Mexican Man Convicted of Raping a Disabled Woman Attacks Her Again in Seattle

A Mexican man who was found guilty of raping a wheelchair-bound Seattle woman last year, attacked his victim again on June 16 just a few days after being released.

King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) has issued an arrest warrant for Francisco Carranza-Ramirez, 35, after he allegedly strangled and beat a 32-year-old disabled woman outside her apartment in White Center, 8 miles south of downtown Seattle.

Authorities claim the suspect, who has already been convicted of raping the same woman before, tracked down and attacked her in front of her toddler just three days after being released from jail.

“The suspect assaulted the victim, knocking her out of her wheelchair, strangled her, and threatened to kill her,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott said in a statement obtained by KIRO 7.

Carranza-Ramirez allegedly told the woman that killing her would “set him free,” according to the sheriff’s office.

By the time deputies arrived at the scene, Carranza-Ramirez was long gone. Police said he is homeless, somewhere in White Center area, and has already been charged with second-degree assault, felony harassment, intimidating a witness, and violating a sexual assault protection order.

Carranza-Ramirez is described in court documents as being a white male with brown eyes, black hair, weighing 140 pounds, and measuring 5 feet 8 inches tall.

The accused had been released the week before on the condition he returned to his homeland of Mexico, after being found guilty of an earlier third-degree rape attack against the same woman back in September 2018.

King County Superior Court Judge Nicole Gaines Phelps decided not to release Carranza-Ramirez into community custody because he had already served time. Carranza-Ramirez would only be required to show evidence that he had returned to Mexico.

As a condition of his June 13 guilty plea in the rape case, Carranza-Ramirez had to follow a sexual assault protection order to stay at least 1,000 feet from the victim for five years, according to court documents obtained by KIRO 7. He was also supposed to board a flight four days after his release to California and travel to Mexico by land.

Deputies claim Carranza-Ramirez violated the protection order by approaching the victim two days after his release.

The victim’s injuries were so severe she was sent to hospital for medical treatment. The sheriff’s office confirmed with The Associated Press she has already been moved to a safe location after being discharged from hospital.

The victim claimed Carranza-Ramirez had approached her the day before the attack happened.

“He was just at a distance, just like staring at me,” the victim told KIRO 7. “I think that he wanted to kill me.”

She said she believes the second attack should not have happened at all and blames the judicial system for being too lenient with Carranza-Ramirez, and not taking “aggravated factors” into consideration before handing down a sentence.

“Everyone will think the police did their job but the rest of the criminal justice system thoroughly let me down, failed me,” she said. “If the prosecutors had charged him appropriately and the judge had kept him locked up, he wouldn’t have even had the chance to do this.”

A review hearing for the conditions of his release has been scheduled for June 25.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Carranza-Ramirez is encouraged to phone 911.

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Author: Richard Szabo


India’s Sixth Biggest City Is Almost Entirely out of Water

The floor of the Chembarambakkam reservoir is cracked open, dry and sun-baked. About 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away, in Chennai, India’s sixth largest city, millions of people are running out of water.

Chembarambakkam and the three other reservoirs that have traditionally supplied Chennai are nearly all dry, leaving the city suffering from an acute water shortage, said Jayaram Venkatesan, an activist in the city.

Due to an inability to collect sufficient rain water combined with low groundwater levels, the Tamil Nadu state government has been struggling to provide water to residents.

With the reservoirs dry, water is being brought directly into Chennai neighborhoods in trucks. Every day, hundreds of thousands of residents have no choice but to stand in line for hours in soaring summer temperatures, filling dozens of cans and plastic containers.

Indian residents stand around with plastic pots filled with drinking water at a distribution point in Chennai on June 19, 2019. (Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images)

Suresh Subburaman, a resident of Chennai and owner of the Nivis Kitchen hotel, has been struggling to keep his business afloat.

“We are open and we are somehow functioning. But we are running at a no-loss, no-gain situation. This is our only business. We have no other option. We have to run it,” said Subburaman.

“Earlier the water would come every day at home. Now, we get it every three to four days. We store the water in a small tank or 20-liter plastic pots at home,” said Subburaman whose home is in Egattur neighborhood on the southern outskirts of Chennai.

M. Senthilsaravanan, another hotel owner and resident, said: “In (the) Chennai area, hotels and restaurants have shut down because we are not getting sufficient water and there is high demand.”

Senthilsaravanan lives in the Navalur suburb of Chennai and pays about 6000 rupees ($86) every other day for a tanker to deliver water to his hotel, Quality and Taste.

