вторник, 20 декабря 2011 г.

Man nabbed over fake cigarettes

A man was arrested after police found fake cigarettes in his bakkie in East London on Monday morning, said Eastern Cape police.

The fake cigarettes had an estimated street value of R72 000, said Captain Ernest Sigobe.

The 35-year-old man was arrested at about 6am after being pulled over by police.

“The suspect is due in the East London Magistrate's Court soon on charges of dealing in fake cigarettes,” said Sigobe.

Two arrested for stealing $700 in cigarettes

cartons of cigarettes

Kentucky State Police say two women stole $700 worth of cigarettes from a Union County smoke shop. It happened Monday around 8:00 p.m. at "Smoking Joes" near Sturgis. Troopers say they were watching for traffic violations when they saw two women go inside the store.

They say one of them stayed inside while the other made several trips back and forth to a vehicle carrying cartons of cigarettes. When the women left, troopers say they pulled the vehicle over for a minor traffic violation and could not find any receipts for the cartons.

Patsy Hansbrough, 42, of Sturgis and 44-year-old Jacqueline Fox of Hopkinsville were taken to jail. The cigarettes were returned to the store.

Cigarettes main cause of fires in İstanbul, official figures say

Cigarettes main

The official figures of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Fire Department say some 12,500 of the total number of fires that occurred in İstanbul in the first 11 months of 2011 were caused by cigarettes.
According to the figures, firefighters intervened in 24,691 fires in İstanbul. Among the causes of these fires, cigarettes come first, followed by short circuits with 4,298 incidents. Children playing with fire is listed as the third most frequent cause of fires, followed by the improper use of electrical equipment such as electric stoves and an iron. The number of fires that was caused by children playing with fire stood at 1,487 while the number for incidents caused by the improper use of electrical equipment was 1,037.

The other causes for fires include -- but are not limited to -- the improper use of candles, and gas explosions.

The official data say most fire incidents took place in the months of July, August and September.

The most fires occurred in İstanbul's Pendik district, with 1,320 recorded incidents.

Fires most commonly took place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., mostly during weekends and public holidays. The number of false reports came in at 3,364.

Fairfax medical marijuana dispensary closes and vacates premises on schedule

Fairfax medical marijuana

The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the oldest dispensary of its kind in the state, quietly shut down over the weekend, the victim of a federal crackdown.

"They moved out of the premises just before 2 a.m. on Sunday morning," said Peter Goldstone, a Santa Rosa attorney who has represented the Alliance, and its operator, Lynnette Shaw, in an eviction proceeding that was brought by the Alliance's landlord. Shaw could not be reached for comment.

The landlord, Farshid Ezazi of Orinda, initiated the eviction proceeding after Melinda Haag, the San Francisco-based U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, threatened to confiscate the building in which the Alliance operated at 6 School St. in Fairfax. The Fairfax dispensary is among dozens statewide that federal prosecutors say they have targeted due to the dispensaries' proximity to parks, schools and other facilities used by children.

The Marin Wellness Center, a medical marijuana dispensary at 1100 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Kentfield, is also being forced to close by Jan. 1 due to pressure applied to its landlord by federal authorities. A third dispensary, the Green Door Wellness Education Center at 7586 Redwood Blvd. Suite C in Novato, is battling an eviction proceeding brought by its landlord and is awaiting a Marin Superior Court judge's decision after a one-day trial on the eviction last week.

Shaw had previously said that she would seek to continue storing thousands of patients' medical records at the School Street site. She said she had nowhere else to put them. But Goldstone said the records have been removed.
"My understanding is that it is what they call broom-clean, and they've turned over the keys," Goldstone said.

The federal government began the process of confiscating the School Street building on Nov. 18, even though Ezazi had already initiated court action to evict the Marin Alliance. Robert Weems, Ezazi's attorney, said his client filed court papers last week formally acknowledging ownership of the 6 School St. property, a step he had to take if he hopes to retain ownership. Weems said the Marin Alliance's closure should strengthen Ezazi's case.

"We think it is significant that possession has been returned to us," Weems said. Ezazi can now file a motion to dismiss the forfeiture proceeding or opt for a trial, Weems said.

Shaw, who has always shared information freely about the Alliance's long-standing legal battles, stopped responding to questions from the press earlier this month, saying that she was "in great danger" and had to end her relationship with the Alliance, which she helped found.

