The US congresswoman shot in the Tucson massacre was breathing on her own tonight after being taken off a ventilator.
Neurosurgeon Michael Lemole said he had left a breathing tube in Gabrielle Giffords to protect her airway, but she was drawing breaths on her own, was alert, and responding to doctors.
Six people are still in hospital after the shooting on Saturday at a Tucson grocery store.
The attack killed six and injured 14 others.
Meanwhile, Arizona state legislators were drafting emergency laws to prevent an extreme religious group from demonstrating at the funerals of the victims.
The Westboro Baptist Church said it plans to demonstrate at the funeral on Thursday for nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green.
The fundamentalist church has attended many military funerals to draw attention to their view that the deaths are God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.