Cuba condom shortage leads to selling expired condoms

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VRy9i_Em_56Hoping to resolve a shortage of condoms that has sparked complaints around Cuba, the island’s public health system has approved the sale of more than one million prophylactics with apparently expired dates.

Pharmacy sales personnel must explain to the buyers that the condoms are good and simply have the wrong expiration dates, said a report Saturday in Vanguardia, the newspaper of the Communist Party in the central province of Villa Clara.

A Vanguardia report April 3 on the shortage said that the government agency in charge of certifying medical items in 2012 had noticed erroneous expiration dates on the “Moments” prophylactics imported from China.

The agency ordered the condoms be repackaged with the correct dates, the newspaper added. But the state-run enterprise repackaging the more than one million condoms in stock does not have enough workers to process the 5,000 condoms a day required just in Villa Clara province.

Vanguardia did not publish the “wrong” dates, but its report hinted that they showed the prophylactics had expired or would soon expire. The shelf life of condoms is very long, it said.

“Although the lots are in optimal conditions, under the certificate of the Center for the State Control of Medicines and Medical Equipment the condoms could not be sold without the new expiration date, December of 2014,” Vanguardia reported Saturday.

“Due to the irregularities in the repackaging, which has provoked prolonged absences of the prophylactics throughout the country, the Public Health Ministry authorized the sale of the ‘Moments’ condoms in their current packages,” on April 4, the newspaper said.

Several Cuban bloggers commented acridly on the shortage long after April 4, with some noting that it could lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The story was picked up in el Nuevo Herald and The Guardian in London.

The Cuban government, meanwhile, also published a list of companies around the world that are authorized to ship packages to the island, a business hit routinely with complaints of lost packages, high prices and outright fraud.

The list “will allow those who send these types of shipments from abroad to confirm that the agency they plan to use is among those authorized to carry out those operations with Cuba,” said a report in the government-controlled Cubadebate website.

The U.S. companies listed: Wilson Intl.; Service Inc.; Machi Community Services; Va Cuba; Caribe Express; Vía Cuba; Flor Caribe Inc.; Caribbean Family and Travel Services Inc.; Aztec Worldwide Airlines Inc.; Procurements Systems Inc.; Crowley Logistics Inc.; Frontline Cargo Logistic; International Port Corp; Ez Shipping LLC; Centrotrading LLC; and V.I.P INTL INC.

The list, compiled by Cuba’s customs agency, also included Cugranca, a Spanish firm approved to provide delivery and currency exchange services for people in the United States.

 

Counterfeit morning-after pills could lead to big problems .. in about 9 months

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2358714636_70209e6a35_o_0_standard_1280_0Recently, a team of Georgia Tech chemists analyzed the contents of 25 different types of emergency contraceptive pills (often called the morning-after pill and marketed as Plan B) bought in Lima, Peru.

28 percent of the pills were counterfeit or ineffective

What they found is pretty concerning. Seven of them, or 28 percent, were either counterfeit or of such poor quality that they probably wouldn’t work in preventing pregnancy.

Six of the samples had insufficient levels of the artificial hormone that prevents the release of an egg from the ovary (levonorgestrel) or were formulated incorrectly, so the hormone wouldn’t be released properly as the pill dissolves in the body.

One type of pill simply contained an antibiotic that can cause rashes and even life-threatening skin conditions in people who are allergic to it, but does nothing to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

News that contraceptives sold in South America are substandard or counterfeit might not seem like a big deal to US readers, but this is an global problem. The pills had been manufactured in a range of countries (Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, Hungary, India, Pakistan, Peru and Uruguay), and because of the international nature of the pharmaceutical trade, counterfeit drugs have been increasingly showing up in the US market.

Internationally, it’s estimated that counterfeit drugs are now a $75 billion dollar industry that accounts for one to ten percent of all drugs sold.

counterfeit drugs are now a $75 billion industry worldwide

In the US, most counterfeits are lifestyle drugs sold on the black market — counterfeited Viagara is the most common — but all sorts of pharmaceuticals have been found to be fake. In 2012, during widespread shortages of Adderall, counterfeit versions began popping up for sale on the internet. In some instances, fakes have made their way into the legal supply chain — like in 2012, when a fake version of the cancer drug Altuzan that contained no active ingredient was distributed by a Tennessee company.

Counterfeit pills are an especially big problem in Africa, where an estimated 35 percent of anti-Malaria drugs are either fake or of substandard quality. Last June, customs officials in Angola discovered 1.4 million packets containing fake Coartem — an anti-malaria drug — in one of the biggest seizures of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in history.

The current technological standard for spotting fake pills in the field, the GPHF MiniLab, is essentially a scientific laboratory in a suitcase, and needs to be operated by trained scientists. But a number of compact and easy to use systems are currently in development, including the FDA’s new CD-3 — currently in use at a few international mail screening facilities in the US — that shines infrared light onto a pill, allowing a user to compare the resulting image to one of a pill known to be genuine.

