Tag Archives: Lives

Spanish police arrest drug traffickers who saved their lives in high speed boat chase

Spanish police arrest drug traffickers who saved their lives in high speed boat chaseSpanish police arrested four drug traffickers who stopped to save their lives after the officers were thrown overboard during a high speed boat chase off the coast of Malaga on Friday.  The three police officers fell into the sea following a collision with the trafficking boat during the chase, a Guardia Civil statement said.  A police helicopter hovering overhead appealed to the speedboat via megaphone to stop and help the officers after their boat "span out of control", and the traffickers did so, pulling the agents to safety unharmed. However, when police found three tonnes of hashish in the waters nearby, the rescue did not appear to work in the traffickers' favour. The four on board were arrested regardless.  "They were arrested for drug trafficking," a police statement said, indicating that more than 80 bundles of hash had been recovered from the sea.   In a video posted by the Guardia Civil, the boats can be seen zooming across the open ocean before the semi-inflatable trafficking boat turns into the path of the police vessel, forcing it to turn sharply, throwing the three officers overboard.  The video taken from the police helicopter then shows the officers bobbing around in the water below, before a wide shot shows the drug bundles floating nearby.  High speed chases are not unusual off the coast of Malaga and the Costa del Sol, a known drug smuggling route from Africa to Europe.  Morocco, just across the water, is the world's largest exporter of cannabis resin or hashish, according to the United Nations.  A dramatic chase at the end of last year saw police ram a suspected drug boat in the open water, before officers from the chasing helicopter managed to intercept the fleeing suspects on land.    The Spanish government has even moved to ban the high-speed semi-inflatable boats, known as RIBs, that are commonly used by traffickers to bring both drugs and more recently migrants from North Africa to Spain.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Boy, 13, fatally attacked at middle school. His organs will save lives, family hopes

Boy, 13, fatally attacked at middle school. His organs will save lives, family hopesThe student, identified as Diego by police, was pronounced clinically dead Tuesday night. His family hopes to donate his organs, police say.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Gun control really works. Science has shown time and again that it can prevent mass shootings and save lives.

Gun control really works. Science has shown time and again that it can prevent mass shootings and save lives.Mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend have once again put America's gun violence problem in the spotlight.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

El Paso Walmart Shooting: Meet the Hero Soldier who Saved Children's Lives

El Paso Walmart Shooting: Meet the Hero Soldier who Saved Children's LivesAt first, Army Pfc. Glendon Oakley Jr. was completely unaware of the chaos unfolding just around the corner. Then he pulled his gun.A 22-year-old Army automated logistics specialist assigned to the 504th Composite Supply Company, 142nd Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade at Fort Bliss, Texas, Oakley had been shopping at a sporting goods store inside the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso when a young child burst into the store shouting about an active shooter at the nearby Walmart."The guy at the register and I sort of looked at each other," Oakley told Task & Purpose in a phone interview on Saturday. "He's a little kid … are you going to believe him?"The threat was very real. At least 20 people were killed and dozens more wounded when a gunman opened fire at the Walmart, sending terrified bystanders fleeing through the neighboring mall.When Oakley exited the store minutes later and headed to the neighboring Footlocker, he finally heard the sound of gunfire echoing across the mall. He immediately pulled the Glock 9mm he occasionally carries under Texas's concealed carry laws. While he had just returned from an incident-free deployment to Kuwait, this was not his first firefight."That's what you do," he told Task & Purpose. "You pull your gun, you find cover, and you figure out what to do next."Oakley was born into an Army family. His father, Glendon Oakley Sr., served for 31 years before retiring in 2011 at the rank of sergeant major; his mother, Wendolyn D. Oakley, retired as a master sergeant in 2001 after two decades; and his older sister, Glenda Oakley, is a retired captain.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Booker Tells Biden: Your Record on Crime ‘Destroyed Lives’

