalling her "childhood sweetheart" status, Howard said, "All that meant was holding hands as we walked to church."
But they never forgot. Now, she said, "He needs me and I need him. And he is just wonderful."
Virtual Statue Of Liberty
NEW YORK - What if terrorists damaged or destroyed the Statue of Liberty?
A team of architects from Texas Tech University has been working for two years on a digitized model of the statue.
Officials with the National Park Service tell the New York Daily News the three-dimensional computer drawings could help create an accurate replica of the statue if any section of it was ever destroyed.
Experts used a high-tech laser scanner to measure the statue's surface from all angles. The Daily News says the U.S. Capitol and Mount Rushmore have also been scanned into three-dimensional images.
Three-Wheeler Gets 70 MPG
DRUMS, Pa. - How does 70 miles per gallon sound? It sounds pretty good to mechanic and former Navy man Eugene Wright. He built his own diesel powered, three-wheeled car.
The teardrop-shaped vehicle uses a modified Volkswagen Rabbit engine. Wright says he gets up to 70 mpg on his commute in northern Pennsylvania. Wright calls his creation the WR-70, combining his initials and his gas mileage. His wife Lucy says it's so unusual looking, people ask what they "heck" are they driving.
HARTFORD, Conn. - Two months after a convicted burglar was sent to another state because of prison overcrowding, John Glasper returned to Connecticut to save his brother's life.
Joseph Glasper needed a stem cell transplant to fight a rare and deadly form of a blood disease called aplastic anemia. John was Joseph's only match.
John is serving an 11-year sentence.
John was brought to the hospital in shackles to meet with doctors. At the prison, doctors gave him injections of a drug that triggers the production of stem cells.
The transplant was done on Thursday and Joseph is in fair condition. He says when he's well enough, he intends to visit his brother in prison.