A message on the Alliance's website announcing the closure states, "We are very sorry to announce that we have shut our doors until we can resolve certain legal issues. The battle is not over, but we must await further court action that will allow us to reopen, hopefully within a month or two. Unfortunately, our owner and director, Lynnette Shaw, finds it best to sever her relationship with Marin Alliance."

понедельник, 12 декабря 2011 г.

Imperial Tobacco joins Australia packaging fight

supports tobacco

Global giant Imperial Tobacco has launched a legal challenge against Australia's plain packaging for cigarettes, officials said Wednesday, becoming the third company to contest the plan.
"Imperial Tobacco has filed a challenge which has some similarities to the British American Tobacco (BAT) challenge," a spokeswoman for Australia's High Court told AFP.
Imperial said its challenge, filed Tuesday, would claim that laws passed last month mandating plain packets for tobacco products from December 2012 breached Australia's constitution by infringing intellectual property rights.
Centred on its Peter Stuyvesant brand, Imperial's case will seek a High Court ruling to protect all of its tobacco products, which it says are worth "billions of dollars".
"The High Court of Australia will now determine claims which include the validity of these unprecedented laws," Imperial Tobacco Australia (ITA) manager Melvin Ruigrok said in a statement.
"Unchallenged, the Australian government would otherwise be able to simply take the intellectual property of legal entities."
BAT has filed a similar constitutional challenge but it was not clear whether they would be heard together, the High Court spokeswoman said.
Philip Morris is also suing Canberra over the plan, which will see cigarettes in drab packets with large, graphic health warnings showing diseased body parts and sick babies, while brand imagery and promotional text will be banned.
Ruigrok said Australians were fully aware of smoking's health risks and described the packets as "anything but plain", with official messages to cover at least 75 percent of packet fronts and 90 percent of the back.
"ITA supports tobacco regulation that is reasonable, proportionate and evidence-based," he said, warning of billions of dollars in compensation and legal costs.
"Unfortunately, the Australian government?s plain packaging legislation is none of these things."
Canberra says that tobacco use costs the country more than Aus$30 billion (US$30.8 billion) a year in healthcare and lost productivity and has vowed not to be deterred by the tobacco companies' legal campaigns.
Australia would be the first country to mandate plain packaging, although New Zealand, Canada and Britain have considered a similar approach and are watching developments.

Man pleads guilty to putting lit marijuana pipe to toddler's mouth

A Vermont man who was accused of putting a lit marijuana pipe into a toddler's mouth has been ordered to serve 60 days on a prison work crew.

The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/sLl0jw) 25-year-old Jonathan Fuller of Concord was scheduled for a jury trial but opted to plead guilty to a felony charge of delivering drugs to a minor and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Essex County State's Attorney Vince Illuzzi said Fuller received an overall sentence of one to three years in prison, all suspended but the six months on the work crew and four months of home confinement.

Fuller was accused of putting the pipe to his 2-year-old-daughter's mouth in 2009. Police had received a video recording of the alleged incident.

Cigarette maker tenders unconditional apology

cigarette manufacturer

A cigarette manufacturer has placed an unconditional apology to the Tobacco Control Cell for printing attractive advertisements of its cigarette brands in print media and magazines with the commitment to avoid serious violation of the 'The Prohibition of Smoking in Enclosed Places and Protection of Non Smokers' in future.

Sources told Business Recorder here on Wednesday that on November 22, 2011 the Executive Director, Health Services Academy, and in-charge of Federal Tobacco Control Cell ultimately decided to take some enforcement actions against the violators.

The Executive Director issued a formal detailed show-cause notice to the company to explain, within seven days of the receipt of the notice, why they were advertising cigarettes in violation of anti-tobacco rules.
According to sources in Tobacco Control Cell, the company has now submitted its reply to the said show-cause notice to the Cabinet Division and the Health Services Academy.

The said tobacco company has accepted patent illegality and violation of government rules and guidelines, and has also tendered an unconditional apology and given a guarantee that such print media campaigns will not be repeated.
Sources said that the civil society has urged the government to implement the Ordinance 'The Prohibition of Smoking in Enclosed Places and Protection of Non Smokers', and asked to take legal action against the cigarette manufacturer for publishing promotional advertisements in the media.
Sources said that the recent promotional blitz launched by a company by placing attractive advertisements for its cigarette brands in some sections of the print media and magazines has been termed illegal by Tobacco Control Cell working under health services academy.

