Jamie Lynn Spears’ beau left with fractured skull after accident

New York, Apr 27 (ANI): American actress Jamie Lynn Spears’ baby’s father, Casey Aldridge, has been hospitalised for a fractured skull after his pickup veered off the road and flipped./pp
The incident happened during a Louisiana bachelor-party outing, and Aldridge, 19, has been charged with careless driving after the crash near Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish, La./pp
As per People magazine, Jamie Lynn Spears, 18, was at Aldridge’s bedside on April 26 at the Riverland Medical Center in Vidalia, La, and a family source revealed the young dad has been in and out of consciousness./pp
It’s not as serious as we thought at first, the New York Daily News quoted the source as saying./pp
The source also said Aldridge had been attending a cousin’s bachelor party, when he and some friends decided to go crabbing./pp
Cops said there was no indication alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident. (ANI)/p

Evan Rachel Wood to play 500-year-old vampire in ‘True Blood’

Washington, April 23 (ANI): Actress Evan Rachel Wood has signed on to star as a 500-year-old bloodsucking vampire in a hit U.S. TV drama.

The ‘Wrestler’ star will portray Sophie-Anne, the vampire Queen of Louisiana, in the upcoming second season of ‘True Blood’, which debuted last year (08).

According to Website EW.com, she will appear in a two-episode arc at the end of the new season, reports Contactmusic.

Meanwhile, rumours are abuzz that Manson and Rachel Woods have rekindled their romance.

The couple, who ended their two-year relationship in October last year, have reportedly reunited. (ANI)

Fish oil could help prevent Parkinson’s disease

Washington, Apr 20 (ANI): Incorporating an omega three fatty acid- found in fish oil- in the diet could help prevent diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Dr. Nicolas Bazan, form the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, showed that the omega three fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), prevented the misfolding of a protein resulting from a gene mutation in neurodegenerative diseases.

For the study, researchers developed a cell model with a mutation of the Ataxin-1 gene.

The defective Ataxin-1 gene induces the misfolding of the protein produced by the gene, which fails to get properly processed by the cell machinery and thus results in tangled clumps of toxic protein that eventually kill the cell.

The Ataxin-1 misfolding defect could cause Spinocerebellar Ataxia- a disabling disorder that affects speech, eye movement, and hand coordination at early ages of life.

Researchers found that DHA could protect cells from this defect.

Previously, researchers had discovered that neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1)-a naturally occurring molecule in the human brain that is derived from DHA-also promotes brain cell survival.

In this system NPD1 could set free the dying cells with the pathological type of Ataxin-1, keeping their integrity intact.

“These experiments provide proof of principle that neuroprotectin D1 can be applied therapeutically to combat various neurodegenerative diseases,” said Bazan.

He added: “Furthermore, this study provides the basis of new therapeutic approaches to manipulate retinal pigment epithelial cells to be used as a source of NPD1 to treat patients with disorders characterized by this mutation like Parkinson’s, Retinitis Pigmentosa and some forms of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

The study was presented at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Nouvelle C Room, at the American Society for Nutrition, Experimental Biology 2009 Annual Meeting. (ANI)

Chewing gum ‘helps reduce cravings for sweet snacks’

Washington, April 20 (ANI): Chewing Extra sugar-free gum may help control appetite, decrease calorie intake and reduce cravings for sweet snacks, a new study has found.

Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Louisiana State University found that chewing Extra sugar-free gum significantly reduced intake of an afternoon snack by 40 calories.

They also found that chewing gum specifically reduced sweet snack intake by 60 calories.

During the study, researchers found that when participants chewed gum, hunger, desire to eat and sweet snack cravings were significantly suppressed between lunch and an afternoon snack as compared to when they did not chew gum.

When participants chewed gum, they researchers found that their energy levels were maintained between lunch and an afternoon snack, and were significantly less drowsy as compared to when they did not chew gum during this same timeframe.

Overall, this study has shown the role of chewing gum in helping to decrease calorie intake from an afternoon snack, controlling appetite and reducing snack cravings.

