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Evidence for medical marijuana is largely up in smoke CHARLES C. CHANTE, MD

Despite the popularity of medical marijuana, robust evidence for its use is limited or nonexistent for most medical conditions......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarSep 8th, 2018

Ronaldo rape allegation moving on 2 legal tracks in Nevada

By Ken Ritter, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — A lawsuit filed by a Nevada woman who claims Cristiano Ronaldo raped her nine years ago and paid her $375,000 in hush money has set in motion a two-track legal process in Las Vegas. One involves the lawsuit, which will proceed to a jury trial in civil court only if a state judge sides with attorneys for plaintiff Kathryn Mayorga on key procedural and statutory questions. The other track involves a police investigation that was recently reopened at the request of Mayorga, a former model and schoolteacher who alleges that one of the world's most famous athletes attacked her in the bedroom of his penthouse at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. At the end of the investigation, police will decide whether to recommend that prosecutors file criminal charges against the 33-year-old soccer star from Portugal who plays for the Italian club Juventus and his national team. He has had lucrative contracts with other clubs including Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United and Real Madrid. The Associated Press does not generally name people who say they are victims of sex crimes. Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers to make her name public. THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION Mayorga's attorneys say she underwent a medical exam to collect DNA evidence soon after the alleged attack in June 2009. But the investigation was ended because Las Vegas police said she only identified her attacker as a European soccer player — not by name — and did not say where the incident took place. The case was reopened in recent weeks at Mayorga's request. Her lawyers say she provided Ronaldo's name to detectives who interviewed her in 2009 and identified the location as the Palms Hotel and Casino. Police will turn over the results of the investigation to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson to decide whether to file criminal charges. A jury of 12 people would have to reach a unanimous verdict of guilt for a conviction on a felony sexual assault charge that could bring a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in state prison, depending on whether the jury decides if Mayorga suffered substantial bodily injury. Police have refused to release documents about the case. Officer Aden OcampoGomez, a police department spokesman, said Tuesday he could not comment about an ongoing investigation. THE LAWSUIT Ronaldo's attorneys have not yet responded to the lawsuit filed by Mayorga on Sept. 27 in Clark County District Court. William Terry, a veteran Nevada criminal defense attorney not connected with the case, predicted that Ronaldo's legal team will ask the judge to dismiss the lawsuit before they reply to its claims. "There will be a ton of issues to decide long before the case gets to a jury," Terry said after reviewing the lawsuit and statements by attorneys at the request of The Associated Press. "I think the whole complaint is vulnerable to dismissal." Before the lawsuit could go to trial, Judge Adriana Escobar would have to decide if too much time has passed since the alleged attack; whether Ronaldo or Mayorga violated a 2010 non-disclosure agreement that requires Mayorga to keep quiet about an encounter that Ronaldo's lawyers say was consensual; and whether documents cited in European news stories about the case are authentic. Mayorga's attorneys want to void the non-disclosure pact. The lawsuit claims Ronaldo used "fixers" to pressure Mayorga to sign. It also accuses Ronaldo or people working for him of conspiracy, coercion and fraud, defamation, battery, breach of contract and negligence for allowing details of the confidential settlement to become public in European publications. If the lawsuit gets to trial, a jury of as many as eight people would be asked to reach a majority decision based on a preponderance of evidence or the probable truth or accuracy of the allegations. That is a less-stringent standard than a criminal case. If jurors find in favor of Mayorga, they would be asked to consider possible monetary damages. Mayorga is seeking an unspecified amount greater than $200,000. TIMING OF THE CLAIMS Leslie Mark Stovall, a lawyer for Mayorga, has acknowledged that plaintiffs in personal injury cases in Nevada usually have two years to file a civil lawsuit. However, he says a psychiatrist diagnosed Mayorga this year with post-traumatic stress and depression "caused by Cristiano Ronaldo's sexual assault in 2009." As a result, the attorney says, Mayorga was not emotionally or legally competent to enter the non-disclosure agreement nine years ago. "We believe that we have the factual basis to ask the court to set aside the agreement so that we can litigate her original damages," the attorney said. In the police case, veteran prosecutors, defense attorneys and law professor Eve Hanan at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, agreed that the state could bring criminal charges despite the passage of time because Mayorga filed a police report. "There is no statute of limitations if there is a valid police report," attorney Tom Pitaro said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2018

Looking for an edge: Teams trying to turn data into wins

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Data is pored over by coaches and staff of the Orlando Magic on a regular basis. They’ll dissect how far a player runs during practice, how quickly that player accelerates and decelerates, how his performance changes as the workout goes along, biometric measurements like his heartbeat or when his workload is particularly heavy. The charts and graphs are detailed and precise. But how it’ll help the Magic win, that’s still an unknown. Wearable technology — chips worn during practice to collect information that analysts churn into reports — has been around the NBA for the past several seasons. It’s not permitted on game nights, and anything specific about processes the 30 teams are using falls into the category of closely guarded secrets. And when it comes to coaches deciding what play to call in the final seconds with a game on the line, it doesn’t seem to have an impact quite yet. “It’s all very beneficial stuff,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “But I can only digest X amount of information. And it has to be the right amount of information.” That’s one of the challenges that NBA teams are facing in this information age. Everyone knows analytics can help in countless ways. But the question remains simple: How? “You’ve got to take it and use it as best you can,” said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry, who said he resisted using some data that he was presented several years ago when he coached in Phoenix — and wound up taking that Suns team to the Western Conference finals. “But at the end of the day, I think the instincts that you have as a coach become just as important, really.” There are some consistencies in what’s being collected. Regardless of what hardware a team is using, everything basically tracks the same things: distance of movement, speed of movement, acceleration and deceleration, workload and heart rate. Teams work on their own, largely without NBA oversight except for some rules laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s already been a boost in how teams monitor a player’s recovery from injury or surgery. But some also have wondered if the data collection is too invasive, or could be used against a player — something that isn’t supposed to happen under league rule. “It seems inherently geared to advantage the team,” University of Illinois law professor Michael LeRoy said in comments posted to his blog last year. “When it’s not linked to performance and not actually linked to injury, just correlation ... it’s hard to see where that data can be used to the advantage of a player.” The NBA has put together a list of what brands (like Catapult and STATSports) and types of products that teams can use, much in the same way it approves knee braces and other accessories. Teams aren’t mandated to share the data they’re collecting from the wearables with the league, although that may change once devices are permitted to be used during games. “Data collected through wearable devices has the potential to have a number of applications to improve player health — but it’s not a silver bullet,” said Dr. John DiFiori, the NBA’s medical director. “Information from wearables can add more detail on each player’s loading, which, together with a team’s overall toolkit, can help develop more individualized injury prevention programs, and assist teams in promoting safe return to play following an injury.” There could be benefits to standardizing the data, but that seems a long way off — especially since teams are still figuring out how to best go forward individually. The league and the NBA Players Association are working on finalizing a validation program will be in place to ensure that devices are measuring what the manufacturers say they’re measuring, and that they do so accurately. Atlanta rookie Kevin Huerter said in his short time as a pro, he’s learned a ton about his body that he didn’t even know because of what he’s gleaned off what his team has collected. “At this level, they worry and care so much more about your body,” Huerter said. “The technology monitors how tough practices are and how tough you’re pushing yourself. It’s a longer season, everybody knows that. So I think a lot of it is making sure guys stay healthy and listening when guys are hurting a little bit one day.” It might extend careers, help with injury management, maybe develop ways to avoid injuries. But whether this data will ever be sharpened to the point of helping a team figure out how to overcome a five-point deficit with 28.2 seconds remaining, that’s anyone’s guess. “Where the league is going, you’re looking for every edge,” Clifford said. “But as a coach, what you can’t do is you can’t stop watching the film. The data, talking to people, the numbers, all that, it’s all good information. But to have the clarity I think you need to make the right decisions, you better have watched enough film because that’s where you can see why, why, why it’s happening.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 14th, 2018

