Ohio city rep proposes new system to combat expensive overdose drug

A city council member in Ohio, the state with the highest number of heroin overdose deaths, has proposed a controversial way to deal with the issue.

A Middletown, Ohio city council member has proposed a new plan which would prevent people who need medical assistance from receiving help from city-dispatched first responders more than twice under certain conditions, according to WKYC.

SPIKE IN HEROIN OVERDOSES STUNS OHIO TOWN

The proposed plan would work like this: If a person experiences two overdose rescues by first responders, and that person has not completed community service equivalent to the cost of the medical assistance they received from the first responders, the city would not dispatch medical services a third time to the overdosing person.

“If the dispatcher determines that the person who’s overdosed is someone who’s been part of the program for two previous overdoses and has not completed the community service and has not cooperated in the program, then we wouldn’t dispatch, Dan Picard, the Middletown city council member, said.

In 2017 so far, the city has spent $30,000 on Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. In 2016, the Middletown Fire Department spent $11,000.

We are faced with stress on our services, particularly the EMS services, where we can do six to eight opioid overdose runs a day, Paul Lolli, fire chief of Middletown, told WTAE.

The fire department said if they respond to an overdose, theyre legally required to administer Narcan.

NARCAN SAVES ANOTHER LIFE FROM HEROIN: A PET RAT’S

At least 4,140 Ohio residents died from drug overdoses in 2016, according to The Columbus Dispatch. That number is 36 percent higher than 2015, when the state by far had the most overdose deaths in the U.S.

The city council member said the proposed plan isnt meant to solve Ohios drug problem, but rather an effort to save the city money.

Meantime, the citys fire department is in the process of applying for grants and is accepting donations to fund more of the life-saving Narcan drug.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/06/26/ohio-city-rep-proposes-new-system-to-combat-expensive-overdose-drug.html

How tech companies are recognizing Pride Month

In the month of June, tech companies celebrated Pride in the best way they know how: small, quirky product updates.

With San Francisco and New Yorks annual Pride event hitting this weekend, its a good time to reflect on just how far LGBTQ visibility in the tech community has come in a few short years. While theres still plenty of work to be done, were happy to celebrate some of the fun ways that companies are showing their solidarity with the queer community while also holding them to task on the stuff that really matters.

Apple

Apple may often lead the charge in Silicon Valleys LGBTQ advocacy efforts, but its Pride Edition Apple Watch($49) band proves it can make superficial yet delightful shows of queer solidarity too. TechCrunch hardware editor and official pride angel Brian Heater sent me one and either my cute new haircut or the rainbow watch band has been turning heads all pride month, but im pretty sure its the band.

The best part of this particular pride indulgence is that some of the proceeds go to groups like GLSEN and the Trevor Project.

Facebook

Facebook added a well-received Pride reaction this year, though reports suggest the opt-in featureisnt available globally. In spite of ongoing tensions between the platform and the LGBTQ community, Facebooks queer users are already pretty attached to the little rainbow reaction so hopefully it sticks around.

Instagram

Instagram added a special LGBTQ sticker set for Pride 2017 and launched a global Pride-inspired photo project. The stickers are cute and include a trans flag-inspired design.

Google

In 35 cities, Pride parade routes will show up on Google Maps for iOS and Android. According to Google, a special Pride icon will display additional events in those cities, which include Seattle, New York and San Francisco.

Uber

Ubers local markets seem to be all kind of doing their own thing for Pride, but they apparently will deliver on-demand drag shows in Seattle for the second year running. Unfortunately, wed expect that a delivery drag queen performance is even harder to score than a delivery kitten.

Lyft

Putting its money where its cute UI features are, Lyft announced that it would donate $100,000 over the next 12 months to LGBTQ causes. It kicked that pledge off with a Human Rights Campaign partnership called Round Up and Donate which invites riders to opt in from the Settings menu in order to round their fares up to the nearest dollar for a good cause. Anecdotally, I can confirm that Lyft cars along Pride parade routes show up in rainbow colors which was a nice touch.