This study backs the role of chewing sugar-free gum as an easy, practical tool for helping to manage snack intake and reducing sweet snack cravings. (ANI)

Jindal advises Cheney to tone down criticism of Obama

Baton Rouge (Louisiana, US), Apr.17 (ANI): Louisiana’s Indian American Governor Bobby Jindal has suggested that former Vice President Dick Cheney should tone down his criticism of President Barack Obama.

Cheney has repeatedly criticized Obama’s national security policy, saying recently on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Obama’s decisions “raise the risk to the American people of another attack.”

Asked to respond to Cheney’s remark during an interview ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Jindal said: “I don’t think we should question President Obama’s patriotism or his intentions.”

“I think Democrat or Republican, we should all agree that our current president, our former president would obviously want to do everything they could to keep us safe,” he said. “Let’s give the new administration a chance. Let’s not question their intentions. Let’s have a real debate on their policies,” Politico quoted Jindal, as saying.

The Republican governor praised Obama for “showing more flexibility when it comes to Iraq than maybe some of the campaign rhetoric suggested.”

“I am, quite honestly, pleasantly surprised. That’s the kind of pragmatism, listening to the commanders on the ground, I think is very important,” Jindal said. (ANI)

UPDATE 1-Entergy NY Indian Pt 3 reactor reonnects to grid

(Releads with reconnection to grid)

NEW YORK, April 15 (Reuters) – Entergy Corp’s (ETR.N) 1,025-megawatt Unit 3 at the Indian Point nuclear power plant near New York City reconnected to the power grid Wednesday afternoon after a 35-day refueling outage, the company said.

The unit had been shut since March 11 for scheduled maintenance and refueling. By late Wednesday afternoon, it was operating at 28 percent of production capacity, said Jerry Nappi, Indian Point spokesman for Entergy.

The 2,045 MW Indian Point station is located in Buchanan in Westchester County about 45 miles north of New York City. The station has two units: the 1,020 MW Unit 2 and the 1,025 MW Unit 3, which entered service in 1973 and 1976.

Unit 2 continued to operate at full power early Wednesday.

Before it shut on March 11 to refuel, Unit 3 had operated for 678 consecutive days, a U.S. record for continuous operation for Westinghouse pressurized water reactors, Entergy said.

One MW powers about 800 homes in New York.

Entergy, of New Orleans, owns and operates about 30,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities and transmits and distributes power to 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. (Reporting by Joe Silha and Bernie Woodall, editing by John Picinich)

World’s ‘only pink dolphin’ makes a splash in Louisiana

Melbourne, March 10 (ANI): A pink dolphin has been pulling in crowds in Louisiana after being spotted in Lake Calcasieu.

“Pinky”, thought to be the world’s only pink dolphin, was said to have reddish eyes and was usually seen with its dark grey mother.

Boat captain Erik Rue, aged 42, had first spotted the unique bottlenose in 2007, and claims it “looks like it just came out of a paint booth”.

The albino dolphin had created a stir amongst tourists who were pouring in to catch a glimpse of the rare mammal.

“I just happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a little lighter. It was absolutely stunningly pink,” News.com.au quoted Rue as telling London’s Telegraph newspaper.

“The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating its albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws.

“As time has passed the young mammal has grown and sometimes ventures away from its mother to feed and play but always remains in the vicinity of the pod.

“Surprisingly, it does not appear to be drastically affected by the environment or sunlight as might be expected considering its condition, although it tends to remain below the surface a little more than the others in the pod.” (ANI)

Jindal compared to Kenneth, the dweeby page

Washington, Mar.8 (ANI): Louisiana’s Indian origin Governor Piyush `Bobby’ Jindal is being likened to Kenneth, the dweeby page on “30 Rock.”

The politically devastating comparisons started popping right up after Jindal delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s address a joint session of Congress. And they’ve spread like wildfire on the Internet, says Politico.

“Close your eyes and think of Kenneth from ’30 Rock.’ I can barely count the number of e-mails making that observation,” Andrew Sullivan wrote on his blog minutes after Jindal’s speech.