Alleged Criminal Checks In At Police Station To See If Cops Are After Him

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n-HANDS-IN-HANDCUFFS-large300A German sought by authorities for alleged fraud has been arrested in Austria — after dropping into a police station to ask officers whether he was under investigation.

Police in Salzburg said the 59-year-old man walked into a police station in the city on Friday night. Spokesman Anton Schentz told the Austria Press Agency on Saturday the man told officers he just wanted to check that they had “nothing on him.”

Officers checked their records and found a recent arrest warrant from a Vienna court on four counts of fraud and embezzlement. Police say the man, whose name wasn’t released, was taken to a Salzburg prison.

If the name of your business is the “Up In Smoke Hippie Store”, you really should be expecting this

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DEA+search+Up+in+SmokeTens of thousands of dollars worth of drug paraphernalia was taken from the Up In Smoke Hippie Store after authorities searched it.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division served a search warrant to the Up in Smoke Hippie Store on Prater Way in Sparks, and to a resident on Gull Street in Reno, according to Sergeant Pope with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

Sergeant Pope says narcotics agents seized $60,458.64 worth of drug paraphernalia.

In total, 2,624.99 grams of Synthetic Cannabinoids (spice), 992.8 grams of Hallucinogens, 183.3 grams of Synthetic Cathinones (bath salts), 10,681 grams of pharmaceutical controlled substances, and 149.1 grams of other unspecified drugs were taken by authorities, according to Sergeant Pope.

Sergeant Pope says a .45 caliber handgun and a .22 caliber revolver were taken as well.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information has been released.

Unhappy ending for two massage workers

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Two women are facing prostitution charges following an investigation at an Oro Valley spa where police said there were sex acts being performed for money.

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Hong Chen, 44, and Kongmei Wang, 48, are each facing one count of prostitution and one count each of  practicing massage without a license. Both are misdemeanors. They were booked in the Pima County jail.

The investigation began in March when Oro Valley police received reports of suspicious activity at Oro Spa, located at 10110 N Oracle Road, according to a news release for Oro Valley Police. The investigation involved Oro Valley Police, Homeland Security Investigations and the Tucson Police Department.

Over the past several weeks, the investigation revealed that there were multiple sex acts performed in exchange for money, the news release said.

Texan, 23, Headed To State Prison For Urinating On The Alamo

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A Texas man was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in state prison for urinating on the Alamo.

Daniel Athens, a 23-year-old El Paso resident, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a criminal mischief charge in connection with danielathensthe April 2012 incident at the Texas shrine. While Athens could have faced a maximum of two years in custody, a plea deal saved him up to six months in custody.

Athens was also ordered to pay $4000 in restitution by District Judge Ray Olivarri. Since Athens is not eligible for parole, he will have to serve the entirety of his 18-month sentence.

As detailed in a San Antonio Police Department report, an Alamo Ranger spotted the tipsy Athens standing in a “chained off area not open to the public” making “the motions of putting his penis back in his pants.” Upon investigation, the cop discovered that there was “a puddle on the original mortar of the Shrine.”

Urinating on the 250-year-old “Shrine of Texas Liberty” can cause damage to the landmark since the Alamo’s “limestone absorbs the salt and then pushes the salt out. When the salt gets pushed out so does the face of the limestone and through this process the urine contributes to the eroding of the limestone,” police reported.

Too hot to handle! Mobile brothel catches fire at German motorway rest stop

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article-2605460-1D1FADD400000578-762_634x420A mobile brothel caught fire in a motorway rest stop while the owner was busy conducting business with a lorry driver in his cab.

Police and around 35 fire fighters were called to the scene after the mobile home burst into flames at the lay-by near Horneburg, Germany.

The female brothel owner parked up at the site as it was a convenient spot for her to offer erotic services to clients.

According to the police, these were mainly lorry drivers or car drivers who were travelling along the B73 motorway near the region of Horneburg, southwest of the city of Hamburg in Lower Saxony.

The 32-year-old brothel owner known as ‘Lady Jane’ was fortunately conducting business with a truck driver in his cab when her ‘Love-Mobil’, which had included a bed and various erotic aids, caught fire.

It took 35 fire fighters to put out the blaze – the cause of which is still unknown.

Police spokesman Markus Dietmar said: ‘The cause of the blaze is being investigated. It took 35 firemen to extinguish it after we got the first report at 22:00 hours.

‘By the time they arrived, the mobile erotic wagon was already well on fire and it is a total write-off as a result of the blaze.’

He said that the female owner had estimated the cost of replacing the van at more than £5,000.

Police are appealing for witnesses to get in touch if they noticed anything unusual that might indicate how the blaze started and whether it was arson.

Embarrassing: Trying to rob a hair salon. Really Embarrassing: Have the receptionist laugh in your face. Ultimate embarrassment: Having to call your mom to come pick you up

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ReceptionistOn the afternoon of April 10, 2014, 29-year-old Ryan Trembly entered Bubbles Hair Salon on a mission. It wasn’t give him a style that would turn heads and attract a new mate, though. Ryan was actually planning to rob the place.