This picture is of Sarvatheertha lake, in Kanchipuram municipality, Tamil Nadu. (Apoorva Jayachandran/Twitter)

The private tankers come from the outer areas of Tamil Nadu state which is not suffering shortages. But the demand is so high they cannot supply on time, Senthilsaravanan said.

With supplies strictly rationed, many wealthier families have taken to relying on expensive private water tankers.

Although the municipal body has worked to prioritize low-income households, residents who book government water tankers could still wait up to a month.

It’s not immediately clear how many are without water in Chennai presently.

Chennai’s last census, conducted in 2011 showed the city’s population at 4.6 million.

This picture is of Sarvatheertha lake, in Kanchipuram municipality, Tamil Nadu. (Apoorva Jayachandran/Twitter)

In 2017, 605,510 homes were tapped into a government-run water connection, according to a report from the Tamil Nadu state government’s Department of Economics and Statistics. Each connection gets 120 liters per capita per day (lpcd) and during a drought, it is reduced to 70 lpcd, the report said.

Use of private tankers to provide water are mostly inaccessible to those living in the city’s slums. Around 820,000 people live in slums in the city and cannot afford access to private tankers, the 2017 report said citing the 2011 census data.

CNN has reached out to the government of Tamil Nadu for comment.

Droughts in India are an annual problem, but this year’s water shortage has coincided with a fatal nationwide heatwave. As cities struggle to provide enough resources, those on the front lines of the crisis say it’s only going to get worse.

“Governments are now scrambling to make sure people have water,” said Jyoti Sharma, founder and president of FORCE, an Indian NGO working on water conservation. “Groundwater wells are drying faster and faster every year.”

India’s Ongoing Water Crisis

Chennai is the latest casualty of a countrywide drought that has left 600 million people dealing with high to extreme water shortages, according to a 2018 report by Niti Aayog, a policy think tank for the Indian government.

Only a fourth of Indian households have drinking water at home, and about 200,000 people die each year due to inadequate supply or water contamination.

“It’s increasingly becoming a pan-India problem,” said Sharma. “Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai once in a while, Delhi — they’re all in the news for the same reason. They’re running out of water.”

An entire family in one of Chennai’s slums gets just 30-40 liters (about 8-10 gallons) of water every day, said Venkatasan.

To put that into perspective, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water a day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tensions are now heightening over water provision. Water tanker trucks are being hijacked and violence is erupting between neighboring housing settlements, said Sharma. With barely enough water to drink, sanitation can take a backseat, leading to overflowing public toilets and poor female menstrual hygiene.

India Grows Bigger, Hotter, and Drier

Most of India relies on groundwater for its water needs, instead of traditional water harvesting systems. Decades of drilling into the earth to reach water has led to severe ground water depletion.

“This is primarily because of poor management of water bodies. We are completely dependent on the rain. The government should ensure that there is water harvesting,” said Venkatesan.

One hundred million people, including those in the large cities of Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, will soon be living in zero groundwater cities, according to the Niti Aayog report. This number will likely continue increasing, as the United Nations recently estimated that India’s population will surge by almost 300 million by 2050, and it will become the world’s most populous country.

Complicating the issue are the devastating effects of climate change. Monsoon rains have been more erratic and droughts more common, threatening farmer’s harvests. This could cripple livelihoods across the predominantly agricultural country, where 80% of water is used to irrigate thirsty crops such as sugar cane and rice.

“Unless we adapt our water storage to suit the change in rain intensity, we’re going to suffer really badly,” said Sharma. “All parts of India — rural, urban, everybody.”

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Author: Wire Service Content

Rookie Officer Dies After Being Shot and Trapped for 45 Minutes During Stand-Off in Sacramento

A rookie 26-year-old female police officer was shot and killed as she responded to a domestic disturbance that later turned into a stand-off with police outside a Sacramento home.

Officer Tara O’Sullivan lay wounded in the yard of the suspect’s house for 45 minutes before officers, pinned down by the gunman’s rifle fire, finally rescued her under the cover of an armored truck, police told reporters.

O’Sullivan was pronounced dead at UC Davis Medical Center within hours, Deputy Police Chief Dave Peletta told reporters during a news conference at around 12:40 a.m. local time.

At the time of that press conference, police said the gunman was still holed up in the neighborhood home, and they were seeking to peacefully negotiate with him.

The stand-off ended at 1:54 a.m, according to the Sacramento Bee, citing police radio traffic, about one hour after officials had announced the death of the first Sacramento officer in 20 years.

