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Frustration over 9/11 victims fund grows as ailing responders grapple with slow payout

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9/11 first respponders\Thousands of sick 9/11 responders learned Friday that the $2.8 billion fund established to compensate them has made final rulings on 112 claims after two years of work.

“I’m disappointed,” said John Feal, a construction supervisor severely injured on “The Pile,” who lobbied Congress for the 2011 law setting up the Victims Compensation Fund.
It’s moving at a snail’s pace, and we’re talking about human life.”

Nearly 55,000 people registered for the compensation fund by Oct. 3, 2013’s deadline for noncancer illnesses, according to the fund’s annual report issued Friday.


Kidney Damage in First Responders Linked to 9/11

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first respondersFor the first time, researchers have linked high levels of inhaled particulate matter by first responders at Ground Zero to kidney damage. Researchers from the WTC-CHEST Program, a subset of the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center for Excellence at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presented their new findings at the 2013 American Society of Nephrology meeting on Nov. 9 during National Kidney Week.

After the 9/11 tragedy, first responders at Ground Zero were exposed to varying levels of a dust cloud of air filled with cement dust, smoke, glass fibers, and heavy metals. The WTC-CHEST Program at Mount Sinai has previously linked this particulate matter exposure to lung and heart abnormalities. However, its effects on the kidney health of first responders have never been explored until now.


9/11 first responders must register with Victim Compensation Fund by Oct. 3 deadline

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9/11 first respondersSick and injured 9/11 first responders, recovery workers and survivors who aren't already registered with the Victim Compensation Fund are being urged to do so before Oct. 3 — the deadline to file for financial compensation.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference Monday at 7 WTC to ask those afflicted by the 9/11 tragedy to register immediately.

"This fund is not open forever. In fact, the clock is ticking and time is running out for victims and survivors to participate," said the senator, a Democrat from upstate New York.


Guantánamo judge makes secret ruling on secret motion in secret hearing

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Gitmo trialsDuring a secret hearing at Guantánamo, the military judge in the 9/11 death-penalty case ruled against a secret government request to withhold information from defense lawyers for accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators, according to a partially redacted transcript released Tuesday.

The hearing, held Aug. 19 at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba, was the first closed pre-trial hearing of the Sept. 11 capital case. The subject matter was so secret that the judge cleared the court of the public and the five men who, if convicted, could be executed for conspiring in the worst attack on U.S. soil, including 2,976 counts of murder.


1,140 WTC 9/11 responders have cancer — and doctors say that number will grow

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First respondersThe “C” word has been every World Trade Center responder’s nightmare — and for good reason.

Cancer has become a reality for more than 1,000 men and women who sacrificed their health at Ground Zero — and the number is expected to grow.

“You get a lump in your throat when you first have to tell your wife,” said NYPD Detective Amadeo Pulley, 47, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in May. “But I told my family and two kids I’m gonna be fine. We will get through this.”


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