Booker Tells Biden: Your Record on Crime ‘Destroyed Lives’Jim Watson/AFP/GettyFormer Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey fought hard over criminal justice reform at Wednesday evening’s Democratic debate in Detroit.“There’s a saying in my community,” Booker quipped. “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't know the flavor.”Booker’s pointed attack on Biden centered on Biden’s self-described role in shepherding Senate legislation in the 1990s that stiffened some criminal penalties and increased federal prison populations. “There are people in prison right now for drug offenses because you stood up and used that tough on crime rhetoric that got a lot of people elected but destroyed lives in communities like mine,” Booker charged.Biden returned fire with a focus on Booker’s eight years as the mayor of Newark, where, Biden said, “you hired Rudy Giuliani’s guy and engaged in stop and frisk,” a reference to Garry McCarthy, the former number-two official at the New York Police Department.Biden and Harris Rematch Kicks Off With Medicare-for-All BrawlThe back-and-forth highlighted divides not just between Booker and Biden, but larger ideological and generational fissures that have split the sizable field of Democratic candidates on other issues like health care and immigration.Biden has drawn significant flack from Democratic rivals over his past positions on criminal and racial justice issues in particular, and his long tenure—and voting record—as a senator have provided opponents with plenty of material to try to chip away at his progressive appeal.“If you want to compare records [on criminal justice], and frankly I’m shocked that you do, I’m happy to do that,” Booker told Biden during their exchange.Biden has countered by invoking his tenure in the administration of the nation’s first black president, and intimated that Booker had simply signed his name to Obama-era criminal justice legislation negotiated by the administration.The exchange was prompted by comments Booker made a week earlier, when he described a criminal justice reform plan released by the Biden campaign as “inadequate” and dubbed him “an architect of mass incarceration.” “Since the 1970s, every crime bill, major and minor, has had his name on it,” Booker said. “The house was set on fire, and you claimed responsibility for those laws, and you can't just come out now and put out that fire.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Drug bosses joked about US opioid crisis that led to lives being needlessly lost, leaked emails show