O’Sullivan was among several officers who were responding to reports of a domestic dispute between a male and a female on the evening of June 19, according to police.

Accompanied by a training officer, O’Sullivan was helping to pick up the woman’s belongings in her yard at around 6:10 p.m. when the gunman opened fire from the residence on the 200 block of Redwood Avenue in north Sacramento.

“Due to one of our officers being shot, our officers took safe positions, and at that time they believed the officer was shot with a rifle,” Sergeant Vance Chandler told reporters at an earlier press conference. “The officer went down in the yard of a residence and, due to the suspect being armed with a rifle and actively shooting our officers, maintained cover in safe positions until we were able to get an armored vehicle in the area.”

That vehicle was able to rescue her at 6:54 p.m., Chandler said, and she was transported to a hospital at 6:59 p.m.

It was not possible to say whether her life could have been saved if officers had been able to extract her from the scene earlier, said Peletta.

O’Sullivan started on the police force in administration but had then enlisted in the training academy, graduating in December and was only two weeks from completing her phase training, meaning she would be allowed to go out alone.

She was part of the first class of graduates of Sacramento State’s Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars program in 2017 and went on to the Sacramento Police Academy.

“She had one of these bubbly personalities that always wanted to help,” said Peletta.

“We are devastated tonight,” Poletta said. “There are no words to convey the depth of sadness we feel or how heartbroken we are for our family of our young, brave officer.”

“She gave her young life while protecting our community.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said  that he was “heartbroken.”

The detention of the suspect has not been officially announced as of the time of writing.

Polletta said earlier that several tactical teams had surrounded the home. “The goal is that we want to negotiate with the suspect and have him peacefully surrender,” he said at the time. “We don’t want to rush anything and time is on our side in these situations.”

According to the Sacramento Bee, police had gone to great lengths to end the stand-off without lethal force, despite being shot at for hours.

Officers had sent the man’s discarded phone back in via a police robot, so that they could negotiate, according to the Bee.

The suspect has not yet been named in any reports.

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Author: Simon Veazey

Hong Kong Protesters Clean the Streets ‘Spotless’ After 2 Million-Strong Demonstration

The largest protest in Hong Kong history succeeded, and the incredibly civil Hong Kong protesters cleaned the streets before dispersing, leaving them spotless.

Two million protesters brought Hong Kong to a standstill over the weekend in opposition to Beijing’s proposed new “extradition law,” which is said to be an “erosion” of the rights of Hongkongers.

The protest ended when Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam gave in partially to their demands by putting the new bill on indefinite hold. The protesters have also called for her to resign.

Meanwhile, the extraordinary gathering has garnered praise for their polite protest.

Garbage bags in hand, many of them spent the night picking up after the mass demonstration, leaving the streets spotless the next morning.

“Occupiers are doing one last sweep for rubbish,” wrote author Kong Tsung-gan early Monday morning, via Twitter. “Two million people marched here yesterday, it was occupied all night, and there isn’t a scrap of rubbish on the road.”

Ennie Chan, who witnessed the same thing, told the Independent, “I was there and I saw everything … I saw young people holding different bags to take trash away last night. There were a lot of people clearing rubbish.”

Lam had issued an apology for Hong Kong’s response to the demonstrations and for how the controversial bill was handled. A similar demonstration last week saw 1 million people take to the streets and resulted in 72 people being admitted to hospital after police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets at protesters.

Protesters gather outside the Legislative Council building as they demonstrate against the now-suspended extradition bill on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. (©Getty Images | Carl Court)

Hongkongers are also demanding an apology from the police.

Moreover, protesters want the extradition bill thrown out completely, not simply delayed.

“Suspending the law but not canceling it is like holding a knife over someone’s head and saying, ‘I’m not going to kill you now.’ But you could do it any time,” Betty, a recent high school graduate, told The Guardian. “We’re fighting for our freedom.”

Protesters block roads with barricades during clashes with police after a rally against a controversial extradition law proposal in Hong Kong on June 10, 2019. (©Getty Images | ISAAC LAWRENCE)

Meanwhile, Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang insists the protests were part of a foreign plot.

“Many facts have shown that foreign governments and even some politicians have been making inflammatory remarks since the decision of the Hong Kong government to start amending the extradition ordinance in February,” said Kang via CNA.

The extradition law would allow Beijing to take Hong Kong suspects to mainland China to face China’s opaque, communist-controlled court system. Critics say this fatally subverts the rights of Hongkongers.

