A SOIL BASED bacteria that thrives in dead flesh has been identified as the
heroin contaminant which caused the deaths of 37 addicts in Ireland,
Scotland, England and Wales.
Clostridium novyi Type A is the name of the bacteria which health experts
believe caused the deaths of the 36 injecting heroin users.
Experts at the Public Health Laboratory Service in Cardiff, Wales, and at
the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, are now satisfied that
the bacteria clostridium novyi Type A is the source of the illness which
baffled health chiefs since it first emerged in Glasgow on April 19.
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EXTRA drug officers will be drafted into Limerick City after pounds 3.3m
worth of drugs were confiscated there last year.
Limerick City Supt. Noel O'Sullivan told a conference in the city yesterday
that 80% of the drugs seized was cannabis, 15% ecstasy, 2% cocaine and a
very small portion of heroin. The Minister of State at the Department of
Tourism, Sport & Recreation, Eoin Ryan, said he was aware that young people
were experimenting with drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy in almost every
town and city in Ireland.
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Toxicology reports released Friday show that a 17-year-old McHenry youth
died after taking an Ecstasy lookalike pill containing PMA, a stimulant
that can be fatal when taken in excess, police said.
Steven Lorenz had paramethoxyamphetamine, or PMA, in his system when he
died in the early morning hours of May 7, said McHenry Police Chief Michael
"We're continuing the investigation until we've exhausted all leads,"
Kostecki said. "We're trying to find the ultimate source of the drug and
trying to trace everything back to who is manufacturing these pills."
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There is a growing clamour for change to the cannabis laws in this country.
Today, The Press launches a major series on the cannabis debate, to place
in context the calls for reform, to highlight the nature of the problem,
the state of research, the policing and educational issues, and the
In 1998 a health select committee chaired by National MP Brian Neeson
unanimously pitched for a review of the current law. That review, while
almost certain to go ahead, is now on hold, blocked temporarily by the
Greens, who want the issues examined by the electoral and justice committee
rather than the health committee.
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WASHINGTON - Under Pentagon pressure, congressional leaders want to revive
a stalled multibillion-dollar spending package for Colombia, U.S.
peacekeepers in Kosovo and domestic disasters. They hope to pass it this month.
The House approved a $13 billion measure two months ago. It has languished
in the Senate because of Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who said the
bill was expensive and too time-consuming. The needs could be still be met,
he argued, if Congress instead included the money in regular spending bills
and passed them quickly.
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An Indictment, Not an Obituary
Peter McWiliams, 50, best selling author, poet, photographer, publisher,
libertarian crusader, medical marijuana activist, AIDS patient and cancer
survivor, was found dead on the floor of his bathroom, apparently having
choked to death after vomiting, for want of medical marijuana.
There will be an autopsy, but whatever the immediate cause of death may
have been, he was murdered by the United States Government as surely as if
they shot him. Indeed, it would have been much more humane if they had just
put a bullet in his head. No one should have to go through what he suffered
at the hands of his country.
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Successive governments in Colombia have sought alternately to militarily
defeat the guerrillas, bring them to the negotiating table and detach them
from the narcos. Amnesties have been offered, peace proposals made and new
ideas put forward. None of these strategies have worked. Hal Klepak
explains why peace remains elusive.
Hope is gradually fading for Colombia's peace plan, put forward nearly two
years ago on the accession of President Andres Pastrana. It was the fifth
such initiative in 20 years and was invested with great hope by the
Colombian people, tired after 50 years of civil war and insurgency. Why is
this plan failing, as its predecessors did? Why have the Colombian
guerrilla movements of the Cold War years not disappeared? Why is peace so
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