TIME States

Indiana Moves to Regulate E-Cig Liquids

Man demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago in 2014.
Nam Y. Huh—AP Man demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago in 2014.

States are moving on electronic cigarettes where the feds aren't

Indiana moved closer this week to regulating the liquids that are used in electronic cigarettes, a regulatory focus that goes beyond the measures states and municipalities have been enacting for months.

The bill advanced by a state Senate committee and already passed by the state House would establish requirements for manufacturing safety standards, a ban on the sale of e-cig liquid to minors, and child-proof safety caps, the Associated Press reports. The movement comes as local governments increasingly look to regulate a cigarette alternative that is growing in popularity in the absence of federal rules.

The bill in Indiana would not extend a smoking ban to so-called vaping, something health advocates and the state attorney general had sought. But electronic cigarette business owners told lawmaers that the regulations could force businesses to close.

MORE: The Future of Smoking

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a regulatory blueprint for regulation that would subject electronic cigarettes to the same regulations that apply to new tobacco products, and require disclosure of ingredients in the liquids used, among other things. But it could be many months, or even years, before these rules are enacted.

[AP]

TIME Crime

Watch Live: Michael Brown Family Addresses Ferguson Report

The family of Michael Brown is holding a news conference to respond to the Department of Justice’s decision to not charge a Ferguson, Mo., police officer with civil rights violations in last year’s shooting.

Watch it live above.

TIME NFL

Former NFLer Says the League Should Permit Pot

Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson speaks during a cannabis industry expo in Denver, March 4, 2015.
Brennan Linsley—AP Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson speaks during a cannabis industry expo in Denver, March 4, 2015.

A former tight end says pot may be a safer alternative to prescription pain meds

Former Denver Broncos tight end Nate Jackson said Wednesday that he thinks the NFL will eventually allow players to use marijuana.

“They’re aware that probably over half of their players smoke weed,” Jackson said at a marijuana business conference, in remarks reported by the Associated Press. “They’ve been doing it since they were teenagers. The fact that they’ve been doing it that whole time and still made it to the NFL and are able to satisfy the demands of very, very strict employers on a daily basis means that their marijuana use is in check.”

Jackson argued the NFL would eventually change its policy because, he said, the drug is a safer alternative for injured players looking to medicate than highly addictive prescription pain pills. “I feel like I exited the game with my mind intact,” said Jackson, who played six seasons for the Broncos. “And I credit that to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets an injury.”

An NFL spokesman said that “at this time, the medical advisers to our drug program tell us that there is no need for medical marijuana to be prescribed to an NFL player.”

MORE: The Rise of Fake Pot

[AP]

TIME Drugs

Sheriffs Try to Overturn Legalization of Pot in Colorado

Marijuana plants are seen in an indoor cultivation in Montevideo
Andres Stapff—Reuters

The lawsuit brought against the state claims sheriffs are faced with a "crisis of conscience"

A group of sheriffs will file a lawsuit Thursday against Colorado for its legal marijuana law.

The lawsuit says legalizing pot on a state level while it’s still illegal on a federal one creates a “crisis of conscience,” USA Today reports.

Colorado is “asking every peace officer to violate their oath,” Larimer County, Colo., Sheriff Justin Smith, the lead plaintiff in the suit, said. “What we’re being forced to do … makes me ineligible for office. Which constitution are we supposed to uphold?”

There’s also an economic aspect of the suit. The sheriffs from Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska say the overflow of legal pot from Colorado into other states has cost neighboring states money in police overtime due to the higher levels of drug arrests.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado on January 1, 2014.

TIME politics

51 TIME Magazine Covers Featuring a Bush

From a father's run for Senate to a second son's possible run for President

Stick around American politics long enough, and your story becomes the country’s. That’s one lesson from the longevity of the Bush family.

Though not every Bush who ventured into politics made the cover of TIME — sorry, Prescott Bush — the clan, including George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and some Barbara Bush along the way, has garnered dozens of covers over the years. (For the record, a complete gallery of the Clinton clan’s covers would be 53 slides long.) Flip through the images and you’ll notice a lot more than the years passing. The Bush story traces the fall of Nixon, the end of the Cold War, the contested 2000 election, the tragedy of Sept. 11, the war in Iraq. It is, essentially, a record of a few decades of American history.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum/CorbisGeorge H. W. Bush, Jeb and George W. from 1970.

Now Jeb Bush, who had so far only made one cover cameo (Aug. 7, 2000), may be on the verge of adding another chapter to political history. No matter what happens in 2016, he’s got a good start: this week, he’s on the cover of TIME.

TIME weather

‘Last Hurrah’ Winter Storm Hitting Mid-Atlantic, Extending to East Coast

Plucky Bostonians are saying bring it on, we want the record!

Millions of people in 28 states faced winter weather on Thursday as a late-season storm swept across North America.

Drivers in Kentucky were left stranded on the road as snow piled around them on Interstate 65. A snowy runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport caused an airplane to skid off the road and the city of Washington was effectively a ghost town, thanks to piles of snow that shuttered federal government operations.

Temperatures were significantly colder than average — anywhere from 10 to 30°F — across the region.

The governors of Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Jersey all declared states of emergency on Thursday, the Associated Press reports. But at long last, one of the worst winters in recent memory may be relenting, according to Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

He told the Associated Press the storm “might be winter’s last hurrah.”

But in Boston, a city two inches away from breaking its all-time snow record, some residents said bring it on.

“I want the record. We earned the record,” said Erin O’Brien, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

TIME Crime

Failures by Three Governments Preceded Homeless Man’s Death

February 2000 photo provided by Ventura County Sheriff's Office shows Charley Saturmin Robinet after his arrest for robbery
Ventura County Sheriff's Office—AP Ventura County Sheriff's Office shows Charley Saturmin Robinet after his arrest for robbery in 2000

The homeless man, a native of Cameroon, was known simply as "Africa"

(LOS ANGELES) — Mistakes and miscommunication by three governments on three continents over nearly 20 years led to a homeless man known as “Africa” being on Los Angeles’ Skid Row, where he was shot by police after authorities say he became combative and appeared to reach for an officer’s weapon.

The problems began in the late 1990s when French officials gave him a passport under what turned out to be a stolen name. He came to the U.S., robbed a bank and then was convicted and imprisoned under the same false name.

U.S. immigration officials wanted to send him back to his native Cameroon but that country never responded to requests to take him. So he was released from a halfway house last May, and U.S. probation officials lost track of him in November.

It took three failed monthly check-ins for a warrant to be issued on a probation violation and it’s unclear whether anyone actually looked for him. He apparently was living the entire time on Skid Row, roughly 50 square blocks of liquor stores, warehouses, charitable missions and a few modest businesses.

Many of the estimated 1,700 people who sleep each night on the sidewalks are mentally ill, like Africa.

Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the man had no previous arrests in Los Angeles. While officers spoke to him once or twice, he gave them no reason to suspect he was wanted.

“If you’re cool and you’re quiet, and you don’t make a big fuss, you can sit out there quietly and live in your tent pretty much in peace,” said Smith. “If the feds put out a warrant for this guy, shoot, there’s no reason we’d suspect he’s in Skid Row.”

The true name of the man who was long known to authorities as Charley Saturin Robinet remained a mystery Wednesday, three days after a violent death that was captured on a bystander’s video and watched by millions.

Authorities said the man tried to grab a rookie Los Angeles police officer’s gun, prompting three other officers to shoot. Chief Charlie Beck said the officers had arrived to investigate a robbery report and the man refused to obey their commands and became combative.

Peter Nunez, a former U.S. attorney in San Diego who is chairman of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., said the case points to multiple failures by government.

He criticized France for not being more diligent in investigating the man’s background before issuing a passport and U.S. authorities for not realizing he was a “fraud” before the end of his prison term and then not putting more effort into finding him once he disappeared.

“Shame on all of them,” said Nunez, whose group advocates for stricter immigration policies and enforcement.

Axel Cruau, France’s consul general in Los Angeles, said the system for checking backgrounds was vastly different when the man duped French officials.

