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Study: Amateur football hits linked to later difficulty

BOSTON (AP) -- The more hits to the head an amateur football player takes, the greater the risk that he will be depressed, have difficulty making decisions or develop other forms of cognitive impairment as an adult, a preliminary study suggests.

The study by Boston University researchers published in the Journal of Neurotrauma on Thursday is the first of its kind to look at the connection between the cumulative number of impacts sustained from youth football through college and later-in-life mental difficulties, according to Dr. Robert Stern, one of the co-authors.



Pope at Easter recalls victims of 'blind, brutal terrorism'

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis tempered his Easter Sunday message of Christian hope with a denunciation of "blind" terrorism, recalling victims of attacks in Europe, Africa and elsewhere, as well as expressing dismay that people fleeing war or poverty are being denied welcome as European countries squabble over the refugee crisis.



After a bleak week in Europe, pope to offer message of hope

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis is set to preside over a solemn vigil service to usher in the hope-filled Easter celebrations after a dark week in Europe.

Francis will baptize 12 adults during the Easter Vigil on Saturday night in St. Peter's Basilica. A few hours later he'll preside over Easter Sunday Mass and offer his annual Easter blessing.

Francis is expected to offer a message of hope following his bleak condemnations on Good Friday of the attacks in Brussels and elsewhere by Islamic extremists.



BEYOND RECORD HOT, FEBRUARY WAS 'ASTRONOMICAL' AND 'STRANGE'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Earth got so hot last month that federal scientists struggled to find words, describing temperatures as "astronomical," ''staggering" and "strange." They warned that the climate may have moved into a new and hotter neighborhood.



Ruling raises doubts over same-sex marriages in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — An unexpected ruling from a federal judge in Puerto Rico is raising doubts and creating confusion about the future of same-sex couples seeking to get married on the island.

Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez ruled that a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows gay couples to marry anywhere in the United States does not apply on the island because it is a U.S. territory and not a state. The ruling also rejects a motion filed by Lambda Legal and Puerto Rico's government to stop enforcement of the island's ban on same-sex marriage.



DATA INSPIRES PRIDE FOR PIDGIN, THE LANGUAGE OF HAWAII

A list of Pidgin words, the languages that influenced them

MILILANI, Hawaii (AP) -- Recent census data that included Pidgin as a language Hawaii residents speak at home has sparked pride. It also got people talking about its use and the stigma that limits its wider acceptance in the state.

For generations, people have been speaking Pidgin, which borrows from the languages of the Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and other workers who toiled in sugar plantations.

Local comedian Andy Bumatai has been making daily Pidgin videos that have resonated with those who grew up in Hawaii and are homesick for the sounds of the language.



Word Health reports rise of neuro disorder in Zika outbreak

BERLIN (AP) -- A rare neurological disorder is on the rise in several Latin American countries that are also seeing an outbreak of the Zika virus, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

The U.N. health body in Geneva said in a weekly report that Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which can cause temporary paralysis, has been reported in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname and Venezuela.



Testing of possible diabetes cure fast tracks

(AP) — Johnson & Johnson, continuing its long quest for a Type 1 diabetes cure, is joining forces with biotech company ViaCyte to speed development of the first stem cell treatment that could fix the life-threatening hormonal disorder.

They've already begun testing it in a small number of diabetic patients. If it works as well in patients as it has in animals, it would amount to a cure, ending the need for frequent insulin injections and blood sugar testing.



Generals say women should have to register for draft

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top Army and Marine Corps generals told senators Tuesday that it will take up to three years to fully integrate women into all combat jobs, adding that women also should have to register for the draft.

The military service leaders repeatedly vowed that they will not lower standards to bring women into the more grueling jobs. But they warned that inherent physical differences and different injury rates between men and women will have an impact on how the integration moves ahead.



UN: Zika virus is 'spreading explosively'

GENEVA (AP) -- Declaring that the Zika virus is "spreading explosively," the World Health Organization announced it will hold an emergency meeting of independent experts Monday to decide if the outbreak should be declared an international health emergency.

At a special meeting Thursday in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said the virus - which has been linked to birth defects and neurological problems - was becoming much more of a threat. One WHO scientist said the Americas could see up to 4 million cases of Zika in the next year.



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