Poet busted for pot in 1969 makes 1st purchase of legal recreational weed in Michigan

Zummolo/iStock(NEW YORK) — At the age of 28, John Sinclair was arrested in 1969 for possessing two marijuana joints and sent to prison for nearly three years. On Sunday, the now 78-year-old poet and activist became the first person in Michigan to legally purchase recreational cannabis.

 “It went swiftly. I got some weed over the counter,” Sinclair told ABC News when reached by phone. “It’s about time. I’ve been waiting for this for 50 years.”

About a year after Michigan residents voted to allow the sale of recreational pot, hundreds of people lined up outside six dispensaries in the state to purchase weed for the first time without having to have a doctor’s prescription.

Michigan became the ninth state in the nation, along with Washington, D.C., to allow people 21 and over to purchase recreational marijuana over the counter. In Vermont, weed is legal to possess, but not to sell.

“It’s a good idea,” Sinclair told ABC News.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously held a freedom rally in December 1971 pushing for Sinclair’s release. Bob Seger and Stevie Wonder also performed at the concert and Jerry Rubin and Allen Ginsburg were among those who voiced support for the Flint native at the rally. Sinclair, who once managed seminal rock band MC5, was released soon after the event despite his 10-year sentence.

 For the historic transaction, Sinclair purchased 10 joints prerolled with a strain of cannabis dubbed “Gorilla Glue No. 4.”

Asked if he noticed any difference between smoking a perfectly legal spliff compared to the old illegal kind, Sinclair said no.

“It’s smoking a joint,” said Sinclair, who celebrated by lighting up while attending a poetry reading.

 Sinclair made the purchase at 9:49 a.m. at Arbors Wellness, a dispensary in Ann Arbor.

Four of the six dispensaries licensed to sell recreational weed are in Ann Arbor. But according to the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, another 30 locations throughout the state are awaiting approval to sell recreational cannabis.

 Not every town in Michigan has jumped into the marijuana marketplace. More than 400 cities in the state have rejected businesses that want to supply adult recreational weed, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Illinois is the next state up to allow the dispensaries to sell recreational weed beginning Jan. 1.

Unlike other states, where citizens voted to allow adults to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use, Illinois’ legal weed law was passed by the state legislature in May and signed into law by the governor a month later.

 “As the first state in the nation to fully legalize adult-use cannabis through the legislative process, Illinois exemplifies the best of democracy: a bipartisan and deep commitment to better the lives of all of our people,” Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat, said in a statement after he signed the bill on June 25.

Other states where recreational marijuana is being legally sold include Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Vermont natives can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow two mature plants or four immature plants.

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Posted On 02 Dec 2019
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Utah school fires substitute teacher who told 5th-graders ‘homosexuality is wrong’

Google Maps Street View(CEDAR HILLS, UT) —  A substitute teacher from Utah was fired after she allegedly told a classroom full of fifth-graders that “homosexuality is wrong” during a Thanksgiving exercise about gratitude.

Students at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah, said she launched into an angry anti-gay rant when a classmate expressed that he was thankful for his two fathers. The school confirmed the incident in a statement to ABC News on Sunday.

“When our son Daniel answered the substitute teacher’s question, ‘What are you thankful for?’ with, ‘I’m thankful for finally being adopted by my two dads,’ the teacher went on to sharing her own views on homosexuality and that it’s wrong,” Louis van Amstel, one of the boy’s dads, said on Twitter.

“I’m truly disgusted that the bully in this situation is a teacher in a public school,” he added.

The rant lasted for about 10 minutes with the teacher lamenting about why “homosexuality is wrong” until three students went to notify the school’s principal, according to van Amstel. The three students had asked her to stop multiple times, but she refused, he said.

 Van Amstel, a professional choreographer who has appeared on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” said the school notified him immediately after the incident unfolded, saying the teacher had been removed from the classroom.

“You can imagine why that set us off and we are not letting this go,” van Amstel said in a video posted online on Nov. 22. “I am so proud of Daniel’s school. Not only did they let go of the teacher, but they said this woman is never going to teach in this school ever again.”

Kelly Services, which provides substitutes teacher for the Alpine School District, confirmed that the teacher had been fired in a statement to ABC News on Sunday.

 “We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate conduct and take these matters very seriously,” a spokesperson for the agency said. “We conducted an investigation and made the decision to end the employee’s relationship with Kelly Services.”

Alpine School District spokesman David Stephenson did not share details about how the situation unfolded, but he did confirm that the school had a problem with one of its substitute teachers.

“I can confirm that there was a situation involving a substitute,” Stephenson told ABC News on Sunday. “The school took appropriate action that day based upon their investigation.”

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Rosa Parks honored with statue in Alabama on 64th anniversary of bus protest

City of Montgomery(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) — City officials in Montgomery, Alabama, unveiled a new statue of Rosa Parks on Sunday, exactly 64 years after the civil rights pioneer was arrested for violating segregation laws and refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger.

Parks was honored with a life-size bronze statue in downtown Montgomery, just a few feet away from where she boarded the now infamous city bus. The statue shows Parks standing firm in a long coat with her hands clutching her purse in front of her.