Talking Points Memo, The Huffington Post and Gawker also made the comparison that night.

Now the wunderkind governor, who’s often mentioned as a GOP presidential prospect, is struggling to overcome his association with this generation’s version of Gomer Pyle.

And his predicament is organic, as opposed to the biting parodies of Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live.”

Several Facebook groups dedicated to the comparison have sprung up. The latest, “Bobby Jindal is Kenneth the Page,” had more than 20,000 members on Friday. In comparison, nearly 34,000 people list themselves as fans of Jindal on the social networking site.

Nine YouTube videos splicing the governor’s speech with clips of Kenneth the Page have been viewed by at least 10,000 people and the video of the Kenneth responding to Jindal on “Late Night” in which he calls Jindal a “goober” was featured prominently on The Huffington Post and other sites.

In Louisiana, the governor’s communications director sought to play down the comparisons.

“Being compared to Kenneth the Page is a whole lot better than what past Louisiana governors have been compared to,” Melissa Sellers said.

“Kenneth sounds like Clark Gable.”

The content of Jindal’s speech was not the major issue, though it was also panned by some. It was his appearance and awkward delivery from the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge.

Jindal still has plenty of time to recoup. (ANI)

Jindal, Palin still on GOP leaders short list for 2012

Washington, Mar.1 (ANI): Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her Indian-origin Louisiana counterpart Piyush `Bobby’ Jindal are still seen as potential leaders for the Republican Party when its bids for the US presidency in 2012.

According to the Washington Times, while both have not really set the GOP house on fire with their leadership skills, experts and consultants have identified them as the party’s future because the list of suitable candidates available is short.

Craig Shirley, a prominent Republican consultant and author of two books on Ronald Reagan, says of Jindal that: “Still, he’s on the short list of possible GOP leaders, mainly because the list is so short.”

Jindal has been the subject of assessment since he delivered the GOP’s response to Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of the US Congress.

“Unfortunately, Governor Jindal showed he is not ready for prime time,” longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie said.

“Presently, it is clear that other than some high-profile talk-show hosts, conservatives have no nationally known, articulate leader or spokesman,” he added.

“Emerging Republican leaders for 2010 and 2012 have something in common,” said GOP campaign strategist Patrick Davis.

“They are not from Washington. Look to governors like Jindal, Perry, Barbour, Palin, [Minnesota's Tim] Pawlenty. They are connected to reality and the struggles of ordinary citizens. Washington still doesn’t get it,” Davis said.

Davis agrees that Jindal’s response to Obama’s address was below average.

“It was not Jindal’s finest moment. He is smart, and this wasn’t the Jindal we know. He looked to be too scripted and almost robotic. He is capable of so much more,” he said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has predicted that 20 to 30 “significant players” within the Republican Party will emerge as 2012 draws closer.(ANI)

Ahead of challenging Obama, Jindal rehearses on teleprompter!

Louisiana (US), Feb.24 (ANI): Fast-talking Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal plans to rehearse the Republican Party’s response to President Barack Obama’s address to Congress with a teleprompter today before delivering it live from the governor’s mansion in Baton Rouge.

According to the Washington Post, this is the grandest opportunity of Jindal’s young political life, and he is banking on impressing Americans just as he wowed the Rhodes panel when seeking its scholarship as a 20-year-old.

Then, it took the panel a mere 30 seconds to pencil in Jindal’s name, as he stood out on the long roster of Louisiana’s high achievers with his intelligence and eloquence.

The judges took another 45 minutes to settle in on the second finalist.

Jindal has been anointed the boy wonder of a Republican Party that was left battered by the 2008 election and hungry for new leadership.

His audition on the national stage is tonight, and at 37, he was still working last night on the 10-minute speech.

Aides said he is writing it himself, although he has received input from party leaders.

In his star moment, Jindal is being anything but cautious.

