Washington is a Babel of talk of tobacco legislation, patients' rights,
taming aggressive managed care companies and reforming Medicare and
Medicaid. In this cacophony of political concern about health care, let's
hope the administration and Congress don't drown out what former first lady
Betty Ford calls "America's hidden epidemic": substance abuse among older
Prevention and treatment of substance abuse and addiction have long been
relegated to the back of America's health care bus. What's so disturbing
about the recent report of the National Center on Addiction and Substance
Abuse at Columbia University ("Under the Rug: Substance Abuse and the
Mature Woman") is its revelation that women age 60 and over are seated in
the last row.
[continues 837 words]
Fox Officials Apologize for N20 Video Game Campaign
Fox Interactive, a division of 20th Century Fox, said yesterday it would
withdraw its current advertising campaign for the Sony PlayStation video
game N2O: Nitrous Oxide after anti-drug officials complained that the ads
glamorize drug use.
"We apologize for any references which evoke drug use that appeared in some
of the ads for N2O," said Peter Chernin, president of News Corp., 20th
Century Fox's parent company. "We pledge to go the extra mile in the future
to make certain our advertising does not have or cannot be interpreted to
have even the hint of glorification or trivialization of illegal drugs."
[continues 345 words]
With nearly all the votes counted, Pastrana, in his second bid for
Colombia's highest office, had 50.5 percent of the vote, compared with 46.4
percent for Horacio Serpa of the governing Liberal Party. Under Colombian
law, Samper was barred from running again.
``I believe that Colombia has really voted for a change,'' Pastrana, of the
opposition Conservative Party, said in a television interview when results
showed him ahead.
Public anger with Samper's tenure apparently helped Pastrana, who was
narrowly defeated by the incumbent in 1994.
[continues 310 words]
Case Involved Gas Station Owner Taking Large Amount of Undeclared Cash to
A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the federal government
cannot seize and keep the money of a person trying to carry funds out of
the country simply because the person failed to fill out the proper Customs
Service forms. The decision marked the first time the court had struck down
a government fine as unconstitutionally excessive, and dissenting justices
said the reasoning may jeopardize a vast range of financial penalties the
[continues 636 words]
With Perhaps Six Factions, Gang Is More Volatile, Harder To Work With
Although the federal indictment handed down Monday describes the Latin
Kings as highly organized, people who have studied and worked with gangs
say they have splintered and are less organized -- and perhaps more
volatile -- than in the past.
"Leadership is less important than it used to be, and that's part of the
problem," said Gary Graika, director of youth development programs at the
Social Development Commission.
Graika estimates six Latin King branches exist today, each with its own
leadership. When the gang was more centralized, leaders easily could be
called together, he said.
[continues 418 words]
A recent television ad showing President Clinton apparently concluding that
the "drug war" was a failure drew the ire of White House attorneys.
The ad showed Mr. Clinton speaking, but with an imitator's voice.
"Superimposing someone else's words over videotape of the President
speaking is confusing, if not deceptive, and is potentially actionable," a
White House attorney wrote the group Common Sense for Drug Policy. The
group, which wants more emphasis on drug abuse treatment and less on law
enforcement, refused to pull the ad, noting it explained that it was an
actor's voice. "Governments incapable of defending their policies on the
merits stifle speech," said spokesman Kevin Zeese.
Checked-by: Richard Lake
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House of Representatives has put a heavy stamp of
approval on a U.S. undercover anti-narcotics sting operation that has
strained relations with Mexico.
A nonbinding resolution, approved 404-3 Monday night, also states that the
United States ``should not extradite to Mexico'' American law enforcement
agents involved in a money-laundering operation that netted 150 arrests,
including several Mexican bankers.
``Operation Casablanca,'' also resulted in the seizure of $110 million and
indictments against three Mexican banks in the United States. The Mexican
government has expressed anger that U.S. agents carried out the sting
without informing Mexican officials, and has indicated that it wants to
prosecute the agents and to seek their extradition to face criminal
charges. ``While their shock is predictable their threats against U.S. law
enforcement agents is disappointing and should not be given credence,''
said Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., sponsor of the resolution. ``It is truly
outrageous for the government of Mexico to threaten to seek extradition of
our law enforcement agents.''
[continues 58 words]
What to do with money from sale of drug dealers' assets?
Crack down on drug dealers by seizing their cars, their homes, their cash.
It's the type of policy that most citizens -- and any wise politician --
could support. But what happens when the drive to get rid of drugs begins
to run over innocent people, like the Tennessee landscaper whose money for
buying shrubs was seized by police at the airport because he fit the
``profile'' of a drug dealer?
[continues 1710 words]
MIAMI--It was a typical night at Porky's, a strip joint known for its
Russian dancers in the seedy Miami suburb of Hialeah.
The girls were grinding on the dance floor while, inside the club's inner
office, cut off from the driving rhythms, owner Ludwig Fainberg was talking
business. Big business, federal prosecutors now say: drug business, Russian
mafia business and how the two were coming together in a single deal.
And the U.S. government was listening.
According to documents recently filed in federal court here, on that night
in April 1995 Fainberg explained to an undercover U.S. drug enforcement
agent a deal he was brokering between Russian organized crime and Colombian
drug lords to provide a $35-million Soviet navy submarine to the biggest
cocaine cartel in South America.
[continues 1603 words]