Her arrest on Dec. 1, 1955, sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a demonstration organized by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which led to the desegregation of public transportation in the city. The successful demonstration also played a key role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which integrated public spaces nationwide.

“To stand here today as Montgomery’s mayor where Mrs. Rosa Parks stood defiant against systemic injustice infecting our community and our country speaks to the magnitude of this moment and the progress achieved in our city,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said in a statement Sunday. “This progress, coupled with the dawn of a new era of reconciliation and revitalization, underscores Montgomery’s status as the Birthplace of Civil Rights and a light unto the world.”

The memorial was erected in partnership with the city of Montgomery, Montgomery County, the Alabama Department of Tourism and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.

“This statue has been a long time coming and Mrs. Rosa Parks is more than deserving as she represents all of the many foot soldiers who sacrificed their lives and families to make a change,” Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean said Sunday. “This is a great day for Montgomery County. The seeds she planted are ever continuing to be harvested.”

Sunday also marked the second-annual Rosa Parks Day in Alabama. City officials held several events throughout Montgomery to honor the civil rights icon over the weekend.

Parks died in 2005 at the age of 92.

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Posted On 02 Dec 2019
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Police kill man straddling his injured 85-year-old mother while holding knife

carlballou/iStock(CONCORD, Calif.) — A 60-year-old man was shot and killed by police after allegedly causing his 85- and 90-year-old parents “serious injuries” and refusing to drop a knife while he held it over his mother as he straddled her on the floor.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:45 a.m. Sunday in Concord, California when police received a call from the 85- and 90-year-old residents of the home informing them that their son was “acting erratically and was possibly under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” according to a statement from the Concord Police Department. Neighbors also called authorities to report a man was in the front yard of the home wielding a firearm.

Police attempted to speak with the man when they arrived on scene but the man ran back into the house instead of engaging with the officers.

The attending officers then saw an elderly man visibly suffering from serious injuries walk out of the house.

When the police made their way inside the California home they discovered the man straddling his mother while holding a knife.

“At that point, two officers used their service weapons. Officers provided medical aid to both elderly victims and the man, but the 60-year-old son was pronounced dead at the scene,” said the Concord Police Department.

The 85- and 90-year-old parents of the man were immediately transported to a local hospital where they are being treated for serious injuries. The nature of their injuries is currently unknown.

“Anytime force is used, it is tragic,” said the Concord Police. “Our thoughts are with the man’s family during this difficult time.”

The City of Concord and the Concord Police Department are now working with investigators from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office to investigate the incident.

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Posted On 02 Dec 2019
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Nor’easter storm slams in with heavy snow and rough winds

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A nor’easter is slamming into the Northeast Monday as roads and airports are packed with travelers trying to head home from Thanksgiving weekend.

Heavy snow is falling from northern Pennsylvania into New York and New England Monday morning as the nor’easter quickly strengths off the New Jersey coast.

Along the coast, those in Philadelphia, New York City and Boston are mostly seeing rain — but that should change to snow by mid-morning as the cold air pushes in.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Philadelphia, where roads could be buried under 1 to 4 inches of snow by Monday night.

New York City is also under a winter weather advisory: Central Park may be coated with 2 to 4 inches of snow.

Boston, also under a winter weather advisory, could get up to 6 inches of snow.

Here are some of the snow totals so far:

— East Glenville, New York (north of Albany): 20.7 inches
— Schenectady, New York: 18 inches
— Albany, New York: 14.5 inches
— Woodford, Vermont: 19 inches
— Cheshire, Massachusetts: 15 inches
— Worcester, Massachusetts: 9 inches
— Colebrook, Connecticut: 7 inches
— York, Maine: 9.2 inches

By Monday night into Tuesday morning, the snow will be ending in Philadelphia, New York City and most of the mid-Atlantic states — but it’ll remain in Boston and eastern New England.

By Tuesday afternoon, the nor’easter will finally leave the U.S. and veer off into Canada.

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Posted On 02 Dec 2019
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Fit for the holidays: Olivia Culpo’s five-move workout you can do anywhere

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Staying in shape during the holidays just got a whole lot easier thanks to Olivia Culpo’s on-the-go workout.

This full-body workout, developed by P.volve, includes tons of moves that keep the influencer going through countless parties and dinners.

P.volve is a resistance-based, low-impact fitness method with a goal to strengthen, sculpt and energize the entire body. It involves slow, controlled movements to activate hard-to-reach muscles using bands, gliders and light weights.

Culpo first learned about P.volve from model Devon Windsor, who did the workouts in preparation for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Culpo admits that remaining active while traveling can be “really challenging,” but keeping herself accountable helps her stay on track.

“If you have a goal that’s important to you, you should just tell the people that you’re with so they can help support you,” she said.

Bringing along your own food, cutting portion sizes and booking a hotel with a gym can also prevent unhealthy choices, said P.volve trainer Evan Breed.

“Find a workout that does allow you to do it in a smaller space,” Breed said. “And walking, going out and seeing the sights, and getting plenty of sleep and hydrating [are important].”

