A surprising new study has found that Tylenol and other brands of acetaminophen may be no more effective than a placebo at treating back pain.
The research, published in the journal The Lancet, studied 1,643 people with lower back pain. The participants were divided into three groups, and each group was given two boxes of pills. The first group received two boxes of acetaminophen, while the second received one box of acetaminophen and one box of "as-needed" placebos, and the third group received two boxes of placebos. Participants were instructed to take six pills daily from the regular box, and up to two from the "as-needed" box.
After three months, researchers found no differences among the three groups. The participants didn't have variation in pain or recovery time. Additionally, 75 percent of the participants reported they were satisfied with their results, including those given the placebos. Meghan DeMaria
A new poll from the Pew Research Center found strong support for the criminal charges brought against the six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.
The poll, conducted via phone from April 30 to May 3, asked 1,000 adults about their opinions on the recent events in Baltimore. Gray, 25, died in April while in police custody, inspiring protests and riots in Baltimore.
Sixty-five percent of poll respondents said that it was the "right decision" for Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to file charges against the officers, and only 16 percent said it was the wrong decision. Among white respondents, 60 percent agreed with the decision, as did 78 percent of black respondents. Meghan DeMaria
Though he had just four lines of dialogue and a ridiculous, embarrassing death in the original Star Wars trilogy, bounty hunter Boba Fett has long been a favorite among Star Wars fans. (Never underestimate the power of a cool-looking helmet.) George Lucas filled in Boba Fett's background in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but fans were less than thrilled about a story that focused on Boba Fett as a whiny little kid.
Despite these missteps, Boba Fett is set to fly again. The Wrap reports that Disney's second planned Star Wars spin-off will be a Boba Fett origin story set in "the rich world of bounty hunters," and scheduled to hit theaters in 2018.
Unfortunately, the Boba Fett spin-off has already hit a snag; under murky circumstances, previously announced director Josh Trank has left the film, and the search for a new director is ongoing. Scott Meslow
Hillary Clinton has no credible challenger for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and a majority of Democrats are perfectly content with that. Fifty-six percent of registered Democratic voters say they don't care if Clinton faces a serious challenger next year, while only 43 percent say a Clinton cakewalk concerns them, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Tuesday.
The majority will likely get their wish. Clinton typically leads her closest potential rivals by around 50 percentage points in early election polls.
In addition to Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the only major candidate to have formally entered the race on the Democratic side. Jon Terbush
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio meant to email the head of his security detail about his subway commute, but he accidentally sent a copy to The New York Times, too.
The now-public email, addressed to Deputy Inspector Howard Redmond, shows that even the mayor isn't immune to subway delays and commuter frustration. The email's subject line was "2 problems today," and in the email, de Blasio says candidly, "We need a better system."
De Blasio apparently tried to join the average New Yorkers by riding the subway to a Manhattan event on Monday. But when no trains came, de Blasio left the subway, only to find his security vehicles were gone. The email scolds the security detail for not "waiting to confirm" de Blasio made it onto a train.
But aside from reprimanding his staff, de Blasio also voices some common New Yorkers' complaints. "We waited 20 mins for an express only to hear there were major delays," de Blasio wrote in the email. "This was knowable info. Had we had it, we would have avoided a lot of hassles." On the positive side, New Yorkers can hope the mayor's personal struggles with public transit will inspire him to help improve the system. Meghan DeMaria
Last year wasn't great for investors in hedge funds: On average, hedge funds returned a paltry 3 percent, versus a gain of 13.68 percent on the S&P 500 (with reinvented dividends included), The New York Times reports. Only five of the top 10 hedge fund managers, as ranked by Institutional Investor's Alpha, performed better than the S&P 500. But even though the well-heeled and institutional investors in hedge funds got hosed, The Times notes, "for those who managed their money, the pay was spectacular": $11.62 billion for the top 25 managers.
Or as Alpha puts it, they made "a paltry $11.62 billion combined, barely half of the $21.15 billion the top 25 gained the previous year and roughly equal to what they took home during nightmarish 2008." Citadel's Kenneth Griffin (pictured) was the top earner, at $1.3 billion last year, but the average earning was "just $476 million," not the $846 billion in 2013, Alpha added. And you may not take out your tiny violins. Peter Weber
In what's being billed as "the worst kept secret" in Arkansas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is officially joining the 2016 presidential race on Tuesday, becoming the sixth Republican in an increasingly crowded field. Huckabee will make his announcement at 11 a.m. (EDT) in Hope, Arkansas, the hometown he famously shares with former President Bill Clinton.
Huckabee is expected to gear his second presidential campaign toward working class social conservatives and claim that he is best positioned to fight the "Clinton Machine," having apparently faced it before when he was governor after Bill Clinton. Republicans are expecting to face Hillary Rodham Clinton as their Democratic opponent in the general election. Peter Weber
On Tuesday, Islamic State's official al-Bayan Radio said that two of its "soldiers of the caliphate" carried out the attack on a cartoon competition in Garland, a suburb of Dallas, because the "exhibit was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Muhammad." The audio message vowed "even bigger and more bitter" attacks in the future. If authentic (and true), this is the first attack ISIS has claimed credit for inside the U.S.
In the attack, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi — roommates at an apartment in Arizona — allegedly opened fire at an unarmed guard at Garland's Curtis Culwell Center, and both were quickly shot dead by police. The people inside the exhibit were unaware of the attack until police told them. The FBI had been investigating Simpson since 2006, and accused him of trying to fly to Somalia to wage jihad in 2009; he was given three years of probation. Peter Weber