In brief: New York may ban large soft drinks
New York – New York City plans to ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks in an effort to combat obesity.
The proposed first-in-the-nation ban would impose a 16-ounce limit on the size of sweetened drinks sold at restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts. It would apply to bottled drinks as well as fountain sodas.
The ban, which could take effect as soon as March, wouldn’t apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks or alcoholic beverages.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that he “thinks it’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”
A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, Stefan Friedman, criticized the proposal as “zealous.” He said officials should seek solutions that are actually going to curb obesity.
The proposal requires the approval of the city’s Board of Health.
Teen driver runs red light, injures 8
Hemet, Calif. – A high school junior in a pickup truck sped through a red light and into dozens of teenagers who were crossing a street outside a California high school Wednesday, injuring eight people, three of them critically, authorities said.
Classes at Hemet High School had just ended for the day when 18-year-old Daniel Carrillo, who was in a 1994 Ford Ranger with his twin brother and a friend, plowed through a crosswalk, California Highway Patrol Officer Darren Meyer said. About 30 people were in the crosswalk, headed toward the student parking lot and the school’s football stadium, Meyer said.
“The kids were in the crosswalk doing everything right,” said Hemet High School Principal Emily Shaw.
Nine people were hit: six female students, two male students and a 60-year-old woman whose ties to the school were not clear.
Witnesses told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the driver, whose truck was modified for off-road use, was in a right-turn-only lane that heads into the parking lot, but he accelerated into the intersection, running a red light and hitting the pedestrians.
The driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he stopped immediately to help the victims, Meyer said.
The CHP will decide whether to file criminal charges after a thorough investigation, including a mechanical inspection of the truck, Meyer said.
California Senate OKs gay therapy ban
Sacramento, Calif. – The California state Senate voted Wednesday to prohibit psychotherapists in California from using a kind of therapy aimed at trying to “convert” minors from being gay to heterosexual.
Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu said the therapy is based on “junk science” that has been discredited by many in the medical community. “It’s not just that people are wasting their time and money on these therapies that don’t work,” Lieu said. “These therapies are dangerous.”
He said he authored SB 1172 after hearing of gay youths committing suicide or living in depression after therapists pressured them with guilt to change their sexual orientation.
The Senate voted 23-13 to approve the measure and send it to the state Assembly for consideration.
The bill is opposed by David Pickup, a Glendale, Calif., psychotherapist who represents the National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality. He said recently that it would interfere with providing therapeutic help to young rape victims with sexual identity questions.