Former Penthouse Pet Simone Farrow took part in a different kind of photo shoot on Australia's Gold Coast last week, after being arrested and charged with running a global drug ring. The 37-year-old bikini model, who did numerous ads for Ed Hardy and was voted one of the "sexiest women in the world" by FHM magazine, had been on the run for a month after failing to attend two scheduled court appearances and fleeing $150,000 bail. She was branded an international fugitive, then eventually found lying low in a cheap motel. The bail stems from an October 2009 arrest in which police seized 85 grams of crystal meth and other documents from Farrow's Hollywood apartment. She's accused of trafficking meth in bags of bath salts and setting up a fake company, GlobalStarr, to make shipments back to Australia through FedEx and the postal service. Cops claim she has at least 19 aliases, and believe she's the brains behind an "ongoing criminal enterprise" involving at least seven other people. Farrow was transferred to Sydney on Saturday, where she told reporters she only fled because "someone was trying to murder me."
They call them “CrackBerries” for a reason—in today’s busy world, smartphones can seem impossible to put down. The good news is, there's a way to fight your addiction. Research by the Harvard Business School suggests that turning off your device for just one evening a week will make you feel happier and improve your performance at work. The researchers studied 1,400 employees of the Boston Consulting Group for three years. The staff was banned from checking work after 6 pm one evening per week, during what was termed “Predictable Time Off” (PTO). Naturally, managers were wary of the rule at first—and some workaholic employees even refused to participate. But those who did utilize PTO said they spent more time with their families and working on their social lives, and found it led to a happier work environment. After three years, 59% of those who participated in the experiment agreed with the statement “I am excited to start work in the morning,” and 78% said they felt “satisfied” with their jobs. Comparatively, only 27% of those who didn't participate were excited to work in the morning, and only 67% felt satisfied. Professor Leslie Perlow, who came up with the idea for the study, concludes, “By being constantly connected to work, they seemed to be reinforcing—and worse, amplifying—the very pressures that caused them to need to be available.”
The Pope Benedict XVI will—possibly—have one less thing to worry about when he visits Mexico next weekend. Banners attributed to "The Knights Templar," one of the country's notorious drug cartels, have been hung out in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, promising no violence during His Holiness's stay. According to an anonymous official, the banners were found hanging from bridges on Saturday, proclaiming “a sort of truce for peace...during the pope’s visit.” One Mexican newspaper quotes another banner: "The Knights Templar disavow any military action, we are not murderers, welcome to the Pope.” The gang, which claims a pseudo-religious creed, also put out banners in February warning rivals not to create trouble during the Pope's stay. The Knights Templar gang originated in neighboring Michoacan state, after a split from the now-waning La Familia cartel. Drug violence has flared up in the area in recent months; Mexican authorities discovered 10 severed heads outside a slaughterhouse on Sunday.
Exeter Union High School in California is reeling from a drug sting in which an undercover police officer arrested 12 students—after posing as a student there for eight months. The 22-year-old officer, who was known as "Johnny Ramirez" on campus, attended classes and completed tests and homework assignments like any other student. He also used his assumed identity to witness and carry out the purchase of drugs like marijuana and cocaine. Only the Interim Principal, the school superintendent and one other administrator were aware of the his real identity. Eighteen-year-old Eli Perkins, the alleged ringleader of the drug deals, was arrested at his home; the school was put on a 90-minute lockdown while another 11 students were cuffed. "We made the campus safer today," says Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush. "And for those who think they got away with something, I hope they rethink their behavior." The arrested students face possible suspension and expulsion on charges of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy and accessory. The officer was recruited only after parents complained to police about drugs on campus. But some students feel violated by the nature of the sting, with at least one teenager saying he thought the undercover cop was a friend. The arrests coincided with the release of 21 Jump Street, a movie about two undercover police officers who embed themselves at a high school.
Children whose mothers used methamphetamine during pregnancy are at higher risk of behavioral problems, according to new research. A study published in Pediatrics journal finds “worrisome” behavioral differences—like anxiety, depression and moodiness—in the offspring of meth-using moms. Brown University researchers built on an earlier study of 330 children from regions where meth use is prominent—such as the Midwest and West—that were tracked between the ages of three and five. More mothers who gave birth in Los Angeles, Honolulu, Des Moines and Tulsa, Oklahoma were then recruited; they were asked about their meth use during pregnancy, and their newborns were drug tested. By the age of three, meth users’ children scored slightly higher for depression, moodiness and anxiety. This was still the case by the time the kids turned five; the older children were also more likely to exhibit aggression, and issues similar to ADHD. “The research is among ‘groundbreaking’ studies examining effects of substance abuse during pregnancy,” says Joseph Frascella, head of the behavioral division at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “But because the study is a first, the results should be viewed cautiously and need to be repeated.” Over half of the mothers who used meth during pregnancy also used it after their child was born.
- New Wrinkle in Pot Debate: Stoned Driving [AP]
- In Afghan Killings Case, Questions Over Alcohol [AP]
- Kony Creator Jason Russell Under Stress But Not on Drugs, Family Says [LA Times]
- Paul Carr: How I Stopped Drowning in Drink [Wall Street Journal]
- Woman Rises From Homeless Crack Addiction to Serve Others [Austin Statesman]
- Colombia Captures Drug Sub Pioneer [Fox News]
- Tiger Woods: No Sex With Porn Stars Unless He Loves Them, Says Coach's Book [RadarOnline]