According to tobacco advertisement guidelines issued by the government, cigarettes ads in the press should not exceed one square inch with 20 percent of its dedicated to health warning, virtually prohibiting such print advertisements.
In spite of the fact that these advertisements ran for two weeks in complete disregard of the law, the relevant authorities had failed to take any action on their own.

It were civil society organisations that brought the relevant authorities out of their slumber and demanded action by the authorities, even threatening taking the matter to the higher courts, if the authorities failed to stop such illegal activities.
Now the civil society awaits the action taken by the Health Services Academy over this illegal promotional campaign and admitted illegality by the multinational tobacco company.

Sources close to the affairs said that the units try to use influence over the Health Services Academy for not taking any action against them.

Efforts are underway to create some form of situation where the matter will be hushed up and forgotten altogether.

This just shows that the relevant authorities do not feel the courage to take any action when a multinational is involved.
Dr Javed Khan, Head of Pulmonary Medicine, Aga Khan Medical College Karachi, and Chairman of National Alliance for Tobacco Control, when contacted, stated that the illegality must not be allowed to be settled by a mere apology, even if unconditional, but strict legal action under the law must be initiated against the management of tobacco companies for such illegal advertisement campaigns which attract the youth.

Smoke signals rise from the Aniston-Theroux camp

In Touch Weekly has a strange story saying Justin Theroux is getting sick of Jennifer Aniston. For one thing, she has stopped smoking because she wants to get pregnant. That made her gain 10 pounds, and now she "complains non-stop about how fat she is," Nameless Insider says.

And "Justin really can't believe how vain Jennifer is."

And this little detail: No sex, she has decreed, except when she's at her most fertile. "Justin has been saying that their love life is more like a science experiment."

Who among us will be surprised to learn that Brooke Mueller, the mother of Charlie Sheen's 2-year-old twins Bob and Max, is in drug trouble again?

She'll be in court Dec. 19 after a cocaine-possessionwith-intent-to-distribute bust in Aspen the other day.

There's also an assault charge, after a hair-pulling brawl with another woman in a nightclub. She's 34.

You're a 48-year-old loser, is who you are: Julian Lennon, 48 and never married, says he hasn't had kids because his father was a terrible dad.

"He was young and didn't know what the hell he was doing," Julian told Record Collector magazine. "That's the reason I haven't had children yet. I didn't want to do the same thing." Still, he says, "I'm not ready. I want to know who I am first."

Sure, Daniel Radcliffe is rich, famous, clever, reasonably good-looking, and by all accounts a nice guy. But appar ently he's not much at house keeping.

The Daily Mail says his main squeeze, Rosie Coker, has given him a deadline to shape up about keeping his place tidy. But you have to wonder how serious she is:

"I have a deadline of two years to be a fully functioning human being around the house," Radcliffe said. "I didn't promise her anything, but I have made it my mission to improve myself. There's certainly progress to be made." Two years?

He lives in New York; she's mainly in England. Before she came for a visit last weekend, he actually got his mom to tidy up his apartment.

He's 21.

You don't know who Elisabetta Canalis has been dating since George Clooney dropped her and you don't care. Me neither.

But the whole world now knows she just dumped the guy, and none too gently - and by "the whole world," I mean readers of Radar Online, which had the item.

He's one Mehcad Brooks, who was in True Blood and now stars on a show called Necessary Roughness on an American cable network, USA.

Anyway, the two had a huge blowup in the lobby of her apartment building in West Hollywood, Radar says. Arguing, then shouting, then she pushed him and screamed, "Just go! Get out of here!" He left.

She went upstairs, returning with "an armful of things, which included a Balenciaga handbag," and dumped it all, ordering the building manager to "tell that (anatomical bad word) to take his (bad word) and never contact me again!"

