The U.S. Treasury Department has announced sanctions on an international operator for the Sinaloa drug cartel whose activities spans the globe. On Monday, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control blocked any U.S. properties of José Angel Rivera Zazueta and two other men. The department says Rivera Zazueta’s network “operates on a global scale with nodes in the United States, Mexico, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.” The department says he also arranges the importation of precursor chemicals from China that Mexican cartels use to make the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl.
A Detroit-area doctor has been sentenced to nearly 17 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $30 million. Frank Patino was accused of leading a scheme to bill Medicare and private insurers for unnecessary injections and write prescriptions for millions of opioids. The government says the fraud was one of the most egregious health care cases in U.S. history. Patino has declared he is innocent. His new attorney is seeking a new trial. He says Patino’s trial lawyer botched his defense. The new lawyer says Patino has traveled the world to give medical care to the poor.
WHO: COVID still an emergency but nearing ‘inflection’ point Experts urge better opioid rescue drug access to save lives Russian embassy says North Korea lifted lockdown in capital China announces resumption of visas for Japanese…
Russia’s embassy in North Korea says the country has eased stringent epidemic controls in capital Pyongyang that were placed during the past five days to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses. North Korea has not officially acknowledged a lockdown in Pyongyang or a re-emergence of COVID-19 after leader Kim Jong Un declared a widely disputed victory over the coronavirus in August. But the Russian embassy’s Facebook posts have provided rare glimpses into the secretive country’s infectious disease controls. The embassy posted a notice Monday issued by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry informing foreign diplomats that the “intensified anti-epidemic period” imposed in Pyongyang since Wednesday was lifted as of Monday.
The World Health Organization chief says the coronavirus remains a global health emergency. It comes after a key advisory panel found the pandemic may be nearing an “inflexion point” where higher levels of immunity can lower deaths related to the virus. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the annual meeting of its executive board meeting Monday that “there is no doubt that we’re in a far better situation now” than a year ago — when the highly transmissible Omicron variant was at its peak.
Three young children were being treated for frostbite in Nebraska Sunday after police said two suspects stole an SUV while they were inside. A 5-year-old, 1-year-old and 7-month-old were found with suspected hypothermia and frostbite after authorities say the carjackers were arrested with the SUV. The children were not in the SUV when the suspects were arrested. Two children were found in another vehicle that had been reported stolen and the infant was found on the front porch of a farmhouse. Grand Island Police said a man had reported around 3 a.m. Sunday that his 2012 Chevrolet Traverse has been stolen with his three children inside. It was around 0 degrees at the time.
A Missouri mother who reported that her infant twins were stillborn has been convicted of manslaughter. Twenty-eight-year-old Maya Caston was convicted Friday of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment. Prosecutors argued that Caston’s lack of action to get care for the babies showed that she caused the deaths. And her extensive internet searches for miscarriages and abortion methods before she gave birth demonstrated that she didn’t want the babies. Caston told the jury that she had planned to give the babies up for adoption at a doctor’s appointment three days after they were born, but by that time, the babies had died after not eating.
A Florida baby is safe after being found abandoned outdoors about an hour after being born. The Polk County sheriff's office said the girl was wrapped in a blanket and still attached to a placenta when found on a hill outside a trailer park early Saturday morning. The temperature was in the low 50s. The baby was taken to a hospital and was healthy. Authorities used dogs and a drone to try to find the mother, but were unsuccessful. Florida has a safe haven law that allows parents to leave newborns at a fire station or medical facility up to a week after birth.
Puerto Rico’s southeast coast has long been considered one of the U.S. territory’s most contaminated regions. Impoverished communities like Salinas have for years absorbed toxic ash and noxious chemicals from coal-fired and thermoelectric power plants. Then the federal government announced that Salinas also has one of the highest concentrations of a cancer-causing gas in a U.S. jurisdiction. Emboldened by the attention the federal government has put on Salinas, people are demanding a huge clean-up and penalties for those contaminating a region where residents have long complained about health conditions ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
Experts urge better opioid rescue drug access to save lives China announces resumption of visas for Japanese FDA moves to ease rules for blood donations from gay men Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of…
Access has improved across the U.S. to a rescue drug that reverses opioid overdoses, but advocates say naloxone — commonly known by its brand name Narcan — still isn't getting to everyone who needs it. A small group of volunteers run an organization that appears to be the largest distributor of naloxone in Albany, Georgia. But many communities lack similar structures. Public health experts are telling U.S. state and local government officials in charge of using funds from opioid settlements to consider getting more naloxone into the hands of people who use drugs and those who are around them. In some places, it goes mostly to first responders.
China says it's resuming issuing visas for Japanese travelers beginning Sunday, ending its nearly three-week suspension in an apparent protest of Tokyo’s tougher COVID-19 entry requirements for Lunar New Year tourists from China. Japan cited soaring infections in China after it abruptly eased coronavirus restrictions as well as scarce COVID-19 data from Beijing. China also stopped issuing visas to South Koreans after South Korea in early January did the same for short-term travelers from China. Health authorities in China have said infections have peaked but there are concerns abroad that Beijing was not sharing enough data.
FDA moves to ease rules for blood donations from gay men Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of missile crews FDA’s advisers back plan to simplify COVID-19 vaccinations DOJ appointee releases new plan for ‘tenuous’…
The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of airmen who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained a military brief that at least nine missileers were reporting diagnoses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. One of the officers has died. Missileers are the officers who serve in underground bunkers near silo-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and are responsible for turning launch keys if ordered.