Deadly care. A California hospital has the legal right to discontinue a 13-year-old girl’s life support at 5 p.m. PST today against her parents’ wishes. Jahi McMath underwent a tonsillectomy at Children’s Hospital of Oakland on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. After she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily and went into cardiac arrest. Doctors at the hospital and an independent pediatric neurologist from Stanford University have concluded Jahi is brain dead. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ruled the hospital could remove her ventilator later today. The family hopes a New York facility will accept Jahi after two California care homes denied them. Chris Dolan, the family’s attorney, said he was waiting to hear from the New York hospital after its facility director and medical director speak. “The family is together, and today everybody is praying and being together,” Dolan told the Associated Press on Sunday. He said no decisions had been made about legal options for today and would not comment on progress with the New York facility.
Russian unrest. Two suicide bombs killed more than 30 people in the Russian city of Volgograd on Sunday and Monday. Fourteen people died Monday in the bombing aboard an electric bus. Authorities believe it was the work of the same group that set off a bomb at the same railway station a day earlier. The explosions highlight the terrorist threat Russia faces as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February. Volgograd, about 400 miles northeast of Sochi, serves as a key transport hub for southern Russia. Numerous bus routes link it to volatile provinces in Russia’s North Caucasus, where insurgents have been seeking an Islamic state. The successive attacks in Volgograd signaled that militants might be using the transportation hub to demonstrate their reach outside their region.
Bilbo’s victory. Two family-friendly fantasy movies beat all of Hollywood’s Christmas Day releases last weekend at the box office. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug did the best in box-office returns followed by Disney’s Frozen, which is in its fifth weekend and continues to exceed expectations with its success. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues came in third place, and American Hustle took fourth. The Christmas Day releases The Wolf of Wall Street, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 47 Ronin, and Grudge Match all had disappointing openings, garnering less than $20 million apiece.
March of the drones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that six states will develop test sites for drones, the next step toward the introduction of unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies. Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia will host the research sites, the agency said. The military has mainly used drones so far, but governments, businesses, farmers, and others are making plans to join the market. Many universities are starting or expanding drone programs. The FAA does not allow commercial use of drones, but it is working to develop operational guidelines by the end of 2015. The FAA projects some 7,500 commercial drones could be aloft within five years of getting widespread access to American airspace.