Twitter
For the month of June, Twitter introduced a nice little hashtag icon that manages to combine a rainbow pride flag with the pink and blue transgender flag, which is a lot of colors in not a lot of pixels. To summon the new icon, try the hashtags #Pride2017, #PrideMonth and #LoveisLove.

Salesforce

Shout out to Salesforce for the gayest looking lobby weve ever seen.

Skype

Skype introduced some rainbowy stickers and a colorful gradient text background, for getting very gay points across.

Spotify

Not settling for rainbows alone, Spotify curated acollection of music so robust that might actually last for the whole month. Or at least one really, really sleep-deprived Pride weekend.

Snapchat

For 2017, Snapchat launched a rainbow emoji brush, a new sticker set, Pride-themed geofilters and Pride-specific stories so users can get a glimpse of celebrations around the world, including in Paris, Toronto and Mexico City this upcoming weekend. Props to Snapchat for its inclusion of the trans flag.

While its nice to see these kind of fun Pride-themed product tweaks during the month of June, using its power and platform for good old-fashioned advocacy remains the best way that Silicon Valley can express its solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

That means signing onto legal briefs for queer issues that affect the tech community, contributing to organizations that have been quietly doing the hard work for years, crafting policies that include and enrich members of the queer community and making sure that LGBTQ employees are extended workplace protections and health insurance benefits that can help them not just live, but thrive.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/25/tech-pride-month-2017-silicon-valley-lgbtq-pride/

UK Finds 34 High-rise Apartment Buildings With Unsafe Siding

London (AP) — Britain's fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as authorities said 34 high-rise apartment blocks across the country had cladding that failed fire safety tests. London officials scrambled to evacuate four public housing towers after experts found them "not safe for people to sleep in overnight."

Hundreds of residents hastily packed their bags and sought emergency shelter, with many angry and confused about the chaotic situation. Some refused to leave their high-rise apartments. Scores of evacuees slept on inflatable beds in a gym while officials sought better accommodations for them.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said it decided to evacuate four blocks in north London's Chalcots Estate late Friday after fire inspectors uncovered problems with "gas insulation and door stops," which, combined with the presence of flammable cladding encasing the buildings, meant residents had to leave immediately.

The evacuation comes amid widening worries about the safety of high-rise apartment blocks across the country following the inferno that engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London on June 14, killing at least 79 people. Attention has focused on the 24-story tower's external cladding material, which has been blamed for the rapid spread of that blaze, but multiple other fire risks have now been identified in some housing blocks.

The government said Saturday that the cladding samples that failed fire safety tests came from 34 apartment towers in cities including London, Manchester, Plymouth and Portsmouth. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said further testing "is running around the clock."

So far, Camden Council has been the only local authority to have asked residents to leave as a precaution. It said about 650 apartments were evacuated, though initial reports put the figure at 800 apartments.

The council said residents would be out of their homes for three to four weeks while it completes fire-safety upgrades.

"I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them," Gould said in a statement. "Grenfell changed everything, and when told our blocks were unsafe to remain in, we acted."

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been criticized for her slow response to the Grenfell tragedy, said Saturday that the government was supporting Camden officials to ensure residents have somewhere to stay while building work is done.

In response, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said May needed to "get a grip" and lead a stronger response to what is now a "national threat."

Residents — including families with babies and elderly relatives — trooped out of the buildings late Friday night with suitcases and plastic bags stuffed with clothes. Council workers guided dozens to a nearby gym, where they spent the night on inflatable mattresses. Others were being put up in hotels or other housing projects.

Many residents complained about a lack of information and confusion. Officials first announced the evacuation of one building, then expanded it to five before reducing it to four. Some residents said they learned about the evacuation from the television news hours before officials came knocking on doors.

Renee Williams, 90, who has lived in Taplow Tower since 1968, told Britain's Press Association: "No official came and told us what's going on. I saw it on the TV, so I packed an overnight bag.

"It's unbelievable. I understand that it's for our safety but they can't just ask us to evacuate with such short notice. There's no organization and it's chaos," she said.

