Also in the news this Wedneday morning: Man's doughnut sales back in business and drought killing animals in Africa.
Boy falls 20-plus feet from zip line to concrete floor
A mother from Florida is suing an indoor entertainment park after her 10-year-old son was injured after falling 20 to 25 feet from a zip line and onto the concrete surface below, according to a lawsuit filed by the mother.
The incident took place Sept. 1 at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Lakeland, Florida.
The boy's mother, Kimberly Barnes, said in a news conference that her son was at the park celebrating his friend's birthday. Approximately an hour after the park opened, Barnes said that she received a phone call informing her that her son had fallen from a harness.
Barnes was told that her son had to be airlifted "because it was a trauma situation at that point."
The boy, who was not named in the lawsuit, was admitted to Tampa General Hospital where he had surgery and was treated for several days, according to the family's attorney. The boy broke several bones and suffered a collapsed lung and brain injury, Barnes' attorney Steven Capriati said.
Barnes is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, according to the lawsuit.
While the child is back in school, he is only able to attend "as he can tolerate it" and there are some days when he can't go, according to Barnes. She said, "Every day is a struggle for normalcy for him" and he would like to get back to his normal routine.
In a video shared by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the boy could be seen falling off of a zip line called the "Sky Rider Coaster."
The boy appears to hit his head on the concrete floor on impact in the video.
"Our inspector noted no deficiencies in the equipment at the time of the incident nor did Urban Air have a history of device deficiencies during prior inspections of the facility," the FDACS said in a statement to CNN. "The report indicates that the incident was a result of operator error."
According to the FDACS incident report, the boy was seen in a video walking from the harness area to the dispatch area "without having his harness fully secured." During the video, the investigator notes that the "leg straps can be seen not buckled" and that he could be seen "holding his body weight with his arms" while riding the Sky Rider.
The park said that all staff members have been "retrained on all attractions" and the "employees in question are no longer with us."
Analysis: Trump's GOP has no answer for suburban slide
The suburban revolt against President Donald Trump's Republican Party is growing.
And if nothing else, the GOP's struggle across the South on Tuesday revealed that Republicans don't have a plan to fix it.
In Kentucky, Trump and his allies went all in to rescue embattled Gov. Matt Bevin, who literally wrapped himself in the president's image in his pugnacious campaign. In Virginia, embattled Republicans ran away from Trump, downplaying their support for his policies and encouraging him to stay away.
In the end, neither strategy was a sure winner.
Bevin's race was too close to call Tuesday night, locked in a virtual dead heat with Democrat Andy Beshear in a state Trump won by nearly 30 percentage points in 2016. The GOP in Virginia lost control of both houses of the legislature for the first time in a generation.
It's difficult to draw sweeping conclusions from state elections, each with their own unique quirks and personalities. But there's little doubt Tuesday's outcome is a warning to Republicans across the nation a year out from the 2020 election and a year after the 2018 midterms: The suburbs are still moving in the wrong direction.
"Republican support in the suburbs has basically collapsed under Trump," Republican strategist Alex Conant said. "Somehow, we need to find a way to regain our suburban support over the next year."
The stakes are undoubtably high. While neither Virginia nor Kentucky is likely to be a critical battleground in the presidential race next year, Tuesday's results confirm a pattern repeated across critical swing states — outside of Philadelphia, Detroit and Charlotte, North Carolina. They're also sure to rattle Republican members of Congress searching for a path to victory through rapidly shifting territory.
To be sure, Republicans demonstrated their firm grip on rural areas, and turnout for both sides appeared to be healthy for off-year elections. Notably, Kentucky's voters elected Republicans to a handful of other statewide offices. In Mississippi, another Trump stronghold, Republicans kept their hold on the governor's office, as Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defended well-funded Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood.
No one played the 'tie Democrats to the impeachment effort' card harder than Kentucky's Bevin, who campaigned aside an "impeachment" banner and stood next to Trump on the eve of the election.
But even in ruby-red Kentucky, Trump was not a cure-all and the trouble in the suburbs emerged.