WADA report: Kenya doping serious, not institutionalized

By GERALD IMRAY,  AP Sports Writer Kenyan athletes are the target of nearly a quarter of out-of-competition doping tests in track and field, a statistic that underlines how much suspicion there is over the world's most successful distance-running nation. Figures were revealed Thursday by the head of the Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles anti-doping for the world track and field organization, the IAAF. Brett Clothier said Kenyans made up 22% of the AIU's out-of-competition testing program, and the country's athletes took up "at least the equivalent amount of time in our investigations and intelligence team." "Kenya is a great and justly proud athletics nation, but it now has a serious doping problem," Clothier said in comments accompanying the release of a report following a near two-year investigation in the East African nation by the AIU and the World Anti-Doping Agency's intelligence and investigations department. The joint report concluded there was "widespread doping" in Kenya but "the doping practices of Kenyan athletes are unsophisticated, opportunistic and uncoordinated and there is no evidence of an institutionalized system." It didn't need a two-year investigation to discover a problem, with a clear spike in cases involving athletes from the African country since around the time of the 2012 London Olympics. What the report did do, however, was dig deeper into some of the reasons behind the mess in Kenya. It appeared to separate Kenya's doping problems from that of Russia and that country's organized, state-sponsored scheme. Doping in Kenya "is different from other doping structures discovered elsewhere in the world and, as such, it requires a different approach," WADA director of intelligence and investigations Gunter Younger said. In Kenya, athletes are "insufficiently educated on doping and/or wilfully blind as to the consequences of doping," the report said. The investigation also stressed the need for better control over medical practitioners and "quasi-medical practitioners" who are "highly relevant" to the doping problem and often the source of banned substances. Overall, the report pointed to a weak and at times non-existent anti-doping effort in Kenya exacerbated by the unwillingness of athletes to help. WADA and AIU investigators said they reached out for information to 31 Kenyan athletes serving doping bans. Only seven attended interviews and none of them said they had used prohibited substances despite being found guilty at doping hearings. None of them provided any information that was helpful to the investigators. There were other findings in the report: — A total of 131 Kenyan athletes failed doping tests between 2004 and this year. Track and field was by far the worst sport in the country for failed tests. In the same period, all other sports in Kenya produced seven failed tests. — The anabolic steroid Nandrolone was the most prevalent banned substance for Kenyan athletes. The corticosteroids group, anti-inflammatories that can improve athletic performance, were the next most used. The blood-booster EPO was third most prevalent. — The AIU's focus on out-of-competition doping tests on Kenyans was prompted after only 13% of their athletes caught for doping were caught through out-of-competition tests. — Two elite Kenyan athletes, Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong and Rita Jeptoo, provided falsified medical records in an attempt to avoid doping bans. Sumgong made up a story about having to attend hospital for an emergency blood transfusion to explain testing positive for EPO. Jeptoo, the leading marathon runner in the world when she was caught in 2014, claimed she was given EPO by a doctor to treat malaria and typhoid. Both athletes were found to be lying and banned for four years......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2018

Drew Brees TD run in OT lifts Saints past Falcons 43-37

By Charles Odum, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — On the day he became the NFL's career leader in completed passes, Drew Brees' biggest plays came as a runner. Brees' 1-yard run capped an 80-yard touchdown drive to open overtime that lifted the New Orleans Saints to a 43-37 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. That came after his 7-yard score late in the fourth quarter forced the overtime. After the Saints won the coin toss, Brees and the Saints held the ball for more than seven minutes. Brees jumped over the pile on a quarterback keeper after his apparent 3-yard TD pass to Alvin Kamara was overturned. A review determined Kamara's knee was down before he crossed the goal line. Brees scored on the following play, giving the Saints (2-1) the win. "This was a wild one," said Brees, who passed for 396 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores. Kamara had 15 catches for 124 yards and ran for 66 yards. Brees' biggest play before the winner might have been his improbable 7-yard scoring run with 1:15 remaining that forced overtime. He ran to his left and then spun to avoid tackle attempts by Brian Poole and Robert Alford. "At some point, I felt they were coming to take my head off and I could probably spin out of it," Brees said, adding he now has film evidence to show the youth flag football team he coaches that "spin moves work. Spin moves are good." With his 14th completed pass, the 39-year-old Brees broke the record of 6,300 career completions set by Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Brees set the mark with a 17-yard pass to Michael Thomas in the second quarter. "I'm just very grateful," Brees said. "I hope there's a lot more coming. I just think about all the people who have had a hand in that. A lot of hands have caught a lot of passes. ... They are all a part of this." Atlanta's Matt Ryan had his first career game with five scoring passes. Calvin Ridley became the first Atlanta rookie with three scoring catches. That wasn't enough for the Falcons (1-2) against Brees and the high-scoring Saints, who gained 534 yards. Ryan bemoaned a lost opportunity when the Falcons were forced to punt when stopped at the Atlanta 44 with 25 seconds remaining in overtime. "We had chances to finish the game today and we didn't do that," Ryan said. "That's disappointing." Saints coach Sean Payton called the defensive stop "a huge part of the win." Ryan passed for 374 yards, including 146 to Ridley, who had seven receptions, including a 75-yard TD. Ridley's third scoring catch against the Saints was a 9-yarder early in the third quarter that held up following a review. Ryan's five touchdown passes tied the team record set by Wade Wilson on Dec. 13, 1992, at Tampa Bay. The fifth scoring pass to Mohamed Sanu came after Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata was called for unnecessary roughness on Matt Bryant's 29-yard field goal. With the penalty, the Falcons' offense came back on the field. Ridley beat P.J. Williams on his first two scoring catches, an 18-yarder in the first quarter and the 75-yarder in the second quarter. The Saints made a defensive switch, moving Ken Crawley into coverage on Ridley. Crawley was called for pass interference on a deep incompletion to Ridley early in the third quarter that gave Atlanta a first down at the New Orleans 5. On second down from the 9, Ridley's third scoring catch gave the Falcons a 21-16 lead. Brees completed his first four passes, including a 19-yard scoring pass to Ted Ginn Jr. on the Saints' opening drive. INJURY REPORT Saints reserve cornerback Patrick Robinson was carted from the field early in the third quarter with a left ankle injury. He did not return. Falcons safety Ricardo Allen left early in overtime with a left calf injury. He was helped to the sideline and then driven on a cart to the locker room. ... Reserve cornerback Justin Bethel injured a knee in the third quarter. ... Atlanta rookie linebacker Foyesade Oluokun left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. THOMAS THRIVING Thomas had 10 catches for 129 yards. His 38 catches are the most by an NFL player in his team's first three games to start a season. His 28 catches through two games also were a record. PASSING MONTANA Ryan's 75-yard scoring pass to Ridley was his 34th career TD pass against the Saints, the most by any quarterback. He surpassed Joe Montana's 33 TD passes against New Orleans. Ryan added three more, leaving his total at 37. DROPS FOR GINN Ginn dropped a sideline pass on a second-quarter drive that ended with a 49-yard field goal by Will Lutz bouncing off the left upright and over the cross bar. Later in the quarter, Ginn juggled a pass for an incompletion as he ran out of bounds on the Atlanta sideline. He finished with three catches for 12 yards. UP NEXT Saints: At New York Giants next Sunday. Falcons: Play their third straight home game against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

