Most people don't go to the hospital for being really, really tired—and yet many celebrities end up in the ER for "exhaustion." Pop super-star Rihanna is the latest to suffer this all-too-familiar plague (past sufferers have included Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore and Amy Winehouse). The singer's erratic behavior, and most recent hospitalization for "exhaustion" have added to speculation that she may be struggling with a substance abuse problem. On Monday night, she was rushed to a hospital in New York after allegedly partying a little too hard at the Met Gala. After tweeting a photo of herself receiving IV fluids, she claimed she was being treated for dehydration and the flu, but sources close to the star are claiming that the only illness she is suffering from is addiction. “Rihanna loves to party but this past month she's gotten really out of control,” an insider told Star Magazine. “She's been drinking almost everyday and talking about smoking weed a lot too.” The singer has been fairly open and unapologetic about her wild side, and has been known to tweet photos of herself drinking, smoking pot, and visiting strip clubs. “Everyone is telling her to slow down and think about therapy, or even rehab,” said the anonymous source. This past weekend, Rihanna's behavior rankled Saturday Night Live producers when she failed to show up for dress rehearsal claiming she was sick, and then showed up for the taping in seemingly good health. This isn’t the first time Rihanna has need an IV due to exhaustion and dehydration; back in October of 2011, the singer tweeted another of picture of herself hooked up to an IV in Sweden. Famed celebrity addiction specialist Dr. Drew recently came down hard on the media and "spin doctors" for using the "exhaustion" and "dehydration" excuse to cover up the reality of addiction
- Obama's War on Pot Ramps Up in Colorado [Huffington Post]
- NBA's Greg Oden Reveals Alcohol Struggle [NY Daily News]
- PTSD Sufferers Seek Legal Pot Use [Arizona Star]
- 5 Early Signs You're Getting Addicted to Your Pain Medication [Psych Central]
- State Investigating Whether Police Gave Protesters Drugs [Star Tribune]
- 14 Sailors Implicated in Navy Drug Investigation [Kansas City Star]
- Men Caught Smoking Weed Claim They're Priests [CleveScene]
A ceremony has been held in Mexico City to commemorate the Mexican journalists who have lost their lives while covering their country's drug war—and to protest violence against the press. The crowd chanted, "He shouldn't have died" as each name was called. Four more reporters and photographers were killed last week in Veracruz—a violence-riddled region in Eastern Mexico—and at least 45 journalists have died or gone missing since 2006, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In latest round of killings, Regina Martinez, a respected investigative reporter, was found murdered in her home. "[Martinez] gave voice to the vulnerable, to indigenous people and to the oppressed" says a Veracruz-based reporter who asked to remain anonymous. He says that fear of cartel retaliation limits many journalists from reporting truthfully: "The situation of journalism in Veracruz has reached very high levels of fear. Perhaps it's safer for reporters to become like speaker cabinets that only say what others tell us. And we never investigate." Mexico did create a special prosecutor to protect journalists, but journalism advocate Rogelio Hernandez claims it is under-funded and futile: "They have demonstrated total inefficiency, ineffectiveness and ignorance." Last week, Mexican Congress approved a bill to protect journalists and human rights defenders by using rapid response teams to move threatened journalists to safety, among other actions. Over 50,000 Mexican lives have been reportedly lost to organized crime since 2006—according to journalists.
Two years after being crowned the first Arab-American Miss USA, 26-year-old Rima Fakih has been sentenced to 20 hours of community service, six months’ probation, and $600 in fines for drunk driving. She was able to get out of jail time by pleading no contest to driving while under the influence in the suburbs of Detroit back in December. That night, she was driving 60 mph in a 30 mph zone, and swerving through traffic, before being pulled over in Highland Park. Officers found an opened Champagne bottle inside of her 2011 Jaguar. The former Miss Michigan claimed on the night of her arrest that she hadn't been drinking. But breathalyzer tests put her blood alcohol level at 0.19—more than double the legal limit. Her lawyer, W. Otis Culpepper, accurately predicted her probation sentence, which she'll be permitted to serve in California while looking for jobs in the entertainment industry. He says that Fakih will then “get back to California and get on with being a Hollywood kind of person”.
What would you do for internet access? That question was posed to Canadians in an online poll conducted by Rogers Communications and the results show just how addicted to the internet they might be. Thirty four percent of the participants were willing to forgo alcohol for regular internet access, while 31% would part with chocolate and another 27% would forgo coffee to stay connected. The slightly more disturbing findings showed that 6% of the participants would forgo sex and another 4% would give up bathing daily or having regular personal contact with other people to stay logged on. "The Internet is indispensable to us today and we have yet to see its full potential," says Robert Switzman, Senior Director Emerging Business, Rogers Communications. "From apps that monitor cholesterol to fridges that automatically order groceries, the Internet is becoming the backbone of all connections in the world around us, and will continue to evolve how we go about our daily lives." As for the sexless, socially isolated and stinky 10% of the poll, they may simply be holding out for some apps to be developed that will help them bathe and fornicate.
As security forces in Afghanistan step up their efforts to eliminate opium from the country and a fungus ravages the poppies that yield it, the price of opium is set to skyrocket and could lead to violence in the country. Zarar Ahmad Muqbel Osmani, the Minister of Counter Narcotics, said the increased demand for opium throughout the region and decreased supply will not only make entering the poppy trade more appealing to desperate and cash-strapped farmers, but will also force the government to further ramp up their already intensified efforts to eradicate opium. "The price hike will definitely pressure us a lot," said Osmani. "The tendency towards cultivation will grow, it will create resistance, law and order issues, and it will raise the casualty rate (for the Afghan security forces)." Afghanistan produces 90% of the world's opium, and tons of it is shipped through Iran, Pakistan and Central Asia annually—with less than 10% of it seized by authorities in these areas. The poppy trade has earned insurgents more than $100 million a year, and traffickers billions more. According to the UN, the farm-gate value of opium production more than doubled in 2011 from the previous year to $1.4 billion and now accounts for 15% of Afghanistan's economy. Although there's a foreign-funded push to wean farmers off poppy through incentives like subsidies legal crops and fertilizer to grow legal crops, the effort has been largely unsuccessful.