Dangerous new strain of cannabis wrecks lives of South African teens

first_imgMailOnline 22 April 2015The potent strain of cannabis is grown in Swaziland, one of South Africa’s poorest states, and is often mixed with heroin to produce a highly addictive drug known as nyope.It’s the most widely used illegal drug in the world, but does cannabis deserve its reputation as being one of the safest?Not if you take a look at South Africa, one of the UK’s biggest providers of high-strength cannabis, where a potent strain of the plant dubbed ‘swazi gold’ is wrecking havoc on its young population.As revealed in BBC’s Stacey Dooley Investigates, which aired last night, poverty-stricken grandmothers are growing it, drug mules are risking their lives to smuggle it out of the country, and what stays behind is ruining the lives of South Africa’s drug-addled teens.Swazi gold is grown in the tiny South African sovereign state of Swaziland, where the climate and nutrient-rich soil is perfect for growing marijuana.Farmers – many of them ‘Grannies’ whose children have died and who are now in charge of providing for their grandchildren –  have developed the potent strain through cross-pollination, and can now yield double the crop they once could annually.The result is cannabis which boasts a staggeringly high concentration of THC, the psychoactive agent which produces the high, which finds its way either to the streets of the UK, or the streets of Johannesburg and beyond.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3049069/Thought-cannabis-safe-Meet-South-African-teens-ravaged-dangerous-new-strain-known-swazi-gold-end-streets-Britain.htmllast_img read more

Why so many fouls in the NBA bubble? Theories abound

first_imgWhistle while you work: If the NBA restart has a theme song so far, it would be the high-pitched sound of foul calls.For the season, teams have combined for a shade more than 41 fouls per game, according to basketball-reference.com. Yet, through 19 restart games, teams were getting called for 52 fouls per game, according to the Athletic.For their part, the Clippers were called for 30 fouls in their bubble opener against the Lakers and 28 in their next game against the New Orleans Pelicans.That number dropped significantly in Game 3, Tuesday’s 117-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns, but Coach Doc Rivers didn’t consider that a good thing, necessarily: “We didn’t touch anybody last game so we wouldn’t have actually known if there were fouls called or not,” he joked, via Zoom, before Thursday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks at HP Field House at Walt Disney World Resort. Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle’s squad came out fouling too, committing 36 of them in their restart opener against the Houston Rockets. But in the two games after that, the Mavericks were whistled for only 22 and 21 fouls, respectively.So what’s up with all the fouls?Carlisle considered a few theories before his team took the floor Thursday, including the notion that guys simply were raring to go.“I heard a couple of different theories about it,” the 18th-year head coach said. “One could be that players are just so excited to get back, there’s a higher level of aggression defensively.“Or,” he ventured, “the fact that there are no partisan fans in the stands may have some influence on the number of fouls being called.” Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ It might be something else entirely, he said, noting a longer-term trend. “Look, let’s be honest,” he said. “Offenses keep getting more and more aggressive, so the more aggressive offenses are, the more often the whistle’s gonna blow, particularly for defensive fouls.”Yeah, that might be it, Rivers said.“Listen, there have been, watching the games, a lot of fouls called,” said the 21st-year head coach. “My guess is it’s because guys are fouling. So we all have to clean up our play would be what I would say.”GREEN MEANS LET IT GOIn his first few bubble games, JaMychal Green appears playoff ready, looking a lot like the player who effectively stretched the Golden State defense in the Clippers’ tantalizing first-round Western Conference playoff series last season.Green – who these days doesn’t much resemble the player who made only 3 of 17 3-point attempts in four seasons at Alabama – went 12 for 23 from behind the arc in that six-game series, which earned him a specific assignment upon his return to the Clippers this season: Let it fly.In his three seeding games in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Green was 7 for 13 (53.8%) from 3-point range.“He’s such a dimension,” Rivers said recently. “When we have him on the floor, you literally have five shooters on the floor at the same time. We like getting him in and out at different points, especially when the other team goes with a big 5 who you know is not going to come away from the basket, and you bring JaMychal on the floor to pop and space the floor, and it works out pretty well for us.”Related Articleslast_img read more