P4.2M pot taken off MM streets

The marijuana came from the provinces of Kalinga and Apayao Going old-school by selling marijuana instead of shabu, known otherwise as poor man’s cocaine, six suspects arrested in Quezon City yesterday can now sing that Scorpions rock classic “When the smoke is going down.” Seized from the suspects by element of the Quezon City Police […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018

Ohio St suspends Meyer for 3 games for mishandled abuse case

By Mitch Stacy, Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State on Wednesday night suspended head football coach Urban Meyer three games for mishandling domestic violence accusations, punishing one of the sport's most prominent leaders for keeping an assistant on staff for several years after the coach's wife accused him of abuse. The move followed a two-week investigation into how Meyer reacted to accusations that former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith abused his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. Zach Smith was fired last month after she asked a judge for a protective order. Courtney Smith alleged her husband shoved her against a wall and put his hands around her neck in 2015. The university put Meyer on paid leave and began an investigation after Courtney Smith spoke out publicly, sharing text messages and photos she traded in 2015 with Meyer's wife, Shelley Meyer. Shelley Meyer is a registered nurse and instructor at Ohio State. Trustees discussed the decision to punish Meyer in a marathon meeting Wednesday while Meyer awaited the decision. The investigation prompted a tweet from Meyer in which he insisted he followed proper protocols after learning of the 2015 accusations. But he also acknowledged lying to reporters a week earlier when he said he hadn't heard of the incident until shortly before he fired Zach Smith. The probe directly centered on the question of what Meyer knew and when. Meyer said in his tweet that he always elevated issues through the proper channels, and did so with the Smith situation in 2015. That contradicted what he told reporters at Big Ten media day a week earlier: "I was never told about anything and nothing ever came to light. I've never had a conversation about it. I know nothing about it." Speaking after the investigation was announced, Zach Smith said he spoke with Meyer at the time and athletic director Gene Smith also knew about the allegations. Zach Smith said Meyer told him he would be fired if the head coach found out Smith had hit his wife. Zach Smith — the grandson of late Ohio State coach and Meyer mentor Earle Bruce — has never been criminally charged or convicted of abuse. He has a charge of criminal trespass pending, and the Smiths are due in court next month for a hearing on a restraining order Courtney Smith was granted July 20. Meyer was heading into his seventh season at Ohio State, where he is 73-8 with a national title in 2014 and two Big Ten Conference championships. Ohio State's Title IX sexual misconduct policy includes reporting allegations of domestic violence made against university employees. Violating that policy allows Meyer to be fired with cause, according to provisions placed in his contract when it was extended in April by two years. The deal through 2022, increasing Meyer's salary to $7.6 million in 2018, with annual 6 percent raises. Meyer had about $38 million left on his contract. Ohio State's season starts Sept. 1 with a game against Oregon State in Columbus. In 2009, Zach Smith was accused of aggravated battery on his pregnant wife while he was working a graduate assistant for Meyer at Florida. The charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence. The Smiths separated in June 2015 and divorced in 2016. Meyer is one of the most accomplished coaches in college football history, with three national championships and a 177-31 record in 16 seasons at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, the team he grew up rooting for in Northeast Ohio. Meyer won national championships with Florida in 2006 and '08, but his teams also had more than two dozen players get into trouble with the law. He resigned twice at Florida, citing health reasons, first in the 2009 season after the Gators lost the Southeastern Conference championship game while trying to repeat as national champs. He changed his mind soon after and coached another season. The Gators went 8-5 in 2010, and afterward, Meyer stepped down for good. Meyer was out of coaching for a season but was hired by Ohio State in November 2011. The Buckeyes had fired Jim Tressel, another national championship-winning coach, before that season for lying to the NCAA and university about rules violation committed by some of his players. Since returning to coaching, Meyer's program has been one of the most dominant in college football, and his players have mostly stayed out of major trouble. Meyer faced some criticism in 2013 for allowing running back Carlos Hyde to return to the team after he was charged with striking a woman in a bar. The case was dropped by police when the woman chose not to pursue charges, but Hyde was suspended three games. The Meyer investigation cost $500,000 and was conducted by the national law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. Ohio State began investigating Meyer while also facing three federal lawsuits about its response to allegations of groping, leering and other misconduct by a deceased athletic department doctor who treated wrestlers and other students for two decades. The lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss say Ohio State facilitated the abuse by ignoring complaints. Since Ohio State announced an independent investigation in April, more than 100 former students have come forward with accounts of sexual misconduct by Strauss. The allegations range from 1979 to 1997 and involve male athletes from 14 sports, as well as his work at the student health center and his off-campus medical office......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2018

Nassar, trainer charged with sex assault; Karolyis cleared

By David Warren, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Texas prosecutors on Friday filed sexual assault charges against Larry Nassar and a trainer who worked at his side, expanding the worst abuse scandal in U.S. sports history beyond Michigan while also clearing world-renowned gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi whose ranch served as a training site for Olympians. Nassar, a former sports doctor, was charged with sexually assaulting six minors in Walker County, home of the Karolyi ranch, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Houston. A grand jury also indicted former sports medicine trainer Debra Van Horn on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child, making her the first person other than Nassar to be charged in direct connection with the assaults. She had worked at Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics for 30 years. Walker County District Attorney David Weeks said Van Horn was charged as "acting as a party" with Nassar. He didn't elaborate. Efforts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful, and the name of her lawyer wasn't immediately known. In Michigan, Nassar was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison, after hundreds of women and girls accused him of molesting them with his hands under the guise of medical treatment. They said the abuse went as far back as the 1990s while he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. A victim, Mattie Larson, told a judge in January that Van Horn "would be in the room many of the times Larry abused me. If a trainer, a professional trainer, doesn't say anything about it, I should trust her. At least that's what I thought." The Karolyis have denied wrongdoing . They couldn't be reached for comment Friday; a call to the number listed for Bela Karolyi wasn't answered. "The Karolyis were and remain fully cooperative with this investigation. There is no corroborated evidence of any criminal conduct" by the couple, said Stephanie Stroud, a Walker County prosecutor. Stroud said investigators tried to determine if anyone at the ranch knew about Nassar's conduct and didn't report it. But the two-year statute of limitations had already lapsed on any possible misdemeanor charges of failure to report. "That in no way means there was no wrongdoing at the ranch or within the ranks of USAG," Stroud said, referring to USA Gymnastics. "It is our belief that there was a total failure by USAG to protect the athletes that were part of their program and to take appropriate action once they were made aware of Dr. Nassar's actions." In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it is cooperating with Texas investigators and is committed "to doing everything possible to prevent this from happening again." Nassar, 54, probably won't be free again due to his long prison sentences for assault and child pornography crimes. But Weeks, the district attorney, said he still wants to bring him to Texas to face the charges. "There are a number of hoops we have to jump through to get him here," Weeks told reporters. The Karolyis are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, seeking more than $1 million for the canceled sale of their training center near Huntsville — a transaction that tanked in the wake of the Nassar scandal. Several former gymnasts have also filed lawsuits. One of them, Sabrina Vega, filed a lawsuit in May alleging USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Karolyis failed to protect her and other athletes. Vega, who was on the team that won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships, alleges the organizations and the Karolyis ignored signs about Nassar's behavior or should have known he posed a risk. She said Nassar molested her hundreds of times during medical treatments from 2008, when she was 12 years old, until 2012. Vega said the abuse occurred during competitions and at the Karolyi ranch. Congress passed a bill in January that makes members of amateur sports organizations, including those that run Olympic sports, mandatory reporters of sexual abuse. It also requires the organizations to implement standard protections for athletes. ___ Associated Press reporters Ed White and Corey Williams in Detroit, Terry Wallace in Dallas and researcher Monika Mathur in New York contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

