Is Amanda Bynes just another in a long line of former teen celebs to crash and burn, or is she—as half the LAPD reportedly suggests—a particularly deadly danger to the whole of Los Angeles? Some people are even worrying that she'll become the next Lindsay Lohan. To be fair, Bynes is on quite a streak of vehicular violations: she was caught talking on her cell while driving in March, drunkenly sideswiped a police car in April, hit-and-ran twice in a span of five months, and finally got her license suspended in September. Then earlier this week TMZ spotted her driving on a suspended license, smoking pot from a pipe disguised as a car cigarette lighter.
But if the cops who lined up to speak with TMZ are to be believed, Bynes represents the physical manifestation of Death Race 2000 and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. "She's on the same road as my wife and kids and I'm scared about getting a call in the middle of the night that my little one is dead,” says one experienced patrol officer. "She's addicted to something and she's driving a deadly weapon and is going to kill someone. It scares the shit out of me." In a city that's been ravaged by earthquakes and wildfires, one veteran motor cop calls Bynes "easily" a perfect 10 on a one-to-10 scale of dangerousness. "The public should be afraid of her. From looking at the photos, and what she's smoking, she has no sense of reality,” declares another cop. Bynes may still be hoping her July Twitter request for a presidential pardon gets through: “Hey @BarackObama... I don't drink. Please fire the cop who arrested me. I also don't hit and run. The end."
Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez—otherwise known simply as "El Coss"—was presented to the public yesterday, following his arrest by Mexican marines as the suspected leader of the Gulf drug cartel. The cartel reportedly controls some of the most valuable and violently-contested smuggling routes along the US border, and has smuggled and distributed tons of cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana into the US. Charges against the 41-year-old in this country include drug trafficking and threatening US law enforcement officials, and $5 million was on offer for information leading to his arrest. "This is a very, very important arrest," says Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, chair of the Department of Government at the University of Texas, Brownsville. "It consolidates this new configuration of organized crime in Mexico. This disintegration of the Gulf Cartel will be impacting in a very serious way the levels of violence in Tamaulipas and probably in the whole country." Correa-Cabrera believes we'll now see an increase in violence between the Sinoloas and the paramilitary Zetas—the two dominant remaining cartels. Authorities say that despite controlling the Gulf cartel's daily trafficking activities, El Coss kept a low profile—only two photographs of him had ever been made public. Five of his guards were also arrested Wednesday morning in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, while another five fled when marines tried to arrest them in Tampico—ultimately leading the marines to Costilla's hideout.
In a recent interview with Fox 11 entertainment reporter Courtney Friel, Emmy-award winning actress Kristen Johnston talked about her passion for recovery, her hilarious and disturbing memoir Guts, her mission to create New York City's first sober high school and her love for The Fix. "[The Fix is] young, it's interesting, it doesn't have one theory," Johnston told Friel—who described us as "a hip new sobriety website." Johnston said of her addiction, "I was the red wine mustache lady with the purple teeth. Everyone else would have their two or three glasses of wine and I would have my ten. I was jobless and fired by my agency and so broke I was selling shoes." The Third Rock star, who's been in recovery for almost six years, added that now that she's cleaned up, "My life is better in every single way I can imagine. I'm grateful, I'm happy. I don't need to escape all the time." When Friel asked Johnston why she came clean about her addiction after first managing to keep it a secret, she replied that she's not publicizing her book because she wants more money. "I'm publicizing it because I really want the people who need to read it to read it."
Sometimes celebrity drunk-driving arrests take an unexpected turn—providing fresh evidence that substance abuse is no respecter of reputations. This time it's squeaky-clean '70s actress Sally Struthers, best known for her Emmy-winning role as Gloria Stivic on All in the Family—and more recently as Babette on Gilmore Girls and as a face of Save the Children. She was pulled over and arrested for OUI—operating under the influence—early yesterday morning in the coastal town of Ogunquit, Maine, where she's appearing in an annual run at the Ogunquit Playhouse, as Roz in the musical 9 to 5. The 65-year-old actress was released on $160 cash bail and is due back in court in December—she looks set to make a fight of it. "Sally is working and she is fine and she loves the Ogunquit Playhouse and her yearly time in Ogunquit," says a spokeswoman. "We deny these charges." The drama will wrap up soon: Struthers' stint in the show is scheduled to end tomorrow.
As if all their other problems weren't enough, a new study indicates that beleaguered smokers tend to get less sleep and are at higher risk of serious insomnia. Researchers in Germany surveyed around 1,100 smokers and 1,200 non-smokers—all of whom were pronounced free of mental health conditions that might impair sleep—for a study published in the Addiction journal. They found that 17% of smokers slept for less than six hours a night, compared with just seven percent of non-smokers. And 28% of the smokers claimed to have “disturbed” sleep, against 19% of smoke-free sleepers. "If you smoke and you do suffer from sleep problems, it is another good reason to quit smoking," says lead researcher Dr. Stefan Cohrs, of Charite Berlin medical school. Grounds for optimism? Cors adds that past research shows that a smoker's sleep quality does improve after quitting. The study doesn't yet prove that smoking alone impairs sleep, but researchers believe the stimulating effects of nicotine play a part, as well as the possibility that smokers may be more likely to have other habits that affect sleep—such as getting little exercise or staying up late to watch TV. It seems smokers can't win: successfully losing consciousness reportedly puts them at risk of manifesting a violent sleep disorder, while inadequate sleep has been linked to problems like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
- 43 Latin Kings Targeted in Two-Year Drug Investigation [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Smokers May Have More Sleep Problems [Reuters]
- Methanol-Laced Vodka, Rum Kill 19 in Czech Republic [USA Today]
- And the World's Top Smokers Are... [Time]
- Nancy Grace Tears Into Toddlers & Tiara's Cigarette Mom [The Clicker MSN]
- Amanda Bynes Seen Smoking Drugs in Car As She Still Drives On Suspended License [Examiner]
- Looking at Wine and Vodka Effects on Pigs With High Cholesterol