Julio Calzada is the top drug official in the little nation of Uruguay, which has gained notoriety over the last year for becoming the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana.
Calzada, whose party faces a tough re-election battle on Oct. 26, sat down with GlobalPost this week to discuss Uruguay’s unparalleled legalization experiment.
In doing so, the national drug agency’s secretary-general unleashed a few bombshells.
Here are the five most interesting things the he said.
A Paris court today threw out a legal complaint against nine activists who bared their breasts in a protest at Notre Dame Cathedral but ruled that three security guards who restrained the women were too violent.
Prosecutors had sought thousands of euros in fines against activists from the feminist group Femen, who pounded a huge church bell in the landmark Paris cathedral in February last year to express anger at the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage. They also staged a mock celebration of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest T. rex
Scientists today unveiled what appears to be the first truly semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. New fossils of the massive Cretaceous-era predator reveal it adapted to life in the water some 95 million years ago, providing the most compelling evidence to date of a dinosaur able to live and hunt in an aquatic environment. The fossils also indicate that Spinosaurus was the largest known predatory dinosaur to roam the Earth, measuring more than nine feet longer than the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex specimen.
The simple answer – and the one you’ll hear most often – is that IS, or Islamic State (formerly ISIS) emerged out of al-Qaida, gathering strength through the ongoing civil war in Syria and unrest in Iraq.
But that’s only part of the story: the rest is based in Europe (and even in America), where governments have continually – if unwittingly – financed programs that breed radicalization in Muslim communities there.
Some Californians who purchased individual health coverage through the state’s insurance exchange are suddenly being dropped or transferred to Medi-Cal, the state Medicaid program for the poor that fewer doctors and providers accept.
Covered California, which is responsible for determining and directing Californians to an appropriate health plan, has no estimate of how many people are affected, saying only that the changes are occurring as incomes are checked to verify the policyholders can purchase insurance through the exchange.
Since the shifts often happen without warning, there’s confusion and anger among policyholders.
An all-girls college in Massachusetts has announced it will allow men – but only if they identify as female.
Mount Holyoke, founded in 1837, has an acceptance rate of young women below 50 percent for approximately 2,300 liberal arts students. And now men who identify as women have a shot at admittance, which was announced at the school’s September 3 convocation.
The school’s website defended the change by declaring that “concepts of what it means to be a woman are not static,” even though the same website touts the benefits of attending an all-female college.
America’s unemployment rate — most recently reported as 6.1 percent — has long been used to gauge the country’s economic well-being. But a new working paper released by Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs highlights the difficulty in estimating the exact unemployment rate, though changes in the official measure still signal important movements in the economy.
The research, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, finds that the true unemployment rate may be higher or lower than recent reports indicate. In fact, the authors write that published unemployment rates have gradually become more difficult to interpret over time, especially in the last two decades. The researchers cite survey design changes as a likely culprit, in large part because the changes corresponded with an increase in nonresponse rates by Americans.
Paleontologists have described three new small squirrel-like species that place a poorly understood Mesozoic group of animals firmly in the mammal family tree. The study supports the idea that mammals — an extremely diverse group that includes egg-laying monotremes such as the platypus, marsupials such as the opossum, and placentals like humans and whales — originated at least 208 million years ago in the late Triassic, much earlier than some previous research suggests.
Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), both facing tough reelection fights this fall, issued statements sharply critical of Obama’s proclaimed plans to launch military attacks unilaterally and to arm Syrian rebels.
“As a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, I believe any expanded U.S. military role beyond airstrikes in the fight against ISIL in Iraq must be approved by Congress,” Udall said in a statement, using an alternative term for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“The American people must be assured that we are not pursuing another open-ended conflict in the Middle East, and I will not give this president — or any other president — a blank check to begin another land war in Iraq,” Udall said. “As we have seen in the past, American boots on the ground cannot stamp out an extreme ideology, and the Iraqis must take responsibility for defending their own people.”
He, like every Democrat who weighed in Wednesday, said he plans to continue to demand further details from the administration on its plans.
Microsoft and the US government have agreed that the company will be held in contempt for its refusal to hand over email stored in the cloud at its Dublin data center but won’t be fined or punished, giving it a chance to appeal a court order to cough up a customer’s communications.
Like many tech companies, NSA-gate stung Microsoft, with news coverage pointing to alleged collusion with US intelligence operations.
Since then, the company has pledged to encrypt just about everything, enhance code transparency, and bolster legal protection for customers’ data.
A few weeks ago, it did, in fact, put its brawn behind that promise of legal protection.
The company on 29 August refused to hand over to the US government a customer’s emails that are stored on its servers in Ireland.
In a post uploaded to Pastebin, the hacker offered to trade Nakamoto’s personal data for 25 Bitcoins (around $12,000 or £7500):
Releasing the so called “gods” dox if my address hits 25 BTC.
And no, this is not a scam, you can see the below screenshots for proof of inbox ownership and a little teaser.
Section 1 of the proposed amendment (S. J. Res. 19) says: “Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.”
The key words here are “and others,” meaning anybody Congress chooses to regulate and “to influence elections,” meaning not just express advocacy that calls on voters to support or oppose a candidate, but any communication politicians think might influence an election.
The IDF is Searching for Tunnels – Also in the Northern Border
With new methods and units that weren’t previously operating in the region, the IDF is taking seriously the claims of the residents of the northern borders that they are hearing indistinct noises from under the ground, and are checking if terror tunnels from Lebanon were also built. 30 million shekels were invested in the new methods. So far, there are no findings
One little heard of problem with wind turbines is that they show up on radar, making it difficult for radar operators to distinguish between low flying planes and modern windmills. In France, the problem has reportedly resulted in approximately 6,000 MW of wind farm projects being blocked by the military. To address the problem, Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine maker, has been looking into making turbines that are invisible to radar. As part of the announcement by Nouvelles, Vestas representatives explained that the company looked to stealth military craft to learn how to hide the turbines that will be used in the wind farm in France.
On this day in 1940, in light of the destruction and terror inflicted on Londoners by a succession of German bombing raids, called “the Blitz,” the British War Cabinet instructs British bombers over Germany to drop their bombs “anywhere” if unable to reach their targets.
The prior two nights of bombing had wrought extraordinary damage, especially in the London slum area, the East End. King George VI even visited the devastated area to reassure the inhabitants that their fellow countrymen were with them in heart and mind. Each night since the seventh, sirens had sounded to announce the approach of incoming German planes, which had begun dropping bombs indiscriminately in the London vicinity, even though the docks had been their primary target on Day One of the Blitz. As British bombers set out for Germany to retaliate, they were instructed not to return home with their bombs if they failed to locate their original targets. Instead, they were to release their loads where and when they could.