Dodgers add fuel to Southern California economy

first_img“I started getting calls from everyone when they won the championship,” said Jeremey Maine, general manager of Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood, one of the Southland’s biggest sports bars. “… we could see business go up as much as 200 percent. We have a big Dodgers crowd and this brings everybody out of the woodwork.”With 45 flat-screen TVs and three big-screen projectors, customers have had plenty of room to watch the playoffs. Maine said Barney’s is offering Dodgers promotions, including $1 Dodger dogs and draft beer specials.“We’re planning to have that at all of our locations,” he said.Barney’s has additional restaurant/bars in Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica and Westwood and the company is getting ready to open another location in Redondo Beach, according to Maine.The Dodgers have also energized business at JP’s Sports Bar & Grill in Santa Monica. LOS ANGELES >> The Dodgers have been on a tear.And in Southern California that translates to increased business for restaurants, sports bars, hotels and other retail outlets.Last month the team clinched the 2013 National League West Division Championship, which moved them into postseason play for the first time since 2009.The team has snagged 12 National League titles since the advent of divisional play in 1969 and is playing “October baseball” for the 18th time since moving to Los Angeles. “We just have more of a buzz going on,” bartender Amita Raman said. “We still have our regulars coming in but we’re also getting extra people coming in to watch the games. That always brings added revenue for us.”Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said the Dodgers’ playoff run will stimulate economic activity throughout Southern California. But in some cases, he said, it may end up being a kind of trade-off.“You’re going to have people staying at hotels and going out to restaurants to see the games that are being played here,” he said. “But that might also mean that some will choose to do that instead of doing other things. You might simply have one activity that would already be taking place being shifted to the Dodgers. So it’s not clear what the net impact will be.”David M. Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, agreed. He noted, however, that Dodgers-related merchandising has already ramped up.“I’ve already seen some knockoff merchandise stands,” he said. “Sales at the stadium will go up and the Dodgers get to keep quite a bit of that merchandise revenue. I’m sure some of the vendors are getting added business. If the Dodgers go deep there will be more beer kegs coming from the local inBev distributors.”Anthony Vargas, a die-hard Dodgers fan, said he’s ready to see the team go all the way.“It’s been a long time,” the 24-year-old West Covina resident said, grinning. “They always build me up and then let me down. I figured they might go this many rounds — but not with so many wins.” Sales of Dodgers jerseys and other team-related products have also ramped up at the Fanzz retail store in the Westfield West Covina mall, according to company representative Jose Uribe.“Definitely,” he said. “If we have 10 people in here, eight of those 10 people will be buying Dodgers merchandise. Right now the Yasiel Puig jersey is the No. 3 top-selling jersey in the U.S.” Wanda Chan, general manager for the 683-room Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, figures the Dodgers will energize their business as well. “Los Angeles clearly benefits from added business from local and traveling fans when teams like the Dodgers make the playoffs, much in the same way we benefit from local venues like the Rose Bowl hosting faraway teams, whose fans travel to L.A. and frequent the Biltmore,” Chan said.Based on past experience with major sporting events in the L.A. area, the hotel anticipates a boost in revenue (per available room) of about 20 percent throughout the playoffs, she said, with a corresponding hike in food and beverage sales. Aaron Borman, an employee at Baseball Cards Plus in Huntington Beach, said sales of Dodgers cards have ramped up there.“We’ve sold a ton of Yasiel Puig cards,” he said. “We’ve also been selling some Clayton Kershaw cards and some Matt Kemp cards, even though he’s on the DL. When people come in they’re wearing their Dodgers hats.”A&N Sports Cards in San Dimas has seen a similar uptick in sales of Dodgers baseball cards.“It’s really been Puig,” owner Aaron Tom said. “He’s really had an impact on them.”The Dodgers’ magic also extends to the Inland Empire, where the team sometimes plays exhibition games against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga.“We have a heavy Hispanic following here,” said Michael K. Krouse, president and CEO of the Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And you have to remember we’re only 30 to 40 minutes from downtown L.A. The Dodgers are definitely drawing from this market. It affects our restaurants, bars and nightclubs. People are going to be going nutsy cuckoo down here.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more