- Informant Claims NATO Buying and Selling Heroin in Afghanistan [Straight.com]
- Drug Cartels Seen Recruiting Young Men In Southern California [Huffington Post]
- Man Found Dead in McDonald's Bathroom After Overdosing on Heroin [Chicago Tribune]
- Significant Forced Required by Maine Police to Subdue Man High on "Bath Salts" [Seacoastonline]
- LA Police: 23 Pounds of Marijuana Transported Via Bicycle [LA Weekly]
- Was Powder Photographed in Paris Hilton's SUV Coke? [TMZ]
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kim Richards has reportedly left rehab after just three weeks of treatment. The 47-year old checked into a facility early December after displaying “bizarre” behavior on her reality show. Kim began seeking substance abuse treatment for alcohol as well as prescription drug abuse. A source close to the star said, “Kim is going to be focusing on staying healthy and happy and just wants to spend time with her family. It’s really is one step at a time.” Kim’s sister, Kyle Richards, took to Twitter to offer encouragement: “Loved the time I got to spend w/ my sister @KimRichards11. I love u and am so proud of u. Xoxo.” The reality star plans to continue her treatment in outpatient therapy in Los Angeles.
The Turkish military confirmed today that its airstrike near the Iraqi border killed 35 tobacco smugglers transporting low-level contraband. They were attacked because they were thought to be PKK guerrillas. Many of the dead were children and young men. The news sparked outrage on the streets of Istanbul. Protestors and rival factions accuse Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of treason and compare him to Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad for killing his own citizens. Opposition politician Selahattin Demirtas says, “An administration that murders its own people has no legitimacy.” The PKK, or Kurdistan Worker’s Party, is considered a terrorist organization by many nations, including the US; but it's a controversial label, which many international leaders have sought to repeal. The Turkish has long tried to subdue the influence of ethnic Kurds, through military and other means. Estimates suggest more than 40,000 lives have been lost in the struggle since the 1980s.
A poll of drinking habits in far-off New Zealand indicates just under 15% believe they booze too much. But experts say this hugely underestimates the true extent of the problem in a country which consumes 75.5 liters of beer alone per person per year. "Many Kiwis tend to underestimate their drinking to justify that they're not drinking excessively, and this could be what the poll result reflects," says Alcohol Healthwatch director Rebecca Williams, pointing out that previous studies have found 25% of Kiwi adults drink harmfully. "We know that even small amounts of alcohol regularly can be quite harmful, but many drinkers would like to believe that only binge drinking is harmful."
Are you one of the millions of Americans who will drink excessively to celebrate New Year's Eve? Are you planning on driving to the party? Well, you may be in luck. If you’re a member of AAA, give them a call and they’ll tow your drunken ass home for free. AAA’s complimentary new service, "Tipsy Tow," offers drivers who are no longer legally capable a free tow home at no additional charge. Members need only call a toll-free number (800-222-4357) and a tow truck will be dispatched to wherever their car may be. The only problem? Tipsy Tow is currently available only in Northern California, Texas, Nevada, Utah and parts of northern New England. It doesn't amount to a recommendation to throw caution to the wind, but it beats ringing in the New Year in handcuffs—or worse.
Colorado has become the third state to formally request that the DEA reclassify marijuana as a drug suitable for medicinal use. A letter from Colorado’s Department of Revenue asks for a reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule II, making it legal on a federal level to be prescribed by doctors and sold in pharmacies. "There is a lack of certainty necessary to provide safe access for patients with serious medical conditions," writes Revenue Director Barbara Brohl. Her request follows similar ones from Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington and Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island earlier this year. Marijuana's current federal classification bans it, ranks it alongside heroin and describes it as having no known medical value.