What would you give up if it meant you could keep checking Facebook or googling your name? Driving? Alcohol? Sex? The Boston Consulting Group decided to find out just how web-dependent people are, surveying 1,000 people from every G-20 country and asking what “lifestyle habit” they would be willing to give up for a year if it meant they could keep the Internet. Turns out almost 75% of Americans claim they would kick chocolate, alcohol or coffee for unfettered access to their precious wideband portal. And 21% say they'd give up sex, but that number should probably go up to 28% to account for the 7% who would quit bathing. Most other countries hold the internet at the same priority level as Americans, with a couple surprising exceptions: Japanese are twice as likely to give up sex as Americans—a whopping 56%; Brazilians, on the other hand, are only half as likely as Americans to do the same. The BCG has revealed just how much the world wants to stay online, which poses an interesting philosophical question for each of us to ask ourselves about our priorities: is showering really worth it?
Pregnant drug mule Lucy Wright has won a legal battle in London's High Court that allows her to avoid extradition to Argentina, where she'd have to serve a 16-year sentence for smuggling. The grounds of the ruling? She would likely face inhuman treatment in the South American country's jails. The victory reverses a previous extradition order by Home Secretary Theresa May and could potentially worsen already strained relations between Argentina and the UK. “The uncontradicted evidence shows a disturbing pattern of cruel, inhuman treatment being suffered by female prisoners and especially foreign ones in Argentina," said judges Sir John Thomas and Justice Silber in their ruling. “So it is very likely that the appellant would be subjected to this treatment in the absence of any adequate redress available to her.” Wright was arrested at Buenos Aires airport in 2007 trying to smuggle 14 pounds of cocaine in her luggage. Once she was bailed out after a night in Argentine jail, Wright reached Brazil and told the British Consulate she lost her passport. She obtained a new one from them and ultimately made it back to England, where she was promptly arrested. Wright was a former nursing student in London when she became addicted to crack cocaine following the breakdown of a relationship and a bout of depression. She will likely face trial on importation of drugs charges in an English court.
An ominous banner hung above a school in the city of Petén, Guatemala, threatening drastic and violent action by the Los Zetas drug cartel if authorities continued to pursue them: "To all civil and military authorities and the population in general stop persecution of the race or we will start killing. We will toss grenades into discos and shopping centers in Petén ... because this is 'Z' territory we don't want a war against the government this is a warning. Z200." The messages—written on bed sheets—are signed by Zeta 200, the head of the cartel, which is based in Mexico. Petén Gov. Henry Amezquita said the threat was "a reprisal" for Monday's arrest of Zetas capo Gustavo Colindres. Just eight days earlier, the Zetas hung banners with a less pointed message supporting President Otto Pérez Molina's drug legalization proposal: "Pérez and (Vice President Roxana) Baldetti, go through with legalizing drugs, and we support fighting the [youth gangs] ... Zeta 200" and "A thousand thanks general Otto Pérez and Roxana Baldetti for legalizing drugs ... Zeta 200." Guatemalan authorities are mindful of the Zetas' large presence throughout the country—the cartel now controls several profitable territories in Latin America—and their capability for severe violence, blaming the Zetas for the May 2011 massacre of 27 peasants at a ranch in Petén province.
Cue the obvious opener: We've got a rehab situation on our hands. Though both he and his publicist initially denied it, there's now confirmation that Jersey Shore star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is undergoing inpatient rehab for prescription medication at the tony Cirque Lodge in Utah, the same place Demi Moore attended. Sorrentino released a statement saying that his stint in rehab is voluntary and the prescription med problem is the result of "exhaustion." "I have spent the past several weeks getting treatment for this problem and recuperating from my work and appearance schedule," says Sorrentino. "I appreciate my fans support and love you guys." The Situation's father, Frank Sorrentino, said that his son has been in rehab once before, at age 27, before his career took off on the MTV show. However, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that while the Sitch entered that treatment of his own will, "it took a village" of loved ones and Jersey Shore castmates to convince him this time around. MTV is also reportedly insistent that Sorrentino clean up his act before returning for the sixth season of hit show.
Researchers are testing to see if a drug used to treat seizures can treat alcoholism, according to French doctors. Baclofen, originally manufactured as an epilepsy drug, showed promising results in preliminary testing with a small group of alcoholics. The pretrial study, published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, followed 132 heavy drinkers who were administered high doses of baclofen for over a year. The results showed 80-percent of the group either stopped drinking completely or switched to drinking in moderation. By comparison, other drugs used to treat alcoholism, such as naltrexone and acamprosate, have had 25-percent success rate over the same period. University of Paris-Descartes’ lead researcher Philippe Jaury says the outcome of the pretrial has paved the way for a one-year clinical trail expected to start in May of 2012.
- 'Anti-alcoholism' Drug Clears Key Test Hurdle [NY Daily News]
- Nigerian Woman Smuggled 5 Lbs of Heroin in Her Stomach [Huffington Post]
- Zetas Drug Cartel Threatens Violence in Guatemala [Fox News]
- Alcohol Abuse Contributes to 25% Rise in UK Deaths from Liver Disease [Guardian]
- All Future Cars Could Contain Alcohol Detectors [Washington Examiner]
- Singer El DeBarge Arrested In Daring Daylight Drug Deal [Reuters]