Mother of sick boy seeks legalization of medical marijuana

LONDON --- The mother of an epileptic boy at the center of a debate over medical marijuana in the UK is calling for an urgent meeting with ministers to discuss liberalizing British policy. Charlotte Caldwell said Sunday she also wants assurances from the government that her 12-year-old son Billy will be able to keep receiving cannabis oil once a 20-day emergency supply approved by the government runs out. Caldwell wants to make sure there isn't "another battle" over the medicine that she believes has warded off potentially life-threatening seizures for her son. Billy remains hospitalized in London for severe seizures after border agents at Heathrow Airport confiscated the ca...Keep on reading: Mother of sick boy seeks legalization of medical marijuana.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 17th, 2018

Israel in uproar over Argentina pre-World Cup friendly snub

By Aron Heller, Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — The sports-crazed nation of Israel was in uproar Wednesday over Argentina's abrupt cancellation of a World Cup warmup match following pro-Palestinian protests, with some of the country's leaders accusing Lionel Messi and his teammates of caving to terrorism. Israel was eagerly awaiting the sold-out international friendly scheduled for Saturday night at Jerusalem's Teddy Kollek Stadium and the arrival of some of the world's best players. Argentina is one of the most popular national teams among Israelis and fans had been scrambling to get a chance to see Messi in person. But after a fierce Palestinian campaign, which included images of Argentina's white and sky-blue striped jersey stained with red paint resembling blood and threats to burn Messi posters, Argentina's football federation announced it was skipping the event. Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, apologized for cancelling the match but said the safety of the players was at stake. "What has happened in the last 72 hours, the actions, the threats that have occurred have led us to take the decision not to travel," he said during a news conference in Barcelona, where the Argentine team is training prior to the start of the World Cup next week. "(We) apologize to the Israeli community. It's nothing against the Israeli community, the Jewish community and I would like everyone to take this decision as a contribution to world peace," he said. "In the end, they've done the right thing, and this is behind us," Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN. "Health and common sense come first. We felt that it wasn't right to go." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri and urged him to intervene, to no avail. Later Wednesday, Israel's Sports Ministry said a "negotiation" about the match was underway, perhaps in hopes of salvaging it, but gave no further details. "It's unfortunate the soccer knights of Argentina did not withstand the pressure of the Israeli-hating inciters, whose only goal is to harm our basic right to self-defense and bring about the destruction of Israel," said Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "We will not yield before a pack of anti-Semitic terrorist supporters." The head of the Palestinian football association, Jibril Rajoub, had called on Arab soccer fans to burn Messi posters and T-shirts if he participated. He has long tried to get soccer's world governing body, FIFA, and the International Olympic Committee to impose sanctions against Israel. Rajoub believes Israel should be punished for restricting movement of Palestinian players, and for forming teams in West Bank settlements. Rajoub had also objected to holding the match in Jerusalem, whose eastern sector the Palestinians claim as their capital. Although the Kollek stadium is in west Jerusalem, it is located in a neighborhood built where a Palestinian village once stood before it was destroyed in the war surrounding Israel's independence in 1948. Following the move, he held a press conference in Ramallah featuring a picture of him with Messi and a sign reading: "From Palestine, thank you Messi." Rajoub had accused Israel of playing politics with the game, by moving it from its original location in Haifa to Jerusalem, and by trying to link it to celebrations surrounding Israel's 70th anniversary. He called it a victory for "ethics and values" of sports. "They tried to use sport as a tool for political ends, and for this I think, they failed," Rajoub said. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said it was a sad morning for Israeli sports fans, including his own grandchildren. "But there are values that are greater than even Messi. The politicization of the Argentinean move worries me greatly," he said. Opposition figures, however, accused Israel's headline-seeking sports minister Miri Regev of bringing on the politicization of the sporting event by insisting on moving the game from Haifa to contested Jerusalem and by trying to orchestrate a politicized photo-op with Messi. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. Israel considers the entire city to be its capital, while the Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Regev rejected the backlash at a press conference Wednesday evening saying "there is no bigger lie" than claims her decision to hold the match in Jerusalem aided in its cancellation. She said the Argentinians had not objected and that Messi himself had wanted to visit sacred Christian and Jewish sites in the holy city. Regev said the match was canceled following "threats by terror elements sent to Messi and his family and to other players." Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the snub a "spectacular own goal" by Regev that delivered victory to boycotters of the Jewish State. Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay called for a police investigation into Regev's "corrupt conduct." "We just absorbed a shot in the face. This is not just sports," he tweeted. "This, unfortunately, could start an international tsunami." Regev claimed that "terrorist" groups had made threats against Argentina's players and their families, sending them images of dead children, though she gave no further evidence. She accused members of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, of backing the boycott advocates. "Unfortunately, we have Trojan Horses in the Knesset who give headwind to terrorism," she said. The Palestinian militant Islamic group Hamas praised Argentina for canceling the game. Spokesman Husam Badran said Hamas "applauds" the move and reiterated its position that rejects "all forms of normalization" with the Jewish state. A senior official at the Argentine Football Federation said the national team decided to call off the match with Israel after receiving threats from Hamas. The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns, did not provide evidence or details of the alleged threats. A Hamas official mocked reports that the group had threatened the players, calling them unrealistic, and saying they don't deserve a comment. The Hamas official was not authorized to comment in the issue and also spoke on condition of anonymity. Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction and has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since it took over the territory in 2007. Israel and the United States consider it a terror organization for its bombings, shooting and rocket attacks targeting civilians. Israel has largely fended off the boycott campaign with only a small number of artists and organizations shunning the country. Argentina's snubbing would appear to be the boycott movement's greatest achievement thus far. The grassroots movement advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a way to promote Palestinian rights through nonviolent means. Israel says the campaign goes beyond Israeli occupation of lands claimed by the Palestinians and masks a deeper aim of delegitimizing or even destroying the country. It has formed a government ministry whose primary mission is to combat the boycott movement. The Argentinean move, which featured on the front pages of all the major Israeli dailies, raised fears that it could serve as a template for future boycotts of Jerusalem, most notably next year's scheduled hosting of the popular Eurovision song contest. The Palestinians celebrated the cancellation as a major triumph. Israeli organizers said an offer had been floated to have the game played in Barcelona instead, but it was highly unlikely. "I think sports should never be involved with politics," said Shahaf Ashraga, a fan in Jerusalem. "It just makes me sad to think that the game has to be canceled because of the Palestinian pressure." Argentina opens its Group D campaign in Russia against Iceland on June 16. It then plays Croatia on June 21 and Nigeria on June 26. It is unclear whether Argentina will play another warmup, or if it will arrive in Moscow ahead of schedule. ___ Associated Press writers Debora Rey and Victor Caivano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Neymar makes spectacular return as Brazil beats Croatia 2-0

By Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Only three months ago, Brazil striker Neymar was on an operating table and in danger of missing the World Cup in Russia. Those fears largely disappeared Sunday when Neymar returned to action with smart dribbling, fluent passing and an impressive individual goal, which he celebrated with his surgeon. Playing for the first time since February, Neymar scored the opener in Brazil's 2-0 friendly win against Croatia in Liverpool after coming on for the second half. He then ran to hug Brazilian soccer confederation doctor Rodrigo Lasmar on the sidelines at Anfield. "I am so happy to play football again. I have waited and worked a lot for this. I suffered, these were very tough three months," Neymar said. "When I saw the ball hit the net I only thought of those that helped me, Dr. Lasmar, my family, friends." Neymar, who also withstood a few challenges in the game, received the ball from midfielder Philippe Coutinho in the 68th and dribbled past Croatia defenders Sime Vrsaljko and Duje Caleta-Car. He smashed the ball into the net from around five meters (yards) with his right foot. The Brazilian injured the same foot playing for Paris Saint-Germain and underwent surgery in Brazil in early March. He did not warm up with the Brazilian team on Sunday, which had again raised concerns among supporters. Neymar said he was 80 percent at his best for the Croatia game. Brazil coach Tite said Neymar's return was "above the expected standard." "Neymar is only human, but he came back above my expectations too," Tite said. "I was expecting much less." Neymar had replaced midfielder Fernandinho at halftime with the score at 0-0. He quickly made his mark and raised the hopes of Brazilian fans for the World Cup, which starts June 14. Tite wasn't getting carried away, though. "Neymar is going to have ups and downs like he had in training until the third, fourth game (on his return). Then he will have his normal standard," Tite said. Croatia captain Luka Modric was among many impressed with Neymar. "It is beautiful to watch him play again, he is special, one of the best in the world," Modric said. Brazil "improved in the second half after Neymar made the difference." Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scored Brazil's second goal in the 90th. After Casemiro put the ball in the penalty box, Firmino controlled with his chest and sent the ball over Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to step up his challenge for a starting position in the team. Brazil captain and No. 9 Gabriel Jesus was replaced by Firmino after an hour. "I am here to help Brazil. I respect Tite's opinion (in starting with Jesus) 100 percent," Firmino said. The striker also thanked local fans for their support, saying "it is good to play at home." The same Liverpool supporters who cheered Firmino went out of their way to jeer Coutinho, who left the Reds for Barcelona earlier this year. Until Neymar stepped onto the pitch it was Croatia which had the best opportunities in a match that seemed headed for a dull draw. Defender Dejan Lovren had the best chance to open with a header that grazed Brazil goalkeeper Alisson's right post after a corner. When Fernandinho went off, Coutinho played a greater role and Brazil's game improved. The five-time World Cup champions play their last pre-World Cup friendly against Austria on June 10. Monday will be a rest day for the team and Brazilian media claimed midfielder Fred will be traveling to Manchester for medical tests before signing a deal with Manchester United. Tite did not confirm the move but said: "Our orientation is for them (players) to solve (transfers) as quickly as possible so they keep their head and effort focused on Brazil. If I were the manager there, I would try to sign him too." Brazil's World Cup opener is on June 17 against Switzerland......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Thompson, Warriors force inevitable Game 7

