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royal pain

7/24/14 8:30am

Queen Elizabeth's Racehorse Tests Positive For Drugs


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A racehorse owned by Queen Elizabeth II named Estimate has recently tested positive for a banned substance. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the five-year-old mare came up positive for morphine, the result of which was likely due to a contaminated feed product.

"Five horses, under the care of various trainers, were affected. I can confirm that one of those horses was Estimate," said John Warren, racing adviser to Queen Elizabeth. "Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product."

"A positive result is 99.99% of the time due to a feed contamination," said trainer and veterinarian Jim Boyle in an interview on Radio 5. "Morphine comes from the opium poppy. There have been studies done whereby ingestion of a poppy-seed bagel or a poppy-seed cake can cause a urine sample, 16 to 24 hours later, to test positive for morphine."

Last week, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) revealed that five horses had tested positive for the drug and that they were conducting a full investigation into the matter. Warren noted that Sir Michael was "working closely with the feed company" to uncover which products were contaminated and was continuing to offer "his full co-operation" with the BHA.

In 2013, Estimate made international news when it became the first racehorse owned by a reigning monarch to win the Gold Cup in the race's entire 207-year history. Though that win will likely stand, Estimate's recent second place finish in the Cup last month could be in jeopardy.

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By Shawn Dwyer


7/24/14 7:00am

Morning Roundup: July 24, 2014


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By Shawn Dwyer

celebrity deaths

7/23/14 7:30pm

Inquest Confirms Peaches Geldof Had Heroin In Home Before Death



An inquest into the death of British socialite and TV presenter Peaches Geldof revealed that a massive stash of drugs was found in her home, and that her infant son had been left alone with her body for nearly an entire day.

Geldof died on April 6 from a heroin overdose, according to a coroner who investigated. Police looking into her death found a wide range of paraphernalia in her home including burnt spoons, 79 syringes, and close to seven grams of “importation quality” heroin. Her one-year-old son, Phaedra, had been left with Geldof’s body for 17 hours before before husband Thomas Cohen arrived at the house.

Although Geldof had received drug treatment in the two years before she died, Cohen said he had observed her flushing drugs she had hidden down a toilet. She had also been reportedly taking weekly drug tests and told Cohen they were negative, but he said in a recent hearing that he thought she had been lying.

She tragically followed the fate of her mother, Paula Yates, who died of a heroin overdose in 2000 at the age of 41. Geldof had struggled with substance abuse throughout her life; she was questioned but not charged in May 2008 after allegedly offering a drug dealer more than $300 and she reportedly overdosed that same year.

In a final interview just weeks before her death, Geldof told Aga Living magazine that her two sons, Phaedra and 23-month-old Astala, made her determined not to repeat what happened with her own mother. "Now [that] I am a mum, I can correct those awful parts of my childhood. It really is a healing process," she said. "Before, I was not at peace with myself because I was traumatized about it. That's why I was living a chaotic lifestyle. But [now] that I have the kids, I can heal the situation. It's so good in every single way."

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By McCarton Ackerman


7/23/14 5:30pm

Oli Sykes 'F***ing' Thanks Fans for Helping His Recovery



Deviating from the typical award acceptance speech, Bring Me the Horizon lead vocalist Oli Sykes thanked all his friends, family, and fans for helping him through his drug addiction while accepting the AMPA award for Album of the Year for Sempiternal.

"I want to say something that I thought I’d actually never talk about. Before we wrote Sempiternal I was a f***ing drug addict. I was addicted to a drug called ketamine; I was on it for years and I was f***ed off my head," the 27-year-old singer said in his fast-paced speech. "My band wanted to kill me, my parents wanted to kill me and my f***ing brother wanted to kill me; everyone wanted to f***ing kill me. But they didn’t. They stood by me, they supported me through all of that s***and we wrote Sempiternal because of it."

Sykes expressed appreciation to all the people who wrote him while he was in rehab even though he told no one that he was seeking treatment.

