- Lindsay Lohan Wasn’t Supposed to be Driving at the Time of Car Crash [Complex]
Yet more trouble for Lindsay Lohan has arrived in the form of potential conflict with the insurance company responsible for insuring her new movie, Liz & Dick. One of their stipulations was that Lohan not be allowed to drive during production, given her history of DUIs and car accidents. Her car crash last week showed her in violation of that agreement, which means the insurer can now cancel the contract—although it remains to be seen if they actually will. One thing’s for sure: the production company has now been very explicit with the troubled starlet that she’s no longer allowed to drive. Someone has to be.
- Russell Brand: "I Stole Fatboy Slim's Liquor" [The Houston Chronicle]
Russell Brand may be one of the most famously sober of entertainers, but long before he was Katy Perry’s ex-husband, he was just an MTV presenter stealing from the talent: “We used to nick stuff out of each others' dressing rooms because I was on drugs in the early days,” he says. “We nicked all Fatboy Slim’s stuff, all his booze.” Surely it’s no coincidence that Fatboy Slim—famous for his late ‘90s smash “Praise You”—is sober now, too.
- Marijuana Plants Found at Rodney King's Home [The Los Angeles Times]
News of Celebrity Rehab alum Rodney King’s passing last weekend brought new suspicions about his sobriety, compounded by claims from his wife that he'd been drinking and smoking marijuana in the hours preceding his death. Now, photos show police confiscating marijuana plants from King’s Rialto home. “Even though we’re investigating this as an accidental drowning,” says a police spokesman, “we’re looking into every lead."
- Wife Ending Search for Missing (Again) Actor Nick Stahl [TMZ]
The ongoing saga of Terminator star Nick Stahl’s mysterious disappearing act took a new twist, after his wife reported that he had gone missing again, a month after he went underground for two weeks and later surfaced to check himself into rehab. After checking himself out of rehab against doctor's advice, his wife Rose Stahl has decided to call off the search . "I'm backing off," she says. "He knows exactly where home is. It's the loving thing to do for him, myself and our daughter."
- Drunk Reality Star "Trapper Joe" Tries to Burn Wife With Cigarettes [TMZ]
A television personality nicknamed Trapper Joe (real name Noces Joseph LaFont Jr.), known for his appearances on the reality series Swamp People, was arrested for assault and battery in Florida on Wednesday after he began arguing with his girlfriend; both were highly intoxicated. Reportedly, LaFont punched his girlfriend in the chest, then attempted to burn her with a lit cigarette. He's now in custody. You stay classy, Florida.
Greece's soccer coach has unveiled a surprising weapon in his bid to outsmart some mighty opponents: cigarettes. Germany and Greece clash today in a quarter final of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament that many will view in the context of the nations' current political antagonism over austerity and bail-outs. Does cash-strapped Greece owe its disapproving major creditor a coveted semi-final place? The Germans are heavy favorites to grab it anyway, with Greece—who were never supposed to progress this far in the competition—quoted at around a 10-1 shot to beat them. Grilled by German journalists yesterday, Greece coach Fernando Santos came clean about his smoking habit. "I smoke because I like it. When I stop liking it, I'll quit," said the defiant 57-year-old, denying that his players had any right to be concerned. He then elaborated on why he sees cigs as a help, not a hindrance: "Maybe because I think about the tactics so much is the reason I smoke. I have to try to find the right options and tactics and when I smoke I have more time to reflect. So now, you maybe understand why I smoke so much." His tactical reflections will need to be profound to get him through this game unscathed. Then again, the link between smoking and memory decline could ride to his rescue—if his team receives the thrashing that some soccer pundits anticipate.
