• Report due on painkiller abuse at Tomah VA Medical Center

    Updated: 28 min ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A report on a yearlong investigation into painkiller abuse at Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center is due to be released. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson plans to release the preliminary report Tuesday in conjunction with a congressional committee field hearing in Tomah. Johnson is chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The VA's troubles in Tomah have already been a flashpoint in Johnson's race against former senator Russ Feingold. The Democrat and Johnson have blamed each other for not doing enough to address allegations at the medical center that some have called "Candy Land" because of overprescribed opiates. Inspectors for the VA in 2014 found that doctors

  • Wal-Mart needs to grow overseas, and China's the big prize

    Wal-Mart needs to grow overseas, and China\'s...

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Zhong Guoyan sifted through piles of fish at a Wal-Mart in Shenzhen, one of China's largest cities. She studied the fins, to make sure they were bright red and firm. She peered at the eyeballs — were they bulging? "I like when the products are fresh, and the quality is good," she said. "When I come here, I have a look. If it's good, then I will buy it. If it's only cheap, I won't buy it." In American Wal-Marts, customers are not offered the opportunity to fondle their fish. But America is not China, as the world's biggest retailer has learned. If the Arkansas-based company wanted to win over foreign consumers like Zhong, it would have to shed some of its American ways, and cater to very different cu

  • Rio problems, doping issues, refugee athletes on IOC agenda

    Rio problems, doping issues, refugee athletes...

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — With the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro just over two months away, Olympic leaders have plenty of troubling issues to deal with this week. The Zika virus, unfinished venues and political chaos in Brazil. A flood of positive drug tests from the past two Summer Games. Fresh accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russia. Vote-buying allegations involving Tokyo's winning 2020 bid. All these challenges and more will be on the table when the International Olympic Committee executive board holds a three-day meeting starting Wednesday in Lausanne. It's the last meeting before the IOC gathers in Rio on the eve of South America's first Olympics.

  • Big CAT scan: LSU mascot Mike the Tiger in cancer treatment

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Call it a big CAT scan. Louisiana State University's live tiger mascot was sedated this past weekend and brought to a human cancer center near campus where he'll be treated for a rare cancer. At the hospital, Mike VI received a CT scan and a radiation simulation. During the simulation, doctors set up devices that will keep the 420-pound tiger in position for precisely targeted radiotherapy to treat a tumor on his face. The LSU veterinary school says in a statement that doctors haven't yet decided whether to treat Mike on one day or over two or three days. They say that without treatment Mike could live one or two months, but treatment could extend that to one or two years.

  • EU drug agency: Ecstasy is making a comeback among the young

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Ecstasy is becoming popular again in the European Union, with online sales and targeted marketing helping to drive the revival among a new generation of users, the EU drug agency said Tuesday. MDMA, also known as ecstasy, has returned as "a common stimulant of choice for young people," the agency said in its annual report on drug trends in the 28-nation bloc. Ecstasy first established itself in the illegal drug market in the 1990s, but its use declined at the end of the last decade amid poor drug quality and adulteration. Innovative ways of obtaining chemical compounds used to make the drug, new production methods and marketing techniques that offer varying strengths, colors and shapes of table

  • Forthcoming lawsuit seeks to block addiction center

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A group of residents from Springfield's Mill Street neighborhood are filing suit in an attempt to block the proposed Western Massachusetts Correctional Addiction Center from moving in. The Republican newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/27ZYFfG ) attorney Shawn Allyn plans to file a lawsuit Tuesday in Hampden Superior Court that seeks to obtain a temporary restraining order to halt construction on the facility. The lawsuit will be similar to a federal suit Allyn filed several months ago that was denied after Judge Michael Ponsor called the facts of the case "a mess." The suit calls for an alternative to relocating the facility to a residential neighborhood.

  • UN health agency trumpets 'plain packaging' for tobacco

    UN health agency trumpets \'plain packaging\' for...

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    GENEVA (AP) — The UN health agency says "plain packaging" on tobacco products has shown to be an effective complement to health warnings, advertising restrictions, and curbs on misleading packaging to help save lives. The World Health Organization released Tuesday an 86-page report on "plain packaging," hoping to decrease the lure of smoking on "World No Tobacco Day." WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan said plain packaging "kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people." The report chronicles the effort to strip tobacco packaging of logos, colors and brand imagery and contradicts legal challenges from the tobacco industry.