China’s President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Hong Kong’s new chief executive Carrie Lam (L) during their meeting in Hong Kong on July 1, 2017. (©Getty Images | BILLY H.C. KWOK/AFP)

Still more stirring scenes were observed from the gathering over the weekend. Witnesses were impressed by the level of civility shown during the demonstrations.

“I heard that someone had fallen ill ahead of us,” Cathy, a protester, told Daily Mail. “The ambulance arrived and there was a protester separating the crowd and asking people to move to the side of the road.

“There was no chaos at all. Everyone was so polite and organized.

“I was so touched. We are definitely not rioters!”

Another Twitter user called it “the most beautiful scene in Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong protesters make way for an ambulance

Incredible footage from Hong Kong, where the huge crowd of protesters parted to allow an ambulance through.An apology from Hong Kong’s leader for her handling of a controversial extradition bill has failed to defuse citizen unrest and anger, with calls for a strike to follow massive street protests.Nearly 2 million of the city’s 7 million people turned out on Sunday, according to estimates by protest organisers. Police said 338,000 were counted on the designated protest route in the “peak period” of the march.A week earlier as many as 1 million demonstrated to voice their concern over the bill, which would allow people to be extradited to China to face criminal proceedings there, raising fears of human rights abuses.Read more: @sanzhao4 on Twitter#HappeningNow | #7NEWS

7NEWS Australia စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇွန် ၁၆၊ တနင်္ဂနွေနေ့

A high school student who wished to remain anonymous shared a similar account to The Independent, “Yesterday’s protest was beautiful. The protesters were really polite.

“There were many older protesters as well—if they felt unwell, people around them would hold them up, offer water or bread, and tell others to be careful.

“It got pretty hot and stuffy whenever we had to wait in the same space for a while. When they saw small kids they helped fan them to cool them down.”

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Author: Michael Wing

Retired American Police Officer Suddenly Dies While Visiting Dominican Republic With Wife

A retired police officer from Ohio died while visiting the Dominican Republic in January, his family said.

Seventy-eight-year-old Jerry Curran died on Jan. 26, just days after setting foot in the country, family members told WKYC 3.

The former police officer, who worked for the Bedford Police Department for 32 years, and was a bailiff for another decade, checked into the Dreams Resort in Punta Cana with his wife Janet on Jan. 22.

However, after having a meal and drinks on their first night in the country, Curran complained he felt unwell and spent most of his time the following couple of days resting in bed.

On his third day at the Punta Cana resort, he began to vomit and was unresponsive. He was rushed to hospital, put on a ventilator and underwent surgery, but reportedly passed away eight hours later.

“Three days after he arrived in the Dominican Republic he was dead,” his daughter Kellie Brown told WYKC 3.

She received the tragic news while waiting at the Charlotte, NC, airport for a flight to see her father in the Dominican Republic.

Alarm bells rang for Brown when the family saw the causes of her father’s death listed on his death certificate: Cerebral hypoxia, which is a lack of oxygen to the brain; pulmonary edema, which is excess fluid in the lungs; subdural hematoma, meaning a collection of blood outside the brain; and severe encephalitic cranial trauma, which is a traumatic brain injury.

“My father was a healthy 78-year-old, he took care of himself and I just didn’t think anything like this was possible, but then I started to hear other people’s stories,” Brown told the New York Post.

Brown said she asked an emergency physician to review her father’s X-ray and CT scan, who told her a pulmonary edema would not be enough to be a direct cause of death.

Curran’s daughter told WKYC 3 she wasn’t sure what could have caused her father to have a brain bleed, but said he had been taking blood thinners.

“He never complained of hitting his head or falling,” she said. “We want to find out what happened and why did he die.”

“One of them is pulmonary edema, which seems to be common in everyone else who’s passed that we’re learning about,” Brown told the Post.

In a statement, the Dreams Punta Cana resort told WKYC 3 it had “no evidence that this unfortunate incident was the result of anything other than natural causes.”

“We were very sorry to learn of the death of 78-year-old Thomas Jerome ‘Jerry’ Curran earlier this year,” the resort said in a statement.

“During this period, our staff worked very diligently to provide as much comfort and care as possible to the family. I personally visited Mrs. Curran in the hospital to offer comfort and the property provided courtesy accommodations to the family arriving from the U.S. We know how difficult his passing was for his family and friends and our hearts go out to them,” the statement reads.

Dominican Republic Deaths

News of Curran’s sudden death comes as at least 12 American tourists have passed away under suspicious circumstances in the last 12 months in the Caribbean tourist hotspot, many of whom died after drinking from the minibar in their rooms.

