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Independent US presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr has revealed that a worm ate part of his brain.

It has emerged the 70-year-old made the claim during a 2012 interview, known as a deposition, in his divorce proceedings from his second wife Mary Richardson Kennedy.

At the time, he said his earning power had been diminished by cognitive issues.

He said he had been having memory loss and mental fogginess and so contacted neurologists who spotted a dark spot on his brain scans.

Robert F Kennedy Jr with his second wife Mary Richardson Kennedy in February 2009. Pic: AP
Image:
Robert F Kennedy Jr with his second wife Mary Richardson Kennedy in February 2009. Pic: AP

They said he had a tumour but another doctor reached a different conclusion, believing he had a dead parasite in his head, The New York Times reported.

In his 2012 interview, Mr Kennedy said the medic thought that the abnormality “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died”.

Mr Kennedy, who is a son of former US attorney general and ex-senator Robert F Kennedy, and nephew of former US president John F Kennedy and ex-senator Ted Kennedy, also said during the deposition that he was diagnosed with mercury poisoning.

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He said: “I have cognitive problems, clearly. I have short-term memory loss, and I have longer-term memory loss that affects me.”

He told The New York Times he was certain the mercury poisoning was caused by his diet that included lots of tuna. Tuna contains higher levels of mercury than other fish, according to the NHS.

Environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Mr Kennedy, who is also known by his initials RFK Jr, told the publication: “I loved tuna fish sandwiches. I ate them all the time.”

He said that tests showed his mercury levels were 10 times higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency sees as safe.

A chemist told the same publication that the mercury levels which Mr Kennedy described were high but not surprising for someone consuming that quantity and type of seafood.

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Mr Kennedy said he made changes after the health scares, including getting more sleep and cutting down on his fish intake.

He told the paper that he had now recovered from the memory loss and fogginess and had no after-effects from the parasite, which he claimed had not needed any treatment.

Doctors who have treated parasitic infections and mercury poisoning have said both conditions can sometimes permanently damage brain function, but patients also can have temporary symptoms and mount a full recovery, the publication reported.

Mr Kennedy said he did not know what type of parasite it was or where he may have contracted it.

But several infectious disease experts and neurosurgeons told The New York Times that based on what Mr Kennedy described, they believed it was likely a pork tapeworm larva.

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden are set for a rematch. Pic: Reuters
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Mr Kennedy is far behind Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the national polls. Pic: Reuters

When asked if his health issues would impact his fitness to serve as president, a spokesperson for the Kennedy campaign told the publication: “That is a hilarious suggestion, given the competition.”

Mr Kennedy, along with two other third party candidates, philosopher Cornel West, 70, and physician Jill Stein, 73, face Democrat incumbent Joe Biden, 81, and Republican candidate Donald Trump, 77, in November’s presidential race.

In the national polls, Mr Kennedy is currently on about 10%, compared with 41% for Mr Trump and 40% for Mr Biden.

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Grayson Murray: PGA Tour golfer who died aged 30 took his own life, parents say

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Grayson Murray: PGA Tour golfer who died aged 30 took his own life, parents say

PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray who died aged 30 took his own life, his parents have said, as they urged people to be “kind to one another”.

The American player, a two-time tour winner, withdrew from a competition in Texas with two holes remaining of his second round on Friday citing an illness, a day before he died.

In their statement, Eric and Terry Murray said “life wasn’t always easy” for their son and “although he took his own life, we know he rests peacefully now”.

The couple said that losing him was a “nightmare” and they have “so many questions that have no answers… but one”.

“Was Grayson loved? The answer is yes. By us, his brother Cameron, his sister Erica, all of his extended family, by his friends, by his fellow players and – it seems – by many of you who are reading this. He was loved and he will be missed.”

The pair thanked the PGA Tour and “the entire world of golf for the outpouring of support”.

They ended their statement by saying: “Please honour Grayson by being kind to one another. If that becomes his legacy, we could ask for nothing else.”

Murray pulled out of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday and his death on Saturday was announced by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who said Murray’s parents had asked for the event to continue.

‘I wanted to give up on life at times’

Murray spoke in January about his battles with anxiety and depression and revealed he had sought treatment in the past few years for alcohol abuse but had been sober for several months.

Following his tour victory at the start of this year in Hawaii, he explained how much the win meant to him after what he had been through, saying: “It’s not easy… I wanted to give up a lot of times, give up on myself, give up on the game of golf, give up on life at times, and you just persevere.

“When you get tired of fighting, let someone else fight for you and that’s what happened.”

Grayson Murray after winning the Sony Open in Hawaii in January. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Grayson Murray after winning the Sony Open in Hawaii in January. Pic: Reuters

Golfers pay tribute to Murray

World number one Scottie Scheffler led the tributes to him. The American golfer said: “Obviously, the news hasn’t really sunk in quite yet, but I’m thinking about his family and praying hard for all of them.

“I can’t imagine how difficult of a time this is. I got to know Grayson a bit better over the last six months or so. There’s not really a way to put into words how sad and tragic it is, but I’m thinking about his family.”

Murray’s long-time caddie Jay Green hailed him as “the absolute best”.

“Not only was he an incredible, thoughtful and generous boss, he was an even better friend,” he said in a statement.

“He truly would do anything for anyone. He has the best family and my heart goes out to them. We will all miss him deeply.”

Grayson Murray at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky on 15 May. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Murray at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky on 15 May. Pic: Reuters

English golfer Luke Donald wrote on X: “Truly devastating news that Grayson Murray has passed away. He asked me for some advice on how to play Augusta a few months ago, last week I saw him at the PGA Championship, life truly is precious. My condolences and prayers to his whole family that they may find some peace.”

