04 21 2015
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  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
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(CNN) -- Star NFL linebacker Junior Seau -- just 43 years old when he took his own life last May -- suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative brain disease that can follow multiple hits to the head, the National Institutes of Health said Thursday.

Questions of CTE came up immediately after Seau's body was found, with a handgun nearby, in the bedroom of his home in Oceanside, California.

CTE, a progressive neuro-degenerative disease, can result in Alzheimer's-like symptoms such as dementia, memory loss, aggression and depression, but it can be diagnosed only after death.

Seau's family donated his brain to the National Institutes of Health for research, and Thursday the NIH released a statement saying "abnormalities were found that are consistent with a form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)."

According to the pathology report from the NIH, five researchers -- two NIH neuropathologists and three independent experts -- examined slides of Seau's brain and all confirmed that there were signs consistent with CTE. None of the researchers was aware of the identity of the brain when initially looking at it.

Dr. Ann McKee, the director of neuropathology at VA Boston, who was not involved in this case, has looked at CTE in most of the NFL players' brains studied so far. In a recent study she co-authored, the researchers found CTE in the brains of 34 of 35 NFL players. She says the CTE diagnosis in the Seau case was not unexpected.

"From what I've read about the symptoms (Seau) was experiencing the last couple of years -- the ones relayed by the family -- it is not surprising to me that he had this disease," McKee said. "It doesn't sound like it was early CTE, that it was becoming quite widespread in the brain. And he was young at the time of death. It is another sad day to see another fairly well-established case of CTE."

What may be a surprise to some is that Seau was never diagnosed with a concussion in all the decades he played football. That points to the bigger mysteries of the disease that scientists such as Dr. Julian Bailes, the co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute, hope to someday solve.

"It is not unprecedented that he didn't have a concussion history. That's part of the problem in figuring this out," Bailes said. "It seemed logical at first that it would be people with multiple concussions that would be at risk of CTE. As we've learned more, it was surprising that some of those at risk for CTE were players who did not have a history of concussion."

Seau was one of a string of high-profile NFL players -- along with Dave Duerson, Shane Dronett and Shane Easterling -- who tragically took their lives and were later diagnosed with CTE.

Not everyone who is exposed to repeated head trauma would develop the disease, experts say.

"Based on what we know thus far, I think we have to assume that the number one risk factor we have is the degree or extent of exposure," Bailes said. "And if anyone had high exposure, if there was anyone you'd worry about, it'd be Junior Seau. He played for 30 years. He played youth football, college football, for 20 years in the NFL."

The National Football League responded to the announcement of Seau's diagnosis with a statement saying, "We appreciate the Seau family's cooperation with the National Institutes of Health. The finding underscores the recognized need for additional research to accelerate a fuller understanding of CTE."

 

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