A doctor has said that the symptoms reported in the tourists who mysteriously died in the Dominican Republic are “consistent with poisoning.”

Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Tom Inglesby, told The New York Times that reported symptoms such as pulmonary edema, bleeding, and vomiting blood could point to poisoning, even if accidental.

He added that it is still difficult to pinpoint exactly what caused the deaths of the tourists, and the exact reason will only be known when toxicology reports are available.

The FBI and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the causes of the deaths.

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Author: Isabel van Brugen

Get Moving This Summer for a Healthier You

Ahh summer! The outdoors beckon you to soak in the sun and relish being outside. One of the best ways to welcome and enjoy the warmer season is to get moving, whether it’s by walking, running, swimming or other outdoor sports. Here are 12 tips from the Move It Monday initiative, on how to safely and sustainably keep moving towards health and fitness.  Move It Monday is an international campaign encouraging people of all fitness levels to kick off the week with exercise. It offers simple workouts, tips and inspiration to help individuals, worksites, schools, and communities incorporate physical activity into their weekly routines.

1. Get the Green Light

Moderate exercise is beneficial to almost everyone, but those with asthma, diabetes, arthritis, or heart, lung and kidney disease must take special care. If you have these or other limiting health conditions, check in with your doctor. You should also consult with a physician if you’d like to engage in vigorous activity and are over 55, mostly inactive, smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a family history of heart disease.

Get ready for your healthy goals by making a doctor’s appointment this Monday. Start off with a green light and you’ll be racing to the finish in no time!

2. Make the First Move

Regular physical activity benefits every part of your body and may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and more. While it’s recommended that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, every bit is better than nothing! It’s important to start moving and gradually increase intensity and duration.

3. Get in the Habit

Keep exercise in your life by making it part of your daily routine. An activity habit makes you less likely to stop moving (and more likely to start back up if you do). It’s easy to keep going when fitness is just as routine as brushing your teeth or combing your hair!

Think of ways you can add motion to your everyday. Plan extra steps in your commute or try activity during lunch or after work. Make it fit into your daily life by including your kids, pets or business calls.

4. Revive your Routine

Having a consistent fitness routine is the easiest way to make activity part of your daily life. When planning your exercise, aim for SMART moves (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely): pick a time, place and activity that fits into your life and stick with it! Find three places in your schedule this week where you can fit fitness. It may be in the morning, during your lunch break, before dinner or in the evening. Recommit to these times at the end of the week, or adjust your workout schedule if need be.

5. Make the Extra Mile Worthwhile

As you increase time, duration or switch up activities, you should reward yourself for your progress! Keep a journal tracking these smaller milestones so you can see how far you’ve come and get motivated for the next step. Little incentives like new workout gear, books, movies or smartphone apps can make fitness fun and push you to go further.

6. Don’t Be Late to Hydrate

While thirst is generally a good indicator of hydration, summertime heat combined with physical activity can lead to dehydration and other related illnesses. Aim for 15-20 ounces of water two hours before exercise and have a water bottle with you during workouts. Stay hydrated this week by getting into the water bottle habit! Carry yours with you full-time to quench your thirst throughout the day.

7. Make the Most of Your Muscles

Muscle-strengthening activities build power and endurance, so your muscles can do more for longer. Push-ups, sit-ups and weight-lifting are well-known exercises, but resistance bands, digging, shoveling and yoga can also build your muscles. Work each muscle group on two, non-consecutive days of the week to get the most out of your efforts.

8. Bulk Up Your Bones

During bone-strengthening activities—like walking, running and jump rope- your feet, legs or arms support your body’s weight. This causes your muscles to push up against your bones, strengthening them. Many bone-strengthening activities also happen to be aerobic, giving you more for your work-out.

9. What’s Your Intensity?

There are varying degrees of exercise intensity. Light-intensity activity, like cooking or shopping, doesn’t require much effort. Moderate-intensity activities like a brisk walk of flat bike ride work your heart, lungs, and muscles, causing you to sweat. Vigorous-intensity activities increase your heart rate enough that you are breathing hard and fast.

Develop a diverse workout this week by incorporating something from every intensity level. Remember that fitness level and abilities vary from person to person, so you may find an exercise to be more or less intense than your peers.

10. No Membership Required

Think you have to go to the gym to get a good work-out? Think again! Physical activity is any movement that works your muscles and uses more energy than resting. So go swimming, dancing, walking, try yoga or work in your garden.

