China hints at denying Americans life-saving coronavirus drugs

5e664fe73cebf.imageIn this photo taken Tuesday, March 3, 2020, a worker stands near Chinese national flag and propaganda which reads “Go China” in Beijing. As the rest of the world grapples with a burgeoning virus outbreak, China’s ruling Communist Party has turned to its propaganda playbook to portray its leader as firmly in charge, leading an army of health workers in a “people’s war” against the disease. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

 

Now that the number of new people infected with the coronavirus in China is slowing down, the country’s Communist Party is ratcheting up threats against the West, with a particularly nasty warning about access to life-saving drugs aimed at the United States.

In an article in Xinhua, the state-run media agency that’s largely considered the mouthpiece of the party, Beijing bragged about its handling of COVID-19, a virus that originated in the city of Wuhan and has spread quickly around the world, killing nearly 5,000 people and infecting thousands more. The article also claimed that China could impose pharmaceutical export controls which would plunge America into “the mighty sea of coronavirus.”

The disturbing threats made during a global pandemic as well as the scary consequences if that threat becomes real highlight just how tight China’s grip is on the global supply chain. Already, the Food and Drug Administration has announced the first drug shortage related to the coronavirus. Though it did not disclose which drug was in short supply, the FDA did say it could not access enough raw components needed because they are made in China.

That doesn’t come as a surprise to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, who told Fox News on Thursday that America is “dangerously reliant” on China for the production of critical goods, including parts for technologies needed to fight COVID-19.

Though the United States is a global leader in research, much of the manufacturing of life-saving drugs has moved overseas. The last American manufacturing plant to make a key component in penicillin shuttered in 2004. Since then, Chinese pharmaceuticals companies have moved in and taken over, supplying between 80 percent and 90 percent of U.S. antibiotics, 70 percent of acetaminophen and about 40 percent of heparin, according to Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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If China makes good on its threat to cut off the United States, Rubio believes the results could be crippling.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide on Thursday went up to 124,518, up from 118,162 cases the day before. In China, there are 80,980 confirmed cases. Italy saw a 22.7 percent jump to 12,462 from 10,149. Iran is hovering close to a 12 percent increase while cases in Qatar jumped 991 percent to 262 cases from 24. In the United States, there are more than 1,300 confirmed cases spread across 44 states and the District of Columbia.

AP20071304999896People wearing protective face masks wait in a queue to get temperature check before entering a bank in Beijing, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. For most, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for a few, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia.  (AP)

 

As the rest of the world scrambles to contain the virus and protect its citizens, China has been busy casting itself in the role of global hero going so far as to demand a thank you for containing the virus as long as it did.

“We should say righteously that the U.S. owes China an apology, the world owes China a thank you,” an editorial in Xinhua read.

Rubio said Beijing’s comments should concern all Americans and that China is keenly aware that in a moment of crisis “they can threaten to cut us off from our pharmaceutical supplies, they could trigger a domestic problem here that would make it difficult or us to confront them.”

“It’s a tremendous amount of leverage,” Rubio said.

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Andrew Gillum found in Miami Beach hotel room with suspected drugs, police say

Police say Gillum, who was not arrested, was too intoxicated to answer questions.

DXMKLKWJPAI6TMRBPAY4DVT77IFormer Tallahassee Mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. [Associated Press]

 

Andrew Gillum, who in 2018 came within 34,000 votes of becoming Florida’s governor, was discovered by police at a South Beach hotel early Friday morning in a room with bags of possible methamphetamine and in the company of a man who appeared to have overdosed on drugs, according to a Miami Beach police report.

Police say they were called to the Mondrian South Beach early Friday morning and found paramedics treating Travis Dyson, a 30-year-old Miami man, for an apparent heart attack. They say two other men were in the room: Aldo Mejias and Gillum.

Police say Gillum, who was not arrested, was too intoxicated to answer questions. An offense incident report says that officers found three clear plastic baggies of suspected crystal meth on the bed and floor.

Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor and Democrat, issued a statement Friday afternoon in which he denied using drugs.

“I was in Miami last night for a wedding celebration when first responders were called to assist one of my friends. While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines,” he said. “I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement.”