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. -- The final game of the Western Conference season will tip on the last Monday in May (Tuesday, PHL time) at the Toyota Center in Houston, as it should. This is the route the GPS mapped out back in October and never had any reason to recalculate from since. Warriors at Rockets in a winner-take-all. Never in doubt, no? A pair of championship-quality teams will go 48 minutes and the previous six games in this series tells us to expect a tense jump ball-to-buzzer affair. With or without Chris Paul. Paul’s inflamed right hamstring is a significant flaw, no question, yet the Rockets do have home-court advantage and will hear a crazed crowd trying to fill the void with noise if as expected Paul misses a second straight game. The Rockets didn’t have their point guard and spiritual leader Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) and still sent an early chill through the defending champions on enemy soil, going up 17 after the first quarter and 10 at halftime. Oracle Arena and the Warriors were confused. Then Game 6 flipped suddenly and drastically in the second half, as the Warriors rolled to a 115-86 victory. and here we are. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni: “We got what we want, a seventh game on our home court, now it’s up to us to go get it.” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said: “I feel like we’re the best team in the world.” The Rockets constructed this team specifically to challenge and beat the Warriors. Meanwhile, the Warriors paced themselves through the regular season partly to conserve their attention and energy for Houston, which has Golden State’s attention like no team before in the West playoffs. Both are causing each other irritating problems. The Rockets’ defense with its switching and hand-in-the-face pressure is forcing Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry to work hard for their shots. The Warriors’ ability to thrive even if not all four of their All-Stars are clicking is testing Houston’s limits; such was the case in Game 6 when Thompson, the No. 3 Guy, broke loose for 35 points with nine threes. That’s what makes the Warriors tough to erase: They don’t need to be perfect, and good for them, because they haven’t been in this series, with the exception of their 41-point victory in Game 3. About Thompson: He was locked in, emotionally and physically, popping off screens, catching and shooting, creating space to get good looks and punching the air after big three's. The energy and the shots saved the Warriors from a lackluster and potentially deadly start. Thompson stayed in rhythm most of the night while Curry (29 points) and Durant (23) went through off-and-on cold stretches and afterward joked how he was “born” for this. “Man, that felt good, to be honest,” Thompson said. “I just wanted to play with as much passion as I could. I probably sounded more vocal than I am.” There was a natural link to the last time Thompson was this splashy in a Game 6 elimination game, two summers ago when he dropped 41 on Oklahoma City to trigger a comeback from 3-1 down. Durant was on the wrong side of that performance. “Please don’t go there,” begged Durant, bowing his head. “Next question.” Mindful of what happened right after that series -- the Warriors would blow a 3-1 lead of their own to Cleveland -- Curry said: “I think we both blocked that whole year out of our memory.” Actually, that volcanic performance by Thompson helped convince Durant to leave Oklahoma City, which led to last year’s championship and helped build a solid case for the Warriors to repeat next month. Thompson’s latest piece of work helped awaken the Warriors from being trapped in an extended state of stun, courtesy of how fierce the Rockets came at them right from the start. The Houston lead grew to double digits within minutes and stayed that way through the break. This was further evidence that the Rockets, in this game and actually for the series so far, refuse to concede anything and believe this West title is realistic even with Paul’s status uncertain. “I saw a lot of things that I liked,” said D’Antoni, “and I think we’re in a good position.” Eric Gordon, a strong candidate to win the Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, started in place of Paul and was a concern for the Warriors, drilling deep shots and scoring 19 points. Also, Harden rediscovered his own touch from that distance; he’d missed 22 straight threes in this series but made four and scored 32 points. Houston missed Paul’s composure and steady point guard hand, which could be expected. The Rockets had 22 turnovers, with the Harden-Gordon backcourt combining for 14. The other issue for the Rockets was depth. With Gordon in the starting lineup, D’Antoni was forced to give minutes to Luc Mbah a Moute, still struggling after hurting his shoulder just prior to the playoffs. He wasn’t a factor and neither was the bench. Assuming Paul sits another game, the Rockets will undoubtedly need major scoring and playmaking from Harden, solid shotgun work from Gordon and at least two members of the support group -- Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela -- to break loose in order to make Game 7 interesting. Remember, the Rockets have now gone four straight games without breaking 100 points, and Harden appeared beaten in the fourth quarter Saturday where he went scoreless. The Warriors are also dealing with a missing part, with Andre Iguodala’s inactive streak now at three. They’re crossing fingers whenever Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and/or Nick Young are pressed to play more than 15 minutes. None of them have distinguished themselves since Iguodala suffered a bone bruise on his left knee in Game 3. So that’s the tale of the tape. Between now and tipoff, the Rockets’ therapy staff will work on Paul’s hamstring, hoping for some intervention from the Medical Gods. In the perfect basketball world, Paul and Iguodala would be fit to play; why should the finish of this series be deprived of them, of less than what it should be? Last fall, before training camp, Paul, Harden and Tucker vacationed in the Bahamas for one last moment of chill before preparations for a season of big expectations. Obviously, they talked shop. They set goals and their sights on the Warriors. Tucker asked Paul and Harden: Imagine if we get them on our court for a Game 7. They all nodded and agreed it would be a logical scenario to launch themselves into the NBA Finals. “Obviously we hope to have our starting point guard back,” Tucker said. “If not, we need to be ready.” The Warriors held no such pre-camp huddle -- champions have what others want -- yet knew that once the Rockets added Paul, Houston would be their toughest test since Durant signed up. Warriors vs. Rockets in a single-game elimination is the proper stage, then, to determine who reps the West in the NBA Finals. D’Antoni said: “It should be a great game.” Curry: “It should be fun. This is what you play for, to be in a situation where you’re one win away from going to The Finals. You’ve got to want it.” Truthfully, neither team would rather be in a winner-take-all. Sweeping would be vastly preferred. But the other part about what Curry said is definitely true: Who wants it? Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 27th, 2018

PBA: After unimpressive start, is Gillenwater in trouble?

Troy Gillenwater might be in trouble. After two largely unimpressive games with San Miguel, the second one ending with a first-half ejection, Gillenwater is officially on the hot seat as the Beermen are starting to weigh their options for import in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. Gillenwater is averaging 15 points in two games so far but Sunday against Rain or Shine, he was ejected in the first half for initiating contact on a game official. To make matters worse not only for him but for San Miguel in general, the Beermen have lost both games. "Import namin, we'll have to think about it," head coach Leo Austria said. "We have to evaluate. Kahit sinong player, kahit anong team naman, we have to evaluate kung helpful o hindi," he added. Initial evaluation on Gillenwater is not good though. The eye test and the stats prove it. While the Beermen can afford not to get a world destroyer as an import, they can certainly appreciate if Gillenwater can at least match up to the opposition. "Compared to the other imports, we're not impressed. Pero yung first quarter niya, very impressive. First quarter lang," Austria said. "He should last at least 40 minutes per game but nakikita natin, he's so frustrated. What they experience right now is a different ball game. Ina-underestimate yata nila ang PBA eh. We are in a different level. The only lacking in Filipino basketball is the height, but the skills in terms of talent, technical know-how, were at par sa big leagues. Thats why nasu-surprise sila. Yung physicality na sometimes nirereklamo nila, but we have to live up to the kind of basketball kasi dito tayo masaya eh," he added. With Gillenwater underperforming, the clamor to get a replacement has grown exponentially particularly from the team's most loyal supporters. Obviously, San Miguel has options, particularly Charles Rhodes and Renaldo Balkman. Rhodes led the team to the championship last season and Balkman was San Miguel's previously controversial import that has been recently allowed back to the PBA after receiving a lifetime ban. Of the two, Balkman is readily available right now after wrapping up his championship season with San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas in the ABL. But the San Miguel team of the PBA would rather not make a decision right now. "Right now, we don't have any decision, especially in this kind of situation," Austria said. "It should be a collective decision, that's why we came out late and pinagu-usapan namin, not only the import but everything, what went wrong sa game namin," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