Break up the fitness monotony this week by adding an original activity. Try something that you’ve always wanted to do, but never thought of as exercise.

11. Go Take a Walk

Over 60 percent of adults don’t achieve the recommended amount of movement; 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Walking for just 22 minutes each day can help you reach the aerobic activity recommendation. Plus it’s easy to fit in on your commute, during your lunch break or while you’re running errands!

Fill in your fitness gaps this week by adding walking to your routine. Find twenty minutes or more each day and try a few sessions at a faster pace.

12. Don’t Walk Alone—Invite your Community

Start a walking group in your community. Move It Monday’s free downloadable “Start a Monday Mile in Your Community’ toolkit offers useful tips and insights and gives the reasons why. For example, The Monday Mile can help bring people together; providing an opportunity for socializing and physical activity. It can help everyone start off the week to a fresh start. Check out the free guide at Move It Monday

Cherry Dumaual, PR and Partnerships Director, The Monday Campaigns. Visit for many more recipes and additional resources to help use Meatless Monday to pack more superfoods into your diet.

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Author: Cherry Dumaual

Authorities Find Massive Meth Stash Stuffed in Suitcases in Washington Forest

A massive stash of meth was found stuffed in two suitcases in a Washington forest with an estimated street value of $1 million.

A sergeant with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office and his K-9 partner found the two suitcases containing 186 pounds of methamphetamine in the Okanogan National Forest on Monday, June 17, according to Gazette-Tribune.

The sheriff’s office was assisting the Department of Homeland Security with an air smuggling investigation near Mazama, Wash., King5 News reported, when the deputy made the unusual find.

King5 posted the story on its Facebook page, where it garnered numerous reactions.

“Good Lord, thankful it’s in the right hands now,” wrote one commenter. “Bless you and the work you do. Cannot thank you enough. Glad it’s off the streets.”

“Outstanding work,” commented another. “Thank you to all involved and working together with local and federal agencies, the way they should be allowed to work together.”

The sheriff’s office was cited by KREM as saying K-9 Gunner was purchased with funds raised by Okanogan County residents. He has been working with Sgt. Davis for six years.

The sheriff said the suitcases full of meth were located in a heavily brushy area in the National Forest, according to King5 news.

“The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest encompasses more than four million acres in Washington state and stretches north to south from the Canadian border to the Goat Rocks Wilderness—a distance of about 180 miles,” the Forest Service says on its website.

“Cocaine has been the main narcotic purchased by detectives over the last few years but methamphetamine is a close second,” according to the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office’s website. “The task force also works border cases involving smuggling, usually marijuana cases.”

No information was immediately available on whether the authorities have identified any suspects in the massive meth bust.

Man Brings Marijuana-Filled Suitcase on Plane

In related news, a California man admitted to transporting 30 pounds of marijuana hidden in a suitcase on board a plane.

Gerardo Delgadillo Jr., 22, pleaded guilty in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia on Monday, June 17, to possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Prosecutors cited by The Associated Press said Delgadillo flew in October to Tri-State Airport in Kenova, West Virginia, with the marijuana in tow. Delgadillo said in court that he planned to sell the drug.

He faces up to five years in prison.

Police Find ‘Pot Nursery’ Hidden Under Toilet

In other related news, police in the Netherlands posted a video on Twitter showing the entrance to a cannabis grow room they discovered beneath a toilet bowl in a Rotterdam bathroom.

The footage was posted on Oct. 17, 2018, but the bust took place the previous year. In the caption, police noted the creativity of the drug traffickers.

“That criminals are sometimes pretty inventive is clear from the video below. Last year, after a long search, we found a hemp farm at the premises of a business at the Sluisjesdijk,” wrote the Team Parate Eenheid Politie Rotterdam, a unit of the Dutch police, on Twitter.

After removing the toilet and part of the floor, police discovered a ladder leading to a cannabis nursery.

Police concluded the tweet with a joke that this particular toilet “turned out to be very well clogged.”

Sluisjesdijk, the location identified in the tweet, is a street in Rotterdam’s Waalhaven District, an area that includes the port and various industrial sites.

Waalhaven has been the site of numerous drug busts and officials have warned of increased smuggling in Rotterdam.

According to the NL Times, on June 28, 2017, investigators found 107 kilograms (235 pounds) of cocaine packed in shrink-wrapped bundles at a Waalhaven business. The drug bundles had been hidden in a false ceiling in a container.