Drug bosses joked about US opioid crisis that led to lives being needlessly lost, leaked emails showAs the opioid epidemic was raging in America, in May 2008 a representative of the nation’s largest manufacturer of opioid pain pills sent an email to a client at a wholesale drug distributor in Ohio.Victor Borelli, a national account manager for Mallinckrodt, told Steve Cochrane, the vice-president of sales for KeySource Medical, to check his inventories and “[i]f you are low, order more. If you are okay, order a little more, Capesce?”Then Borelli joked, “destroy this email. . .Is that really possible? Oh Well. . .”Previously, Borelli used the phrase “ship, ship, ship” to describe his job. Those email excerpts are quoted in a 144-page plaintiffs’ filing along with thousands of pages of documents unsealed by a judge’s order Friday in a landmark case in Cleveland against many of the largest companies in the drug industry.[gallery-0] A Drug Enforcement Administration database released earlier in the week revealed that the companies had inundated the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 to 2012.Nearly 2,000 cities, counties and towns are alleging that the companies knowingly flooded their communities with opioids, fuelling an epidemic that has killed more than 200,000 since 1996.The filing by plaintiffs depict some drug company employees as driven by profits and undeterred by the knowledge that their products were wreaking havoc across the country. The defendants’ response to the motion is due on 31 July.In January 2009, Borelli told Cochrane in another email that 1,200 bottles of oxycodone 30mg tablets had been shipped.“Keep ‘em comin’!” Cochrane responded. “Flyin’ out of there. It’s like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are. . .”Borelli responded: “Just like Doritos keep eating. We’ll make more.”Borelli and Cochrane did not return calls for comment on Friday night.In a statement Friday night, a spokesman for Mallinckrodt sought to distance the company from Borelli’s email: “This is an outrageously callous email from an individual who has not been employed by the company for many years. It is antithetical to everything that Mallinckrodt stands for and has done to combat opioid abuse and misuse.”The Controlled Substances Act requires drug companies to control against diversion, and to design and operate systems to identify “suspicious orders,” defined as “orders of unusual size, orders deviating substantially from a normal pattern, and orders of unusual frequency.”The companies are supposed to report such orders to America’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and refrain from shipping them unless they can determine the drugs are unlikely to be diverted to the black market. The plaintiffs, in the filing, allege that the companies ignored red flags and failed at every level.At Cardinal Health, one of the nation’s largest drug distributors, then-CEO Kerry Clark in January 2008 wrote in an email to Cardinal senior officials that the company’s “results-oriented culture” was perhaps “leading to ill-advised or shortsighted decisions,” the filing contends.In the previous 18 months, Cardinal had been hit with nearly $ 1 billion in “fines, settlements, and lost business as a result of multiple regulatory actions,” the filing alleges, including the suspension of licenses at some of its distribution centres for failing to maintain effective controls against opioid diversion.Cardinal Health did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday night.On Aug. 31, 2011, McKesson Corp.’s then-director of regulatory affairs, David B. Gustin, told his colleagues he was concerned about the “number of accounts we have that have large gaps between the amount of Oxy or Hydro they are allowed to buy (their threshold) and the amount they really need,” according to the filing, which cites Gustin’s statements.“This increases the ‘opportunity’ for diversion by exposing more product for introduction into the pipeline than may be being used for legitimate purposes.”According to the filing, he had earlier noted to his colleagues that they “need to get out visiting more customers and away from our laptops or the company is going to end up paying the price… big time.”Another McKesson regulatory affairs director responded: “I am overwhelmed. I feel that I am going down a river without a paddle and fighting the rapids. Sooner or later, hopefully later I feel we will be burned by a customer that did not get enough due diligence,” according to the filing.McKesson is the largest drug distributor in the United States. It distributed 14.1 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 to 2012, about 18% of the market, according to the DEA database.McKesson said that the DEA was responsible for setting the annual production quota of pills.“For decades, McKesson has consistently reported opioid transactions to the DEA,” McKesson spokeswoman Kristin Chasen said in a statement. “We have also invested heavily in further strengthening our anti-diversion program.”Until Friday, the documents had been sealed under a protective order issued by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster. The order was lifted a year after The Washington Post and HD Media, which publishes the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, filed a lawsuit for access to the documents and a DEA database tracking opioid sales, known as the Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System, or ARCOS.The drug companies and the DEA strenuously opposed the release of the data and the documents, and Polster agreed with them. But a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Ohio ordered that some of the information should be released with reasonable redactions and the database should be made public.By consolidating cases from around the nation, the Cleveland case, for the first time, provides specific information about how and in what quantity the drugs flowed around the country, from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies. The case also brings to light internal documents and deliberations by the companies as they sought to promote their products and contend with enforcement efforts by the DEA.The local and state government plaintiffs in the case argue that the actions of some of America’s biggest and best-known companies – including Mallinckrodt, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Purdue Pharma – amounted to a civil racketeering enterprise that had a devastating effect on the plaintiffs’ communities.The case is a civil action under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) Act, making use of a law originally developed to attack organised crime.In statements on Tuesday in response to the release of the DEA database, the drug companies issued broad defences of their actions during the opioid epidemic. They have said previously that they were trying to sell legal painkillers to legitimate pain patients who had prescriptions.They have blamed the epidemic on overprescribing by physicians and also on corrupt doctors and pharmacists who worked in “pill mills” that handed out drugs with few questions asked. The companies also said they should not be held responsible for the actions of people who abused the drugs.The companies said that they were diligent about reporting their sales to the DEA and that the agency should have worked with them to do more to fight the epidemic, a point former DEA agents dispute. The companies also note that the DEA set the quotas for opioid production.