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Thu, 01 Jun 2023
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Latest Designer Drug Called 'Smiles' Linked to Teen Deaths

© Fedor Kondratenko, Shutterstock
The synthetic drug 2C-I is usually sold in white powder form.
Several teenagers' deaths have law enforcement officials concerned about the next in a long line of illegal synthetic drugs: 2C-I, also known as "Smiles."

The drug, a hallucinogen, has been linked to two deaths in East Grand Forks, North Dakota, though little is known about this drug's dangers. Other synthetic drugs, including K2 or "fake weed," have caused problems by proliferating before being made illegal.

"There is hardly any research at all in the scientific literature on these things, even in animals, much less any sort of formal safety evaluation in humans," said Matthew Johnson, a professor of behavioral pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University.

A new high

2C-I is part of the 2C family of drugs, a group of closely related molecules that have psychedelic effects. Along with the other 2Cs, 2C-I was discovered by chemist and synthetic-drug guru Alexander Shulgin, who published the formulas of psychoactive drugs in his book PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (Transform Press, 1991). As of July 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies 2C-I as a Schedule I controlled substance, making it illegal to manufacture, buy, sell or possess the drug.

Usually sold in powder form, 2C-I can also be taken as a tablet. Users often mix the powder form with a stabilizing substance, such as chocolate or candy, before ingesting. The drug's effects include auditory and visual hallucinations, along with feelings of giddiness, relaxation and empathy.

"[M]y conversations were extremely clear and insightful," wrote one 2C-I user on erowid.org, which hosts an online version of Shulgin's book. "The degree of honesty was incredible."


Suicide Now Kills More Americans Than Car Crashes

© Medical Daily
A study published today has found an alarming trend: suicide now kills more people than do car accidents. In fact, while the number of car crash-related deaths has declined significantly, the number of suicide-related deaths, via poisonings and falls, has increased drastically.

"Suicides are terribly undercounted; I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe," study author Ian Rockett said. Rockett, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University, believes that as many as 20 percent of deaths could be unrecognized suicides. He pointed to overdoses in particular, many of which were caused by prescription drugs.

He said that this rise was a problem mostly swept under the rug, and he would like to see the same amount of attention placed on suicides as there is on traffic fatalities.

The study authors examined data provided by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics to determine the number of injury deaths. They found that unintentional and intentional deaths had increased 10 percent between 2000 and 2009 but car accident deaths do not account for that jump.


Mystery of dad who stabbed himself in the heart

© Unknown
The Webb family

Mystery surrounds the horrific death of a placid family man who went berserk and attacked his wife before stabbing himself in the heart.

The inquest into Howard Webb's suicide could find no reason for his sudden decision to kill himself.

After he and his wife Michelle went to bed he started mumbling something she could not hear, then punched her in the face and put his hands around her neck as if to strangle her, the inquest heard.

Mrs Webb, who still lives at the family home in Mersey Road, Whaddon, Cheltenham, told Assistant Deputy Gloucestershire Coroner Tom Osborne that she had no idea what had sparked her 57-year-old husband off and he had never been violent towards her before.

She told the inquest that they had been married for five years and lived with their three children and two of her children from previous relationships.


Three Mile Island nuclear plant shuts down unexpectedly

© Jeff Fusco, Getty Images
A reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down unexpectedly this afternoon because of a cooling problem, a month after it went offline because of a leak in the cooling system, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says.

Update at 4:54 p.m. ET: The NRC says a cooling pump for Unit One stopped working at 2:16 p.m. ET, triggering the automatic shutdown, as the system is designed to do. An agency inspector was at the plant at the time.

The same unit shut down automatically Aug. 22 as it was being taken offline to fix a coolant leak.

Here's some of what the NRC's Preliminary Notification update explained when Unit One went back online Sept. 5:
The plant reached cold shutdown on August 23, 2012, and the source of RCS leakage was confirmed to be from micro-cracks in the alloy 600 diaphragm for the upper pressurizer heater bundle. This heater bundle was subsequently replaced with a bundle that contained a stainless steel, non-alloy 600 heater diaphragm. An NRC specialist inspector, who was deployed to the site, confirmed the source of the RCS leakage and monitored pressurizer heater replacement activities. The licensee subsequently conducted extent-of-condition inspections on the other two pressurizer heater bundles and no indications of leakage were identified. The inspectors determined that the licensee's post-installation and extent-of-condition inspections were acceptable.
It's not yet clear whether the same pump or part failed today.


Detroit Chrysler Employee Stabs Co-Worker to Death, Kills Self

crime scene tape
© unknown
A worker was stabbed to death Thursday morning after an argument inside a Chrysler Group LLC plant in Detroit and a man suspected of the killing was later found dead, apparently having shot himself, police and the company said.

Work at the Jefferson North Assembly plant was suspended for one shift. The plant will reopen for its second shift on Thursday afternoon, Chrysler said.

"Two employees were involved in an altercation inside the plant," Chrysler said in a statement. "One employee was stabbed and unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene."

