Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of July 25, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.


1. Toss-Up (link)

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was supposed to easily win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Now, the momentum sits with Ted Cruz and the election is a toss-up.

The GOP primary in May drew 1.4 million voters. Dewhurst got 45 percent and Cruz 34 percent, forcing the race into a July 31 runoff that comes in the steaming heart of summer.

Experts aren’t sure who’ll show up to vote. If between 800,000 and 1 million do, that could reflect not just die-hard Republican activists (for Cruz) but also more establishment GOP moderates (for Dewhurst).

But if turnout is closer to 600,000, the fear inside the Dewhurst camp is that he’s toast.

When the race started nearly a year ago, Dewhurst seemed to have everything — money, name identification, experience in office. He looked like a senator, tall and telegenic and exquisitely conventional.

Then along came Cruz, with his tea party backers and machine-gun rhetorical style. He steadily rose in the polls, eventually topping two other contenders to make the final round against Dewhurst.

By Monday night, everybody understood how close the contest had become. Twice, audience members shouted out that a candidate was lying.

I have no idea who will win this race, but I still think Ted Cruz has an excellent shot. His people are excited. The Dewhurst supporters don't seem to be.

2. Bloomberg: Police Should Strike (link)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a great idea when it comes to guns. He thinks the cops around the U.S. should go on strike until the public demands gun control.

“I don’t understand,” Bloomberg told his fellow gun control advocate and host Piers Morgan, “why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, ‘We’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.’”

“After all, police officers want to go home to their families. And we’re doing everything we can to make their job more difficult but, more importantly, more dangerous, by leaving guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, and letting people who have those guns buy things like armor-piercing bullets.”

Is Bloomberg an idiot? Seriously New Yorkers, why do you keep sending this guy back to office?

3. ABC News Wants to Report Accurate News (link)

The President of ABC News told staff yesterday that their coverage of the shooting in Colorado was excellent. You know, except for that whole Brian Ross false report on the shooter being linked to the Tea Party. But don't worry. ABC News is going to take steps to correct false reports. My suggestion? Stop making up stuff and only report the facts.

On Monday's conference call, ABC News SVP James Goldston also commended the staff for its work, noted the incorrect report, and said that the network was taking steps to ensure it did not happen again, sources told POLITICO yesterday.

A spokesperson with ABC News said the network does not comment on editorial conference calls.

It's not that hard to report the facts. The problem is, we have a media that wants so badly to blame something deadly on the Tea Party.

4. Nearly Half Of High School Students Have Had Sex (link)

This is probably not the news parents wanted to see. Nearly half of high school students say that they have had sex. According to WTOP:

Nearly half of high school students say they've had sex, yet progress has stalled in getting them to use condoms to protect against the AIDS virus, government researchers reported Tuesday.

Today, four of every 10 new HIV infections occur in people younger than 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention _ and the teen years, just as many youths become sexually active, are key for getting across the safe-sex message.

Using a long-standing survey of high school students' health, the CDC tracked how teen sexual behavior has changed over 20 years. The results are decidedly mixed.

About 60 percent of sexually active high school students say they used condoms the last time they had sex, researchers said at the International AIDS Conference. That's an increase from the 46 percent who were using condoms in 1991.

"This is good news," said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC's HIV prevention center. But, "we need to do a lot more."

Condom use reached a high of 63 percent back in 2003.

Black students are most likely to heed the safe-sex message, yet their condom use dropped from a high of 70 percent in 1999 to 65 percent last year, the study found.

The proportion of high school students who've had sex is 47 percent today _ down a bit from 54 percent in 1991 _ and they typically start at age 16, CDC said. Black teens showed a bigger decrease, with 60 percent sexually active today compared with 82 percent two decades ago.

The more partners, the more risk. Fifteen percent of high school students say they've had four or more partners, down from 19 percent in 1991.


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