Nation Briefly

Heading into debate, Dem lead remains with Clinton

WASHINGTON – Going into today’s debate, a new poll shows that Democrats by a wide margin view Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York as the party’s candidate best positioned to win the general election, and she holds a double-digit lead over Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the race for the nomination.

Clinton enjoys a substantial edge over Obama among the 4 in 10 Democrats who said that in assessing presidential candidates, strength and experience are more important than new ideas or a new direction, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

Even among the 51 percent who prefer a change-oriented candidate, the core message of Obama’s campaign, Clinton runs even with him.

The debate is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. PDT today and will air on CNN, which is sponsoring the debate with YouTube.com. The debate will feature questions posted on YouTube, a video-sharing site, by people from around the country

California: Breast cancer, therapy

Contradicting an old belief, new research released Sunday found that group therapy didn’t prolong the lives of women with advanced cases of breast cancer. Stanford University psychiatrist David Spiegel, who led the study published in the journal Cancer, said cancer patients shouldn’t be discouraged from joining support groups, which count thousands of people as members and have become an accepted part of cancer care. The groups encourage participants to express fears, anger and depression, confront their doctors and grieve those in the group who have died.

New York: Friend dies in DUI case

A man trying to stop a friend from driving drunk after a Centereach block party was run over by the woman’s car and killed, police said. Louis Wiederer was holding onto the driver’s side of Jesenia Vega’s car Saturday evening when she took off and dragged him, Suffolk County police said. Wiederer, 26, lost his grip and fell under the vehicle. Vega, 27, was arrested at the scene and was charged with driving while intoxicated. She pleaded not guilty Sunday and was being held in jail.

Mississippi: Kidnapped baby safe

An adopted 5-month-old girl allegedly taken at gunpoint by her biological mother in rural Mississippi was found safe Sunday at an apartment at Fort Bragg, N.C., three states away. On Saturday, two women and an armed man wearing masks stormed into Jennifer and Matt Erickson’s home, police said. They fled with the baby, Madison Erickson. Authorities soon focused on the baby’s biological mother, Jamie Kiefer, and found her at the Army base with a friend of her sister’s, who was not arrested. The Ericksons have had the baby for most of her life, but the adoption was being disputed, authorities said.

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