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brother, Bubba Hiers, saying she suffered from sexual harassment and racially offensive talk and employment practices that were unfair to black workers during her five years as a manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. The dismissal deal came less than two weeks after Judge William T. Moore dismissed the race discrimination claims, ruling Jackson, who is white, had no standing to sue over what she said was poor treatment of black workers. He let Jackson’s claims of sexual harassment stand, but those were dropped in the deal between the lawyers. «While this has been a difficult time for both my family and myself, I am pleased that the judge dismissed the race claims and I am looking forward to getting this behind me, now that the remaining claims have been resolved,» Deen, 66, said in a statement Friday. While Deen said in her statement that «those who truly know how I live my life know that I believe in kindness and fairness for everyone,» she also promised to take a closer look at how her employees are treated. «Moving forward my team and I are working to review the workplace environment issues that were raised in this matter and to retool all of my businesses operations,» Deen said. «I look forward to getting back to doing what I love.» Deen is co-owner of the restaurant, which is primarily run by her brother. Jackson also claimed that Hiers sexually harassed her when she worked at the restaurant from 2005 to 2010. Regardless of the truth behind Jackson’s claims, her lawsuit resulted in serious damage to Deen’s public image. It was Jackson’s lawyer who questioned Deen under oath in May when she acknowledged having used racial slurs in the past. A transcript of the legal deposition became public in June, and the backlash against Deen caused the Food Network and other corporate sponsors and business partners to drop her. Her upcoming book was dropped by the publisher and companies including Wal-Mart, Target and Caesars Entertainment Corp. severed ties with her. The deal to resolve the suit comes little more than a month after Deen and Hiers dumped their attorneys and hired a new legal team. In her lawsuit, Jackson had claimed Hiers frequently made jokes containing racial slurs at work and prohibited black workers from using the restaurant’s front entrance and customer restrooms. She said she was personally offended because she had biracial nieces. Attorneys for Deen said in court filings that Jackson’s lawsuit was based on «scurrilous and false claims.» They said before Jackson filed suit, she threatened to embarrass Deen publicly unless she paid the ex-employee «huge sums of money.»

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It found that while fewer teens overall drank alcohol or used illegal drugs in the last year, a small but growing number were popping prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin and stimulants like Ritalin

The annual study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, conducted by the University of Michigan, showed mixed results in the nation’s longtime campaign against teen drug abuse.

It found that while fewer teens overall drank alcohol or used illegal drugs in the last year, a small but growing number were popping prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin and stimulants like Ritalin.

As many as one in every 14 high school seniors said they used cold medicine «fairly recently» to get high, the study found.

It was the first year that the government tracked the frequency of teens who reported getting high from over-the-counter medicine for coughs and colds.

«It’s bad that kids are buying cough syrup and using it this way — it’s not good for them,» said John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The study found about one in 10 high school seniors have abused the painkiller Vicodin, and Walters said kids may be pilfering the pills from their parents’ medicine cabinets.

«That is one thing you can do — take the pills that are no longer being used and throw them away, get rid of them,» he said in an interview.

Walters credited public service advertising with a steady decrease in overall teen drug use over the past five years. He said the agency would shift some of its 2007 advertising budget toward combating prescription drug abuse.

He challenged the recommendations of an August government audit that said the anti-drug advertising campaign wasn’t working and suggested Congress consider reducing its funding. The report by the Government Accountability Office found some children were actually more likely to use marijuana after seeing the ads.

«We’re pushing back,» Walters told reporters Thursday as he outlined the study results. «What this shows is we’re pushing back successfully.»

The rise in prescription drug abuse was a troubling conclusion in a study that Walters described as good news overall because of the drop in teen use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and other illicit substances.

An estimated 840,000 fewer teens reported using illegal drugs now compared to five years ago, he said.

The annual study, in its 32nd year, surveyed 50,000 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades at more than 400 schools nationwide. It found, 하남출장안마 that over the last year:

Illegal drug use at all three grade levels dropped, if only slightly. An estimated 36.5 percent of high school seniors reported using illicit drugs at some point in the year.

Marijuana remained the single most abused drug among teens, although its use also dropped slightly within all three grades. Nearly 12 percent of 8th graders reported using it, compared to 25 percent of 10th graders and 31 percent of high school seniors.

One-third of 8th graders said they had consumed alcoholic beverages, compared to more than a half of 10th graders and two-thirds of seniors surveyed. That also was a small decrease among the three grade levels. But the number of 10th and 12th graders who reported getting drunk increased slightly.

Comparatively, the number of teens who got high from medicines and households items instead of illegal drugs was small. They included:

That teens are turning to cough syrup to get high is particularly alarming, experts said, because the medicine is cheap and easy to get. Moreover, few people — teens and their parents alike — recognize the dangers of overdosing on the otherwise safe and legal drugs.

