‘Forget about it’: EU kills pizzeria’s ‘Mafia’ trademark

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – EU judges failed to see the funny side of branding a chain of pizzerias as “The Mafia”, rejecting an appeal on Thursday by a Spanish company to keep European trademark protection for its marketing slogan.

The European Union’s General Court in Luxembourg agreed with a complaint by the Italian government that it was immoral to trade on the name of a “criminal organization” whose “activities breach the very values on which the EU is founded”.

The judgment, which can be appealed to the European Court of Justice, found that the EU Intellectual Property Office was right to accept Italy’s demand in 2015 to cancel a 10-year-old trademark held by La Mafia Franchises of Madrid, which runs a national chain offering pizzas, pasta and other Italian cuisine.

Rejecting the company’s arguments about alluding to “The Godfather” films, the judges said it was not right to grant legal protection to the slogan “La Mafia se sienta a la mesa” — “The Mafia’s at the table” in Spanish — because it “promoted” an organization known for extortion, corruption and murder.

Italy, plagued by the Sicilian crime network for decades, had said the trademark was contrary to “morality”. The court decision does not prevent the firm from using the slogan, but means it can’t rely on trademark protection to stop others from using it without permission.

Reporting by Samantha Koester in Brussels; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Peter Graff

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Japan OKs New Drug, Xofluza, That Kills Flu Virus in a Day

A new drug purported to kill the flu virus in just one day has been approved in Japan and could be for sale in that country by May.

Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) is a pill that’s taken just once. Like the current antiflu drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir), the new drug shortens the duration of flu symptoms by a couple of days, ABC News reported.

But the makers of Xofluza say it is more advanced than Tamiflu because it requires just one dose and can kill the flu virus in the body within 24 hours after it’s taken, meaning patients will no longer be infectious.

That could be a significant advance in preventing the spread of flu, according to ABC News.

Some late-stage trials of Xofluza are underway in the U.S., but the earliest it might be available would be the 2018-19 flu season, if the FDA approves the drug this year.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2018

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Suicide Kills More Middle Schoolers Than Crashes

WebMD News from HealthDay

Nov. 4, 2016 — Middle school students in the United States are now just as or more likely to die from suicide as from traffic crashes, a federal government study says.

In 2014, there were 425 suicide deaths among children ages 10-14 nationwide, while 384 children in that age group died in traffic crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The New York Times reported.

In 1999, the death rate for children ages 10-14 from traffic crashes was about 4.5 deaths per 100,000, quadruple the rate for suicide. By 2014, the death rate from traffic crashes had been cut in half, while the suicide rate had nearly doubled to 2.1 per 100,000, with most of the increase occurring since 2007.

In 2014, far more boys (275) committed suicide than girls (150), but the number of girls who kill themselves has tripled, compared with a rise of about a third for boys, The Timesreported.

“It’s clear to me that the question of suicidal thoughts and behavior in this age group has certainly come up far more frequently in the last decade than it had in the previous decade,” Dr. Marsha Levy-Warren, a clinical psychologist in New York who works with adolescents, said.

“Cultural norms have changed tremendously from 20 years ago,” she told The Times.

A number of factors can contribute to suicide in youngsters, but social media is a significant one due its wide public reach.

“If something gets said that’s hurtful or humiliating, it’s not just the kid who said it who knows, it’s the entire school or class,” Levy-Warren told The Times. “In the past, if you made a misstep, it was a limited number of people who would know about it.”

WebMD Health

Wind-tossed beach umbrella kills Virginia woman -police

A wind-driven beach umbrella struck and killed a 55-year-old woman in Virginia Beach, Virginia, local police said.

The woman, Lottie Michelle Belk, of Chester, Virginia, was hit when a strong gust of wind tossed the anchored umbrella across the sand on Wednesday afternoon, Virginia Beach police said in a statement.

Belk was struck in the torso and went into cardiac arrest. Emergency personnel transported her to a hospital, where she died, the statement said.

“There is no evidence of foul play,” police said.

Virginia Beach is about 110 miles (175 km) south of Washington.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

South Carolina Senate Committee Kills Med. Marijuana Bill, Hope Remains in House

On Thursday, the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 9-2 against the South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act (S. 672), effectively killing the legislation for the year.Seal_of_South_Carolina.svg Fortunately, there is still hope the House will take action on its version of the bill — H. 4037 — which was approved by a House subcommittee by a vote of 3-1 last year.

If you are a South Carolina resident, please contact your lawmakers and tell them South Carolina patients deserve access to safe and effective treatment.

