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Rep. Giffords singing, enjoying matzo ball soup

PHOENIX - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been showing emotion and an impressive grasp of song lyrics as she recovers in a Houston hospital.

The wounded congresswoman's rabbi described her progress to The Associated Press after a visit to the hospital over the weekend.

Stephanie Aaron said Giffords sang Don McLean's "American Pie" with husband Mark Kelly and his two daughters, and that she knew the words better than the three of them. Giffords also chanted a Hebrew prayer with Aaron. Doctors have said previously that musical therapy is an important part of her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head.

Aaron also said Giffords cried when she left the room and displayed a big smile when she brought the congresswoman a card made by students at her former middle school.

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Another important part of her recovery has been the return of her appetite.

"Well, she had a little chicken soup with matzo balls. I think that's fair to report, and as we all know, it is Jewish penicillin," another rabbi friend of Giffords told KHOU-TV.

Meanwhile, shooting suspect Jared Loughner's attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Larry Burns on Monday to prohibit federal prison officials from passing along confidential medical or psychological records about their client to federal prosecutors.

Defense lawyers want to bar the Bureau of Prisons from releasing information about visits by Loughner's defense team, observations by prison staff about Loughner and any information that isn't regularly released in prosecutions.

Robbie Sherwood, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona, declined to comment on the request.

Loughner's attorneys are alleging that passing the information along is a violation of their client's 5th Amendment rights, as he has repeatedly invoked them when speaking to federal officials. Loughner's attorneys claim federal investigators are trying to work around that by obtaining psychological reports on their client.

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