By: Kat McCue
Patients are ditching opioids and instead using cannabis to treat pain, anxiety, and depression mostly in states where pot is legal, according to a new study.
Published in the Journal of Pain Research, the results show that 46 percent of people who used cannabis at least once within the previous 90 days used it as a substitute for prescription drugs that treat pain, anxiety, and depression. The investigators surveyed nearly 3,000 respondents from all over the United States (as well as participants from Canada and Europe). The findings serve as the latest bit of news demonstrating a growing trend of medical cannabis use for conditions traditionally treated with prescription medications.
Survey participants responded to the following question: “Have you ever used cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs (yes/no)?” Upon answering “yes,” respondents listed the medications that they replaced with cannabis in additional space provided. The results? The most commonly replaced drugs were painkillers (narcotics and opioids) at a nearly 36 percent substitution rate, while anxiety medications (anxiolytics and benzodiazepines) and antidepressants each were replaced with cannabis approximately 13 percent of the time.
Although there has yet to be any definitive medical consensus regarding the effectiveness of cannabis to treat pain, anxiety, and depression, it seems to function as an adequate replacement for prescription medications among medical cannabis users with these conditions.
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By: John Abraham of The Guardian
As humans put ever more heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, the Earth heats up. These are the basics of global warming. But where does the heat go? How much extra heat is there? And how accurate are our measurements? These are questions that climate scientists ask. If we can answer these questions, it will better help us prepare for a future with a very different climate. It will also better help us predict what that future climate will be.
The most important measurement of global warming is in the oceans. In fact, “global warming” is really “ocean warming.” If you are going to measure the changing climate of the oceans, you need to have many sensors spread out across the globe that take measurements from the ocean surface to the very depths of the waters. Importantly, you need to have measurements that span decades so a long-term trend can be established.
These difficulties are tackled by oceanographers, and a significant advancement was presented in a paper just published in the journal Climate Dynamics. That paper, which I was fortunate to be involved with, looked at three different ocean temperature measurements made by three different groups. We found that regardless of whose data was used or where the data was gathered, the oceans are warming.
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By: MARGARET BRENNAN, KYLIE ATWOOD of CBS
While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of U.S. weapons.
One portion of that deal — $12 billion for 36 F-15QA fighter jets — was inked on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when Qatar’s Defense Minister met with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.
“We are pleased to announce today the signing of the letter of offer and acceptance for the purchase of the F-15QA fighter jets, with an initial cost of $12 billion dollars,” read the Qatari Defense Minister’s statement on Wednesday afternoon. “We believe that this agreement will propel Qatar’s ability to provide for its own security while also reducing the burden placed upon the United States military in conducting operations against violent extremism.”
The Qatari ambassador to the U.S. tweeted a photo of the signing.
The State Department describes this sale as fermenting U.S. efforts to “strengthen the security and defense architecture of the region.” They point out that it does not directly conflict with the current regional dispute as it will take years to complete and fill the sale in full.
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By: Char Adams of People
One Congressman has been critically wounded in a mass shooting after a gunman opened fire on a group of GOP lawmakers and aides practicing for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, early Wednesday.
House Whip Steve Scalise from Louisiana was shot in the hip and is in critical condition, MedStar Washington Hospital Center tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Three other victims were wounded as well, including two Capitol Police agents and one congressional staffer, a federal law enforcement official told PEOPLE. The official added that another staffer may have been injured, but it is unclear how the injury occurred.
Williams confirmed his aide, Zachary Barth’s, injury in a tweet, writing that Barth was shot but is expected to make a full recovery.
“I now can confirm that Zack Barth, who is a legislative correspondent in my office, was shot this morning at baseball practice,” he tweeted.
Barth too confirmed his injury in a Twitter post, writing, “I got shot this morning at the baseball fields but I am in the hospital and okay.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan sent well wishes to the injured, identifying the victims as Scalise, Barth, Matt Mika, Special Agent David Bailey and Special Agent Krystal Griner.
“We are united. We are united in our shock,” he said. “We are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
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By: Oona Goodin-Smith of Mlive
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has charged five water officials — including a member of Gov. Rick Snyder’s cabinet and a former emergency manager — with manslaughter related to their alleged failure to act in during the Flint Water Crisis.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former City of Flint Water Department Manager Howard Croft, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smith and former district supervisor Stephen Busch will all face involuntary manslaughter charges related to their alleged failure to act in the Flint Water Crisis, Schuette announced in a release on Wednesday, June 14.
Involuntary manslaughter is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a $7,500 fine.
The manslaughter charges are connected to the death of Robert Skidmore, who died Dec. 13, 2015, due to the area’s Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.
Charges against Lyon were authorized early on Wednesday, June 14, by Genesee District Judge David Guinn.Earley, Croft, Busch and Shekter-Smith have all previously been charged in connection to the water crisis.
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By: The Foreign Staff Of The Telegraph
Anti-government protesters set fire to the supreme court in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday.
This is the twelfth week of upset in the country, as protesters demand the resignation of president Nicolas Maduro and call for elections.
The supreme court Monday voted to reject a motion that would prevent Mr Maduro from rewriting the country’s constitution.
Violence broke out in protests at the Supreme Court over a bid to change the constitution, and Venezuela’s chief prosecutor said on Monday her family had been threatened and followed by intelligence agents since she split with the government.
Fanned by anger at triple-digit inflation along with shortages of food and medicine, protests have grown smaller but more violent over the past two months, with at least 67 killed and thousands injured.
Luisa Ortega, a former ally of Mr Maduro who has turned against him and the ruling Socialist Party, has questioned his handling of opposition street protests in recent weeks and challenged his plan to rewrite a constitution brought in by late leader Hugo Chavez.