Donald’s fellow countryman Justin Rose wrote: “I had the opportunity to spend a few rounds of golf alongside Grayson in recent weeks at Hilton Head, Quail Hollow and Valhalla.

“I will always remember that and use it to remind myself that you never know what challenges people have going on in their lives and how they may be internalising things. RIP Grayson and love and strength to your family and friends.”

Grayson Murray playing at a PGA event at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky on 16 May. Pic: AP
Image:
Murray playing at a PGA event at Valhalla Golf Club on 16 May. Pic: AP

PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan said: “Over the last several years I spent a lot of time with him because I wanted to understand what we could do, in his opinion, to help everybody else out here.

“I’m devastated by Grayson’s loss. The conversations I had with him, particularly the last year, I learned an awful lot from him. He was very open and transparent with me.”

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Murray won the Sony Open in Hawaii in January after sinking a 40ft birdie putt to beat Byeong Hun An and Keegan Bradley in a playoff.

It marked his first tour victory since clinching his maiden PGA Tour title during his 2017 rookie campaign, when he won the Barbasol Championship in Alabama aged 24.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

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Donald Trump booed at Libertarian Party convention

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Donald Trump booed at Libertarian Party convention

Donald Trump was booed during an address at the Libertarian Party National Convention on Saturday.

Libertarians have been largely critical of Mr Trump, whose invitation to speak at the party event in Washington caused mass division.

There was some show of support, as he asked for the party’s endorsement, with chants of “USA! USA”, but the former president was booed at several points during his speech.

It was a highly unusual spectacle, as Trump events are heavily staged – which usually guarantees support from his loyal fans.

Mr Trump tried to get the Libertarians on side by describing President Joe Biden as a “tyrant” and the “worst president in the history of the United States”, but he was instead met with cries of: “That’s you.”

Someone in the audience shouted: “Lock him up!” while another said: “Donald Trump is a threat to democracy!”

Cries were also heard of “You had your shot!”, “F*** you” and “You already had four years, you a******”.

Someone carrying a banner that said “No wannabe dictators!” was also dragged away by security.

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A 'no wannabe dictators' banner at the Libertarian convention. Pic: Reuters
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A ‘no wannabe dictators’ banner at the Libertarian convention. Pic: Reuters

The former president tried to endear party members to him by joking about his four criminal indictments, saying: “If I wasn’t a Libertarian before, I sure as hell am a Libertarian now.”

But with more boos from the audience, he hit back: “You don’t want to win” and claimed that the party wants to “keep getting your 3% every four years”.

In the 2016 election, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson won 3% of the vote, but in 2020, nominee Jo Jorgensen only secured around 1%.

Mr Trump managed to secure a cheer when he promised to reduce the life sentence of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the illegal drug sales website Silk Road, who is widely championed by Libertarians, and who themselves prioritise individual freedoms and reduced government.

'Free Ross' signs raised as Donald Trump addresses Libertarians in Washington. Pic: Reuters
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‘Free Ross’ signs raised as Donald Trump addresses Libertarians in Washington. Pic: Reuters

‘I would rather eat my own foot’

The event was a chance for Mr Trump to recruit supporters of independent candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr, who made his own speech at the convention.

But speaking to NBC News, Libertarian Caryn Ann Harlos said of a possible Trump endorsement: “I would rather eat my own foot out of a bear trap.”

Libertarians, who broke out into their signature “End the Fed” chant, to abolish the Federal Reserve, will pick their nomination for the White House on Sunday.

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Mr Biden and Mr Trump will face off again in November in a repeat of the 2020 presidential election – with polling showing most Americans are not in favour of a repeat of that contest.

This could lead to an increase in support for independent or fringe candidates outside the Democrats or Republicans, according to some forecasters.

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PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray dies aged 30

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PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray dies aged 30

Professional golfer Grayson Murray has died aged 30, the PGA Tour has said.

The American, a two-time tour winner who was number 58 in the world ranking, withdrew late in his second round at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday, citing an illness.

“We were devastated to learn – and are heartbroken to share – that PGA Tour player Grayson Murray passed away this morning. I am at a loss for words,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

“The PGA Tour is a family, and when you lose a member of your family, you are never the same. We mourn Grayson and pray for comfort for his loved ones.”

Mr Monahan said he had spoken to Murray’s parents to offer his condolences and they asked that the tournament continue.

“They were adamant that Grayson would want us to do so,” he said. “As difficult as it will be, we want to respect their wishes.”

Murray, who had dealt with alcohol and mental issues in the past, made a massive turnaround this year and to win the Sony Open at Honolulu in January, ending a six-year winless drought.

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Grayson Murray after winning the Sony Open in January. Pic: AP
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Grayson Murray after winning the Sony Open in January. Pic: AP

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“Yeah, my parents have been through, you know, hell and back basically for the last six years with me fighting some mental stuff,” Murray said at the time.

“It’s not easy on me, and the people around me that love me, they don’t like to see me down. They’ve been my number one supporters.

“There’s a few friends as well that have been there and it makes these moments a lot more special.”

Murray won his first PGA Tour title, the Barbasol Championship, in 2017.

His management company, GSE Worldwide, said in a statement: “We will hold off on commenting until we learn further details, but our heart aches for his family, his friends and all who loved him during this very difficult time.”

Murray, from Raleigh, in North Carolina, was a three-time winner of the Callaway Junior Championships and played in the US Open for the first time in 2013 as an amateur.

His best result in a major was a tie for 22nd at the 2017 PGA Championship.

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