Leading up to his speech, Jindal has voiced withering criticism of Obama’s 787 billion dollar economic recovery package, becoming the most prominent of a handful of Republican governors from Southern states to say they will reject some federal funds in the stimulus plan.

Jindal’s gamble is being widely regarded by GOP strategists as an attempt to burnish his fiscal conservative credentials in expectation of a presidential bid, perhaps as early as 2012.

The son of Indian immigrants, Jindal is the first non-white governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction and offers the GOP an attractive rival to Obama.

“Look, I think every American is incredibly proud by the president’s personal story, the fact that we will be seeing him addressing his first joint session of Congress tomorrow night, and I have been selected and honored to give . . . the Republican response,” Jindal said yesterday.

In picking a governor to deliver tonight’s speech, GOP leaders are acknowledging that without a majority in Congress, the big ideas necessary to rebuild their party are likely to come from state capitols.

Jindal is among several GOP governors harboring national ambitions, a group that includes Florida’s Charlie Crist, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, South Carolina’s Mark Sanford and Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Jr.

In Jindal, the GOP has chosen a charismatic spokesman with intellectual heft. (ANI)

Jindal becomes first Governor to refuse Obama’s payout to states

Washington, Feb 21 (ANI): Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has announced that he will decline stimulus money specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse any part of the federal government’s payout to states.

In a statement, Jindal, who is slated to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s message to Congress on Tuesday, expressed concern that expanding unemployment insurance coverage would lead to increased unemployment insurance taxes later on, Politico.com reported.

“The federal money in this bill will run out in less than three years for this benefit and our businesses would then be stuck paying the bill,” Jindal said.

“We must be careful and thoughtful as we examine all the strings attached to the funding in this package. We cannot grow government in an unsustainable way.”

Jindal is one of a small group of Republican governors, which includes South Carolina’s Mark Sanford and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, who have said they might refuse some or all of the stimulus money targeted to their states.

In an interview Friday, Barbour said he, too, would likely decline funds for broadening access to unemployment insurance. (ANI)

Alien atmosphere helped unfreeze ancient Earth

Washington, Jan 14 (ANI): Analysis of the chemical composition of 635-million-year-old rocks from the Norwegian island chain of Svalbard has revealed oxygen trapped inside the rocks, which suggests ancient Earth once had an alien atmosphere that might have helped melt millions of years’ worth of deep freeze.

According to a report in National Geographic News, the analysis shows a surprisingly low amount of a particular type, or isotope, of oxygen.

Reduced levels of this isotope are linked to high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the new data suggest ancient Earth might have had 300 to 1,000 times more CO2 than current levels.

An atmosphere so rich in CO2 would still be breathable by modern standards, but it would place limits on the growth of life as we know it.

“The numbers indicate a very, very different world” than scientists had previously assumed, said study leader Huiming Bao of Louisiana State University.

Bao and colleagues think their finding supports the “snowball Earth” theory, which says that snow and ice accumulation worldwide once reached a threshold that caused the entire planet to stay frozen for millions of years.

Most scientists believe Earth could only emerge from such a state after ten million years or more, after atmospheric CO2 built up enough to finally trigger melting and lead to a rapid thaw.

Bao and colleagues analyzed a compound called sulfate from rocks dated to the Neoproterozoic era, which lasted from a billion to 542 million years ago.

Sulfate forms when a charged sulfur atom binds with four oxygen atoms. The complete molecule is highly stable, which makes sulfate a useful tool for studying what types of oxygen atoms were present when the sulfate formed.

In the Svalbard study, Bao and colleagues looked at the sulfate-containing mineral carbonate and found very low levels of an oxygen isotope called O-17.

Previously, Bao and a different set of co-authors had examined sulfate in another mineral called barite in samples from south China and West Africa dated to roughly the same time period.

Those rocks had also shown a low amount of O-17.

Given that the abnormal isotope ratios occurred in several locales, University of California, San Diego, chemist Mark Thiemens beleives the results are associated with a widespread phenomenon.

The atmospheric effects were, “if not global, at least equatorial,” said Thiemens.