Bucks hold serve again, force Game 7

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE -- The sports’ rallying cry of “Not in our house!” held special significance for the Milwaukee Bucks and their fans in Game 6 against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. It wasn’t just a matter of fending off a series-clinching by the visiting Celtics, who led 3-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series when the night began. It was more complicated and emotional than that, considering the 30-year-old arena is about to be shuttered and eventually demolished as the Bucks move into a massive, state-of-the-art, still-to-be-dubbed facility for the start of the 2018-19 NBA season. So Milwaukee did all the right things in beating Boston 97-86 and forcing Game 7 on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), and still might never get another chance to defend this particular court in this particular building. If the series finale goes to the Celtics at TD Garden, the Bucks essentially will be homeless until the hard hats come off, the ribbons get cut and the Taj Mahoops immediately to the north opens for business. If, on the other hand, Milwaukee somehow manages to replicate in Boston the performances it has given at the Bradley Center -- so far, the home team has won all six games in the series -- the gray and largely non-descript joint at 4th and State St. will stay relevant at least for a couple more weeks. For accuracy’s sake, then, the battle cry ought to be more along the lines of “Keep home alive!” Just how can Milwaukee, the East’s No. 8 seed, go about that? By getting the individual excellence again of Giannis Antetokounmpo and by flexing the same sort of tenacious yet controlled defense that stymied so many Celtics shooters. Antetokounmpo, the 23-year-old All Star who’s as elite as he is elongated, had scolded himself after Tuesday’s (Wednesday, PHL time) Game 5 loss in Boston for not being assertive enough. Specifically, that meant not seeking out and taking more than 10 shots in more than 41 minutes. He scored only 16 points, nearly 11 below his season average and not hardly enough in a loss decided by five. This time, playing nearly identical minutes, Antetokounmpo took 23 shots, made 13 of them and scored 31 points, with 15 rebounds and four assists. The “Greek Freak” first made good on a pledge to himself to get “his” shots -- ones he felt more comfortable launching -- and then fulfilled the implicit promise he’s made with his teammates and Bucks fans to muster all his skills as effectively as possible. “I don’t think he forced anything,” coach Joe Prunty said. “He knows the spots he needs to get to, but we also need to get him space around those spots.” And while it might seem like a media obsession and lazy playoff marketing to drop all sorts of imperatives in a star player’s lap – can LeBron or The Beard or Giannis come through? -- there is plenty of history and evidence supporting the view that the best players must play their best at this point both in the season and in a series. “In the last game,” Prunty said, “he was one assist shy of a triple-double ... and everyone was saying that he wasn’t aggressive.” Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his points after halftime, 12 in the final quarter. That included a putback in which he reached high to claim teammate Malcolm Brogdon’s missed layup, then dropped the ball through for an 89-81 lead with 3:08 to go, cooling the last of the Celtics’ scrambles on the scoreboard. “He knows what he wants -- it’s humbling to see,” the Bucks’ Thon Maker said. “We know we can trust him. We know we can always go back to him. And now we know where his spots are, where he’s going to shoot it, so we can always get him the ball there.” The other side of Milwaukee’s survival effort Thursday was its strong work choking off the inside on Boston. As currently constituted -- that is, without Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward -- the Celtics are perimeter-challenged, so that’s where the Bucks defenders pushed them. In the two previous games at Bradley Center, Milwaukee had 12 and 14 blocked shots. By Thursday (Friday, PHL time), the Celtics had gotten the message and shifted more to the outside – which didn’t go well, evidenced by their 10-of-36 three-point shooting. They’ve gone 62-for-177 (35 percent) from beyond the arc in the series and 28-for-89 (31.5 percent) in the three games they’ve lost. The Bucks have played more aggressively in their three homes games, and harder overall than they have in Boston. It has had its impact on the Celtics’ offensive tendencies. “Any time we got stagnant, we weren’t very good,” coach Brad Stevens said. “Clearly [the Bucks’] speed, length and athleticism affected us. “They’re all coming into the paint,” Stevens added. “So you’ve got to take the next best shot. We’d like to take layups but they are converging. ... Those guys have put us in those positions. I don’t want to act like we can control everything. They did stuff to us that was very, very effective.   “This has been the same story for the most part here all three games. They just physically dominated us.” In Boston? Nah, not so much. So the challenge for the Bucks -- who already have been whistled for 33 more fouls than the Celtics in the series, while making 32 fewer free throws -- is to do all the good stuff again, but this time on the road. It is, after all, the only way Milwaukee actually can keep home alive. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2018

Mower, tooth in a box, Vishnu doll in New Jersey beach trash

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) --- The bizarre trash items plucked from New Jersey's beaches last year might be enough to cause nausea or heartburn. But don't worry, a bottle of Pepto-Bismol was among the items collected. Also plucked from the sands of the state's beaches were a lawn mower, a saw blade, an empty medical marijuana container, a strobe light, a bird cage and two fire extinguishers. Other items included a plastic statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, a cheese grater, and a human tooth in a box. Aside from the bizarre items, Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action said Thursday most of the trash consisted of plastics, which can kill fish and animals that swallow it. "An e...Keep on reading: Mower, tooth in a box, Vishnu doll in New Jersey beach trash.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 13th, 2018

Using marijuana could lead non-smokers to cigarettes, suggests new study

New research in the United States suggests that non-smokers who use marijuana could be at a higher risk of switching to tobacco cigarettes, and those who already smoke may find it harder to quit. Carried out by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York, the large-scale study looked at responses from 34,639 individuals who were surveyed on their cannabis use and smoking status. The researchers found that non-smokers who used cannabis were more likely to start smoking, while those who already smoked tobacco were more likely to continue. Former smokers who use cannabis also had a higher chance of picking up the habit a...Keep on reading: Using marijuana could lead non-smokers to cigarettes, suggests new study.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

San Francisco embraces Amsterdam-style marijuana lounges

  SAN FRANCISCO --- The smoke was thick and business brisk at the Barbary Coast Dispensary's marijuana smoking lounge, a darkened room that resembles a steakhouse or upscale sports tavern with its red leather seats, deep booths with high dividers, and hardwood floors.   "There's nothing like this in Jersey," said grinning Atlantic City resident Rick Thompson, getting high with his cousins in San Francisco.   In fact, there's nothing like the Barbary Coast lounge almost anywhere in the United States, a conundrum confronting many marijuana enthusiasts who find it increasingly easy to buy pot but harder to find legal places to smoke it.   Only Ca...Keep on reading: San Francisco embraces Amsterdam-style marijuana lounges.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 15th, 2018

Real Madrid beats PSG 2-1 to reach Champions League quarters

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain's dream of joining Europe's elite with a Champions League trophy will have to wait another season, as Real Madrid delivered a brutal reality check by cruising through to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 win on Tuesday night. Cristiano Ronaldo's powerful header — his 12th goal of the competition — and a deflected effort from midfielder Casemiro either side of a close-range finish from PSG's Edinson Cavani sent Madrid through 5-2 on aggregate. Peaking at the right time, Madrid can be confident of challenging for a third straight title and 13th overall. PSG still has not reached the semifinals since its lone appearance in 1995. PSG's ambitious club motto of "Dream Bigger" should perhaps now be revised. On this evidence, and last season's humiliation at the hands of Barcelona, PSG remains a club more hopeful than convincing. Despite huge investment from cash-rich Qatari owners QSI since 2011, PSG has not been past the quarterfinals in that time. "We needed our heads and our hearts today. But we didn't have both, we didn't play as well as Real Madrid," dejected PSG coach Unai Emery said. "Madrid deserved to go through. I think they controlled 60 percent of the game and we didn't do enough with the 40 percent we had. Losing to Real Madrid itself isn't a disappointment, but being knocked out in the last 16 is." Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, PSG's fragile defense crumbled and its attack offered little threat without the injured Neymar. The biggest bang from this PSG side was from the fireworks constantly let off by a section of fans behind one goal. Cavani's goal gave PSG some hope with 20 minutes left. But with midfielder Marco Verratti already sent off, scoring two more to force extra time was beyond a lackluster PSG side. Instead, midfielder Casemiro's deflected shot looped past stranded goalkeeper Alphonse Areola in the 80th. He was gifted the ball after midfielder Adrien Rabiot dealt poorly with Lucas Vazquez's cross. To compound a miserable night for PSG fans, who so badly want to believe this side can conquer Europe, Verratti showed terrible composure to in getting sent off midway through the second half. He got a second yellow card, having protested vehemently with referee Felix Brych after not getting a free kick. "Our fans got behind us, I apologize to them," Rabiot said. "We tried but we couldn't do it." Ronaldo had already done his usual damage. The Champions League's all-time leading scorer was given far too much space and leapt triumphantly to beat Areola with a downward header in the 51st minute. He had netted twice in the first leg. Ronaldo is hitting top form at a crucial time and has scored in nine Champions League games in a row, matching Ruud van Nistelrooy's record. This was a huge test for a PSG side desperate to prove it belongs among Europe's elite, especially after spectacularly failing last year — becoming the first team eliminated after winning the first leg 4-0. Barcelona won the return 6-1. "Maybe tonight they weren't so good, but it's also because we played very well," Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. "Obviously it became harder for them when we scored the second goal." In the night's other match, five-time champion Liverpool eased into the last eight, drawing 0-0 at home to two-time winner Porto after winning the away leg 5-0. The atmosphere was electric at Parc des Princes in Paris, with thick smoke engulfing the stadium a pre-match pyrotechnics were set off. PSG's exuberant fans were asked to "stop letting off flares" over the stadium loud speaker just after the interval. This was all part of a concerted effort to motivate the players. The club's communications department had released a video, urging fans to rally behind the team seemingly as a matter of urgency for the city itself. Neymar also posted a video on Twitter, with the words "Vous allez le Faire" (You will do it). Banners around the ground encouraged the team and some fans had already taken matters into their own hands. Late into the night before the game, a small group of PSG Ultras let off bangers, chanted "Paris" and banged a drum outside the Real Madrid team hotel. But all this bluster seemed more like bluff. After a fairly even first half, Ronaldo headed wide early in the second half — a warning sign. Moments later he headed home Vazquez's pinpoint cross from the left after a quick break down the left from the impressive Marco Asensio, astutely selected ahead of Gareth Bale by Zidane. "Tactically we played the right way, we believe in what we're doing," Zidane said. "We closed them down high up the pitch." Madrid could have had further goals breaking forward on counterattacks, with Asensio and Ronaldo hitting the post......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

