The NIH reveals Junior Seau suffered a brain disease; Jerry Sandusky appeals his sentence in court; 5 Kurdish activists are murdered in Paris; VA Gov. Bob McDonnell calls for the restoration of felons’ voting rights; 44 states report widespread flu outbreaks; and a new study shows that half of the world’s flue is ‘just thrown away.’ Meanwhile, this year’s Oscar nominations are announced; ‘The Hunger Games’ wins big at the People Choice Awards; and Britney Spears is leaving ‘The X-Factor.’
NFL PLAYER JUNIOR SEAU HAD BRAIN DISEASE CTE, http://bit.ly/ZvZTJvAccording to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, former NFL player Junior Seau had been suffering from the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy when he committed suicide last May. NIH has found that Seau’s brain had damages similar to those found in autopsies of people “with repetitive head injuries.” Seau’s family had requested his brain be analyzed after his suicide, noting that he was exhibiting strange behavior before his death. “I don’t think any of us were aware of the side effects that could be going on with head trauma when he passed away,” said Seau’s son.
Delhi gang rape suspects ‘tortured to force confession’, http://bbc.in/UXN5we
Manohar Lal Sharma, a lawyer expected to represent three of the New Dehli gang-rape suspects, says the men confessed to the rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman because they were “tortured.” The court ruled Thursday that the charges against the five suspects needed further investigation and that the case will not be fast-tracked to a trial. A sixth suspect in the case is a minor and will be tried separately.
SANDUSKY ARRIVES FOR HEARING ON FAIRNESS OF TRIAL, http://bit.ly/13iO0v3
Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will appear in court Thursday in order to appeal his conviction for 45 charges of sexual abuse of young boys. He has been sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for abusing 10 boys over 15 years. Sandusky will allege that his lawyers were not given sufficient time to prepare for the trial. The prosecution has responded that Sandusky and his lawyers knew as early as 2008 that he had been accused of sexual abuse.
5-Female Kurdish activists including former guerrilla shot in Paris, http://reut.rs/VjWaAy
Five Kurdish women were found shot to death in Paris Thursday morning. The bodies were discovered at the Information Center of Kurdistan. Police are launching a murder investigation and say the crime were politically motivated. One of the victims was a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) while another was the Paris representative of the Kurdistan National Congress. The PKK has been recognized as a terrorist group by the U.S., Turkey, and the European Union, and has been involved in a 28-year war for independence from Turkey.
(via Daily Press) McDonnell calls for automatic restoration of voting rights for felons, http://bit.ly/10gIdHF
Gov. Bob McDonnell used his annual State of the Commonwealth Wednesday to tout his transportation funding package, unveil additional education reform proposals, and call for the automatic restoration of voting rights for nonviolent felons. McDonnell said he supports proposed legislation for a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore civil rights, such as voting rights, to felons convicted of nonviolent offenses who have served their time. Currently applications for rights restoration must be made directly to the governor who then decides whether to restore rights on an individual basis.
Biden, NRA set to meet, http://cbsn.ws/WuUBf9
Vice President Biden, as leader of the president’s gun task force, will meet with the NRA, Comcast, other broadcasters, and movie-theater owners Thursday. The meeting is meant to discuss the enforcement of stricter gun laws and the use of gun violence for entertainment value. On Wednesday, Biden said that “executive action” will most likely circumvent Congress in order to take action on guns. NRA president David Keene has called the White House’s task force “disingenuous,” adding that it’s “going after the Second Amendment.”
National flu outbreak widens, http://cbsn.ws/WB7zI6
A total of 44 states are reporting widespread flu outbreaks. On Wednesday, Boston issued a public health emergency after 18 people were killed and 700 more were affected by the virus. At this time last year, only 70 cases of the flu had been reported. According to the Center for Diseases Control, the number of people admitted to the hospital with the virus has doubled in the past month. Officials strongly recommend flu vaccinations for everyone 6-months or older.
Half of the world’s food ‘is just thrown away’, http://ind.pn/VR015h
According to a new study, half of the world’s food, up to 2 billion tons, is “just thrown away.” Between 30 and 50 percent of food is not eaten due to poor infrastructure and storage facilities, expiration dates, “buy one get one free” offers, and pickiness from consumers. The study also states that the demand for water for food production could reach 10 to 13 million cubic meters a year by 2050 – more than triple the amount of fresh water humans use today.
OSCAR NOMINATIONS 2013: ‘ARGO,’ ‘LINCOLN’ & MORE (PHOTOS), http://thebea.st/RI1T2k
Rapper Freddy E tweets final moments before shooting himself, http://on.today.com/10g3u4j
People’s Choice Awards 2013: ‘The Hunger Games’ Takes Home 5 Awards, http://abcn.ws/VMaNwf
Queen Elizabeth: William & Kate’s Daughter Will Be Called ‘Princess’, http://bit.ly/13kUJnl
Britney Spears Leaving Simon Cowell’s The X Factor, http://eonli.ne/UNzs1y