He walked up to the receptionist, put his hand under his under shirt, and demanded that she give him the money in the register. Unfortunately for him, the young lady fooled behind the counter was not fooled by his finger gun. Instead, she simply laughed in his face,

The receptionist also pointed out to reporters (and hopefully not to him) how stupid it was to rob a hair salon since a bank was right next door…although to Ryan’s credit, he may have been correctly setting the bar low with regards to his criminal abilities.

After having completely failed at the robbery (and being completely emasculated), Ryan decided that now was the best time to spit some game, attempting to make small talk with the receptionist before leaving the salon.

17-year-old Irish boy suffers heart attack after friend squeezes his testicles

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An Irish schoolboy had a heart attack after his testicles were squeezed in a prank that went horribly wrong.

The 17-year-old has been placed in a medically induced coma, following the incident in a suburb of Dublin.

The pupil was heading back into school after a lunch break and joking around with a group of boys.

According to the Irish Mirror, one of his friends then “jerked his scrotum,” causing the emergency.

A teacher and one of the group performed CPR at the scene while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

A source close to the boy’s family said they believe it wasn’t a “savage attack” or carried out in a “malicious way.”

The teenager is said to be in a stable condition.

Rare condition means woman has smelled of FISH and ROTTEN EGGS for 14 years – and there’s no cure

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Ellie-James-3378528When Ellie James opened her Secret Santa present, she burst into tears.

It was yet another bar of soap.

She had received so many over the years – along with copious bottles of perfume and body spray.

Just as with all the other “gifts”, she knew it hadn’t been chosen as a thoughtful gesture but as a hint – that she was smelly.

When she opened her present, her colleagues roared with laughter and Ellie fled the office in embarrassment.

Sadly she has had to endure similar humiliations for 14 years because she suffers from a bizarre medical disorder which makes her smell of fish. It can also make her reek of rotten eggs.

Today Ellie, 44, bravely reveals how she is just one of a handful of Brits to be diagnosed with Trimethylaminuria (TMAU).

Also known as fish-odour syndrome, it has had a ­devastating impact on her life.

Bullies have dubbed her Smelly Ellie and have even posted body spray through her letterbox.

She was first struck down with the condition at the age of 30. Her body is unable to cope with certain foods – meat, dairy, coffee and fish – and releases ­trimethylamine, which creates a putrid odour.

But even when she avoids those foods there are days she is unable to stop the smell. It leads to her being abused in the street and on public transport.

At her lowest point she was taking a bath five times a day.

Company director Ellie, from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, explained how she became aware of her condition: “At first I didn’t ­understand what was wrong. I’d always had impeccable hygiene.

“The smell was a complete mystery. I wondered if my cat had brought in a mouse and left it to rot.

“But I slowly realised it was me when strangers began to stare at me while holding their noses. I heard people whispering about me in the office.

“I would come home from work every night and cry. Soon people were showering me with gifts of perfume. At Christmas I’d get soap – it was completely humiliating.

“Once a driver actually installed an air freshener on the bus I use and a passenger said it was my fault. It was soul-destroying.

“It was a real struggle getting out of bed in the morning.”

Alarmingly, Ellie got so desperate she started to scrub her skin with kitchen detergent until it was red raw. “I was at my wit’s end,” she said.

It took doctors seven years to diagnose the condition after she first plucked up courage to visit her GP in 2005.

“The doctor started to lecture me on personal hygiene and told me how to wash,” she said.

She was so mortified she waited a whole year before seeing another doctor.

But together they researched the possible causes and in 2007 she came across an online forum for people with TMAU.

“Although it was hard to swallow I felt relief as I’d finally found the answers I’d been looking for,” she said. She was referred to an ­endocrinologist – an expert on hormones – who put her on antibiotics and suggested a diet plan.

She said: “I began to wash with a special pH-balanced soap after I found out washing excessively with normal soap made the smell even worse.

“There is no cure but making these changes helps.”

Brave Ellie added: “Now when someone holds their nose I take them aside and explain I have a medical condition. I hope my story will help educate those who point fingers and encourage other sufferers to find the strength to get help.”

Now she is beginning to get her confidence back and has even found love with boyfriend Dan Molston, 50.

They first met in 2006 through mutual friends and bonded over an interest in cycling. Romance developed earlier this year.

Loyal Dan said: “Ellie is a lovely person and that’s all that matters.”

What is TMAU?

The condition is a metabolic disorder in which the body loses the ability to properly break down the trimethylamine found in certain foods.

Trimethylamine then builds up and is released in the sufferer’s sweat, urine, and breath, giving off a strong fishy odour.

Women are more likely to develop the condition than men, possibly because female sex hormones aggravate the symptoms.

It can result in depression and other psychological problems. It is so rare that only a handful of people have been diagnosed in the UK.