According to police, Mejias told officers that he gave his credit card information to Dyson to rent the room and planned to meet him Friday evening. When he went to the room after 11 p.m., Mejias said he found Dyson and Gillum “under the influence of an unknown substance.”

Mejias, 56, said Dyson opened the door to Room 1107 to let him in and then collapsed on the bed. He said Dyson was having trouble breathing, so he woke him up. Dyson then vomited and collapsed again, so Mejias said he performed chest compressions on Dyson and called paramedics.

Mejias told police he saw Gillum, 40, vomit in the bathroom.

Police say Dyson was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center in stable condition. They returned to check on Gillum, who was allowed to return home “without incident.”

No arrests were made.

“At this time the incident is not being investigated as a criminal matter,” a Miami Beach police spokesman wrote in an e-mail releasing a copy of the report. He did not explain why.

Gillum, who was mayor of Tallahassee from 2014 through 2018, thanked Miami Beach paramedics in his statement and said he’ll “spend the next few weeks with my family and [would] appreciate privacy during this time.”

Following his loss in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race to Republican Ron DeSantis, Gillum has remained an important player for Democrats in the state. His political organization is overseeing an ambitious push to register or “reengage” 1 million voters before the November election, and he remains among the most prominent Democrats due to a political analyst gig with CNN.

Attempts to reach Mejias and Dyson by phone on Friday were not immediately successful. Dyson told Miami New Times that he has been friends with Gillum “for a while,” but did not know anything about a wedding.

According to public records, Dyson is a registered nurse who lives in Brickell. His Instagram account features selfies in scrubs and a medical coat. The page also features numerous photos of Dyson shirtless and rippled, on the beach, on boats or at night spots with friends, including his fiance.

In Miami-Dade, Dyson has no criminal convictions but was arrested in August on a charge of resisting arrest without violence. He got the charge after he was pulled over for weaving in an out of traffic.

In an arrest report, a Miami Beach police officer said that while handcuffing Dyson, “he began to resist removing his right hand … while attempting to turn around to face me. Mr. Dyson was then pushed on the vehicle and ordered to stop resisting and to place his hands behind his back.”

A ticket for reckless driving and the criminal charge of resisting were later dismissed, according to Miami-Dade court records and his former attorney.

Although the contents of the bags in the hotel room have not yet been confirmed, crystal meth has made a resurgence in South Florida, particularly in Miami Beach, in recent years. The meth, police say, is high-grade product being made by Mexican cartels.

“It’s a very customer-rich environment, with all the different venues, events and parties for people to enjoy themselves,” a Miami Beach street-crimes captain told the Miami Herald in 2017. “Crystal meth will take the average party experience and magnify it tenfold.”

W. House hopeful Biden’s son held at gunpoint during crack buy: report

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Washington (AFP) – Hunter Biden, the son of former US vice president Joe Biden, admitted to being held at gunpoint while trying to buy crack cocaine, according to an article published Monday in The New Yorker.

Joe Biden, the current frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has repeatedly faced family tragedy during his decades in public office.

After approaching a homeless man in downtown Los Angeles in 2016, “Hunter said that the man took him to a nearby homeless encampment, where, in a narrow passageway between tents, someone put a gun to his head before realizing that he was a buyer,” the article says.

The New Yorker piece cites interviews with Hunter Biden — who said that he “needed a way to forget” — and people who knew and interacted with him.

“He returned to buy more crack a few times that week,” the article continues in a section detailing a period of drug use and tumult in Biden’s life.

Hunter Biden was only occasionally in the public eye during his father’s time as vice president under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.

Joe Biden, 76, leads in polling among the two-dozen candidates running for the Democratic nomination to face Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Shortly after first winning election to the Senate in 1972, Biden lost his wife and baby daughter in a car crash that also left Hunter and his brother Beau Biden badly injured.

Beau became a rising star in the Democratic party but succumbed to cancer in 2015, an event that derailed Biden’s expected bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Mom stabbed her son after he refused to buy crack for her: cops

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Debra WarrenAlachua County Jail

A Florida woman stabbed her son because he wouldn’t buy her harder drugs than the alcohol she was drinking, police said.