Shortly after the stabbing, Detroit police said, the body of the man suspected in the stabbing was found in a vehicle not far from the plant. He apparently had shot himself, police said.

Chrysler makes two sport utility vehicles at the plant, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango.

Detroit police did not comment on the motive for the stabbing. Law enforcement authorities and the company were due to hold a news conference on the incident on Thursday afternoon.

Bizarro Earth

Restrictions on Religion Rise Around the World

Legal limits and social pressures against religion have risen to the point where three-quarters of the world's population live in states where practicing their faith is restricted in some way, a new study said on Thursday.

Restrictions on religion, ranging from a Swiss ban on minarets to Islamist attacks on churches, rose in all major regions of the world during the study period from mid-2009 to mid-2010, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey said.

Christianity and Islam, the world's largest and second largest religions, suffered the most harassment by governments and groups or individuals, it said.

Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Myanmar, Iran, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria ranked as the countries with the most restrictions on religion - both by their governments and by their societies - in mid-2010, the survey showed.

"A rising tide of restrictions on religion spread across the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010," the 86-page survey said.

Heart - Black

Washington state woman convicted in electric saw attack on husband

Everett, Washington - A Washington state woman accused of trying to decapitate her sleeping husband with an electric saw was convicted Thursday of attempted murder.

Jurors needed only about three hours to reach a verdict in the trial of Renee Bishop-McKean of Everett. They also convicted the 44-year-old woman of first-degree assault for hitting the man in the head with a hatchet and mallet.

The jury was told the noise of the saw woke the victim last Oct. 14 and he fought his wife off. He was treated for cuts and scrapes.

Bishop-McKean told police an attacker must have entered the home through an open window, found the saw and attacked her husband. Deputy Prosecutor Paul Stern noted the window was locked so it would only open a few inches. He called the woman's theory the "Tinkerbell did this" defense.

The woman, who did not testify, shook her head in disagreement when the verdicts were announced.

Bishop-McKean faces at least 15 years in prison at sentencing set for Oct. 4.

The couple had been living apart but jurors were told the woman invited her husband over and told him to sleep on a mattress that she had wrapped in plastic, then covered with normal sheets.

Light Sabers

Arizona Prison Fight: Several Injured After Melee Breaks Out Among 200 Inmates

© The Associated Press/Matt York
Phoenix - Authorities say a fight among 200 inmates at an Arizona state prison has left several of them injured.

Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux says a unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex at Tucson will be locked down for several days as a result of Thursday's melee.

The Arizona Republic reports that fighting broke out around 5:30 p.m. in the Santa Rita Unit yard among some 200 inmates.

Lamoreaux says guards and other prison personnel gained control of the yard within a half hour without using force.

He says several inmates were injured, but did not provide details. The Arizona Daily Star reports that fire officials took 10 people to hospitals.

One prison staff member suffered a rib injury.

There was no immediate word on what sparked the disturbance.

Source: The Associated Press

Brick Wall

Friendly Fire: US Iraq War Vet Detained after Canadian Deportation

© Screenshot from YouTube user WarResistersCanada
Kimberly Rivera
A US soldier, who fled to Canada to escape further service in the Iraq War, has been arrested at the US border. The mother of four children may now face between two to five years behind bars.

Kimberly Rivera, an Army private, has lost a deportation case in Canada, where she spent five years with her family, and was ordered to leave the country until September 20, AP reports.

The 30-year-old served in Iraq in 2006 but then became disillusioned with the mission. After being ordered to serve another tour in 2007 she decided to cross into Canada where she applied for refugee status.

The War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSC) - a Canadian non-profit organization that assists US military personnel who refused to participate in the Iraq war - launched a campaign in support for Rivera with some 19,000 people signing an online petition protesting her deportation order. Rallies were held in several Canadian cities on Wednesday, with supporters calling on the Canadian government to let Rivera stay in the country.


Manitoba senator's wife pleads guilty over plane ruckus

Maygan Sensenberger
© Devin Heroux/CBC News
Maygan Sensenberger, 23, was put on probation after pleading guilty Thursday to causing a disturbance on a plane.
Canada - The wife of Manitoba Senator Rod Zimmer was spared jail time but put on probation for a year and must undergo counselling after pleading guilty today to causing a disturbance on a flight to Saskatoon last month.

Maygan Sensenberger, 23, received a suspended sentence during a court appearance Thursday.

Sensenberger was also accused of uttering threats against her 69-year-old husband, but the Crown withdrew that charge.

Under the terms of her sentence, she must take any counselling required by her probation officer. The Crown prosecutor said that could include addictions counselling, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or anger management classes.

When she was charged, police alleged Sensenberger said she would slit her husband's throat during the flight.

On Thursday, provincial court Judge Marilyn Gray said she believes much of the disturbance caused on the flight would have been avoided had Sensenberger not been drinking.

Outside court, Sensenberger was hugged by several people. Her husband was nearby.

Source: CBC News