“We report those suspicious orders to state boards of pharmacy and to the DEA but we do not know what those government entities do with those reports, if anything,” Cardinal Health said in a statement.The companies issued statements rejecting the plaintiffs’ allegations.McKesson said in its statement: “The allegations made by the plaintiffs are just that – allegations. They are unproven, untrue and greatly oversimplify the evolution of this health crisis as well as the roles and responsibilities of the many players in the pharmaceutical supply chain.”Mallinckrodt said the company “has for years been at the forefront of preventing prescription drug diversion and abuse, and has invested millions of dollars in a multipronged program to address opioid abuse.”One of the biggest points of contention in the lawsuit is whether the nation’s largest drug companies did enough to identify suspicious orders of opioids. What exactly constitutes a suspicious order is at the heart of the case.The DEA has long said there should be no confusion because the agency has given frequent guidance and briefings to the industry, and repeatedly defined what constitutes a suspicious order.The plaintiffs argue that the companies failed to “design serious suspicious order monitoring systems that would identify suspicious orders to the DEA” and shipped the drugs anyway.“Their failure to identify suspicious orders was their business model: they turned a blind eye and called themselves mere ‘deliverymen’ with no responsibility for what they delivered or to whom,” according to the plaintiffs’ filing.Between 1996 and 2018, the plaintiffs alleged in the filing, drug companies shipped hundreds of millions of opioid pills into Summit and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio, filling orders that were suspicious and “should never have been shipped”.“They made no effort actually to identify suspicious orders, failed to flag orders that, under any reasonable algorithm, represented between one-quarter and 90% of their business, and kept the flow of drugs coming into Summit and Cuyahoga Counties,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers wrote.In 2007, the DEA told Mallinckrodt that the numeric formula it used to monitor suspicious orders was insufficient, the filing contended. It alleges the company’s suspicious order monitoring program from 2008 through 2009 consisted of solely verifying that the customer had a valid DEA registration and that the order was accurately logged into the DEA’s tracking database.From 2003 to 2011, Mallinckrodt shipped a total of 53 million orders, flagged 37,817 as suspicious but stopped only 33 orders, the plaintiffs’ filing states.A Mallinckrodt employee said in a deposition that the DEA had described the company as the “kingpin within the drug cartel” in a meeting with the agency in July 2010, according to a footnote in the filing.In 2011, the filing cites a Justice Department document in which the DEA alleged that Mallinckrodt “sold excessive amounts of the most highly abused forms of oxycodone, 30 mg and 15 mg tablets, placing them into a stream of commerce that would result in diversion.”According to the DEA, the filing states, “even though Mallinckrodt knew of the pattern of excessive sales of its oxycodone feeding massive diversion, it continued to incentivize and supply these suspicious sales,” and never notified the DEA of the suspicious orders.In a settlement with the DEA, Mallinckrodt agreed that from Jan. 1, 2008, through Jan. 1, 2012, “certain aspects of Mallinckrodt’s system to monitor and detect suspicious orders did not meet the standards” outlined in letters from the DEA deputy administrator for diversion control.Mallinckrodt was the nation’s leading manufacturer of oxycodone and hydrocodone, with 28.8 billion pills from 2006 to 2012, 37.7% of the market, according to the DEA database. It has since created a subsidiary for its generic opioids called SpecGx.In 2017 federal prosecutors said 500 million of the company’s 30 mg oxycodone pills wound up in Florida between 2008 and 2012 – 66% of all oxycodone sold in the state. Pills at that dosage are among the most widely abused.Prosecutors said the company failed to report suspicious orders, and Mallinckrodt that year settled the case by paying a $ 35m fine.“Mallinckrodt’s actions and omissions formed a link in the chain of supply that resulted in millions of oxycodone pills being sold on the street,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at the time.Walgreens used a formula to identify thousands of pharmacy orders as suspicious but shipped them anyway, the filing alleges. The orders were reported to the DEA after they had been shipped, according to agency documents quoted in the filing.“Suspicious orders are to be reported as discovered, not in a collection of monthly completed transactions,” the DEA wrote in an immediate suspension order issued against Walgreens in 2012. “Notwithstanding the ample guidance available, Walgreens has failed to maintain an adequate suspicious order reporting system and as a result, has ignored readily identifiable orders and ordering patterns that, based on the information available throughout the Walgreens Corporation, should have been obvious signs of diversion.”In one case, Walgreens’s suspicious order report to the DEA was 1,712 pages long and contained six months’ worth of orders, including reports on 836 pharmacies in more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico, the filing alleges.The filing also alleges that Walgreens stores could “place ad hoc ‘PDQ’ (”pretty darn quick”) orders to controlled substances outside of their normal order days and outside of the [suspicious order monitoring] analysis and limits.”Peviously, Kristine Atwell, who managed distribution of controlled substances for the company’s warehouse in Jupiter, Florida, sent an email on Jan 10, 2011, to corporate headquarters urging that some of the stores be required to justify their large quantity of orders.“I ran a query to see how many bottles we have sent to store 3836 and we have shipped them 3271 bottles between 12/1/10 and 1/10/11,” Atwell wrote. “I don’t know how they can even house this many bottle[s] to be honest. How do we go about checking the validity of these orders?”A bottle sent by a wholesaler generally contains 100 pills.Walgreens never checked, the DEA said. Between April 2010 and February 2012, the Jupiter distribution centre sent 13.7 million oxycodone doses to six Florida stores, records show, many times the norm, the DEA said.Walgreens ranked second among distributors in the nation, with 13 billion pills and 16.5% of the market for oxycodone and hydrocodone from 2006 through 2012, the DEA database shows. It stopped distributing opioids to its stores in 2014, but continues to dispense controlled substances.As part of a settlement with the DEA in June 2013, Walgreens said that its “suspicious order reporting for distribution to certain pharmacies did not meet the standards identified by DEA.” The company paid an $ 80 million fine to the government.In a statement earlier in the week, Walgreens defended its operations, saying, “Walgreens has been an industry leader in combating this crisis in the communities where our pharmacists live and work.”The Washington Post