Mike Tyson breaks ground on California marijuana ranch

CALIFORNIA CITY, California, United States --- Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is becoming a California marijuana entrepreneur. TheBlast.com reports that Tyson and partners on Dec. 20 broke ground on a plot for a cannabis resort in California City, a remote Mojave Desert town that's about a 110-mile (177-kilometer) drive north of Los Angeles. Partner Robert Hickman tells the website that the undeveloped lands are primed to be cultivated and that Tyson Ranch will be an oasis. In a video of the event, California City Mayor Jennifer Wood thanks Tyson for his commitment to the community, saying the industry will provide medical marijuana to people in need, revenue, jobs a...Keep on reading: Mike Tyson breaks ground on California marijuana ranch.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

Legal marijuana off to blazing start in California

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, United States --- It's the first day that marijuana can be bought and sold legally in California, and store owner Nicole Salisbury's stock of pot edibles is already running low. The phone has been ringing non-stop for weeks with people from out-of-state expressing an interest in sampling her wares. "I'm so excited but I'm also a little bit nervous," says Salisbury, who has been in the marijuana business for a decade and opened Green Pearl Organics as a medical dispensary two years ago. "For the first time, I feel comfortable telling people that I own a marijuana shop," added the 35-year-old, who has vibrant blue-green hair. Eight states as well as the ...Keep on reading: Legal marijuana off to blazing start in California.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Know about illegal drugs and their ill-effects

WHAT’S WITH DRUGS that make the world so deeply concerned about people using them? In the Philippines alone, an estimated four to seven million of its 104 million populations are said to be using prohibited drugs. As a campaign promise, President Rodrigo Duterte has made the crackdown on illegal drugs a centerpiece of his administration — for which he has been chastised from all fronts, in and out of the country. Drug addiction, no doubt, has severely affected society, cutting across all socio-economic echelons and demographics. No one can deny that drug addiction is a societal menace, resulting in countless crimes, financial problems, and broken relationships, both with families and friends. Here’s a glimpse of what the common prohibited drugs are and how they affect the body and mind. According to a primer of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) posted on its website, drugs are chemical substances that affect the normal functioning of the body, either physically and/or psychologically. Not all drugs are illegal, it says. The caffeine in coffee, the nicotine in cigarettes, and alcohol are technically legal drugs. Medicines are pharmaceutical drugs used to treat or prevent illnesses. They are legal, although they could also be abused. The ones people should totally shun are the illegal drugs because they alter a person’s mood, thinking, and behavior. All illegal drugs have immediate physical effects, and they also hinder psychological and emotional development, especially among young people, says the UNODC. Drugs cloud a user’s judgment, making him/her take more risks, for instance having unsafe sex that could lead one to contract sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The effects of illegal drugs do not last long. When they wear off, a user gets depressed, lonely and sick, appears confused, sweats a lot, has red eyes, and neglects his/her physical appearance and then comes the irrational craving. The following are the most common prohibited drugs and how they affect their users: Methamphetamine Methamphetamine, also known as Shabu, also goes by the names Crack meth, Ice, Crystal meth, Tik, and Yaba. Methamphetamine belongs to a group of drugs called amphetamine-type stimulants. Like ecstasy, it is manufactured in illegal laboratories and sold in powder, tablet or crystal form. It could be swallowed, sniffed, smoked or injected. The UNODC says meth produces a feeling of physical and mental well-being, euphoria, and exhilaration. Users experience a temporary boost in energy, often perceived to improve their performance of manual or mental tasks, along with delayed hunger and fatigue. At times, they become more aggressive and violent. Over the short term, users tend to lose their appetite, start to breathe faster, and sweat due to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Taking in large doses would make users feel restless and irritable and could induce panic attacks. Taking in excessive doses could result in convulsions, seizures, and death from respiratory failure, stroke or heart failure. Long-term use could also lead to malnutrition, weight loss, and psychological dependence and stopping its use results in a long period of sleep, followed by depression. Ecstasy Ecstasy goes around by the names E, Snackies and New Yorkers. The drug, usually made in illegal laboratories, consists of a range of substances that make it dangerous to consume. It comes in the form of tablet, powder or capsule and is usually swallowed, but could also be snorted or injected. Ecstasy increases users’ empathy levels and induces a feeling of closeness to people around them. It makes them feel more sociable and energetic. Short-term use of ecstasy prompts the body to ignore distress signals such as dehydration, dizziness, and exhaustion, and interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. It could also severely damage the liver and kidneys and could cause convulsions and heart failure. In large doses, ecstasy could cause restlessness, anxiety and severe hallucinations. Long-term use damages certain parts of the brain, bringing about serious depression and memory loss. Cannabis Sativa Cannabis is known by many names – Bongo, Ganja, Grass, Pot or Thai sticks. Its most famous name, however, is Marijuana, or Mary Jane. Cannabis, a tobacco-like greenish or brownish substance made of dried flowering tops and leaves of the cannabis plant, is usually smoked, but its resin and oil could also be swallowed or brewed in tea. According to the UNODC, cannabis smoke contains 50 percent more tar than high-tar cigarettes, putting users at an increased risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. After taking cannabis, users feel relaxed and sometimes euphoric, with an intensified sense of sight, smell, taste, and hearing. Short-term use makes them experience increased appetite and pulse rate, and an impaired ability to perform physical and mental tasks, such as driving a car and thinking logically. With large doses, users’ thinking slows down and they become confused and have bouts of anxiety, panic, and psychotic episodes. The UNODC said that regular users of cannabis run the risk of developing psychological dependence to the point that they lose interest in all other activities, such as work and personal relationships. Cocaine Cocaine is known as Crack, Bazooka, Blanche, Cake, Coke or Lady. It is a fine white or off-white powder extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. The UNODC said that on the street, cocaine is diluted with other substances, such as ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), to increase its quantity and produce crack. Cocaine is usually sniffed or injected, while […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 10th, 2017