"No one f***ing knows this but I went to rehab for a month," Sykes said. "And throughout that time, as well as my f***ing band and my family, you guys – you had no f***ing idea that I was in rehab – you were sending me letters, you were sending me texts, you were sending me f***ing emails. And when I got out of rehab I didn’t want to f***ing scream it anymore, I wanted to sing it from the f***ing rooftops."

Sykes concluded with a simple thank you before exiting the stage.

Watch Sykes' acceptance speech below:

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By Bryan Le

unnecessary tragedy

7/23/14 3:30pm

New Film Explores Gaming Addiction Behind Tragic Infant Death



In 2009, a South Korean couple was arrested for allowing their infant daughter to starve to death while they fed their addiction to online gaming. The three-month-old Sarang, Korean for “love,” died of malnutrition while her mother and father cared for a virtual child in 6- to 12-hour online binges.

The case raised a new legal precedent: Could online gaming be grouped with gambling, drugs, and drinking as an addiction that impairs a person’s judgment enough to make such a fatal mistake? The couple confessed to charges of involuntary manslaughter. With addiction as a defense, the court reduced the prosecution’s requested five-year sentence to a two-year sentence for the father, Kim Jae-Beom. The mother, pregnant with the couple’s second child at the time of the trial, did not serve time but received a three-year suspended sentence.

Five years have passed since the tragedy, but the questions it raised about our relationship with the Internet are more relevant than ever. The documentary “Love Child” documents the 2010 trial by talking to those involved in the case, game developers, professors, as well as the couple and their family.

The documentary, which debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival and will air on HBO on July 28, seeks an explanation for such horrific negligence in a country where an estimated two million people are addicted to video games. “The virtual space isn’t going away, but the way we use it and what we are accomplishing by spending time in this space will transform as we understand how to design technologies that support our human-ness and our social institutions, like family,” director Valerie Veatch told The Daily Beast.

In the 1990s, the South Korean government poured funding into building the best broadband infrastructure in the world. But gaming addiction has become a serious problem, resulting in a growing number of clinics and new legislation such as outlawing children under 16 from gaming between midnight and 6 a.m.

“There is not a one-stop answer to ‘Internet addiction,’ instead I think it is a dialogue between users, technology companies, and infrastructure policy bodies that will help us understand how to sustain our human attributes as we have increasingly meaningful experiences in virtual spaces,” said Veatch.

In the film, the couple’s lawyer promised that they learned their lesson and have sworn off gaming to focus on caring for their real-life baby.

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By Victoria Kim

bad teacher

7/23/14 1:00pm

Brooklyn Principal Charged With Smuggling Heroin Into Prison


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A respected New York City principal with nearly 20 years in city schools was removed from her position after allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into a prison while accompanied by a child.

Sadie Silver was the principal of PS 28 in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, where she was born and raised. She was arrested last week with her partner, 34-year-old Michael Acosta, after police caught them carrying heroin and suboxone into Coxsackie Correctional Facility. 

They arrived at the all-male prison for a previously scheduled visit with an inmate and brought a 10-year-old boy with them. It was later reported by police that they were attempting to pass off the drugs to the prisoner. Silver and Acosta have been hit with felony charges of promoting prison contraband and criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Both have been released on bond, but face prison time if convicted. However, Acosta continues to remain employed by the city school system, pending the outcome of the investigation. She has been transferred to an administrative center away from children, but will still receive paychecks from her annual salary of nearly $130,000.

This isn’t the first time Acosta has found herself in hot water with the city school district. In 2012, she was fined $1,500 by the City Conflict of Interest Board for using connections to get her brother a data-entry job at her school.

Earlier this year, heroin and drug paraphernalia found on several occasions in the faculty bathroom of an elementary school in upstate New York. Security cameras narrowed down the suspects to six teachers and a school aide, but all of them except one refused to take drug tests or cooperate with police.

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By McCarton Ackerman


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