Bevin struggled in Republican strongholds across the northern part of the state, where the Democrats' drift and increased enthusiasm was clear.
Beshear led Bevin by the narrowest of margins Tuesday night.
Republicans were quick to blame Bevin for his stumbles. The governor was distinctly unpopular and picked fights with powerful interests in the state. Still, it was difficult for Republicans not to note the warning signs for the party next year and beyond.
Thousands protest verdict for sexual abuse instead of rape of unconscious girl, 14
Thousands of Spaniards, mostly women of all ages, took to the streets to demand changes in the law after a ruling in a sex-crime case involving an unconscious teenager renewed anger over the way victims are treated by the legal system.
The protests on Monday came after five men accused of gang-raping an intoxicated 14-year-old girl were sentenced to 10 to 12 years behind bars. The outrage was not so much over the length of the prison terms as over the court's decision to convict them of the lesser crime of sexual abuse instead of sexual assault or rape.
The Barcelona-based court found last week that because the victim had drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana, she "could not accept or reject the sexual relations." The men, it said, were therefore able to have sex with her without using violence or intimidation — an element required under Spanish law for a crime to be a sexual assault.
The prosescutor's office will appeal the ruling.
The ruling recalled a similar case, also in 2016, in which an 18-year-old was alleged to have been raped by five men at the start of the Pamplona festival that includes the world-famous Running of the Bulls. The initial verdict found the defendants guilty of sexual abuse because the judges saw no intimidation in the way the men cornered the victim in a lonely hallway.
But that was overruled earlier this year by Spain's Supreme court following a wave of street protests. The court extended the men's prison terms from nine years to 15 in a landmark ruling that said that the victim, outnumbered, had been subjected to "surrounding intimidation."
A conservative government, then a Socialist one, promised to modify the criminal code to eliminate the distinction between "abuse" and "assault."
But progress has been slow amid a political stalemate that is unlikely to be immediately resolved on Sunday, when Spaniards head to the polls for the fourth time in four years.
Monday's protests were held in more than 40 cities as the hashtag #EnoughPatriarchalJustice spread on social media.
In Madrid, several hundred gathered at the gates of the Ministry of Justice, holding banners reading, "I do believe you!" and "It's not abuse, it's rape" — some of the catchphrases in marches that followed the Pamplona case.
Marian Fernández, a 31-year-old psychologist, said protesters were seeking not just new laws or better interpretation of the current ones.
"It all comes down to respecting the concept of consent," she said. "It's about understanding that 'no' means no and that only 'yes' means yes."
The latest case took place in Manresa, a town in northeastern Spain, at an abandoned factory where a group of young people had been drinking and using drugs.
The victim said during the trial that she could not recall every detail as the five men took turns assaulting her but that she feared for her life because she believed they had a gun. The weapon turned out to be fake.
In addition to being sent to prison, the men were fined a total of $13,300.
Fake fur good enough for Queen Elizabeth
Buckingham Palace says new outfits designed for Queen Elizabeth II will not use real fur.
The palace said Wednesday the decision does not mean the queen will dispose of all the fur outfits she already has. The palace statement says "the queen will continue to re-wear existing outfits in her wardrobe."
The decision pleased animal rights activists, who have sometimes criticized the monarch for the fur pieces in her collection of designer clothes.
Claire Bass, director of the Humane Society International/UK, says "we are thrilled Her Majesty has officially gone fur-free." She says the queen's decision will send a positive message that fur is no longer considered fashionable.
Severe drought killing elephants, other wildlife in Africa
Weak from hunger and thirst, the elephant struggled to reach a pool of water in this African wildlife reserve. But the majestic mammal got stuck in the mud surrounding the sun-baked watering hole, which had dramatically shrunk due to a severe drought.
Eventually park staff freed the trapped elephant, but it collapsed and died. Just yards away lay the carcass of a Cape buffalo that had also been pulled from the mud, but was attacked by hungry lions.
Elephants, zebras, hippos, impalas, buffaloes and many other wildlife are stressed by lack of food and water in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools National Park, whose very name comes from the four pools of water normally filled by the flooding Zambezi River each rainy season, and where wildlife traditionally drink. The word "mana" means four in the Shona language.