«There is this mistaken belief that intentionally abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs is somehow safer than abusing street drugs,» said Steve Pasierb, president and chief executive of the New York-based Partnership for a Drug Free America. «What parents don’t realize is that this is about your kids taking six pills with a beer.»

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The town is believed to be a safe haven for Taliban fighters and drug smugglers, as well as a conduit for foreign fighters arriving from neighboring Pakistan, NATO said

No other details about the attacks on the U.S. troops were given by NATO and the identities of those killed were not immediately released.

A total of 55 foreign troops have been killed in Afghanistan this month, including 35 Americans, according to a count by The Associated Press. July was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, with 66 killed.

Afghanistan: The Road Ahead

U.S. troops make up about 100,000 of the 120,000-strong foreign military contingent in Afghanistan, most in the south and east where the Taliban is most deeply entrenched.

Meanwhile, a police official said three Afghan policemen and two civilians were killed and 15 civilians wounded in Thursday evening’s bombing in Kunduz province’s Archi town. The blast went off as residents shopped for food in anticipation of the breaking of the dawn-to-dusk fast observed during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but deputy provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Aqtash said civilians appeared to be the target.

«This was a cruel act of the enemy. There was nothing to link these people to the coalition or to politics,» Aqtash said.

Kunduz, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, has not traditionally been a Taliban stronghold. However, insurgents have steadily built their presence there since 2007, mostly among ethnic Pashtuns who are a minority in the area. Attacks on a key coalition supply line running south from Tajikistan are a constant menace, along with ambushes of German forces who help provide security.

In establishing a northern foothold, Afghan authorities believe the Taliban use veterans from southern battlefields to help organize local groups, sometimes with help from the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which provides recruits from among the Uzbek minority.

«The situation is very bad and dangerous in Kunduz but unfortunately the security officials keep saying things are all right,» Mabubullah Mabub, chairman of the Kunduz provincial council, told AP Thursday. «Over the last two years, the situation has been getting worse.»

Farther east in Badakhshan province, Afghan army commandos aided by U.S. special forces discovered a major weapons cache in the remote village of Nawci on Wednesday, NATO reported. It said weapons found included 78 rockets with launchers, 47 mortar rounds, more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition, and 김제출장안마 24 rocket-propelled grenades. All were destroyed.

The town is believed to be a safe haven for Taliban fighters and drug smugglers, as well as a conduit for foreign fighters arriving from neighboring Pakistan, NATO said.

Meanwhile, Afghan, French and U.S. troops wrapped up a weeklong offensive against insurgents in the Uzbeen valley northeast of Kabul, NATO said. Backed by air power, the combined force killed about 40 Taliban fighters and captured several key Taliban operatives, it said.

Another three insurgents were killed and three detained in eastern Paktiya province by Afghan and coalition forces pursuing a Taliban sub-commander — part of an expanding number of operations targeting the insurgents’ leadership.

While the Taliban sub-commander was not captured, the coalition claimed to have nabbed two key operatives with the Haqqani network, an Islamist militant group with deep links to al Qaeda. NATO also said its forces in Kunduz were chasing a militant affiliated with a number of groups including al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Taliban.

NATO said the militant was recently forced to leave a safe haven in Pakistan and moved across the border accompanied by several al Qaeda members.

Afghanistan routinely complains that Pakistan hasn’t done enough to drive out extremists and President Hamid Karzai on Thursday told a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation the fight against terrorism cannot succeed as long as the Taliban and their allies maintain sanctuaries in Pakistan.

A statement by Karzai’s office said the Afghan leader told the U.S. delegation that significant progress had been made in rebuilding the country after decades of war. But he said the campaign against the Taliban and al Qaeda had faltered because of ongoing civilian casualties during NATO military operations and a lack of focus on «destroying the terrorists’ refuge» across the border.

Karzai also said President Barack Obama’s announcement that he would begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan in July 2011 has given «the enemy a morale boost» because they believe they can simply hold out until the Americans leave.

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Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society

The 7.2 percent decline came a year after a big federal study linked menopause hormones to a higher risk of breast cancer, heart disease and other problems. Within months, millions of women stopped taking the pills.

A new analysis of federal cancer statistics, presented by researchers from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Thursday at a breast cancer conference in Texas, revealed the drop in tumors.

Why do doctors think the 2003 drop is largely due to hormones?

Cases declined most among women 50 and older, with tumors whose growth is fueled by estrogen — the age group and type of cancer most affected by hormone use. Around 2003, researchers said, these women heeded warnings and stopped using HRT — hormone replacement therapy.

But Dr. Freya Schnabel of New York Columbia Presbyterian says stopping hormone therapy may be just one reason for the dramatic decrease in breast cancer that year, reports CBS News correspondent Sharon Alfonsi. Better mammograms could play a part, too.