Detectives found more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of cocaine in a Waalhaven business in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on June 28, 2017. (Dutch Public Prosecutor/OM)

High-Potency Cannabis Linked to Psychosis

Researchers examining data from 11 European cities say high-potency cannabis may cause psychosis.

The research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, found that daily cannabis use, particularly of high potency cannabis, is strongly linked to the risk of developing psychosis.

Workers produce medical marijuana at Canopy Growth Corporation’s Tweed facility in Smiths Falls, Ont., on Feb. 12, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Psychosis is a medical condition characterized by hallucinations and delusions—distinct from hearing voices, paranoia, or the mind-altering effect of being high on drugs.

“Observational studies and biological evidence support a causal link between cannabis use and psychosis,” said a statement from Kings College London. “But until now, it has been unclear whether, at a population level, patterns of cannabis use influence rates of psychosis.”

The link was particularly marked in the cities of London and Amsterdam, where “skunk” is smoked at much higher levels than other European cities.

Stock image of cannabis. (Social Butterfly MMG)

In London, a third of psychosis cases are the result of smoking skunk, according to the study. In Amsterdam, it is half.

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Author: Tom Ozimek

Train Derails Near Nevada-Utah Line; No Injuries Reported

WELLS, Nevada—A train carrying military munitions derailed in the high desert of northeast Nevada on Wednesday, closing an interstate for about an hour before emergency crews determined there was no danger. No injuries were reported.

Cars carrying the munitions to a Nevada Army depot were not among the 23 that derailed near the rural community of Wells not far from the Utah-Nevada state line, officials said.

A white aluminum oxide was released, the Nevada Highway Patrol said. The powder was described as a mild skin irritant, but not a hazardous material.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South confirmed there were hazardous materials and ammunition on the train but said none were in the derailed cars.

Some non-hazardous aluminum oxide was spilled along with a small amount of diesel fuel, South said. She said earlier reports that the spilled substance was vegetable oil were inaccurate.

“Union Pacific is working on site cleanup,” she wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “A timeline for completion is not known, at this time. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.”

About 60 miles of the interstate near the railroad was closed in both directions from about 11 a.m. to noon.

In this photo provided by Michael Lyday shows a train derailment and potential hazardous materials spill east of Wells, Nev., on June 19, 2019. (Michael Lyday via AP)
In this photo provided by the Nevada Department of Public Safety is a train derailment near Wells, Nev., on June 19, 2019. (Nevada Department of Public Safety via AP)

“At this time, we have no information regarding why the train derailed,” Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Stewart said in a statement.

The train was headed west to an Army depot in Hawthorne that dates to 1930 and was developed as a Navy ammunition storage area because of its remoteness. It is about 125 miles southeast of Reno.

It was transferred in 1977 to the Army. It provides storage for old munitions and explosives, including some that could be reactivated, and serves as a training facility for special forces units.

In March 2013, it was the site of a training accident that killed seven Marines and injured eight others.

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Author: The Associated Press

Citrus Sheriff Makes Largest Drug Bust in Its History, Valued at Nearly $1 Million

Narcotics investigators in California have seized drugs with a street value of almost $1 million from a Beverly Hills home in what is reportedly the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office biggest ever drug bust.

The Citrus Times Online reported that on June 14, members of the Sheriff’s Office’s Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) and staff at the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) Probation Office carried out the largest ever drug seizure in CCSO history, valued at around $970,000.

The Times reported that the bust also resulted in the CCSO’s largest ever cannabis wax and MDMA seizures.

Sheriff Mike Prendergast was cited by WFLA as calling the drugs “a threat to the community that was one of the most significant we’ve seen in the Tampa Bay region for a very long time.”

Routine Probation Check Leads to Historic Bust

Deputies carrying out a routine probation check Friday went to the Beverly Hills home of 33-year-old Daniel Battisti and confronted him on suspicion of illegal activity, Fox13 reported. A probation officer found illegal drugs.

Deputies then carried out a search based on an obtained warrant and found 167 grams of methamphetamine, 100.2 grams of cocaine, 691 tablets of prescription drug cyclobenzaprine, 89 tablets of prescription drug tizanidine, 60 pills of MDMA, 1,960 grams of leaf cannabis, and 30.1 pounds of processed cannabis wax.

Battisti was arrested on several drug-related charges and, according to deputies cited by Fox13, could face 140 years behind bars.

“I would place him at the highest level of drug dealers that we’ve encountered during my tenure as the Citrus County Sheriff,” Prendergast told WFLA.