Smoking ban still broken in the bars

indoor smoking ban

People were smoking in five out of six Paceville bars visited by The Sunday Times last Wednesday night. In one instance, the reporter saw a patron order a drink while lighting up.
And despite figures showing increased police enforcement of the ban, The Sunday Times photographed two police officers sharing soft drinks with a young woman as she smoked openly inside the Bay Street complex on December 2.
Malta was the second EU state to introduce an indoor smoking ban, having done so in April 2004, but there is a widespread perception that the ban is disregarded by many bar and nightclub patrons.
A study published two weeks ago revealed that in contrast to other countries, Malta’s smoking ban has not led to any decrease in hospital admission or mortality rates due to heart disease.
The study’s lead author, cardiologist Robert Xuereb, attributed the disappointing findings to lax enforcement of ban in places of entertainment.
But the president of the General Retailers and Traders Union Hospitality and Leisure Division, Philip Fenech, said that contrary to perception, bars in entertainment hotspots went out of their way to enforce the smoking ban.
“In certain places there is full enforcement of the ban. In fact, reports from certain establishments – especially in Paceville – indicate that police are going in and out too often.”
Mr Fenech conceded, however, that in other areas, enforcement of the smoking ban was “very, very slack”.
Statistics reveal that police have significantly upped efforts to enforce the ban over recent years. In 2004, police charged just 19 people with smoking infractions. Last year, the figure was 2,185.
People found guilty of breaking the smoking ban are slapped with a €233 fine. Establishments where people are caught smoking are also liable to penalties, but an agreement between the GRTU and the authorities protects larger establishments from prosecution, explained Mr Fenech.
“If an establishment is large enough to make it impossible for bar staff to monitor patrons’ behaviour, has clear ‘no smoking’ signage and no ashtrays or smoking provisions, then it will not be considered responsible for a patron smoking.”
This agreement does not apply to smaller establishments where staff could clearly keep an eye on customers, Mr Fenech added.
Part of the blame for the failure of an anti-smoking culture to take root is cultural, said sociologist Albert Bell. “Many northern nations identify much more strongly with the state and see laws as protecting them. We’re a much more family-centred society.”
As a result, Maltese often perceive laws as “foreign and imposed,” said Dr Bell, who heads the university’s department of youth and community studies. “The sense of detachment loosens our moral binds to the law and makes it easier for people to undertake deviant behaviour.”
In a diplomatically-worded statement, the Health Ministry said that while workplaces seemed to comply with the smoking ban, “other areas in the leisure industry” needed to do so too.
In Dr Bell’s opinion, having an effective, well-enforced smoking ban “will take time”.
He drew parallels with seatbelt legislation, which had drawn significant ire when first introduced in the 1990s but was now broadly accepted.
“I would expect the smoking ban to become better enforced over time. It is unrealistic to expect police to somehow monitor every bar’s patrons – a successful ban will only come about through greater auto-regulation and more peer pressure to observe the rules,” Dr Bell said.
Questions sent to the police, as is often the case, remained unanswered.

Smoke Free Ordinance takes center stage at NMB Council meeting

Smoke Free Ordinance

Monday’s North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting was characterized by limited new business and impassioned pleas by both advocates and detractors of the pending smoke free ordinance being proposed for the city of North Myrtle Beach.
On the consent agenda, council unanimously approved the Barefoot Landing Fireworks schedule for the 2012 season, the 29th Annual Winter Run and the 2012 council meeting schedule. Under new business, council also passed a resolution to amend an Easement Agreement between the city and the developer of the Prince PUD to grant an extension of time in which to relocate a beach access-way on the property of the PUD.

Though both new and old business was relatively tame, public comment turned out to be impassioned and somewhat heated as citizens discussed a controversial proposed ordinance by Smoke Free North Myrtle Beach that would prohibit smoking in enclosed public places, city-owned facilities and places of employment.
“Residents from Murrells Inlet to Little River want this ordinance to pass,” one supporter proclaimed Monday evening. “I’ve lost two sisters to lung cancer. This is an addiction that is worse than heroin. This issue is a matter of life and death.”
“No level of smoke is good for the body,” Dr. Nicolas Pennings of North Myrtle Beach stated. “I lost my father at the age of nine from lung cancer. It doesn’t take a lot of smoke to trigger negative effects in the body.”
What was particularly interesting about Monday night’s meeting was the growing presence of an organized opposition to the movement. Over the past few months, assertions by those in support of the smoke free ordinance have become increasing extreme. Supporters have publicly stated that second hand smoke can be more dangerous than directly smoking a cigarette and, as was just mentioned, that addiction to cigarettes is “worse than heroin addiction.” As a result, an opposition movement to the ordinance appears to be forming.
“Smoking is not illegal,” Susan Trexler, a North Myrtle Beach resident who described herself as being in the bar business since 1972, stated. “It’s wrong for anyone to mandate whether or not a business can or cannot allow smoking as long as smoking is legal. It should be the business’ choice.
“I believe if you want to get rid of smoking, then you should fight to make smoking illegal.”