According to geophysicist Raymond Pierrehumbert, of the University of Chicago, the result “underscores what I call ‘Neoproterozoic weirdness,’ namely that there are a lot of strange geochemical signatures that indicate that the climate is doing something radically different from what it was doing before or since.” (ANI)

Aretha Franklin plans hiatus from singing

London, Feb 13 (ANI): Legendary singer Aretha Franklin has decided to take a break from her career.

The 66-year-old soul queen has pulled out of an appearance at a U.S. jazz festival, scheduled to take place in Louisiana during April and May, insisting that she is planning a hiatus from singing.

“She decided not to do any more work for a while,” the Daily Star quoted organiser Quint Davis as saying.

However, Franklin has to continue to support the annual festival.

“She’s made it clear that New Orleans and the festival are important and that she would like to be a part of this and raising the spirit of New Orleans,” Davis added. (ANI)

Republicans tap Indian American Jindal to counter Obama speech

Washington, Feb.12 (ANI): Republicans have zeroed into Indian American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to give their official response to President Obama’s February 24 address to a joint session of Congress.

“Governor Jindal embodies what I have long said: the Republican Party must not be simply the party of ‘opposition,’ but the party of better solutions,” the Washington Times quoted House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio Republican) as saying while announcing the party’s decision.

After being defeated in last year’s presidential elections, the Republicans have been searching for faces to carry their message, and for many, Jindal is an obvious choice.

Jindal, 37, the son of immigrants from India, is not only youthful, but has also amassed substantial legislative and executive experience.

He won Louisiana’s governorship in 2007, and some Republicans thought he would have been a good vice-presidential pick for Senator John McCain in last year’s election. He was a two-term congressman before winning the governorship.

Like Obama, Jindal has made ethics reforms a centerpiece of his own agenda in Louisiana.

Obama’s address is similar to a State of the Union address, though it is not technically the same.

Jindal’s response, a tradition for the party out of power, will be televised after Obama speaks. He will speak from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (ANI)

US porn star considering running for Senate seat

London, Feb 10 (ANI): An American porn actress is considering running against a disgraced politician, whose phone number was found in the records of a notorious Washington madam, for the Senate seat.

Stormy Daniels has said that she is ready to challenge Louisiana Senator David Vitter, if the Republican incumbent refuses a face-to-face debate over the issues.

Vitter, who co-sponsored a Marriage Protection Amendment last year, previously faced public humiliation after his details were published on a list of phone call records kept by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called DC Madam.

In May 2008, Palfrey was found dead following an apparent suicide after being found guilty of running a prostitution ring.

Vitter is currently fund-raising for the 2010-midterm elections.

However, he may face a challenger from Daniels who is being pressurized by an Internet campaign for her to stand.

The Draft Stormy campaign has said that it wants the adult entertainer to stand because of her “honesty, passion and strength of character”.

“I am honoured and admittedly surprised by the encouragement that I am receiving to enter the race for the United States Senate from Louisiana,” the Telegraph quoted Stormy, as saying.

“I realise that an undertaking of this sort is something that one should not enter into lightly. Therefore over the next days and weeks I will be discussing this prospect with my family and friends and will also continue to listen to the people of Louisiana for their thoughts and insights. Only after careful consideration, will I decide whether to pursue this unique opportunity,” she added.

In an interview with news website The Daily Beast, Daniels said: “I have never been involved in politics before but apparently they are calling me to duty and if that is what it takes, that is what I will do.” (ANI)

Exercise boosts postmenopausal women’s quality of life

Washington, Feb 10 (ANI): A new study has shown that exercise improves quality of life in postmenopausal women regardless of whether they lose weight.

For the study, Corby K. Martin, Ph.D., of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge and colleagues studied the effect of 50 percent, 100 percent and 150 percent of current public health physical activity recommendations on quality of life in 430 sedentary postmenopausal women (average age 57.4).

Participants were randomly assigned to a non-exercise control group (n=92) or one of three exercise groups: exercise energy expenditure of 4 kilocalories per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per week (4-KKW) (n=147), 8-KKW (n=96) or 12-KKW (n=95).