Fox13 reported that on the same day, probation officers and detectives executed a search warrant at a residence in Crystal River, leading to the arrests of 41-year-old Jeffery Conner and 40-year-old Lisa Bonugli on numerous charges.

Conner faces five counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and possession of drug paraphernalia, the Times reported.

Bonugli was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Daniel Battisti, Lisa Bonugli, and Jeffery Conner. (Citrus County Sheriff’s Office)

“These investigations are shining examples of what can be accomplished when different law enforcement partners work together to keep our citizens safe,” Sheriff Prendergast told the Times. “This single opportunity to work in cooperation with the Florida Department of Corrections resulted in nearly a million dollars’ worth of drugs and guns taken off the streets of Citrus County.”

The Citrus County Chronicle reported Battisti made a court appearance Monday, where a judge set his bond at $186,000.

The Chronicle posted the story on its Facebook page, where it garnered numerous reactions.

“We LOVE Citrus County Sheriff’s Office!” wrote one commenter, adding: “You all work so hard! To allow us to sleep at night! Bless EVERYONE that helped in this raid! Stay safe!”

Another commenter wrote: “141 years does crime pay? Nope.”

Massive Meth Stash Found Stuffed in Suitcases in Washington Forest

In related news, a massive stash of meth with an estimated street value of $1 million was found stuffed in two suitcases in a Washington forest.

A sergeant with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office and his K-9 partner found the two suitcases containing 186 pounds of methamphetamine in the Okanogan National Forest on Monday, June 17, according to Gazette-Tribune.

The sheriff’s office was assisting the Department of Homeland Security with an air smuggling investigation near Mazama, Wash., King5 News reported, when the deputy made the unusual find.

King5 posted the story on its Facebook page, where it received numerous reactions.

“Good Lord, thankful it’s in the right hands now,” wrote one commenter. “Bless you and the work you do. Cannot thank you enough. Glad it’s off the streets.”

“Outstanding work,” commented another. “Thank you to all involved and working together with local and federal agencies, the way they should be allowed to work together.”

The sheriff said the suitcases full of meth were located in a heavily brushy area in the National Forest, according to King5 news.

“Cocaine has been the main narcotic purchased by detectives over the last few years but methamphetamine is a close second,” according to the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office’s website. “The task force also works border cases involving smuggling, usually marijuana cases.”

Man Brings Marijuana-Filled Suitcase on Plane

In other related news, a California man admitted to transporting 30 pounds of marijuana hidden in a suitcase on board a plane.

Gerardo Delgadillo Jr., 22, pleaded guilty in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, on Monday, June 17, to possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Prosecutors cited by The Associated Press said Delgadillo flew in October to Tri-State Airport in Kenova, West Virginia, with the marijuana in tow. Delgadillo said in court that he planned to sell the drug.

He faces up to five years in prison.

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Author: Tom Ozimek

Florida Woman Bit in Face While Trying to Kiss Bullmastiff

Andrea Swartwood from Brooksville, Florida, was bitten on the face by her roommates’ 200-pound bull mastiff on June 19 after she tried to kiss the dog, according to deputies of Hernando County.

The incident happened just after 1 a.m. when Swartwood and Justin Norman, one of Swartwood’s roommates, returned to their residence in Canal Drive from a local bar, reported Fox News.

The pair share the house with two other roommates, who recently adopted a 200-pound bull mastiff from a man only known as “Mike” in Floral City.

At the time of the incident, Norman and Swartwood had just returned home when the dog “suddenly became aggressive” and began growling at all four residents, a sheriff’s office spokesperson said. One of the residents told deputies that the mastiff had never shown aggression during the time they had taken it in, which had been a “week or so.”

For unknown reasons, Swartwood leaned down and approached the dog, attempting to kiss it on the face. The dog then bit her on the left cheek and lip area, reported NBC Channel 8.

Norman tried to pull the mastiff away, and was also bitten on the left hand. The four eventually managed to lock the animal into a bedroom.

“He was just … he was upset,” one of the owners, Taylor Evans, said in an interview with NBC. “She shouldn’t have gotten in his face. It was a freak accident. That’s all that happened.”

Swartwood was sent to a local hospital and then a trauma center for treatment by a plastic surgeon.

The mastiff was taken to Hernando County Animal Services by a Hernando County Sheriff’s Animal Enforcement Officer. The facility told ABC Action News that with any animal bite, the standard procedure is a 10-day rabies quarantine for the animal. As of this time, the fate of the bull mastiff is still unknown.

The case remains under investigation, according to police.

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Author: Angela Bright