  • 3rd party to assess Nashville General Hospital's finances

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says an independent third party will assess the finances and governance of Nashville General Hospital. In a Friday statement announcing the plan, Barry said she is committed to the success of the city's safety-net hospital. She said the assessment will give taxpayers an understanding of how their money is used. It will also help Nashvillians understand the need for a hospital that serves the indigent. And it will help the hospital plan for the future. The assessment will be led by KraftCPA's Kevin Crumbo, who is donating his time. Nashville General Hospital has been located at the Meharry Medical College campus since 1998.

  • ‘I came back. I hated myself.’ How mustangs are helping vets heal

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    POPLAR GROVE, Ill. — The stallion kicked out, nostrils flaring. In the ring, it faced off against a 32-year-old former infantryman. Months ago, Mitchell Reno was sitting in a hotel room with a half-gallon of vodka and dark plans. But this April afternoon found him serenely still as a stallion kicked up sawdust in an arena in Poplar Grove. Slashes across the horse’s heaving belly and back revealed fights in the Wyoming wild. The horse zeroed in on Reno, who wrestles with PTSD and knows a thing or two about scars, the kind you can see and the kind you can’t. “Whenever I get in the ring, it’s just me and the horse,” said Reno, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003. “Nothing else matters.

  • Movie review: ‘Weiner’ tracks congressman’s 2nd sexting downfall

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    In 2011, seven-term Democratic Congressman Anthony D. Weiner’s underwear selfies, emblems of a sex farce not intended for wide release, accidentally went viral. There went a bright political future. And then a reprieve: Improbably, once the Weiner scandal became yesterday’s whoopsie-daisy, the man got his second act, an initially promising run at the New York City mayoral race. The impish train-wreck documentary “Weiner” focuses on the ins, outs and lessons of that 2013 race and of the further sexting revelations that dog him still. “I did the things,” Weiner says of his compulsive sexual behavior. “But I did a lot of other things too.

  • Chest protectors guard against deadly blows to chest

    Chest protectors guard against deadly blows to...

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Jack Crowley was 15 when a baseball hit him in the chest and stopped his heart. The Long Island teen survived, thanks to a police officer who grabbed a defibrillator and shocked his heart back into rhythm. A blow to the chest — one that hits at just the wrong spot, at just the wrong time — can trigger deadly cardiac arrest. Fortunately it's rare. But most victims are otherwise healthy kid athletes. And survival hinges on fast use of those heart-zapping defibrillators that not every athletic league or school keeps near the playing fields. There soon may be another attempt at protection: A U.S.

  • Sisters diagnosed weeks apart fight breast cancer together

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two Utah sisters have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer within about two weeks of each other, a coincidence that doctors say is extremely rare. The timing has meant that 34-year-old Sharee Page and 36-year-old Annette Page can face the disease as a team, like they have nearly every other aspect of their lives. The two women are on the same chemotherapy schedule, and they have experienced nearly identical symptoms after each session. Huntsman Cancer Institute doctor Adam Cohen says it is extremely rare for two siblings to be diagnosed with the disease within weeks of each other. The sisters have the BRCA2 gene, a mutation that puts a woman at a much greater risk for breast and ovarian ca

  • Casino tests novel approach to preventing gambling addiction

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is set to launch this week a first-in-the-nation system allowing slot players to limit their bets, following months of planning and some pushback from the gambling industry. The goal is to prevent casual players from going down the destructive path of addiction, said Marlene Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, which is helping administer the new feature. It isn't necessarily meant to address those with serious gambling problems, she said. "It's truly a prevention tool," Warner said. "We want people to keep gambling in a way that's healthy and safe for them, so that it doesn't rise to that problematic level.

  • Puerto Rico's tourist industry feels economic sting of Zika

    Puerto Rico\'s tourist industry feels economic...

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — It was the wedding of one of her best friends, and Natalie Kao was going to be a bridesmaid in a fun, tropical setting on a small island just off the east coast of Puerto Rico. But the prevalence of the Zika virus across the U.S. territory gave her pause. Kao, pregnant with twins, knew the mosquito-borne Zika virus has been linked to a rare birth defect in a tiny percentage of cases. But even a small risk was too great. "You don't know the impact, which is very scary," the San Francisco woman said. She sent her regrets, as did several dozen other members of the wedding party. Puerto Rico has been hit harder by Zika than any other part of the U.S.