S. 672/H. 4037 would allow patients with certain serious medical conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana. The legislation also would create a reasonable, well-regulated system of access through growers, processors, dispensers, and certified labs.

The post South Carolina Senate Committee Kills Med. Marijuana Bill, Hope Remains in House appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

Canadian man kills Brit in psychedelic ceremony in Peru’s Amazon

A Canadian man killed a British man after the two took a hallucinogenic plant brew known as ayahuasca together at a spiritual retreat in the Peruvian Amazon, authorities said Thursday.

Witnesses told police the Canadian man, 29-year-old Joshua Andrew Freeman Stevens, killed the British man, Unais Gomes, 26, in self-defense after Gomes attacked him with a knife during an ayahuasca ceremony near the jungle city of Iquitos Wednesday night, said Normando Marques, a police chief in the region.

Ayahuasca is a combination of an Amazonian vine and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) – containing plants that give users psychedelic experiences when combined. It is not normally associated with violence.

The Canadian citizen was in police custody Thursday, Marques said.

Witnesses said Gomes tried to stab Stevens during a bad trip, according to a police source in Iquitos familiar with the case.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Gomes apparently used a knife from the kitchen of the alternative health center Phoenix Ayahuasca to attack Stevens. Stevens ended up killing Gomes with the same knife, stabbing him in the chest and stomach, he said.

Phoenix Ayahuasca did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Its Facebook page describes it as a safe place to “experience plant medicines and explore the true nature of the self.”

Ayahuasca tourism in Peru has surged in recent years, with dozens of jungle retreats offering the traditional indigenous brew to visitors under the supervision of a guide or shaman.

Many tourists seek the drug out because of its reputation as a way to help ease depression and other mental troubles. Amazonian tribes in Peru and Brazil use ayahuasca, or yage, as an important spiritual and medicinal tool.

“It might be folkloric, spiritual or whatever else, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a drug that dramatically alters your state of mind,” said Marques.

In 2012, an 18-year-old American man died during an ayahuasca retreat in the jungle and the shaman leading the ceremony buried his body in an attempt to cover up the death.

(Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Pope Says Drug War Kills Millions, But Doesn’t Want to End It

Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S. has dominated much of the political discussion this week. Speaking at the White House, before Congress and at the United Nations, he has drawn attention to policy issues ranging from climate change to immigration to the death penalty.

And on Friday he even had something to say about the war on drugs.

After addressing the U.N. about traditional military conflicts, he added, “along the same lines I would mention another kind of conflict, which is not always so open yet is silently killing millions of people. Another kind of war, experienced by many of our societies as a result of the narcotics trade.”

Francis said that the illegal drug trade causes corruption “which has penetrated to the different levels of social, political, military, artistic and religious life” and had “given rise to a parallel structure which threatens the credibility of our institutions.”

The rhetoric sounds very similar to that of legalization advocates, who argue that ending prohibition and bringing the drug trade aboveground would take profits away from cartels and gangs that control the illegal trade and use violence and bribe officials to protect their marketshare.

But Francis is no fan of legalization, at least as of now. “Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise,” he said last year at a drug enforcement conference in Rome. “To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem.”

He said that proposals “to legalize so-called ‘recreational drugs’ are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects.”

In his new remarks on Friday at the U.N., Francis said that the war on drugs is “taken for granted but poorly fought,” adding that “drug trafficking is by its very nature accompanied by trafficking in persons, money laundering, the arms trade, child exploitation and other forms of corruption.”

But is that really true? If drugs were legalized and regulated so that the trade were controlled by licensed, taxpaying businesses instead of organized crime networks, would the business “by its very nature” go hand in hand with gun-running, human trafficking and corruption?

Looking at the American experience with alcohol, one would have to say no. While the booze trade certainly was accompanied by many of those crimes against persons and property during prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, no one could claim today that legal Budweiser and Jack Daniels distributors regularly gun one another down in turf battles. And that’s why many reform advocates argue that legalizing and regulating marijuana and other drugs would reduce crime, corruption and violence.

Pope Francis has surprised many observers by making relatively progressive comments about homosexuality and the environment but, as of now, his views on drug policy seem fairly traditional and out of step with where the global debate on the issue seems to be headed, which is away from prohibition.

That could change, however. The pope is scheduled to visit a correctional facility in Philadelphia this weekend, and is expected to meet with at least one man serving a long sentence for marijuana, according to the Huffington Post.