«If one thing is true,» Schnabel tells Alfonsi, «it’s that breast cancer is just not that simple.»

«It’s very difficult to wrap your arms around this subject of the various pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy,» adds CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook.

The drop also was seen in every single cancer registry that reports information to the federal government.

Researchers looked for a similar drop in other cancers, which could indicate something other than hormones was at work, «and we didn’t see anything,» said Kathy Cronin, a National Cancer Institute statistician who worked on the analysis.

When the 2003 numbers were first released a few months ago, they were grouped with 2001 and 2002 and portrayed as a leveling off of breast cancer after decades of steady rise. The big single-year drop was not pointed out because experts did not want to make too much of it without knowing whether the trend would continue.

However, 산청출장안마 Dr. Peter Ravdin, a breast cancer specialist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center who led the new analysis, said the single year drop is important regardless, because it was so huge and came after years of steady increases.

«We don’t know about whether or not it’s going to be a trend but we know for this year it was a significant effect,» he said.

Doctors estimate that half of women who were taking hormones stopped after July 2002, when the federal Women’s Health Initiative study was halted because more women taking estrogen/progestin pills developed breast cancer or heart problems.

That led to new warning labels on the drugs and doctor groups urging women to use the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.

«The hypothesis is entirely plausible, that the discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy could be having an effect,» said Dr. Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society.

More than 8,000 breast cancer specialists from 80 countries are in San Antonio for the Charles A. Coltman Jr. Breast Cancer Symposium, the world’s largest annual conference on breast cancer, which strikes 200,000 American women each year.

The next set of cancer statistics is due out in April.

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Activists: ISIS launches attack on Kobani from Turkey

BEIRUT — The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria launched an attack Saturday on the Syrian border town of Kobani from Turkey, a Kurdish official and activists said, although Turkey denied that the fighters had used its territory for the raid.

The assault began when a suicide bomber driving an armored vehicle detonated his explosives on the border crossing between Kobani and Turkey, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party.

ISIS «used to attack the town from three sides,» Khalil said. «Today, they are attacking from four sides.»

Turkey, while previously backing the Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad in that country’s civil war, has been hesitant to aid them in Kobani because it fears that could stoke Kurdish ambitions for 오산출장안마 an independent state.

A Turkish government statement on Saturday confirmed that one of the suicide attacks involved a bomb-loaded vehicle that detonated on the Syrian side of the border. But it denied that the vehicle had crossed into Kobani through Turkey, which would be a first for the extremist fighters.

More in The fight against ISIS

«Claims that the vehicle reached the border gate by crossing through Turkish soil are a lie,» read the statement released from the government press office at the border town of Suruc. «Contrary to certain claims, no Turkish official has made any statement claiming that the bomb-loaded vehicle had crossed in from Turkey.»

«The security forces who are on alert in the border region have … taken all necessary measures,» the statement continued.

Associated Press journalists saw thick black smoke rise over Kobani during the attack. The sound of heavy gunfire echoed through the surrounding hills as armored vehicles took up positions on the border. The Observatory said heavy fighting also took place southwest of the town where the ISIS brought in tanks to reinforce their fighters.

Mustafa Bali, a Kobani-based activist, said by telephone that ISIS fighters have taken positions in the grain silos on the Turkish side of the border and from there are launching attacks toward the border crossing point. He added that the U.S.-led coalition launched an airstrike Saturday morning on the eastern side of the town.

«It is now clear that Turkey is openly cooperating with Daesh,» Bali said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. Later in the day, he said the situation was relatively calm on the border after a day of heavy clashes.

ISIS claimed three suicide attacks in Kobani’s border crossing point, the SITE Intelligence Group reported. The group, quoting Twitter accounts linked to the militants, said the suicide attacks were carried out by a Saudi and a Turkmen, adding that one of them was driving a Humvee.

ISIS began its Kobani offensive in mid-September, capturing parts of the town as well as dozens of nearby villages. The town later became the focus of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition against the militants.

Kurdish fighters slowly have been advancing in Kobani since late October, when dozens of well-armed Iraqi peshmerga fighters joined fellow Syrian Kurds in the battles. The fighting has killed hundreds of fighters on both sides over the past two months.

The Observatory said Saturday the latest fighting killed at least eight Kurdish fighters and 17 jihadis.

Syria’s Foreign Minister said in a television interview aired Friday night that the U.S.-led coalition’s weeks of airstrikes against militants in Syria had not weakened ISIS. Washington and the U.N. Security Council «should force Turkey to tighten control» of its border in order to help defeat militants, he added.

«Is Daesh today, after two months of coalition airstrikes, weaker? All indications show that it is not weaker,» al-Moallem told Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV.

ISIS has declared a self-styled Islamic caliphate in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, governing it according to its violent interpretation of Shariah law. The group has carried out mass killings targeting government security forces, ethnic minorities and others against it.

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