NRA sues to block bill
Soon after Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a school-safety bill that puts new restrictions on guns, the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed a federal lawsuit to block it. Three weeks of pressure from relatives and students slain in the in the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida, school massacre provided momentum for the legislation. The governor said the bill balances individual rights with need for public safety. The new law raises the age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, extends a three-day waiting period to include long guns and bans bump stocks. The NRA said the age limit is unfair to law abiding 18-to-20-year-olds.
Breadfruit whiskey distilled
A Virginia distillery is seeking approval to become the first commercial distiller of whiskey made from breadfruit. The company hopes using the tropical food will help the economy of hurricane-devastated St Croix. The Virginian-Pilot said Chesapeake Bay Distillery owner Chris Richeson last month completed the distillation process using breadfruit and is awaiting government approval for labeling to sell it. He said a former Virginia chef who is now a restaurateur in the Virgin Islands, Todd Manley, contacted him about crafting the spirit. Breadfruit is a food staple in the Caribbean that has been touted as a “superfood.” Richeson said the whiskey raises the profile of breadfruit and provides “value-added agricultural products for St Croix.”
Hippo ‘Tyson’ roams loose
Authorities said they are worried about a hippopotamus that is roaming loose in a swampy area of southern Mexico. Nobody knows where the animal came from, but hippos are not native to the country. The hippo appears to have been living in a pair of ponds near Las Chopas, Veracruz. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said that experts are looking for the best way to trap and move the three-year-old, 600kg mammal. The hippo was first spotted by local media near a garbage dump in January. Residents of the town have come to love the animal so much they have nicknamed it “Tyson.”
Horse spooked on dance floor
Florida partiers who packed a Miami Beach nightclub on Thursday night were keen to see an actual party animal — a snow-white horse complete with a half-naked model as its rider. However, in events apparently unforeseen, the horse became spooked on the dance floor, throwing off its rider and making a break for it as partygoers screamed in fear. Mokai Lounge in South Beach is now saddled with a police investigation — and the wrath of social media users. The bar’s page on reviewing site Yelp has been shut down following a flood of posts outraged over the horsing around.
Doctor jailed over kickbacks
Jerrold Rosenberg, a doctor who admitted he accepted financial kickbacks for prescribing a highly addictive opioid spray was on Friday sentenced to 51 months in prison. Prosecutors said the Rosenberg bullied patients who complained about the effects of the fentanyl spray Subsys, telling one to “stop crying, you’re acting like a child.” He received US$188,000 in kickbacks. Two patients survived after overdosing. Rosenberg’s lawyer disputes the number of people hurt and said there is no evidence the overdoses were caused by Rosenberg’s prescriptions.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable
BEIJING REACTS: China announced that Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Canada, Australia and Britain would be suspended after those nations acted earlier New Zealand yesterday announced that it would suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. The move came after China passed sweeping new security legislation for the territory. New Zealand is the final member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance to take such action after the Australia, Britain, Canada and the US previously announced similar measures. New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters said that the new legislation goes against commitments China made to the international community. “New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China,” Peters said. Moreover, Wellington would treat military and technology exports to