If there’s anything that can change this pope’s mind about the morality and effectiveness of criminalizing drugs, perhaps standing face to face with people who are behind bars as a result of prohibition will do the trick.


The National Cancer Institute Updates FAQ Page: ‘Cannabis Kills Cancer’

The NCI, more commonly known as The National Cancer Institute, recently revised its FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page regarding marijuana and its medicinal properties – noting that marijuana’s cannabinoids kill cancer.

The government backed website cites a handful of recent studies which drill down how cannabis “may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow” while at the same time protecting healthy cells from damage.

Undeniable Science: “A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells,” noted the NCI. “Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.”

Below are just a few of the interesting marijuana factoids provided by NCI:

Unfortunately, hypocrisy still rules the day: Regardless of the mountains of scientific evidence, demonstrating that marijuana’s cannabinoids have medicinal benefits, the feds both maintain a patent on cannabinoids and fight to keep the plant and its many beneficial compounds illegal. While at the same time the Food and Drug Administration authorizes pricey pharmaceuticals with host of ugly side effects.


Falling cemetery headstone kills toddler in Texas

A 4-year-old boy died when he was visiting the a Texas cemetery with his family and a nearly 100-year-old headstone fell over and struck him in the head, authorities said.

The child, whose named was not released, was brought to the Odessa Regional Medical Center on Friday where he was pronounced dead, Corporal Steve LeSueur, a spokesman for the Odessa, Texas, Police Department said on Saturday.

An autopsy will be performed on the child by authorities in Tarrant County, LeSueur said.

The accident occurred at the Ector County Cemetery in Odessa, in the western-central part of the state.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Alaska Senate Kills Proposed Ban on Concentrates

In a decisive 14-6 decision on Monday, Alaska senators voted down an ill-advised amendment that would have banned extracts, edibles, and concentrates in 2017.

During yesterday’s debate, our opponents continued to insist that voters did not know what they were voting for in November — despite the fact that they received overwhelming testimony to the contrary during committee hearings.BW State Seal 205x205 Over the weekend, hundreds of supporters called and emailed their elected officials, and their voices were heard loud and clear.

Without licensed and regulated businesses producing marijuana extracts and edibles, the criminal market would continue to thrive. Without tested and clearly packaged concentrates, patients would suffer. Senators finally got the message. Your respectful and articulate comments changed minds.

But we still have a lot of work ahead of us. SB 30 now heads to the Alaska House of Representatives, where it will undergo another series of committee hearings. Stay tuned for further updates, and we’ll let you know when your voice is needed.

The post Alaska Senate Kills Proposed Ban on Concentrates appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

Missouri man kills local favorite albino deer, donates meat

(Reuters) – A Missouri man, criticized after he killed an albino deer that had been a community favorite, said on Thursday he would have the aging animal stuffed and would give away the meat to a needy family.

Jerry Kinnaman, 40, said he had seen the deer around Cape Girardeau, Missouri, for years and refrained from shooting it because a neighbor enjoyed watching it. He killed it on Tuesday with a bow and arrow, he said.

“He really hadn’t been on my property enough for me to actually hunt him,” Kinnaman said in a telephone interview. “This year he started showing up again periodically. I knew I had a chance.”

The 10-point buck was about 7-1/2 years old, thin and probably near the end of its life expectancy, he said.

Kinnaman said he could understand the outcry generated after he posted his kill of the locally famous deer on Facebook, and an article ran in the Southeast Missourian newspaper.

“They can see him so far away, with that white color, and they feel he is a special animal,” Kinnaman said.

Dean Harre of the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the deer’s albinism results from a mutation, and culling it from the herd is neither objectionable nor illegal.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy, Kansas City, Missouri; Editing by David Bailey and Sandra Maler)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

How Many Far Cry 4 Kills Can You Get In 2 Minutes?

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Owl kills canary during high-rise apartment raid in Idaho

(Reuters) – An owl killed a canary after swooping into a 10th-floor apartment in Idaho, the canary’s owner said on Monday.

Sue Sausser said she came face-to-beak with the smallish brown-gray predator. It entered through an open door and sprung open the pet’s cage, killing one canary and injuring another before rapidly flapping away.

The second canary was not singing, she said, “but it’s chirping and it’s eating and drinking so I think it is almost over the trauma.”

Toni Ruth of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said a 10th-floor apartment would sit high above trees where an owl normally might roost. But she said young birds can range far when exploring new areas or when unfamiliar with landscapes, and that is when they fly into trouble.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Howard Goller)

Reuters: Oddly Enough