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Humane Society SOS: Dogs swim for their lives as Ark. shelter floods. Community comes to the rescue.

Humane Society SOS: Dogs swim for their lives as Ark. shelter floods. Community comes to the rescue.An Arkansas animal shelter issued an SOS as flash flooding poured in and a puppy drowned. Then the community came to the rescue.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Alaska heat wave shatters city's record, disrupts jobs and lives

Alaska heat wave shatters city's record, disrupts jobs and livesTemperatures in Alaska’s largest city Anchorage have soared to a sweltering all-time record of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 centigrade) as a heat wave grips the US state which straddles the Arctic Circle. “At 5pm this afternoon, Anchorage International Airport officially hit 90 degrees for the first time on record,” tweeted the National Weather Service (NWS) late Thursday. The average high temperature for July 4 in Anchorage, located in southern Alaska, is a far cooler 65 degrees.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Protestors ask Pete Buttigieg about black lives matter movement during heated confrontation

Protestors ask Pete Buttigieg about black lives matter movement during heated confrontationIndiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg cancelled several 2020 campaign events this week following a police-involved shooting that left a black man dead.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Notre-Dame, Saint Patrick’s, and the Cathedrals That Are Our Lives

Notre-Dame, Saint Patrick’s, and the Cathedrals That Are Our LivesThe Wi-Fi on my flight from Rome to Newark wasn’t working, so phones were buzzing about Notre Dame in France as soon as we hit the runway. After the initial shock and sadness, gratitude was expressed. There are upsides to being disconnected: At least we didn’t have to watch, on live television, something we couldn’t control. That seemed to be an instant lesson, before we knew much of anything, including the cause or the damage.I’ve never been to Paris, so I’ve never been to the cathedral there. But on Monday I did the closest I could after I cleared customs: I went to the cathedral in Newark, N.J. The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is, as it happens, an under-appreciated treasure. It’s safe to say that most people do not travel to New York City only to hop on the train to Newark to pray. More should. As it happens, the Mass schedule was changed up for Holy Week, so my visit was short that day. But had I stayed on, I might have run into the man who would be arrested later that week in my home cathedral of Saint Patrick’s on Fifth Avenue. On Monday, he had been removed by police at Sacred Heart Cathedral, for refusing to leave. On Wednesday, he was caught trying to set fire to “America’s Parish Church” over the Hudson.I mention all this not only because it hits a little close to home but because the reactions people have had to Notre Dame in flames is a sign of hope in the world, isn’t it? We live at a time when so many of us seem to be living lives as partial spectators, upset about things we can have no control over, letting our moods and even health be affected for the worse by politics, primarily. Not only is there more to life than the Mueller report. There’s even more to life than people’s takes on it.I got into Saint Peter’s Basilica only once on this trip to Rome. Security has been stepped up in recent years, and my old ways of going in as often as I can have become a thing of the past, given the line to get in. I was immersed in prayer and thanksgiving this time and didn’t really have the thought I did on a previous visit: This could be my last time here. Rewind a bit and the so-called Islamic State was openly calling for attacks on the pope and the Vatican and I had very much considered the possibility. When a priest friend from the U.S. was called to assignment there, the terrorist-attack concern was one of my first thoughts, which became prayers for protection. But I do think about it now and again at Saint Patrick’s, as a counterterrorism police officer seems to be patrolling by the confessional as I wait in line. I sometimes think: This is not a normal church experience.But then it is, isn’t it, living in these times? It seemed all the more part of the fabric of our lives when on Tuesday, about 24 hours before the gas-can incident that would lead to the scare and the arrest at Saint Patrick’s, I watched a counterterrorism cop holding one of his children by the hand, showing his family one of the side chapels during his break. Churches are full of stories. People who gave from their earnings to help pay for them, the skill by which others created a gift to God, and to man, to help us reach Heaven. They continue to be full of stories, even Notre Dame. People can’t seem to get enough of the story of the fire chaplain who, in the days after the fire, was talking about the the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist, which Catholics believes is the Real Presence of Christ. It seemed to me a miracle of God that during Holy Week — which would become Mueller Report Week by mid Wednesday — so many on both sides of the Atlantic were talking about “Our Lady” and were transfixed by a church.The questions remain not about whether or how France will rebuild, because money is clearly being raised, and I assume the pressure will be high to not mess with something so seemingly close to perfection. What I wonder — and pray about — is whether this shared experience that people had of watching the burning of Notre Dame will keep us from the false security and complacency that can be our lives.It is striking to me that at the churches in Rome you always run into someone looking for money. This happens in urban areas, especially in the U.S., but in Rome the churches, sad to say, are tourist attractions even more than they are places of worship these days. That person sitting outside is not a nuisance. It’s easier here, where we probably speak the same language, but you’d be surprised how far you can get with hand gestures and a little bad Italian and how many people know just a little English. We can build great cathedrals with the way we live our lives, by how we love. Next time you are in a church with even an inch of beauty — maybe it can be today — don’t miss the opportunity to remember that this could be your last chance to begin really to live by the measure of love, reaching, with virtue, high above the mud and muck and news frenzies. So many people seemed to have their selfies to show from Notre Dame, but what about the stories of conversion?The smoke and flames at Notre Dame, the scare at Saint Patrick’s, can light a fire under us. We won’t be here forever, and there’s much work to be done on the infrastructure of love in our lives, reaching out to anyone whose path we cross, with beauty that can be more than a vacation visit — with every word and glance of our lives.This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines