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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2012 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered prison officials to consider a single-drug method of executing condemned inmates as the state appeals a court order that has blocked California from carrying out the death penalty. Mention of the directive came in a notice of appeal filed Thursday by Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris seeking to counter a February ruling that halted a revised three-drug lethal injection method. The filing came just three days after certification of a November ballot measure that would offer voters the chance to repeal California's death penalty.
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BUSINESS
March 5, 2013 | By Shan Li
Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman has fallen off Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires. Guzman, who has been in hiding since escaping from a maximum-security prison in 2001, is chieftain of the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's biggest and oldest drug-trafficking network. He first made the billionaire list in 2009 and remained on it until this year. Luisa Kroll, an editor at Forbes, said that Guzman's "whereabouts are unknown" and therefore it's difficult to verify his assets.
NEWS
July 7, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A new, dangerous illicit drug may be gaining in popularity in several countries, according to a report issued Wednesday in the British Medical Journal .   The drug, phenazepam, is a benzodiazepine used for the treatment of epilepsy. It is no longer prescribed in the United States and several other countries. But it's available in some Eastern European nations and may be distributed via the Internet.   Doctors in Scotland reported nine cases of overdose deaths in which phenazepam was found in blood samples.
NEWS
March 11, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
In patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease, an experimental drug that alters the brain's "fight or flight" impulse succeeded in improving memory modestly when it was added to at least one of the medications already in wide use to treat the memory-robbing disease. Compared with subjects taking the drug memantine and a placebo, subjects supplementing their customary drug regimen for three months with the experimental drug--ORM-12741--scored more highly on two measures of memory.
WORLD
January 8, 2009 | Reuters
Mexico has captured one of the founders of the Gulf drug cartel's brutal "Zetas" squad of hitmen that is behind much of the country's bloodshed, the attorney general's office said Thursday. Miguel Angel Soto Parra, arrested Wednesday in Mexico City, is a former police officer who was one of the earliest members of the Zetas, a group of hitmen made up largely of army deserters, a source at the attorney general's office said. President Felipe Calderon has scored a number of big arrests since he sent the army to crack down on drug gangs.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
"Pusher" is an English-language, London-set remake of Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn's debut feature, directed by the Spanish-born Luis Prieto. While it has the seeds of a distinctive, cross-cultural crime film, it feels mostly like some sort of experiment to crosswire the neon pastels and electronic thump of Refn's recent "Drive" with the grimier style of his earlier work. Frank (Richard Coyle), a mid-level drug dealer, finds himself in over his head when his debts start to mount and a big deal doesn't come through.
NATIONAL
May 15, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
A Maryland microbiologist and international pathogen expert is on a one-woman mission to raise awareness about Aeromonas hydrophila, the waterborne bacteria believed to have caused the case of necrotizing faciitis -- better known as infection caused by flesh-eating bacteria -- that has proved devastating to a Georgia college student. Aimee Copeland's leg and part of her abdomen have been removed in a race to stay ahead of the disease. Her family's blog says the 24-year-old is likely to lose her fingers, and possibly her remaining foot.
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
Could freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died Jan. 19, nine days after a devastating crash, have been helped by an experimental drug? A new study offers a glimmer of hope for future victims of traumatic brain injury. In the hours after she has sustained a blow to the head, the victim of a traumatic injury experiences a slow down of blood flow to the brain--arguably when she needs it most. That mismatch between a brain's response and its needs in the wake of injury has set many a neuroscientist thinking: Can a way be found to keep the flow of oxygenated blood pumping normally?
NATIONAL
May 23, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - A top Mexican drug cartel commander pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court  in the 2011 ambush attack south of the border that left one American agent dead and a second injured, and three other defendants also admitted their roles in the shootings that sharply strained U.S.-Mexico relations and has prosecutors still hunting for more suspects. The developments in federal court in Washington also provided new details about the ambush, showing that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila were traveling near San Luis Potosi, Mexico, when a Los Zetas Cartel convoy forced them off the road and two “armed hit squads” surrounded their vehicle and demanded they step out. When the agents refused and identified themselves as American diplomats from the U.S.  Embassy, the assailants “fired weapons near and into the vehicle, striking both agents,” court records show.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
An alleged drug supplier went on trial in Orange County on Thursday  on charges that he killed a man he believed had stolen drugs from his dealers. Jose Felix Zepeda, 41, is charged with felony special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery, felony kidnapping and felony conspiracy to commit a crime. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without parole. Zepeda has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Prosecutors say that in April 2012, Zepeda supplied three pounds of methamphetamine to two men who were supposed to sell the drugs to a buyer.
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