Nick Stahl, the actor best known for playing young John Connor in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, has been reported as missing, and his estranged wife, Rose Murphy, suspects drugs may have played a role in his disappearance. The 32-year-old actor was last seen on May 9th, according to the police report filed by Murphy, and sources say he had been frequenting Skid Row in Los Angeles lately. LAPD officials said officers in the area have been given copies of his photo and are keeping watch for him. This is not the first occasion that Stahl's drug habits have been an issue; Murphy filed court papers in February, asking that his visitations with their 2-year-old daughter be limited, and asked for proof that he had not used drugs within 24 hours of seeing her. Stahl's career spans over 20 years and included roles in movies like The Thin Red Line and Sin City. He took over the role of John Connor in the Terminator franchise from Edward Furlong, who also struggled with a drug addiction after starring in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Stahl's rep declined to comment on the situation.
The UK is officially drinking itself to death. A conference of addiction specialists from across the world at Newcastle University revealed that one in eight deaths of British adults under the age of 64 is a result of excessive drinking. The event's organizers are now calling for a UK ban on advertising alcohol, and for the rest of the country to follow Scotland by setting a minimum price per unit on alcoholic drinks. "Alcohol costs the UK so much in so many ways, both in financial and social impacts," says Professor Eileen Kaner, director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. "Governments need to have a clear and unbiased view of the most up-to-date research on alcohol problems and be bolder about tackling some of the root causes such as overly cheap alcohol and irresponsible marketing that encourages heavy drinking." Alcohol consumption across Europe is more than double the global average and the social cost of alcohol abuse has been estimated at around $380 per year per European—with the annual bill for Britain's National Health Service alone over $4.2 billion.
While many pop stars conceal their substance abuse, especially if they're underage, it’s refreshing to hear Justin Bieber’s not-so-shocking confession: he drinks beer—but without getting out of control. The underage icon, who's just 18 years old, opened up—a little—in an interview with GQ Magazine about his habit of boozing without letting it get out of hand. "For me, it's just like, I like to be in control of myself," he said. "I mean, I've had a beer, like, before... But I never get out of control." Apart from this earth-shattering revelation, The Beeb was as guarded as usual in his interview—perhaps wisely aware that anything he says can be taken out of context. "Right now, I have to think two seconds in advance, like, 'What am I gonna say?' But I try my best to moderate what I'm gonna say, to say it so I don't make any mistakes," he acknowledged, "so people aren't, like, twisting my words." The singer refers to himself as a “swaggy adult”—young people tell The Fix that this means he has swagger—but faced some trying times last year, when a fan named Mariah Yeater filed a lawsuit claiming he was the father of her child. Bieber pledged then that incidents like these will not take over his life: “I know I’m going to be a target, but I’m never going to be a victim."
If the only complaint you've ever had about a shot of whiskey is that it can't be put in your pocket, here's a solution: Porta Shots—a brand of small plastic pouches, each containing a shot of rum, whiskey or vodka. At 3''x3'', buyers can discreetly imbibe them outside their natural drinking habitat, for better (responsibly on camping trips) or worse (underaged at school). Porta Shots' popularity with teens, and the ease with which they can be hidden, have sparked plenty of concerned criticism. But Porta Shots' founder, Andre Beukes, isn't taking these pot shots lying down. Beukes claims his product actually promotes control—since each individually wrapped package merely contains exactly one ounce of liquor. "When I got here and I asked for a rum and Coke, I was shocked to see the damn glass is about halfway full with rum," he deadpans. "I couldn't drink that. It's too strong for me."
Critics also bashed the fact that Porta Shots could be bought individually at an irresistible 75 cents a piece; Beukes says the stores responsible weren't supposed to do that: "It should be sold in a full bag. Some retailers will take them out and sell them as an individual; we don't have control over that, just by means that we don't have control over somebody else's business.” In the future, each shot will be labeled to discourage individual sale and recommend sales of packs of 25 for $14. Beukes also dismisses parents' criticism of Porta Shots as a threat to their teens, suggesting that they should keep better watch over their kids. "If you go into anybody's home that drinks, there's usually a liquor cabinet with vodka in it somewhere," he says. "How do you know that kid hasn't been drinking from that?"
Robert F Kennedy Jr.’s estranged wife Mary Kennedy, who battled drug and alcohol problems for years, was found dead in her New York home at the age of 52. She married Robert Kennedy Jr., in 1994, and the couple had four children, and divorced in 2010. "Mary was a genius at friendship, a tremendously gifted architect and a pioneer and relentless advocate of green design who enhanced her cutting edge, energy efficient creations with exquisite taste and style," the family said. Back in 2010, her struggle with alcohol and drugs peaked with two DUI arrests that came around the same time her husband filed for divorce. Mary was later charged for driving while intoxicated and her license was suspended. Ethel Kennedy, Mary’s mother-in-law, wrote in a letter after her DUI charge saying that she, “is a caring, nourishing mother who has nursed her four children through lifelong bouts of debilitating allergies.” After later being charged with driving under the influence of drugs, Mary claimed it was because of her medications, and the judge later dismissed that charge in 2011. Signs of troubles began earlier in 2007 when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. drove Mary to a hospital for treatment but she aggressively resisted, "I remember she was acting kind of out of it, kind of crazy," a witness, Rae Kesten, told The Journal News in 2007. "She was running into the street and flailing her arms around. He was trying to restrain her. I didn't know if they were fighting or not, but I was concerned." The cause of death has not been released, but an autopsy report is scheduled for today.
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- Numb to Carnage, Mexicans Find Diversions, and Life Goes On [New York Times]
- Russia: Cigarette Prices to Jump Five Times by 2018 [Moscow Times]
- For Selling Alcohol to Minors, a $716 Million Judgement [FOX]
- Man Took Break From Crime Spree to Cook Frozen Pizza [Times News]
- Mythbusters Twitter Chat: Our Top 10 Takeaways [Phoenix House]