Doctors in 7 states charged over illegal opioid prescriptions
Sixty people, including 31 doctors, were charged Wednesday with participating in illegal prescriptions of more than 32 million pain pills in seven states. Prosecutors said some of the doctors traded opioids for sex. A dentist allegedly pulled teeth unnecessarily to justify prescribing patients opioids. The people charged also included seven pharmacists and eight nurse practitioners, as well as several other licensed medical professionals. Prosecutors said the defendants wrote more than 350,000 illegal prescriptions in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. “If these medical professionals behave like drug dealers, you can rest assured that the Justice Department is going to treat them like drug dealers,” said Brian Benczkowski, an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division.
U.K. proposal would hold tech giants accountable for harmful posts
British regulators on Sunday unveiled a proposal to punish Facebook, Google, and other tech companies if they fail to stop the spread of damaging online content. The plan was drafted by U.K. consumer-protection authorities with the backing of Prime Minister Theresa May. It targets harmful web posts promoting or enabling child exploitation, fake news, terrorist activity, and violence. “The era of self-regulation for online companies is over,” U.K. Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said in a statement. Google declined to comment. Facebook responded by noting its recent investments to step up identifying and removing harmful content and said the U.K.’s proposal “should protect society from harm while also supporting innovation, the digital economy, and freedom of speech.”
New Zealand gun ban clears first vote
New Zealand lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed new gun restrictions in an initial vote. The bill would ban the types of semiautomatic weapons a gunman used to kill 50 people at two mosques last month. It could be rushed into law by late next week with nearly unanimous backing, after just one lawmaker voted against it. “We are also driven by the memory of 50 men, women, and children who were taken from their loved ones on the 15th of March,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. “Their memory is our responsibility. We don’t ever want to see an attack like this in our country again. We are compelled to act quickly.”
Rapper Nipsey Hussle fatally shot outside his L.A. clothing store
Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed Sunday afternoon in South Los Angeles. The 33-year-old was hit with a burst of gunfire while standing outside of his clothing store, and was pronounced dead at an area hospital. Two other people were wounded, police said. A young man reportedly approached the rapper, born Ermias Asghedom, and opened fire at close range, then ran to a waiting getaway car. Nipsey Hussle was also a community organizer, and spoke openly about his time in a Los Angeles gang when he was a teenager. A source said that initial information suggested the killer was probably associated with a gang, the Los Angeles Times reported.
2nd Parkland survivor dies of apparent suicide
A second Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivor has died of an apparent suicide in a week. Coral Springs police said Sunday that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sophomore died Saturday night. The second student’s name and age were not immediately released. Last week, 19-year-old Sydney Aiello reportedly took her own life after struggling with survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder, her mother told CBS Miami. Aiello was a senior at the school when a gunman killed 17 students and staff, including her friend Meadow Pollack.
Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV) 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found…
New Zealand to ban semi-automatic weapons after mosque mass shootings
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced that her country would ban military-style semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines, and accessories that can be used to convert guns into military-style weapons. The decision came just six days after mass shootings that killed 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch. Ardern said the new laws should be in place by April 11. The government plans to use a buy-back scheme for banned weapons already in circulation. The main opposition party said it supported Ardern’s plan, suggesting it would face little resistance in Parliament. “It’s about all of us, it’s in the national interest and it’s about safety,” Ardern said.
Netherlands tram shooting suspect arrested
Dutch police on Monday arrested a 37-year-old Turkish man suspected of fatally shooting at least three people and wounding several others on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht earlier in the day. The suspect, identified as Gokmen Tanis, was caught after an hours-long manhunt. Authorities locked down the schools, mosques, and the transit system in the city after the attack. The suspect reportedly had been involved in previous run-ins with authorities in the country before the attack, which police said “appears to be a terrorist attack.” The threat alert in the province where the shooting occurred was temporarily raised to its highest level. Turkey’s foreign ministry condemned the attack, “regardless of the identity of the perpetrator and the motivation behind it.”
U.S. to shut down international immigration offices
U.S. Customs and Immigration Services reportedly told its staff Tuesday that it would shut down all 21 of its foreign offices by the end of this year. The move could delay processing of paperwork the offices handle, including family visa applications, foreign adoptions by U.S. citizens, and citizenship petitions from members of the military. The offices also investigate visa fraud. The employees who provide these services will likely be transferred to the State Department as the offices are shuttered, USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna said in an email to staff obtained by The Washington Post. Relocating international employees to U.S. offices and foreign embassies will help “address backlogs in the United States,”
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama