According to a recent poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, President Obama has garnered his highest approval rating since the second time he was inaugurated. The results show that 51 percent of voters approve of how Obama is running the country; 46 percent of those polled don’t believe he is doing a good job. During President Obama’s second inauguration, his approval rating dropped to nearly 40 percent. In regards to different parties, 88 percent of Republicans disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, while the percentage is the same for Democrats who believe he is doing well. If the Constitution allowed President Obama to run for a third term, four out of ten of those polled said they would consider voting for him. President Obama’s high approval ratings may be beneficial for Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, since she claims she will keep several elements of policies that were made under Obama’s administration intact. Read more.
Supreme Court Rules Against Virginia Republicans in Black Voters Case
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled against Virginia Republicans in a case that said the legislature illegally used race as a factor when picking U.S. congressional districts by putting Black voters into one. They ruled 8-0 against the Republicans. The case was centered on a predominantly African-American U.S. House of Representatives district that spanned from Richmond to Norfolk. Democrat Bobby Scott, the sole Black member of Virginia’s congressional delegation, was at the helm of the district. Voters who filed a lawsuit back in 2013 claimed that state legislators forced them into that district to reduce the political impact of African-Americans in surrounding districts. The move was a violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act, as well at the constitutional right to equal protection. “Good news not only for Virginia voters and voting advocates, but also for other states currently dealing with constitutional issues around their congressional district maps,” said Michele Jawando, a lawyer for Center for American Progress. “A just and fair democracy necessitates that all voters can access the ballot without worrying about political games and racial discrimination.” Read more.
Study: Blacks Are More Likely to Die from Liver Cancer
A new study has revealed the racial disparities surrounding liver cancer. According to the research, which was presented at Digestive Disease Week in San Diego on Monday, African-American patients with liver cancer are less likely to receive lifesaving transplants and are more likely to die than White patients. “When we looked at a diverse sample of patients being diagnosed with HCC, race was the strongest predictor of survival,” said Dr. Patricia Jones of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. African-Americans with liver cancer had larger tumors, which is a sign that they were being diagnosed later, ultimately making them less suitable for liver transplants. According to Dr. Jones, factors that contribute to these disparities include high rates of hepatitis B, lack of health insurance, and less access to treatment. There wasn’t any evidence that alluded to racial bias for those receiving treatment. Read more.
Report: NFL Tried to Influence NIH Report on Brain Disease
There’s a proven link between brain injuries and professional football. According to a new report, which was released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the NFL allegedly solicited money to have an influence on a study surrounding brain trauma being conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The NFL allegedly donated $30 million to the NIH in 2012; $16 million of the donation was supposed to go towards research about a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The NFL took back its funding when the league found out that Boston University’s Dr. Robert Stern would lead the research, which required the use of taxpayers’ dollars to fund the study. The NFL then tried to make a $2 million donation, but the NIH refused to take the contribution. “The NFL’s interactions with NIH and approach to funding the BU study fit a longstanding pattern of attempts to influence the scientific understanding of the consequences of repeated head trauma. These efforts date back to the formation of the NFL’s now-discredited [Mild Traumatic Brain Injury] Committee, which attempted to control the scientific narrative around concussions in the 1990s,” read the report. “In this instance, our investigation has shown that while the NFL had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research. The NFL attempted to use its “unrestricted gift” as leverage to steer funding away from one of its critics.” The NFL has denied allegations about trying to have an influence on the NIH. Read more.
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