Turns out you really can be a junkie for love. A Canadian study has traced drug addiction and love to the same region of the brain—lending credence to what anyone who has ever been in love (or addicted to drugs) already suspected. Neuroscientists from Montreal's Concordia University found that love and sex are activated in different, yet related, areas of the brain—suggesting distinction between these sets of feelings. And the overall part of the brain responsible for love, they discovered, is also responsible for drug addiction. Neuroscientist Jim Pfaus, along with colleagues in the USA and Switzerland, analyzed the results of 20 separate studies in which subjects looked at photos of their romantic partners as well as erotic pictures, while a “map” of love and desire in the brain was compiled via brain scan. The scientists believe they found a pattern: sexual desire activates the part of the brain that is responsible for pleasure (such a food) and love activates the area that is responsible for process conditioning. Feelings of sexual desire could develop into love—and then be processed in the exact same area of the brain that is responsible for addiction to drugs. “Love is actually a habit that is formed from sexual desire, as desire is rewarded. It works the same way in the brain as when people become addicted to drugs," says Pfaus. "I see this paper as a cornerstone, in what I hope will turn into more studies in human social neuroscience that can give us an idea of where love is in the brain."
- Supreme Court Extends More Lenient Penalties in Crack Cocaine Cases [Chicago Tribune]
- Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs "Work Better" [BBC]
- Amy Tryon, Olympic Equestrian Medalist, Died Of Accidental Drug Overdose [Huffington Post]
- Man Celebrates Sobriety With Cop Who Busted Him [WTSP]
- Irvine Parents' Alleged Drug Plot a 'Bizarre' Case, Police Say [LA Times]
- Charlie Sheen Smokes Charlie Sheen [FitPerez]
- See Breaking Bad's Walter White And His Meth Lab In LEGO Form [CinemaBlend]
Mexican and Italian mobsters increasingly work together on the mass shipment of cocaine across the Atlantic to Europe, finds a 10-year investigation by Italian authorities. One major point of entry is the port of Palermo—notorious as a stronghold of the Sicilian mafia. The joint-venture between these far-flung "most wanted" crowds was allegedly spearheaded by Elio and Bruno Gerardi, two Monterray-based Italian brothers thought to be responsible for shipping hundreds of tons of cocaine in industrial ovens on behalf of Cosa Nostra. But it's not only the Sicilians who are linking up with Mexican connections. Mexico's Zetas cartel reportedly has strong ties to the ‘Nhdrangheta, a crime organization based in Calabria—Italy's toe. An astonishing 80% of Europe's cocaine arrived through Calabrian docks, Italian authorities estimated in 2004. With consumer demand rising, Europe is a highly lucrative market: a kilogram of coke is said to fetch $63,000 in Italy, compared with $28,000-$38,000 in New York. "The US is not the only game in town," says DEA spokesman Rusty Payne. "Europe is crazy now with coke." Experts say that the Gerardi investigation illustrates the global reach of the Mexican drug trade—the DEA has also found cartel activity in Africa, Asia and Australia. "The Mexican cartels have gone global," says Shannon O’Neil of the Council on Foreign Relations. "Instead of working for the Colombians, the Colombians are now working for the Mexicans. The question is who will take over in Europe, in Russia."
Meth labs: they don't help property values—and there could be one next door. But thankfully for the citizens of Oneida, NY, the Oneida Dispatch has published a handy guide on how to tell if you've got a neighborhood Walter White. A meth lab, the guide warns, looks just like a house—and there may, or may not, be lots of people coming and going. So it's hard to tell, really. But if you put your senses to work, you can try:
First, use your eyes to check out your neighbor's garbage. Questions you should ask yourself about their trash: Is there a lot of it? Are there any kinds of bottles—soda bottles, household cleaner bottles—in it? What about plastic tubes? Bottles are used in the popular "Shake and Bake" method, in which the cooks put all the chemicals into a two-liter bottle and, well, shake it. If you have no idea whether your neighbors' discarded bottles were used for Shake and Bake, you should apparently call the cops straight away. “If you see something and aren’t sure what it is, don’t touch it, and call us,” says Oneida City Police Investigator Mike Burgess, possibly sentencing himself to many long hours on the phone. “We will come out and investigate.” He's right about not touching: the chems will make you seriously itchy. Other visual signs might include your neighbors' hand sores from all that cooking, and their nasty teeth from using meth. Covered windows suggest there's something to hide.
Second, use your nose. Odors to be wary of include camp fuel, automotive starting fluid, rotten eggs and the distinctive aroma of cat urine—only ten times stronger. “People experience different smells,” advises Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley. But if you notice it, notice it.
Third, there's always your ears: unexplained explosions are rarely a good sign. Although, if one happens, there might no longer be a local meth lab left to worry about.