The Official Community for Tennessee's Democrats
Four southern Senate races with vulnerable incumbents -- Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Louisiana -- all remain closely contested, according to polls conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation for The New York Times' The Upshot.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) are deadlocked at 44 and 43 percent, respectively, with Grimes leading by 6 points against Matt Bevin, McConnell's tea party challenger. In North Carolina, incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) is also roughly tied with two candidates, taking 42 percent to state Rep. Thom Tillis' 40 percent, and 41 percent to physician and conservative activist Greg Brannon's 39 percent.
The poll also found surprisingly strong showings by Democrats in two states. In Arkansas, the poll finds Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) 10 points ahead of Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). The NYT/Kaiser poll is one of two recently finding a substantial edge for Pryor -- a poll for a pro-minimum wage group also gave him a 10-point lead. While Pryor's numbers seem to have seen a recent uptick, however, other polls conducted this year have ranged between a 6-point Cotton lead and a 3-point Pryor lead.
By Jonathan Kaminsky
OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - Washington state authorities have euthanized scores of steroid-filled roosters after raiding a farm and arresting a man on suspicion of raising the birds for cockfighting, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Victor Hugo Gallegos Chavez, 35, the lone defendant in the case, was arrested at his home in Rochester, about 70 miles southwest of Seattle by authorities acting on a search warrant on Monday.
Court documents filed by prosecutors cite Chavez and others as saying he sold the roosters to fight in Mexico, Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere.
Cockfighting is outlawed in all 50 U.S. states but remains legal in Mexico, among other countries.
Some 240 roosters and 60 hens seized in the raid were euthanized after Chavez's arrest, said Thurston County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Wheeler, adding that the steroids rendered the birds unsuitable for rehabilitation or human consumption.
"I love chickens. I have chickens of my own," Wheeler said. "To treat a bird as a toy is something that is not right in the universe."
At Chavez's initial court appearance on Tuesday, a judge found evidence of probable cause for 100 counts of animal cruelty, one count of illegal gambling and one count of animal fighting, Wheeler said. All are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Chavez, who is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail, will be formally charged later this week, Wheeler said.
The case against Chavez was built during a two-year investigation by the Washington State Gambling Commission, Wheeler said. The probe included the use of hidden cameras that recorded events at the farm.
Gambling Commission agents observed Chavez keeping the birds tethered to barrels, taunting them and prodding them to fight for up to a minute at a time.
Federal immigration officials have a placed a hold on the case, meaning there is evidence that Chavez is in the United States illegally, Wheeler said. But Chavez will face the charges to be filed against him before any possibility of his being deported, the prosecutor added.
(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Steve Gorman and Eric Walsh)
A new kind of Jenny Craig diet formulated specifically to help people manage their Type 2 diabetes has demonstrated its effectiveness in a new clinical trial -- so much so, that the commercial weight-loss company launched a new program based on the study's findings.
In general, participants who joined a Jenny Craig program lost more than three times as much weight as the control group, and 72 percent of the participants who were taking insulin to manage their condition were able to either stop taking it or reduce the dose, compared with just 8 percent of the control group.
But participants on the specially formulated Jenny Craig program for Type 2 diabetes were more successful at bringing down their blood sugar levels than those on the already-available Jenny Craig program.
Live from Inglewood!
After visiting New York last year, the MTV Video Music Awards announced Wednesday that the show is returning to the West Coast this summer to become the first major awards ceremony broadcast from the storied Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer
Published: 04/23/2014 09:19 AM EDT on LiveScience
Women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer, and there are currently no drugs proven to reduce their cancer risk.
Now, early research suggests that existing drugs, already approved to treat other conditions, may help prevent breast cancer in these women, although more research is needed to prove this.
One drug, called benserazide, is currently used for Parkinson's disease, and in studies it reduced the formation of breast tumors in mice that had been implanted with cancer cells containing the BRCA1 gene mutation. All of the mice that did not receive the drug developed breast tumors, but 40 percent of mice given the drug were tumor-free, said study researcher Elizabeth Alli, of Stanford University School of Medicine. [7 Diseases You Can Learn About From a Genetic Test]
Some studies show that women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene have a 50 to 70 percent chance of getting breast cancer by age 70, compared with a 12 percent lifetime risk for the average American woman. Last year, actress Angelina Jolie announced she had undergone a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer because she has a BRCA1 gene mutation.
Two drugs, tamoxifen and raloxifene, are already approved to prevent breast cancer, but there's little information about how well they work for women with BRCA1 gene mutations. Both drugs work by blocking the action of estrogen on breast cells; the hormone can fuel the growth of certain types of breast cancer.
"The data out there for the efficacy of these drugs [among carries of BRCA1 mutations] is controversial, and inconsistent," Alli said. "So really it'd be ideal to identify new drugs that are more effective for this population."
The BRCA1 gene is involved in repairing damaged DNA — a critical function, because damage to DNA can lead to cancer. Mutations in the BRCA1 gene increase the risk of cancer because they impair this repair process.
Benserazide, and possibly other drugs, may work to prevent breast cancer from BRCA1 mutations by restoring cells' ability to perform one type of DNA repair, the researchers said.
Alli noted that tamoxifen also increases the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus lining), and for some women, this risk may outweigh the drug's benefits.
The next step in the research is to see whether benserazide, or other drugs that work similarly, prevents breast cancer in mice that have been genetically engineered to have BRCA1 gene mutations.
The drug will also need to be tested in a clinical trial before researchers know whether it works in people. It's not clear how soon a trial could start after the work in mice, but it could be relatively quick because the drug is already being used in people, Alli said.
However, even after a trial begins, it can take many years to enroll enough people to complete a study, she said.
The study was presented this month at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in San Diego.