Debra Denise Warren, 58, of Gainesville, stabbed her son in the forearm with a kitchen knife after he refused her request to buy her crack cocaine, according to a police report obtained by the Gainesville Sun.

Warren tried to stab her son again, but he managed to get the knife away from his mother and then waited outside their home for cops to arrive, WCJB reports.

When police responded, Warren said she was afraid of her son, claiming he had slapped her earlier. But police found no evidence to back up her claims. Warren also accused her son and a witness of lying, according to the police report.

Warren was arrested early Friday on charges of aggravated battery. She remains in custody at the Alachua County Jail on $50,000 bail, jail records show.

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Woman Says She Was Sexually Assaulted at Chris Brown’s Home in Civil Lawsuit!

An unnamed Jane Doe filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles, suing singer Chris Brown and friend, Lowell Grissom, Jr., alleging that Grissom raped her at Brown’s home in February 2017.

The woman’s identity was not disclosed by her attorney, Gloria Allred, the high-profile attorney who has recently represented various women in suits against men like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Allred on Wednesay held a news conference in downtown Los Angeles where she filed the suit.

According to the lawsuit, the woman alleges she was raped by Grissom and forced to perform oral sex on another woman who was present at a party at Brown’s home the night of Feb. 23, 2017. It does not name Brown as partaking in the alleged sexual assault, but says he furnished drugs to his guests.

The lawsuit details a night of drugs, sex, and even the presence of firearms in Brown’s home. The alleged victim says she had her phone taken away and was not reunited with it until hours later, after her mother had called police to the address. According to the suit, the police were not allowed on the property.

The suit says the alleged victim went to a rape treatment center and to the police, where filed a report. The suit seeks general and specific damages, including up to $50,000 in civil penalties, for the alleged sexual battery, gender violence, and other causes of action.

“This is one of the most horrific cases involving alleged sexual assaults that I have ever seen,” Allred said in a statement. “Our client, Jane Doe, has been severely traumatized by what she was forced to suffer.”

A representative for Brown did not return a request for comment. An email seeking comment from Grissom Jr. was not immediately returned.

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Drug Smuggler, A Vet, Was Using Puppies In A Strange and Awful Way! – Dog World

Out of all the things you could imagine that people have dogs for this story is one that will even surprise you, it certainly surprised us. But then using not dogs but puppies to achieve your cruel profit, unbelievable!

The Spanish Police discovered that the crime boss, a Venezuelan veterinarian who’s wanted by the United States, was found on their soil, hiding, they arrested him of course, he is suspected of trafficking heroin using puppies!

The veterinarian who is 38-year-old, and called Andres Lopez Elzora, was happily arrested on Saturday in Santa Comba, at that time he had been hiding because the court finally approved his extradition!

The police report that the guy had allegedly implanted about 6.5 pounds of liquid heroin, packaged, inside little puppies, they raided the vet clinic and found out what they were up to back in 2005.

Andres Lopez Elzora is also allegedly part of a trafficking gang using dogs as drug mules too, they are sent to the United States from Columbia with liquid heroin inside them.

They used Labrador retrievers and stitched pockets of heroin, packaged up then inserted into them and sent then on commercial flights to New York, they cit the packets out and the dogs died in the process!

He was arrested back in 2013 in Spain, but then later released while a decision was made as to whether he would be extradited back to server trial for his crimes…

He had lived in Spain for 8 years, he is married and has two children, on the surface he seemed like a decent guy to people who didn’t know anything more about him, in Spain he had no prior records of drug trafficking.

Finally, he was arraigned in Brooklyn Tuesday last, now he awaits trial, he faces charges of conspiring to import and distribute heroin into the United States, if convicted he will face up to 10 years in prison and as much as a life sentence in all.

United States Attorney, Richard Donoghue, said:

As alleged in the indictment, [Lopez] is not only a drug trafficker, he also betrayed a veterinarian’s pledge to prevent animal suffering when he used his surgical skills in a cruel scheme to smuggle heroin in the abdomens of puppies …Dogs are man’s best friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers’ worst enemy.”

The investigation started about 12 years ago said DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt, when a farm in Colombia was raided in 2005 which happened to also bring about the rescue of 10 little puppies, a lovely addition to the find there at the farm!