Carl McDowell, 31, said he took one look at the inflatable beds at the gym and went back to his Taplow apartment to sleep there overnight. Other residents were distraught that they were ordered to evacuate, but were told to leave their pets behind in buildings that could be dangerous.

Fire-safety experts say the Grenfell Tower blaze, which police said was touched off by a fire at a refrigerator, was probably due to a string of failures, not just the cladding, which is widely used to provide insulation and enhance the appearance of buildings.

Police said Friday they are considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster and they were conducting a wide-ranging investigation that will look at everything that contributed to it. The Metropolitan Police said cladding attached to Grenfell during a recent renovation failed safety tests conducted by investigators.

"We are looking at every criminal offense from manslaughter onwards," Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack told reporters. "We are looking at all health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower."

The government has ordered an immediate examination of the refrigerator model that started the blaze, the Hotpoint model FF175BP refrigerator-freezer.

The government also urged building owners, public and private, to submit samples of their cladding. One hotel chain, Premier Inn, has calling in experts to check its buildings.

Police say 79 people are either confirmed or presumed dead in the Grenfell blaze, although that number may change, and it will take weeks to find and identify remains. To encourage cooperation with authorities, May said the government won't penalize any Grenfell fire survivors who were in the country illegally.

___

Sheila Norman-Culp, Gregory Katz and Alastair J. Grant contributed to this report.

    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-24/londoners-in-temporary-housing-after-fire-safety-evacuations

    Trump Reaches Out To Lawmakers On Healthcare As Another Says ‘No’

    By Jeff Mason and Yasmeen Abutaleb | WASHINGTON

    President Donald Trump made calls to fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Friday to mobilize support for their partys healthcare overhaul while acknowledging the legislation is on a very, very narrow path to passage.

    Five Republican senators have announced they will not support the bill, which is designed to repeal and replace Obamacare, in its current form.

    White House officials said on Friday that Trump has been in touch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and made calls on Thursday and Friday to other lawmakers.

    Trumps role is expected to become more pronounced in coming days as the vote nears. Senate Republican leaders may rely on the deal-making former businessman to lean on conservative senators who are balking at the bill.

    Were pleasantly surprised with a lot of the support thats already come out and I think well continue to work through (it,) in particular the four individuals who have expressed some ideas and concerns, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters at a White House briefing.

    After Spicer spoke, Republican Senator Dean Heller became the fifth Republican opponent on Friday, saying he would not support the bill in its current form. Stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average pared gains after his announcement.

    This bill thats currently in front of the United States Senate is not the answer, Heller said at a news conference.

    That could add Hellers name to Trumps call list. A White House official said the Trump has pushed his team to stay involved and plans to flex his negotiating muscle, the official said.

    The Senates 142-page proposal, worked out in secret by a group led by McConnell, aims to deliver on a central Trump campaign promise to undo former President Barack Obamas signature healthcare law, which has provided coverage to 20 million Americans since it was passed in 2010.

    Republicans view the law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, as a costly government intrusion and say individual insurance markets created by it are collapsing.

    On Thursday, four of the Senates most conservative members said the new plan failed to rein in the federal governments role.

    Rand Paul, who has rejected the plan along with fellow Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson, said fundamental problems remained that would leave taxpayers subsidizing health insurance companies.

    Trump, in an interview with Fox News that aired on Friday morning, called the group of conservative lawmakers four very good people.

    Its not that theyre opposed, he said. Theyd like to get certain changes. And well see if we can take care of that.

    Trump said getting approval would require traveling a very, very narrow path but that But I think were going to get there.

    Trump took an active role as the House of Representatives worked on its own healthcare bill, holding regular meetings with representatives at the White House as it made its way through numerous committees. He celebrated its narrow passage last month in a Rose Garden event with House Republican leaders.

    Trump later criticized the House bill privately as mean and this week called for a health plan with heart. He indicated the Senate plan met that request.

    McConnell said in an interview with Reuters last month that he told Trump early on in the process that he did not need his help but that there may be a role for him later.

    The Senate bill maintains much of the structure of the Houses but differs in key ways. It would phase out Obamacares expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor more gradually, waiting until after the 2020 presidential election, but would enact deeper cuts starting in 2025. It also would provide more generous tax subsidies than the House bill to help low-income people buy private insurance.

    (Reporting by Jeff Mason, Richard Cowan, Susan Cornwell, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Caroline Humer, Lewis Krauskopf and Susan Heavey; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Bill Trott)

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-healthcare-lawmakers_us_594d91b6e4b0da2c731ba73d

    London fire: Inquest versus inquiry – BBC News

    Image copyright Jason Hawkes
    Image caption At least 79 people are now missing, presumed dead, following the fire in west London

    Following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower there have been calls for both an inquest and a public inquiry.

    The prime minister has announced that there will be a public inquiry, but how will that differ from an inquest?

    More importantly, which will provide the best chance of delivering answers to the critical and haunting questions of what caused the fire, and which organisations or individuals bear responsibility?

    Inquest

    An inquest is an independent inquiry into a violent or unexplained death, so as a matter of course, there will be inquests into those who lost their lives in Grenfell Tower.

    Inquests are held in public and conducted by a coroner.

    The coronial system can be traced back to the 11th century. The inquest is inquisitorial and not adversarial – that is, the process does not seek to determine or apportion responsibility for the death. Its remit is limited: it solely determines who, where and how the deceased died.

    But inquests can be expanded if Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to life – is invoked.

    There is a general duty on the part of the state to protect life, and Article 2 inquests are held where the state or a public body may have played a part in the death of a person, or failed to protect a life when it knew – or ought to have known – of a real and immediate risk to the life of that person.

    Image copyright other
    Image caption The Hillsborough inquests found that all 96 Liverpool fans had been unlawfully killed in 1989

    Such inquests will generally be conducted with a jury, and can be greatly expanded to become wider reaching inquiries into not only by what means the deceased died, but also the circumstances surrounding the death.

    This can cover the involvement of a range of private and public organisations. The recent inquest into the death of 96 football fans at Hillsborough in 1989 was an example of this expanded “Article 2” type of inquest.

    The coroner can make what are known as Regulation 28 recommendations to prevent future deaths. This involves writing to individuals, bodies or organisations and advising what they need to do to prevent future deaths or guard against danger to the public.

    However, these recommendations have no legal force. The person, body or organisation in question may face overwhelming moral pressure to comply, but would not be under a legal duty to do so.

    Sometimes the bodies or organisations concerned will already have reviewed or changed systems or practices in advance of the inquest. If they have not and they do not comply with the recommendations, it is then down to government to legislate to change the law to prevent or guard against further loss of life.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Judge Frances Kirkham made clear recommendations after the 2009 Lakanal House fire

    The lack of legal force behind coroners’ recommendations was seen after the inquests in 2013 into the death of three adults and three children who died in a fire at the Lakanal House flats in Camberwell, south-east London.

    The coroner, Judge Frances Kirkham, made clear recommendations, which included updating the building regulations and clarification of the “stay put” policy which advises residents to remain in their flats in the event of a fire. Those recommendations were not followed by ministers.

    What does have legal force is the inquest’s determination as to the cause of death, commonly known as the “verdict”. The verdicts available to a coroner or a jury are prescribed by statute. These include suicide, accident, open verdict and unlawful killing.

    Where there is a jury inquest, the coroner will advise the jury as to what verdicts are available to them.

    The legal consequences of a verdict can be seen for example in unlawful killing. Here there is a presumption – though not an absolute obligation – that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will take action against those responsible.

    The CPS is currently considering criminal charges against a range of people and organisations following the finding last year that 96 fans were unlawfully killed at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

    Public Inquiry

    Public inquiries are designed to establish what happened, learn from events, prevent any recurrence, and reassure. Unlike inquests they do hold people to account.

    However, public inquiries are set up by the government. It appoints the chair who is normally a senior judge.

    The Grenfell Tower inquiry is likely to be established under the Inquiries Act, which means the chair will have statutory powers to summon witnesses, compel them to give evidence on oath and produce evidence.