  • Los Angeles Times Page One Advisory for Monday, May 30, 2016.

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    The following stories are under consideration: MED-PRINCE-DRUG:LA — It was an intervention that never happened, and it featured two stars: Prince, an adored music icon, and buprenorphine, an obscure drug hailed as a revolutionary tool to fight opioid addiction. Prince died before the first scene, when a drug-addiction consultant, a physician and Prince’s associates converged on the star’s Paisley Park home near Minneapolis. The plot twist? The consultant, Andrew Kornfeld of the Recovery Without Walls clinic in Mill Valley, Calif., was carrying a small amount of buprenorphine. Nicknamed “bupe,” it is also known by several commercial names including Suboxone. By Geoffrey Mohan. PAKISTAN-CHINA:LA — Families were stil

  • Making of YouTube sensation: Princess Shaw’s rise from anonymity is focus of film

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    Standing onstage in a Tel Aviv theater, Samantha Montgomery looks out on a crowd of admirers. Fighting back nerves and tears, she belts out her original song “Give It Up” to her largest audience to date. Officially gone are the days of trotting to New Orleans open mikes hoping to make it big, to have even the fewest of attendees embrace her talent. Princess Shaw, the name Montgomery performs under, has finally arrived. But making it to this point was as much her own doing as it was that of a stranger almost 7,000 miles away who stumbled on an a cappella YouTube video of hers and, with some tinkering, made her a global Internet sensation. Montgomery’s rise is chronicled in the documentary “Presenting Princess Shaw.

  • Prince’s death casts spotlight on anti-opioid addiction drug

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    It was an intervention that never happened, and it featured two stars: Prince, an adored music icon, and buprenorphine, an obscure drug hailed as a revolutionary tool to fight opioid addiction. Prince died before the first scene, when a drug-addiction consultant, a physician and Prince’s associates converged on the star’s Paisley Park home near Minneapolis. The plot twist? The consultant, Andrew Kornfeld of the Recovery Without Walls clinic in Mill Valley, Calif., was carrying a small amount of buprenorphine. Nicknamed “bupe,” it is also known by several commercial names including Suboxone. Dr. Howard Kornfeld, the founder of the Recovery Without Walls clinic (and Andrew’s father), is a leading proponent of the drug

  • Senators unveil their version of Louisiana operating budget

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's senators prioritized home- and community-based services for the elderly and disabled Monday as they crafted their version of next year's nearly $26 billion state operating budget, which would leave the TOPS college tuition program and safety net hospitals short. The Senate Finance Committee heavily reworked the budget proposal passed by the House to finance state government in the financial year that begins July 1, which contains $600 million less than needed to continue all existing programs and services. The budget proposal heading to the full Senate for consideration Wednesday would provide 48 percent of the financing needed to fully pay for all students eligible for TOPS.

  • Illinois House OKs plan to expand medical marijuana program

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has approved a plan to expand the state's medical marijuana pilot program by two-and-a-half years and add post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness to the list of allowed conditions. Lawmakers voted 86-27 on Monday to advance the measure, which Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner supports. It now goes to the Senate, where it's expected to pass. Illinois' four-year pilot program is set to sunset at the end of 2017. Under the bill, it will continue to July 1, 2020. Democratic Rep. Lou Lang is the bill sponsor. He says the changes are in the best interest of patients and will help ensure the viability of the program. The program started in 2014 but the first medical ca

  • Elton John doesn't see Putin, hopes for future meeting

    Elton John doesn\'t see Putin, hopes for future...

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Elton John regrets he didn't get to meet President Vladimir Putin during his current trip to Moscow, but says he's looking forward to meeting the Russian leader in the future to discuss LGBT issues. Performing Monday before an enthusiastic crowd at a Moscow concert hall, the British rock star thanked Putin for inviting him to "discuss some serious issues in Russia, including LGBT and HIV and AIDS," expressing hope they could eventually meet. John has criticized a Russian law against gay "propaganda" and comments by Putin suggesting that gay people prey on children. Putin called John in September to say he'd be willing to meet and talk about any issues that concern the gay rock star.