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Jill Treacy

Hepatitis C drug shows positive data

A hepatitis C drug in its early trial period has shown positive results


A hepatitis C drug in its early trial period is said to be making progress in reducing severity of the infection. Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said the drug is being tested in doses ranging from 25mg to 1,000mg in patients with genotype 1a and all doses tested well. The drug is called ACH-3102 and only one dose of the medication helped with the infection.

The hepatitis C drug study showed it to be safe. This type of success has come early on it the clinical stages. Because of this, Achillion is starting a new trial that combines both ACH-3102 with ribavirin for a 12-week mid-stage trial. Ribavirin is another hepatitis C drug.

Hepatitis C is a highly researched virus and, thus, a large area of drug research. The chronic illness, already affecting many, is said to become more prominent with the Baby Boomer generation. Achillion, along with studying ACH-3102, is testing a wide variety of hepatitis C drugs and treatments.

Analysts have said the data is “encouraging,” and Achillion has already increased the prices of their shares on NASDAQ. The ACH-3012-ribavirin trial should be available in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Fraternity suspended after alcohol incident

A University of Tennessee fraternity was suspended after a student was hospitalized with 0.40 blood alcohol level


A fraternity at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has been suspended after a student was hospitalized with a dangerously high blood alcohol level. The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has been suspended indefinitely after the weekend incident, and the university says it will be refocusing its alcohol education programs. Police say an investigation into the incident revealed that the hospitalized student and other students at the fraternity were using alcohol enemas. Twelve students have been cited with underage drinking and one with disorderly conduct.

The fraternity was suspended because the incident occurred at the fraternity house on campus. The student has been released from the hospital, and while the UT Police Department mentioned the student’s cousin had told investigators that alcohol enemas were involved, their family has denied involvement and rescinded the statement. However, police did, find tubing and materials used to give alcohol enemas at the scene.

Campus officials had recently met with UT fraternity and sorority student leaders about alcohol when the incident occurred and the fraternity was subsequently suspended. The university is going to continue the investigation and students may face disciplinary action, according to Tim Rogers, the vice chancellor of student life.

“Shock would be an (overstatement),” Rogers said. “I myself had never heard of what has been alleged.”

As for the alcohol education program the university offers, Rogers said, “We’re going to continue the education, we’re going to continue the walk throughs. We don’t have a lot of knee-jerk reactive initiatives. We want to fall back and maybe refocus our existing programs.”

Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity is also investigating the incident after their chapter at UT was suspended. In a statement, Pi Kappa Alpha said their “mission is to develop men of integrity, intellect and high moral character and to foster a truly lifelong fraternal experience. These alleged activities are clearly not consistent with that mission, not are they representative of what the fraternity would expect from any of its members.”

The fraternity office said it is issuing their own suspension of their chapter at UT. Hazing did not appear to be involved in the incident.

Honey Boo Boo to return for a second season

TLC has ordered a second season and holiday specials for Here Comes Honey Boo Boo


Honey Boo Boo and the gang are coming around again for a second season. The show, a spin-off of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, features 7 year-old beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo aka Smoochie) and her self-described redneck family. On the night of the show’s first season finale, TLC announced that they are welcoming back the hysterical, yet highly controversial, family show for another season and holiday specials for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ has become a pop culture phenomenon,” said TLC General Manager Amy Winter. “What you see is what you get and we are excited to share even more of Lana and her family’s unbridled hilarity, sincerity and love with our viewers.”

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the show follows the small-town-Georgia family around their daily lives as well as coined some new terms for the American vocabulary. The family includes father Mike (aka Sugar Bear), mother June (aka Mama aka Coupon Queen) and sisters Lauryn (Pumpkin), Jessica (Chubbs) and Anna (Chickadee), who, at 17-years-old, recently had her first child. Alana, or Honey Boo Boo, was made famous with phrases such as “You’d better redneckognize” and “A dolla makes me holla.” The show is criticized for possibly mocking small-town Southern life while also indulging in the “unhealthy ways of American culture,” in the words of Hollywood.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, an absolute hit despite the criticism, averages 2.3 million viewers during the first eight-episode season. The season finale Wednesday night, titled “It Is What It Is,” featured the birth of Anna’s daughter Katelyn, the Sparkle and Shine pageant, a visit from Uncle Poodle (real name Lee) and a Thompson family photo.

TLC has not announced a date for the premier of the next season but it is expected to air next spring. 

Chris Brown fails drug test

Judge orders probation violation hearing after the singer fails random drug test


Chris Brown tested positive for marijuana use this summer during a random drug test in Virginia. A judge has ordered a probation violation hearing for November 1. The singer is on a five-year probation from the 2009 assault on then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna, and the positive marijuana test may be a problem.