    That can strengthen the power of an inquiry over an inquest. Counsel to the inquiry can put detailed questions to witnesses, both on behalf of the inquiry itself and at the request of key interested parties.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Relatives of the Bloody Sunday victims react to the Saville Report, which stated that all victims were innocent

    Some take the view that because the government establishes the public inquiry, holds its purse strings and sets its terms of reference, it can lack independence.

    Public inquires have also been criticised for the time they take and the cost to the public purse. The “Bloody Sunday” inquiry into the deaths of 13 people during the troubles in Northern Ireland took 12 years and cost around 200m – though some estimates put the figure far higher.

    However, there are many examples of robust, independent public inquires that have been conducted efficiently.

    The “Mid Staffs” inquiry into the scandal of poor care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust conducted by Robert Francis QC, which was run on a punishing timetable and made a raft of important recommendations taken on board by government, is often held up as an example of how a public inquiry should be run.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Robert Francis QC was widely praised for the way he ran the Mid Staffs public inquiry

    However, it should be noted that like a coroner’s recommendations, those of a public inquiry have no legal force.

    The Mid Staffs example also illustrates the critical importance of selecting the right person to chair the inquiry.

    That person sets the tone and needs the right mix of high level interpersonal skills to communicate with the families of victims and win their trust, the intellectual ability to master technical evidence and regulations (this will cover complex construction issues and building regulations in the case of Grenfell Tower), and the personality to drive the inquiry legal teams effectively and efficiently.

    Which works best for victims and their families?

    Both can work well.

    Hillsborough is an example of a long and painstaking inquest that addressed the needs of victims’ families.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Robert Francis QC met relatives of patients who were mistreated at Stafford Hospital

    The Mid Staffs public inquiry was an example of a successful inquiry that did the same.

    There are however issues around the representation of victims and their families.

    At inquiries, victims and their families are given the status of “core participants”, and it is up to the chair to ensure that they are given legal advice and representation that puts them on an equal footing with well-funded private and public bodies. The money for that representation comes direct from government and legal aid does not apply.

    At inquests, publicly-funded legal representation is not automatic. However, following a tragedy on the scale of Grenfell Tower, it would in all likelihood be provided. Whether this would ensure “equality of arms” with other bodies involved in inquests, is open to question.

    In the Queen’s speech, the government announced plans to introduce an independent public advocate for all public disasters, who would act on behalf of bereaved families and also support them at public inquests.

    There is no detail on quite how the public advocate will operate, but it would seem that the role is one of supporting families rather than representing them at inquests,

    Inquests, inquiries and criminal proceedings

    Inquests will generally not be held or completed until all criminal investigations and prosecutions have taken place.

    Public inquiries can take place alongside criminal investigations, but must be respectful of them and not prejudice their outcome.

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Lord Justice Leveson had to conduct his inquiry at the same time as criminal proceedings

    This was seen in the Leveson Inquiry into press standards which had to tread carefully around concurrent criminal prosecutions.

    Some will favour an inquest, others a public inquiry.

    The truth is that both, if well run, well funded and with powerful recommendations that are acted upon by government, can be highly effective ways of progressing justice and ensuring that similar avoidable tragedies never happen again.

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40353738

    The images Saudi Arabia doesn’t want you to see

    (CNN)Batool Ali is six years old, though you would never guess that from her huge, haunted eyes and emaciated frame. Ribs jutting out over her distended belly, Batool weighs less than 16 kilograms (35 pounds). She is one of nearly half a million children in Yemen suffering from severe malnutrition.

