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Bangladesh’s ‘Tree Man’ may need dozen more operations

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A Bangladeshi father dubbed “Tree Man” for massive bark-like warts on his hands and feet may need a dozen more operations to remove the growths, a hospital director said Sunday.

A team of doctors operated on Saturday on Abul Bajandar’s right hand to remove some of the smaller growths, his second such operation, said Dhaka Medical College Hospital facility director Samanta Lal Sen.

The 26-year-old was admitted to hospital last month to finally shed some of the growths weighing at least five kilograms (11 pounds) that first began appearing 10 years ago.

“We removed some small warts from his palm. We also did dressing of his fingers, which were operated on last week. He’s now better,” Sen told AFP.

But Bajandar would need up to 15 operations in total to rid his body of the growths, which may take six months to one year, Sen said.

Bajandar, from the southern district of Khulna, was diagnosed with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, an extremely rare genetic condition dubbed “tree-man disease” that causes the growths.

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He has become a celebrity, with people travelling to Khulna over the years to see him and hundreds visiting him in hospital.

Bajandar said he was determined to continue with the treatment no matter how long it took.

“The first operation has given me hope,” he told AFP by phone from hospital.

“I don’t want to return to my village without clearing my hands and feet. I want to get back to my old life,” the father-of-one said.

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Bajandar was given the all-clear for surgery after tests confirmed the warts were not cancerous. He opted to have the surgery now after the Bangladesh government decided to pay the bill.

Bajandar initially thought the warts were harmless but slowly as the growths covered his hands and feet, he was forced to quit working as a bicycle rickshaw puller.

Sen said only three known cases of epidermodysplasia verruciformis existed in the world.

An Indonesian villager with massive warts all over his body underwent a string of operations in 2008 to remove them.

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John Dean explains the big mistake Hope Hicks made by stonewalling Congress

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Former White House counsel John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal, said Wednesday on CNN that there was a serious flaw in the attempt to prevent longtime Trump confidant Hope Hicks from testifying to Congress.

White House lawyers have asserted that Hicks has absolute immunity and is not legally required to testify about her time as Trump's director of communications. Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee — where she reportedly refused to answer questions about her White House job.

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The Republican machine is in fifth gear right now, speeding to attack one of their top Democratic targets: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

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Economist mocks GOP for trying to pin racism on Democrats — after telling a harrowing story about anti-black economic envy

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Economist Julianne Malveaux explained to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that there was a time in the United States where black Americans were actually closing the wealth gap with white Americans -- until white Americans rioted and burned their property.

During her testimony at a hearing on reparations, Malveaux recounted the horrific story of the destruction of "Black Wall Street," which was a location in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was known for its high concentration of black-owned businesses and black wealth.

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