Chris Brown apparently told authorities that the marijuana was ingested in California where he has a medical marijuana card, even though the test was done in Virginia, where marijuana is illegal. Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg said it probably will not be a big deal for his record, but she will also be going over possible travel violations of his probation and iffy community service records. The judge has ordered Brown to see his probation officer in the next three days.

Even though the positive test may not affect his record, Schnegg warned Chris Brown of the effect it may have on his public image.
”You are not an average person who can sit in their living room and do what you want to do. You are not only in the public eye, but you are on probation,” she said. “And you’re on probation to me which means that if you violate any laws or orders, then you’re subject to a probation violation.”

The singer lives in his hometown of Richmond, Va. where he was ordered to complete his community service for his past offense.

Ann Coulter speaks out against liberals

The conservative commentator says Democrats are “dropping the blacks and moving on to the Hispanics”


Ann Coulter has stated that the Democratic Party is moving away from their focus on blacks and onto the Hispanics. Both parties have been vying for the Latino vote for the upcoming November election, and conservative Coulter says they are abandoning African Americans and their civil rights.

Ann Coulter said Sunday during a roundtable discussion on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” that “Democrats are dropping the blacks and moving on to the Hispanics” and also argued that immigration rights are not necessarily civil rights. John Ramos, another member of the roundtable discussion, commented that the Republicans need to focus on immigration and Hispanics because it is such an enormous issue and population in the nation, thus the Coulter comment. According to her, the Democrats are moving on the Latinos because “they’re a larger group.”

Author of her new book “Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama,” Ann Coulter also argued that the black civil rights experience is being assumed by many groups on the left.

“I think what—the way liberals have treated blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right,” she said. “There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s—or – or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much on the left.”

She maintains that civil rights belong only to the blacks. Continuing on the rant against liberals, Coulter claimed that all liberals want to talk about it racism, and “white guilt” is harming the society. Hannity chimed in saying Democrats are avoiding other important issues “because all they can do is accuse Republicans of racism.”

“Everyone, blacks especially, are better off when the white guilt bank is shut down, as it was for more than a decade after the O.J. verdict,” Coulter says. “And liberals kept trying to push the racial narrative in their newspapers and TV. Americans weren’t buying it.”

Poorest state is Mississippi

The richest state and the poorest state in the U.S are named.


The poorest state, along with multiple other statistics on median income, poverty rate, health insurance and unemployment rate, have been released for the year of 2011. Median household income has officially declined for the second straight year, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, to 8% lower than the 2007 peak of $50,502 per household. 24/7 Wall St. reports on the statistics and ranks the top ten highest and lowest median household income.

The median household income is still said to be down, and a whopping $35,000 gap clearly defines the richest and poorest state. Mississippi is yet again the poorest state in the United States with an average $36, 919 income per household, and Maryland is the richest state with an average $70,004 income. Both states have held this position since before the recession.

The poverty rate continues to be high with a national average of 15.9% of four person households living below the poverty line. Mississippi, again, has the highest poverty level at 22.6%.

On a more positive note, health insurance increased coverage in 37 states in the U.S. Coverage overall is overall low, but the poorest state number have improved.

Unemployment, a huge topic discussed in the current presidential campaign season, does not seem to be a “significant problem” with the low-income states, according to the 24/7 Wall St. article. Five of the lowest-income states have lower unemployment rates than the national average. The national unemployment rate is 8.9%. Elizabeth Kneebone of Brookings Institute told 24/7 Wall St. that there is not a positive correlation between the poorest states and unemployment rates. Apparently, there are jobs, but the jobs just are not paying very well.  

“Earnings for middle and lower-wage workers have fallen or stagnated over time,” Kneebone said. “So you can have a situation where jobs are being created…but the types of jobs matter. If those jobs that pay low wages, even if you’re working full time, that might not be enough to lift you above the poverty line.”

All of this data has been taken into account in naming the poorest state and richest state in America. With Mississippi at the top of the list of the poorest states (as well as fattest state, worst education system and a few other depressing lists), West Virginia comes in second and Arkansas at third.

The whole list and other data for the report can be found on 247wallst.com.

Tim Tebow in politics?

The quarterback hints at a possible future in politics


Tim Tebow is one of the most talked about NFL players these days and his celebrity status may play well into the future. The New York Jets backup quarterback is known for his faith and personal convictions, a strong basis for what he may pursue after football—politics. Tebow recently told Vogue that politics is a possibility because, “I want to have a life that can help people.”

He still has football on the brain, but Tim Tebow is thinking about his future.

“I haven’t ruled [politics] out, “Tebow said. “It won’t be anytime soon in my future, but it’ll be something I’ll at least look at and consider one day.”

His celebrity status may help propel him forward, too. U.S. News reported GOP strategist Brian Hughes saying Tebow may have the upper hand if he wanted to pursue a career in politics because everyone knows his name.