    “I am scared of course,” Annhari says, “three of my children had cholera. Your children are your world. I have been eight months without a salary, so we are struggling and borrowing money … the treatment is so expensive.”
    The only way to get into these areas is on humanitarian aid flights, primarily run by the UN. Based on conversations with multiple sources, CNN has found that the Hadi government of Yemen and its Saudi Arabian-led backers are actively seeking to block journalists and human rights organizations from flying in on aid flights.
    A UN humanitarian worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed this with CNN: “The people who can let journalists into the country aren’t letting them in — that is the Yemeni government and their Saudi-led coalition backers.”
    Sources tell CNN the UN fears allowing journalists onto aid planes could lead to a complete block by Saudi authorities of their future flights into Sana’a.
    Houthi forces have also reportedly sought to block access to news outlets and have been accused of arresting journalists randomly.
      An investigation published earlier this month by humanitarian focused news agency, IRIN, echoed CNN’s findings suggesting that a deliberate obstruction campaign was in force.
      “(J)ust as a cholera epidemic threatens to spiral out of control, IRIN has learnt that the nominal government of Yemen and its Saudi Arabian-led backers have moved to prevent journalists and human rights workers from travelling on UN chartered flights to the capital, further reducing coverage and access at a critical moment,” IRIN reported.

        The images Saudi Arabia doesn’t want you to see

      Journalists have been barred from traveling to Sana’a in the past but it is perhaps no coincidence that this latest suspension came just days before US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and announced a $110 billion weapons deal with the country
        Some have suggested that the Gulf kingdom feels emboldened by the strong show of support offered by the US president.
        Aaron David Miller, analyst with the Woodrow Wilson Center, says “the combination of a risk-ready king and Deputy Crown Prince and the American validation … have come together to embolden the Saudis and make them even more risk-ready when it comes to asserting their power in their narrow sphere of influence which is the Gulf, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), and Yemen.”
        CNN has reached out to the Saudi government and military multiple times for comment on the efforts to prevent journalists from accessing the hardest hit parts of Yemen.
        The UN Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdalla Yahya A. Al-Mouallimi, refuted the claim in a statement, insisting: “Saudi Arabia does not exercise any kind of censorship. Many news reporters have been granted access to Yemen.”
        Yemen officials with the Hadi government have told CNN that it is not safe for journalists to travel to the country’s capital, Sana’a, at this time, but assured that efforts are being made to facilitate media needs.
        Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, warned CNN of the toll that the lack of media coverage is taking. He said the UN has been unable to raise even 30% of the funding it needs to deal with the crisis.
        “Yemen is very much a silent, forgotten, I would even say a purposefully forgotten emergency,” McGoldrick says. “And because we don’t get the media attention, we don’t get the political support and therefore we don’t get the resources we need to address this humanitarian catastrophe.”
        What makes these images particularly painful to look at is the realization that this humanitarian crisis is entirely man-made.
        Since the conflict began, the Saudi-led coalition, which has US support, has imposed a blockade on the country that has left nearly 80 percent of Yemenis reliant on humanitarian assistance for their most basic needs.
        According to the World Health Organization, there are now 167,000 cholera cases across the country. More than 1,100 people have died already and UNICEF says the number of cases could quadruple in the next month.
        But it is hunger which aid workers fear will be the biggest killer. A staggering 17 million people are suffering from severe food insecurity in Yemen; nearly seven million are severely food insecure. By the end of the year, aid agencies predict, the country will be in a state of full blown famine.
        For Ghalfan Ali Hamza and his nine-month-old son, Akram, the situation is untenable.
        Ali Hamza lives in one of the many sprawling, dusty camps for people who have fled the war. Akram, ribs protruding through sallow skin, has been malnourished for four months.
        “I lost my job and lost everything,” Ali Hamza says. “I live here in the camp with 20 relatives. We are hoping any aid group will come see us and help us but no one has come. We await God’s fate.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/21/middleeast/yemen-malnutrition-cholera-crisis-images/index.html

        In Georgia, close isn’t nearly good enough for Democrats

        (CNN)Winning isn’t everything in politics. It’s the only thing.