At least 105 elephants have died in Zimbabwe's wildlife reserves, most of them in Mana and the larger Hwange National Park in the past two months, according to the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Many desperate animals are straying from Zimbabwe's parks into nearby communities in search of food and water.
Mana Pools, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its splendid setting along the Zambezi River, annually experiences hot, dry weather at this time of year. But this year it's far worse as a result of poor rains last year. Even the river's flow has reduced.
The drought parching southern Africa is also affecting people. An estimated 11 million people are threatened with hunger in nine countries in the region, according to the World Food Program, which is planning large-scale food distribution. The countries of southern Africa have experienced normal rainfall in only one of the past five growing seasons, it said.
Seasonal rains are expected soon, but parks officials and wildlife lovers, fearing that too many animals will die before then, are bringing in food to help the distressed animals. The extremely harsh conditions persuaded park authorities to abandon their usual policy of not intervening.
Each morning, Munyaradzi Dzoro, a parks agency wildlife officer, prays for rain.
"It's beginning to be serious," he said, standing next to the remains of the elephant and buffalo. "It might be worse if we fail to receive rains" by early November. The last substantial rains came in April, he said.
An early end to a "very poor rainy season" has resulted in insufficient natural vegetation to see the animals through, said Mel Hood, who is participating in the Feed Mana project, which is providing supplementary feeding.
Most of the animals in Mana Pools "are more or less confined to the barren flood plains," where temperatures soar to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, she said.
Separated from neighboring Zambia by the Zambezi, the region's once reliable sources of water have turned into death traps for animals desperate to reach the muddy ponds. Like the elephant and buffalo, many other animals in the park have gotten stuck in the clay while trying to reach Long Pool, the largest of the watering holes at 3 miles long.
The animals were pulled out by rangers, but they could not survive predators on the pounce for weak prey.
Krispy Kreme makes deal with college kid over reselling doughnuts
Krispy Kreme-starved Minnesotans hungry for doughnuts were able to get their sugary fix thanks to an enterprising young entrepreneur.
Jayson Gonzalez, 21, was able to deliver those sweet glazed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme while spreading joy to deprived Minnesotans one box of doughnuts at a time.
Krispy Kreme closed its last store in Minnesota in 2008, the Pioneer Press said.
Gonzalez came up with the idea to drive to a Krispy Kreme in Clive, Iowa, to pick up boxes of Krispy Kreme and deliver them to Minnesotans while traveling to Iowa to coach in a soccer tournament, according to the Pioneer Press.
After coming across a Krispy Kreme during his trip, Gonzalez posted to Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone in Minnesota would be interested in getting some doughnuts.
In just a few days, Gonzalez told the Pioneer Press that he received more than 300 responses.
He launched a Facebook page called Krispy Kreme Run Minnesota and began to take orders. He would use the page to communicate with customers, and update followers on quantities and pickup locations.
The account has amassed more than 5,000 followers.
A box of a dozen original glazed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme starts at $9.49, according to its website. The Pioneer Press said that Gonzalez resells them from $17 to $20 per box, depending on the variety.
The money Gonzalez makes via his delivery service will be used to help pay for college.
The drive from the Twin Cities to Clive is more than 250 miles and takes about four hours. A typical run for Gonzalez would start on a Saturday at 2 a.m., when he would begin his 4-hour trek to Iowa to pick up the doughnuts, according to the Pioneer Press.
Gonzalez can fit 100 boxes of doughnuts into his Ford Focus, according to the Pioneer Press. Once loaded, he would begin his return trip while alerting his followers of the pickup locations on his route. Most pickups are done in the parking lot of a local Target, the Pioneer Press said.
After 19 successful runs, Gonzalez wrote in a post on his Facebook page that he was told by Krispy Kreme to "shut down operations."
The company said in a statement that Gonzalez can now work with Krispy Kreme as an independent operator. The deal also includes a 500-dozen doughnut donation when he starts up again.