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Florida woman blames cocaine in purse on windy day!

‘It must have flown through the window and into my purse,’ Kennecia Wells says.

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A Florida woman who was arrested last month on drug possession charges blamed the cocaine found in her purse on the wind.

Kennecia Posey, 26, was one of two passengers in a car that was swerving in the roadway when it was stopped by Fort Pierce police March 21.

According to the police report, an officer approached the car and smelled an odor of marijuana coming from inside.

During a search of the car, the officer found cocaine and marijuana in separate bags inside a purse that Posey had on her lap.

When questioned about the drugs, Posey admitted that the marijuana was hers, police said. The cocaine was a different story.

“I don’t know anything about any cocaine,” Posey said, according to the report. “It’s a windy day. It must have flown through the window and into my purse.”

Posey was booked into the county jail on one felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. She was later released on bond.

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‘Devil’s breath’ aka scopolamine: can it really zombify you?

The substance has been blamed for thousands of crimes in South America. Now there are reports of the incapacitating drug being used in street robberies in Paris. From use by Nazis to obstetricians, it certainly has a colourful history

One of the most enduring hoaxes you might hear in a backpacker hostel is that of the drug-soaked business card: someone hands you their card, and the drug is instantly absorbed by your skin. You fall into a zombie-like state, where you will do anything for your attacker, from empty out your bank account to pull a trigger on someone.

The drug is burandanga, or scopolamine, derived from nightshade plants, and there are countless stories about how criminals in Colombia and Ecuador use the drug, which is said to remove a person’s free will, to assault victims or rob them. It is also known as “devil’s breath” and has been described as “the most dangerous drug in the world”. It’s hard to know which are urban myths and which are genuine. The US’s Overseas Security Advisory Council warns travellers in Quito about the dangers of falling victim to a scopolamine attack, and refers to “unofficial estimates” – it doesn’t say where this figure is from – of 50,000 scopolamine incidents there every year.

Now, according to reports, the drug has been used on “dozens” of victims in Paris, and three people have been arrested. The Daily Telegraph suggests that two women had encouraged their victims to breathe in the drug, then got the victims to take them home where they stole money and jewellery.

“You get these scare stories and they have no toxicology, so nobody knows what it is,” says Val Curran, professor of pharmacology at UCL’s Clinical Pharmacology Unit. “The idea that it is scopolamine is a bit far-fetched, because it could be anything.”

Dr Les King, chemist and former forensic scientist, agrees. The idea that someone could become zombified after someone blows powder into their face “seems pretty unlikely for a start”. There is no evidence it is being used in Europe, he says. “The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has never had any mention of scopolamine being used in this way.”

It would be hard to get hold of. “I think if you tried to order some scopolamine from a chemical company, they’d be reluctant to sell it to you,” says King. “It’s not a drug you can buy [on the street] in the way you might buy some other new psychoactive substance, some legal high, or whatever. It’s not available in that sense because it’s not a drug you would want to take for any pleasurable purpose.”

It is “horrible stuff”, says Curran. “When I used to give it to people [in experiments], they hated it – it makes your mouth really dry, it makes your pupils constrict. Certainly high doses would be completely incapacitating.” And does it remove free will? “It would completely zonk you out,” says Curran, “ but I don’t know about removing free will. It incapacitates you because you’d feel so drowsy, you wouldn’t remember what was going on. But you would do after huge doses of alcohol, or lots of other drugs like Valium or other benzodiazepine drugs.”

Scopolamine has marked amnesic effects, and is used in Alzheimer’s research. Mostly though, it is used at very low doses to treat motion sickness, usually though a transdermal patch.

It is one of those drugs with a rich backstory. It is said to be one of the first “truth serums”. In the early 20th century, it was administered by some doctors as a pain-relief drug – or rather a drug that led to the forgetting of pain – in childbirth until one obstetrician noticed how women who had been given it answered candidly to questions; he later wondered if it could be used when questioning people charged with crimes. It was used as evidence in some trials, but dubiously.

Then there are stories of it being used in Nazi Germany as an interrogation tool, and also in the middle ages by witches. “The degree to which any of this stuff is true is unknown,” says Curran. “There’s a lot of myth.”

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