January 10, 2008 in Nation/World

Cold medicines used as intoxicant

The Spokesman-Review
 

About 3.1 million people between the ages of 12-25 have used cough and cold medicine to get high, the government reported Wednesday.

The number of young people who abused over-the-counter cold medicines is comparable to use of LSD and much greater than that for methamphetamine among the age group, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The agency’s 2006 survey on drug abuse and health found that more than 5 percent of teenagers and young adults had misused cough and cold medicines and indicated that these people also had experimented frequently with illicit drugs.

Washington

Ex-CIA official demands immunity

Attorneys for Jose Rodriguez told Congress the former CIA official won’t testify about the destruction of CIA videotapes without a promise of immunity, two people close to the tapes inquiry said Wednesday.

Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, ordered that the tapes, which show harsh CIA interrogation of two al-Qaida suspects, be destroyed in 2005. Rodriguez is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Jan. 16.

The CIA has acknowledged that it destroyed the videos, and the Bush administration has urged Congress and the courts to stay out of the tapes inquiry while the Justice Department investigates.

Lakeland, Fla.

Fog, smoke cause several I-4 crashes

About 70 vehicles crashed on an interstate blanketed by fog and smoke from a brush fire early Wednesday, killing four people, authorities said.

Nearly 15 miles of Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando was closed by several crashes, including the pileup. Aerial footage in the early morning showed the soupy mix of fog and smoke covering the landscape for miles and giving the sky an eerie golden color.

The poor visibility forced rescuers to walk along the closed interstate checking individual vehicles for injured motorists, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins said. The conditions cleared in late morning, showing mangled, charred trucks and cars pinned underneath some tractor-trailers.

Coggins said 38 people were injured, five seriously.

Bayou La Batre, Ala.

Fisherman admits killing his kids

A day after reporting his four young children were missing, a shrimp fisherman broke down and confessed that he threw them off an 80-foot-high bridge to their deaths, authorities said Wednesday.

Lam Luong, 37, was charged with four counts of capital murder, and divers searched the murky waters for the bodies of the youngsters, who ranged in age from a few months to 3 years.

Luong had a drug habit and had argued with his wife, Ngoc Phan, before taking the children, said Phan’s brother-in-law, Kam Phengsisomboun.

Luong’s girlfriend, who was living in a hotel in nearby Gulfport, Miss., was a factor in the couple’s argument on Sunday and Monday morning, family members and police said.


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