“Let’s remember 20 years ago we didn’t have the same databases we have today, the same rules, we didn’t have biometric design, it was before 9/11,” he said.

Using the false name, the man was believed to be a French citizen in 2000 when convicted of robbing a Wells Fargo branch in Los Angeles and pistol-whipping an employee in what he told authorities was an effort to pay for acting classes at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.

In 2013, as he was nearing his release from a federal prison in Rochester, Minnesota, French officials found the real Robinet in France, Cruau said. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement then determined the impostor actually was from Cameroon but said the African country ignored repeated requests for travel documents, hampering efforts to deport him.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that immigration authorities cannot detain people indefinitely just because no country will take them. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that the government would need a special reason to keep someone in custody after six months if deportation seemed unlikely in “the reasonably foreseeable future.”

“ICE makes every possible effort to remove all individuals with final orders of removal within a reasonable period,” spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. “If the actual removal cannot occur within the reasonably foreseeable future, ICE must release the individual.”

A person who said he only has one name, Bindz, and heads the consular section at the Cameroon Embassy in Washington said he couldn’t respond to questions by phone and the ambassador would have to answer in writing.

The man was in immigration custody in September 2013 when a federal judge in California ordered him to a halfway house in Los Angeles. He was released from the halfway house in May, said Ed Ross, a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons. His sentence included three years of supervision by federal probation officials.

The man had no place to stay and eventually found his way to Skid Row. He was required to provide reports to his probation officer each month and did so for a time, Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Cordova said. But he failed to make contact in November, December and January, and a warrant was issued Jan. 9.

Karen Redmond, a spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which represents U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System, declined to comment on what attempts were made to find him, citing an open investigation.

Also Wednesday, police said none of the four officers involved, whose experience ranged from rookie to 11-year department veteran, had fired their weapons while on duty before.

The officers’ names were being withheld until it was determined there was no credible threat to their safety, Smith said.

TIME Courts

Boston Bombing Survivors Tell Court Their Personal Accounts of the Carnage

A courtroom sketch shows Boston Marathon bombing survivor Sydney Corcoran testifying in the trial of accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the federal courthouse in Boston, Mass., March 4, 2015.
Jane Flavell Collins—Reuters A courtroom sketch shows Boston Marathon bombing survivor Sydney Corcoran testifying in the trial of accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the federal courthouse in Boston, Mass., March 4, 2015.

“I remember thinking, this is it, I’m going to die. I’m not going to make it"

Survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, allegedly carried out by Chechen-American brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, appeared in a Boston federal court Wednesday to deliver chilling testimony detailing the chaotic scene at the finish line.

When the two bombs detonated on April 15, 2013, shrapnel cut an artery in Sydney Corcoran’s leg, leaving blood gushing, while her mother’s legs were sliced off. On the first day of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial she described the moment to the courtroom: “I remember thinking, this is it, I’m going to die. I’m not going to make it.”

Read the rest of the survivor testimonies at the Boston Globe

 

TIME Civil Rights

Ferguson Police Official Fired Over Racist Emails, 2 Others on Leave

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles speaks at a news conference on the just-released Department of Justice report investigating the city police department on March 4, 2015 in Ferguson.
Michael B. Thomas—Getty Images Ferguson Mayor James Knowles speaks at a news conference on the just-released Department of Justice report investigating the city police department on March 4, 2015 in Ferguson.

"This type of behavior will not be tolerated," mayor says

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said Wednesday that one police official had been fired and two others were on administrative leave over racist emails that were cited in the Justice Department’s scathing new report on the city’s police department.

The emails, one of which compared President Barack Obama to a chimpanzee, were released by the Justice Department in a report that found patterns of racism by law enforcement officials in the St. Louis suburb. It was one of two reports that followed the August shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson.

“This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department,” Knowles said in an evening news conference, without taking questions from reporters.

His statement came hours after Attorney General Eric Holder commented on the report, which made note of unjustified arrests and excessive use of force, and concluded that the department had frequently violated several constitutional provisions. He labeled it “searing.” A separate report released at the same time cleared Wilson of civil rights violations.

Read more: Attorney General Says Report on Ferguson Police Is ‘Searing’

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