“Many of the political newcomers have to face an uphill battle with name ID, so Tebow would have an advantage with that,“ Hughes said. “Beyond his celebrity status I think he emulates the values a lot of conservative voters look for. …He’s made some clear statements about his faith and social convictions.”

Those clear statements and actions off the field have definitely set him apart, and while his football fans would be sad to see him go, they can be reassured that he won’t be a stranger to the public eye.

Pregnant soldier gives birth in Afghanistan

A British soldier, unaware she was pregnant, gave birth to a baby on the frontline


A pregnant soldier went into labor Tuesday and gave birth to a son in Camp Bastion, just days after the Taliban attacked the UK’s base in Hemland. The British soldier reportedly did not know she was pregnant, and after she complained of severe stomach pains, medics informed her that she was about to give birth.

The pregnant soldier, who remains unnamed, was a gunner in the Royal Artillery and has been deployed with the 12th Mechanised Brigade since March. She was in her 34th week of pregnancy, meaning the child was conceived before she left for Afghanistan. The birth has shocked military officials, to say the least, and doctors who helped deliver the baby were surprised at the unusual situation.

“This left us completely gobsmacked,” a military source said. “You prepare yourself for dealing with war-wounded at Bastion—not a mother giving birth to a baby. It is the talk of the camp.”

In preparation for her deployment, the pregnant soldier reportedly had to pass rigorous fitness tests and training, including an eight-mile run with a 25lb backpack. The Ministry of Defense has come out saying that it is strictly prohibited to be deployed while pregnant, that they were not aware that the soldier was pregnant and will be sending the soldier and baby home.

“It is not military policy to allow service women to deploy on operations if they are pregnant. In this instance the MOD was unaware of her pregnancy,” a spokeswoman for the MOD said Wednesday. “As with all medical cases, when the need arises, individuals are returned to the UK for appropriate treatment and care.”

The baby boy was born five weeks premature, but both mother and child seem to be doing well. The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford has sent a team of pediatrics to Afghanistan that will help the mother and son on their flight home. 

Chad Johnson divorce finalized

The ex-NFL star voices regret for the past and change for the future


Chad Johnson, six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, and reality TV star Evelyn Lozada have finalized their divorce. The divorce happened in a rapid fashion following Johnson’s arrest on a domestic abuse charge and was apparently governed by a confidential prenuptial agreement.

Chad Johnson was vying for a spot on the Miami Dolphins when he was arrested on Aug. 12. Then-wife Lozada accused him of head-butting her during a disagreement and promptly filed for divorce. Johnson has since lost his sport on Miami’s roster and many doubt he will get another chance at a professional football job. The football player appeared to be aware of all he has lost in the recent weeks in an interview on Showtime’s Inside the NFL.

“First off, I lost two things that I love, honestly. Football, I love. You know that. And you know the way I play the game, I enjoy it, I have fun with it, you know?” an emotional Johnson said. “And being married, being a husband, being a lover, it was an honor. You know what I mean? And I lost that. And you know that saying, ‘You never know what you have until it’s gone?’ And now I finally know what they mean.”

Johnson is taking full responsibility for the head-butting incident and says he’s been taking anger management classes. He seems sincere in bettering the Chad Johnson image and has high hopes of returning to the NFL.

“When you got a humble Chad Johnson that has lost everything and has to work his way back up, that’s a big deal,” he went on to say during the interview. “Because you’re not getting that same individual, you’re not getting that same fun guy.”

Monica Lewinsky ready to reveal some secrets

The former White House intern reportedly got $12 million for tell-all book about her affair with former President Bill Clinton


Monica Lewinsky has a lot to tell about her scandal and people want to hear about it. According to the New York Post, the former White House intern famous for her affair with former President Bill Clinton has reportedly promised to reveal all of the details involving the sex scandal that almost prematurely ended Clinton’s presidency. Apparently, the 39-year-old is not having much luck getting a job even fourteen years after the scandal and needs to resort to other avenues of income. Maybe the $12 million she is getting paid for the book will suffice for a bit.

While the book is still being shopped, Monica Lewinsky is on her way to embarrassing the former President with supposed love letters, explicit details about their sex life and conversations between the two lovers about Bill and Hillary’s marriage. The letters are said to contain heart-felt messages from Lewinsky to Clinton about her love for him and “how much happier she could make him,” said a source. Unsent letters that were too “raw” will be included in the book as well. Details about their kinky sexual encounters will liven things up even more, and a narration of Clinton referring to his wife as a “cold fish” and joking about their “non-existent sex life” may rock the marriage boat of the now-66-year-old Clinton and the wife who still stands by his side.

Representatives for Monica Lewinsky could not be reached in regards to the book. Since the scandal, Lewinsky received her master’s degree, worked as a news correspondent and launched a failed handbag line. Evidently, the next option is to write a book.