        CNN called the race for Republican Karen Handel shortly after 10 p.m. ET, with her holding a lead of more than 10,000 votes over Democrat Jon Ossoff.
        The race, which was to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in a seat Donald Trump carried by just a single point in 2016, was the most expensive in history — as both candidates, national parties and their associated super PACs dumped tens of millions into a seat widely seen as a barometer of the national mood. The final price tag on the race soared to north of $55 million.
          Both candidates’ messages were entirely nationalized as well. Ossoff sought to cast Handel, who had served as secretary of state in Georgia and run unsuccessfully for governor and Senate in recent years, as a tool of Trump. Handel similarly sought to link Ossoff to Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
          Although Ossoff was heavily funded by liberal donors outside the state, he never cast himself as a progressive warrior — instead putting himself in the mold of a centrist problem solver.
          That was enough to get him 48% in the state’s “jungle primary” in May in which all of the candidates from both parties ran on a single ballot. But it was not enough to push him over the top in a one-on-one race with a largely inoffensive Republican in Handel.
          While the race will be heavily analyzed for national repercussions and lessons — and it should be, given how much money and message-testing both national parties did — this was also, in part, a local race. Handel was a known — if not beloved or maybe just be-liked — figure in the district thanks to her time in statewide office and her repeated unsuccessful runs for other offices.
          Ossoff was a newcomer who didn’t live in the district he was hoping to represent — a fact Handel and national Republicans made much of. (Nota bene: You don’t have to live in the congressional district you represent; you only have to live in the same state.) Neither was a very good candidate; Ossoff was stiff and robotic on the trail while Handel struggled to win over voters that, ideologically, should have been hers from the start.
          The national implications, however, will dominate the story coming out of this race.
          Special elections — given their usually odd timing — are almost always a battle of base intensity between the two parties. The people who turn out to vote in a June 20 special election runoff — two months(!) after the initial vote — are hardcore partisans. The game in special elections, then, is not persuading voters who aren’t sure about their views. It’s ensuring that the base is fired up and turns out.
          Everyone knew the Democratic base was ginned up beyond belief at the chance to send Trump a message about his performance in the first 150 days of his administration. The big question mark was whether the GOP base — perhaps worn down by Trump’s seemingly never-ending series of self-inflicted wounds — would be equally as intense.
          It turns out that they were motivated — as has been the case since at least 2010 — by the idea of Ossoff as nothing more than a Pesloi henchman. Republican strategists successfully convinced GOP voters that a vote for Ossoff was a vote for values anathema to their own.
          National Democrats will tell you that the race should have never been this close — and that Ossoff even threatening Handel suggests big trouble for Republicans on the ballot next November.
          But deep down they know they needed — and still need — a win in a high-profile race in which the fight was between Trump/Republicans and Pelosi/Democrats. Along with Archie Parnell’s loss Tuesday night in a South Carolina special House election, Democrats have now lost four straight specials this year where at least some within the party saw the chance for an upset. (Kansas’ 4th District and Montana’s at-large seat are the other two.)
          There are no moral victories in politics. No matter what the losing side says — and they always say this — the only thing that really matters when it comes to special elections is the “W” and the “L.”
          Had Ossoff won, he would have become an immediate national sensation for Democrats — proof positive that the Trump agenda was being rejected even in Republican-leaning seats in the south. Donations to the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees would have soared. Democratic candidates on the fence about whether or not to run in 2018 would have taken the Ossoff victory as a sign that the national environment was beginning to tilt heavily in their side’s favor.
          Now none of that will happen. Sure, it is still possible for Democrats to retake the House in 2018. As the May 2010 special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th District proved, a single race is not necessarily all that predictive. Democrats won that hotly-contested special only to go on and lose 63 seats — and the majority — less than six months later.
          But as important as what Democrats won’t get is what Republicans avoid: The full-scale panic that would have been triggered by a Handel loss. Had she come up short, any Republican incumbent in an even marginally competitive House seat would have immediately been on the phone to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Steve Stivers of Ohio fretting over how Trump was going to cost them their jobs.
          Those worries will disappear — at least for the moment — with Handel’s victory.
          So yes, this is one race. And history suggests there’s just as good a chance that it means nothing as there is that it tells us everything we need to know about Trump and the 2018 election.
          But Democrats are depressed and Republicans are rejoicing. And that tells you exactly why Georgia matters.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/politics/georgia-6-special/index.html

          Carrie Fisher’s battle with drug addiction continued until her death

          Carrie Fisher in 2015.
          Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-IRELAND ALLIANCE

          Carrie Fisher continued to struggle with drug use in the days before her death, one of many details to emerge from an autopsy report released Monday that was full of new information but still frustratingly short on conclusions.