State officials have launched a series of verbal attacks on Ms Ortega, ranging from questioning her sanity to accusing her of promoting violence.
She said she would hold the government responsible if her family was harmed.
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By: Kevin Poulsen of The Daily Beast
Seven minutes before midnight last Dec. 17, a bomb of sorts went off in a high-voltage substation north of Kiev.
But if you were standing outside the 20 acres of gleaming metal transformers and coils, you wouldn’t have heard a bang or seen a flash. It wasn’t that kind of bomb. It was a piece of malicious software that had been hiding in a control-room computer miles away, waiting for the right time to reveal itself. At 11:53 p.m., the logic bomb transmitted a staccato burst of pre-programmed commands to the substation, popping one circuit breaker after another until a strip of houses in and around western Kiev were plunged into darkness.
Technicians responded to the Pivnichna substation and took the circuit breakers off computer control, restoring power a little after 1 a.m. It was only the second confirmed case of a computer attack triggering an electrical blackout, and compared to the first, 12 months earlier—also in Ukraine—it was a fizzle, affecting far fewer customers and for a fraction of the time. In the six months since the Kiev attack, security researchers have wondered why the hackers even bothered with such a fleeting disruption and speculated that someone was using Ukraine as a testing ground for a more serious attack.
Now that dark assessment seems to be confirmed. Researchers at two security companies on Monday announced they’ve finally found and analyzed the malware that triggered the Kiev blackout, and it’s far worse than imagined. The computer code, dubbed “CrashOverride” by Maryland-based Dragos, and “Industroyer” by ESET in Slovakia, is a genuine cyber weapon that can map out a power station’s control network and, with minimal human guidance, issue malicious commands directly to critical equipment. Only once before has the world seen malware designed for such sabotage, with the 2010 Stuxnet virus used against Iran’s nuclear program. CrashOverride is the first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply.
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By: Eric W. Dolan
People are less likely to accept new information when it conflicts with the political outcomes they want, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology:General.
The study provides some clues as to why the political climate in the United States appears to be increasingly polarized. It suggests this polarization could be related to a desirability bias rather than a confirmation bias.
“Given the well-known polarization and disagreement that exist over certain issues in the realm of politics, we were interested in what factors cause people to revise their beliefs in the political domain,” explained the study’s corresponding author, Ben Tappin of Royal Holloway, University of London. “On the one hand, classic findings from the late 1970’s suggest that we update our beliefs to incorporate new information that confirms (vs. disconfirms) our prior beliefs — even if we receive a balanced stream of both confirming and disconfirming information. This bias towards confirming information in belief revision has been suggested to underpin belief polarization.”
“On the other hand, more recent findings from the literature on self-belief revision (that is, research looking at how people revise their beliefs about themselves) suggest a similar but slightly different mechanism,” he told PsyPost. “Specifically, that we revise our beliefs to incorporate new information that is desirable (vs. undesirable). In past research, these two biases (“confirmation bias” and “desirability bias”) have been conflated. The aim of our study was try and tease these two biases apart to get a clearer picture of what may be driving belief revision in the political domain.”
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By: Tresa Baldas of Freep
A federal prosecutor dropped a bombshell in court Wednesday, telling a federal judge that the government estimates that as many as 100 girls may have had their genitals cut at the hands of a local doctor and her cohorts.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward disclosed the information while trying to convince a judge to keep a doctor and his wife locked up in the historic case. It involves allegations that two Minnesota girls had their genitals cut at a Livonia clinic in February as part of a religious rite of passage and were told to keep what happened a secret.
“Due to the secretive nature of this procedure, we are unlikely to ever know how many children were cut by Dr. (Jumana) Nagarwala,” Woodward said, referring to the lead defendant in the case, later adding, “The Minnesota victims were not the first victims.”
Against Woodward’s wishes, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman granted bond to two other defendants in the case: Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, of Farmington Hills, who is accused of letting Nagarwala use his clinic to perform genital cutting procedures on minor girls; and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, who is accused of holding the girls’ hands during the procedure to keep them from squirming and to calm them.
The government believes the three defendants, all members of a local Indian-Muslim sect, subjected numerous girls to genital cutting procedures over a 12-year period. To date, the government says it has identified eight victims — including the two Minnesota girls — though Woodward said the government estimates there could be as many as 100 victims. She said that’s a conservative estimate, and that it’s based on Dr. Attar’s alleged admission to authorities that he let Nagarwala use his clinic up to six times a year to treat children for genital rashes.
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By : Lukemary Slade of Mondi Virtuali
The repetition of bloody attacks such as those in London of these last months, is bringing some companies operating in the field of virtual reality and increased to develop counterterrorism applications.
An example is given by the US multinational Eon Reality, founded in 1999 by Dan Lejerskar, Mikael Jacobsson and Mats Johansson in Irvine, California, which has grown throughout the world over the years (with offices, among others, in Paris, Manchester, Moscow, Doha, Singapore, Seul and Melbourne).
Eon Reality develops counterterrorism apps
Precisely thanks to a new counterterrorism application Eon Reality won, for the second year, the InnovPlus Award promoted by Singapore’s Ial (Institute for adult learning). The project used virtual reality platform AVR to create an improvised explosive device recognition and defusal application for anti-terrorism training and VIP protection.
The goal of the project is to create a realistic simulation for security personnel to give them a realistic training experience without the danger. This is just an example how virtual reality and aumented reality could help security forces to raise the alert level against further terroristic attacks quickly and with relatively small investments.
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