A short health survey was used to measure physical and mental aspects of quality of life at the beginning of the study and six months later.

“Adherence to exercise was 95.4 percent, 88.1 percent and 93.7 percent for the 4-, 8- and 12-KKW groups, respectively, and each group spent 73.9, 138.3 and 183.6 minutes per week exercising,” the authors said.

The average weight loss in the control, 4-KKW, 8-KKW and 12-KKW groups was 0.94 kilograms (2.07 pounds), 1.34 kilograms (2.95 pounds), 1.86 kilograms (4.10 pounds) and 1.34 kilograms (2.95 pounds), respectively.

“A dose-response effect of exercise on quality of life was noted for all aspects of quality of life except bodily pain,” the authors said.

“In addition, the 4-KKW group had significantly improved general health perception, vitality and mental health compared with the control group. All three exercise groups had significantly improved social functioning compared with the control group.

“Our results indicate that improved quality of life can be added to the list of exercise benefits and that these improvements are dose dependent and independent of weight loss, at least among people similar to this study’s sample.

“The exercise doses are easily obtainable and were well tolerated by sedentary women, resulting in confidence that the exercise doses used in this study can be achieved by women in the community,” they added.

The study is published in February 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.(ANI)

Britney regains her ‘killer’ body

Washington, Jan 17 (ANI): It seems that pop diva Britney Spears is getting over her troubled past.

The 27-year-old singer showed off her toned body in the photographs of her Circus tour rehearsals on her website, reports The Sun.

She was dressed in black tracksuit pants and a cropped T-shirt, showing off her regained the killer body she was once so famous for.

It has also been revealed that Britney’s 44-date tour will depict her much-publicized meltdown, and subsequent recovery.

The tour will kick off in her home state of Louisiana on March 3 and move to the rest of the U.S., Canada and London, with plans to expand to the rest of Europe.

She will perform six gigs in London’s O2 arena between June 3-14. (ANI)

Bush’s lowest point during presidency was ‘being called a racist’ post Hurricane Katrina

Washington, Jan 15 (ANI): President George W. Bush has revealed that the lowest point of his presidency was “being called a racist” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In the days following the disaster caused by Katrina, Bush was criticized for what most say was a slow federal response to aiding victims, especially in the heavily African-American, Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans.

“I think being called a racist because of Katrina was a low point,” Politico.com quoted Bush as telling CNN’s Larry King.

Added to the comments was one from entertainer Kanye West, who said during a live hurricane relief fundraiser on network television that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

“In fact, the truth of the matter is the response was pretty darn quick,” Bush said.

“If you think about the fact that the Coast Guard and a lot of brave kids were pulling 30,000 people off of roofs as soon as the storm passed, as soon as they found people on those roofs,” he stated.

When King pointed out that a lot of mistakes were made in the days following the hurricane, Bush said: “Well, yes, at all levels of government, absolutely.”

“And that’s a good thing about government. By the way, we have had, that I know of, sitting right here, eight hurricanes, major hurricanes, and seven and a half were dealt with the way everybody expected them to be dealt with,” Bush further said.

“The Mississippi part of Katrina was dealt with well, even though it was a really horrible hurricane.

“My brother was governor of Florida, and seven major hurricanes hit there. And the response was always pretty good. It’s the response out of New Orleans and Louisiana which was not as good as we would have liked,” he added. (ANI)

Britney working hard for her North America tour

London, Jan 6 (ANI): Pop princess Britney Spears has gone back to preparing for her North America tour after she took a short break for her brother”s wedding.

The Womanizer singer was spotted arriving at a studio after she returned to LA from her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, where her brother Bryan had tied the knot with her sister Jamie Lynn”s manager.

Spears, 27, had taken her sons Sean Preston and Jayden James along with her, though she did not have an escort.

The Toxic singer is rumoured to currently be involved with Bollywood dancer who choreographed her Womanizer video, Sandip Soparrkar. (ANI)