          The official cause of Fisher’s death on Dec. 27 was ruled “cardiac arrest … accompanied by vomiting and with a history of sleep apnea.” The autopsy report also noted that she had cocaine, heroin and MDMA in her system, but states clearly that investigators could not determine what, if any, impact those substances may have had on her death.

          “I would tell you, from my perspective that theres certainly no news that Carrie did drugs,” her brother, Todd Fisher, told The Associated Press on Monday. He noted that some substances were prescriptions for the mental health issues she had spoken openly about for years, adding that cigarettes had probably worsened her heart condition.

          “If you want to know what killed her, its all of it,” he said.

          Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, gave a statement to People over the weekend, in response to an initial Los Angeles coroner’s press release that mentioned only that drugs were found in Fisher’s system:

          My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases. She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, shed want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby.

          Monday’s complete report said it appeared Fisher had used cocaine three days before her flight from London to Los Angeles. It could not be determined when she had used heroin or MDMA, but did state that those drugs are detectable for a shorter period.

          After playing Princess Leia three times from 1977 to 1983, much of Fisher’s life and creative output centered on her struggles with addiction. She adapted her 1990 autobiographical book Postcards from the Edge for the bigscreen (with dear friend Meryl Streep playing the lead role), and her one-woman show Wishful Drinking revisited many of those themes.

          For her funeral in January, her brother Todd carried her remains in an oversized Prozac-pill shaped capsule which he said was “her favorite thing” a final gesture as a mental-health advocate.

          Fisher died Dec. 27 at age 60, less than a week after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to LAX. The following day her mother, Singin’ in the Rain star and Hollywood royalty Debbie Reynolds was stricken with stroke-like symptoms and died hours later. She was 84.

          Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/19/carrie-fisher-cause-of-death/

          Corinne Olympios Told Her Boyfriend She Would Not Hook Up On Bachelor In Paradise And He’s Still Backing Corinne After Her Return From Mexico

          When Corinne Olympios decided to go on

          But now, we’re learning that while Jordan was reportedly very upset with Corinne at first when initial reports of her interaction with DeMario Jackson came out, he

          FWIW, Corinne was spotted by paparazzi out in El Lay on Saturday walking her dog. She’s reportedly been inseparable from Jordan ever since her return from Mexico.

          DeMario also stepped out in public on Saturday, opting to eat with friends at Sista Mary‘s restaurant in Glendale, California.

          [Image via ABC.]

          Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-06-18-bachelor-in-paradise-corinne-olympios-demario-jackson-sexual-assault-boyfriend-lawsuit-controversy

          15 Crazy X-Ray Photos That Will Make You SO Thankful You’re Not A Doctor

          Even though it’s a common medical procedure now, if you think about it, X-rays are still pretty amazing.

          We’ve devised a way to look inside our own bodies without putting ourselves in too much danger. Now, you don’t want to go getting one every day, but it’s an essential tool for doctors to help us….and, on occasion, laugh at us.

          People never stop being stupid, and that means that there’s no shortage of foreign bodies that somehow wind up inside humans. Don’t believe me? Check out 15 of the craziest images below.

          1. This one shows many needles snapped off into the neck of a person addicted to heroin.

          2. Believe it or not, all these objects are outside the body. They just have a lot of piercings and other body modifications.

          3. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “butt plug.” (I had to.)

          4. Are you sure you got everything before you closed him up?

          5. That’s not where that goes!

          7. This poor little girl thought these magnets were candy, and now they’re everywhere.

          8. People sure do like sticking stuff that doesn’t belong there up their butts.

          9. Small items like rings are swallowed all the time, but this one is connected to an old wives’ tale about a man who tried to propose to a woman with a ring at the bottom of her drink. She didn’t notice.

          10. I’d say that’s too close for comfort. Yikes.

          11. This looks photoshopped but holy crap it still makes me shudder.

          12. This historical medical image shows self-mutilation using graphophone needles.

          14. Let it snow, I guess?

          Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/crazy-x-rays/