Grab your resistance bands, find space in your hotel or childhood bedroom, and try this simple-yet-effective workout by Culpo and Breed:

Move #1: Upper body

What you’ll need: P.band or any resistance band

    •    Take the middle part of the p.band and hook it around your thumbs.
    •    Go into the P.stance. Stand with feet hip-width apart and sit back to activate glutes, keeping knees bent over your heels.
    •    Lift both arms to bring p.band up and over the head.
    •    As you lift, open the arms using your back, and sit back.
    •    Repeat eight times.

Move #2: Abs and thighs

What you’ll need: P.band or any resistance band

  • Loop p.band around ankles.
  • Point the right toe forward and interlace hands behind the head.
  • Lean back into the spine to engage the front of the body. Keep elbows wide.
  • Crunch the right knee up toward the pelvis and tap the toe down.
  • Repeat six times, then alternate legs.

Move #3: Abs

What you’ll need: Gliders

    •    Standing on gliders, roll down into a plank position. With shoulders over wrists, push the floor away to create resistance. Abs are tight.
    •    Pull the right knee in toward the elbow, hold and return to plank position.
    •    Alternate legs. Repeat.

Move #4: Lower body

What you’ll need: P.band or any resistance band

  • Go into the P.stance.
  • Walk the right foot back, rotating toes internally and raising the heel off the floor.
  • When the ball of the foot lands, squeeze and flex the back glute.
  • Use standing leg to bring leg back into P.stance, keeping resistance.
  • Repeat.

Move #5: Abs and outer thighs

What you’ll need: P.3 trainer band or any resistance band; mat

  • Start with left knee on the mat, right leg extended out.
  • Tap the right toe directly to the side, and reach out with the left hand, stretching out the P.3 band.
  • Lift the right leg up, balancing on your left knee.
  • Hold the leg up and then slowly bring it down.
  • Repeat, then alternate legs.

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Posted On 02 Dec 2019
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Saudi surgeon completes 48th procedure to separate conjoined twins

Dr. Abdullah al Rabeeah(NEW YORK) — For the last 30 years, Dr. Abdullah al-Rabeeah, a pediatric surgeon and adviser to the Saudi Royal Court, has spearheaded a program that separates conjoined twins who were born to poorer families from around the world.

In November, he successfully completed his 48th surgery on a set of conjoined twins, Ahmed and Muhammed, from Libya.

Al-Rabeeah has separated so many children that even his identical, non-conjoined twin daughters speculated he might have operated on them.

“When (my twins) were three or four — I can’t remember — they were seeing in the news that I was separating twins. So they asked their mother, ‘Mom, when did dad separate us?'” he said, laughing.

‘Based on science and humanity’

Housed at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital in Riyadh, al-Rabeeah’s program receives much of its funding from royal and Islamic charities. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approve each individual operation with the Saudi government footing the bill.

“We pay for the travel and expenses,” al-Rabeeah told ABC News about the patients who have come from 21 countries. “It has nothing to do with geography, religion or politics. It’s based on science and humanity.”

Al-Rabeeah first operated on conjoined twins in the early 1990s. As his practice grew, he also rose in the ranks of the Saudi government serving as health minister and director of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.

As his public service portfolio increased, he still made time for his medical program for conjoined twins.

“Even when I was minister of health, I continued to do my surgeries because I believe even if I do it on the weekends, it is something (that) can help people. Humanity is part of medicine,” he said.

While many scientific journals have not reported on the program, al-Rabeeah says his program has separated nearly 100 patients, with 90 still living as of 2019.

‘Siamese Twins’

Conjoined twins are rare. According to researchers from the University of Minnesota, the phenomenon is only found in about 1 in 200,000 births. Occurrences are higher in Southeast Asia and Africa, where the rate is 1 in 25,000, because of an increased rate of identical twins.

Arguably, the most famous conjoined twins were Chang and Eng Bunker, who lived during the 19th Century. Born in Thailand, they moved to the United States and the pair eventually toured the carnival circuit popularizing the term “Siamese twin.”

Dr. Oren Tepper, director of Craniofacial Surgery at Montefiore Health System in New York City who has operated on three twins conjoined at the head, said the decision to separate is dependent on “what vital structures are shared.”

“When they share (vital structures), you can’t simply just separate them,” he told ABC News, “they need to be able to tolerate being independent.”

Separation surgery methods depend on each patient.

“Separating the organs that they’ve shared requires usually a specialist in whatever area you’re talking about,” Tepper said. “If they share a brain, you’re going to need a neurosurgeon involved. If they share a heart, lung, it’s going to be a cardiac or thoracic surgeon.”

From a small Libyan hospital to Riyadh

Ahmed and Muhammed’s journey to Riyadh began with an email.

The twins’ family knew before their birth that the brothers would be conjoined. Although they considered abortion, the parents decided to carry the pregnancy to term.

On June 26, Ahmed and Muhammed were born through cesarean section in a small Libyan hospital. Conjoined at the abdomen and pelvis, the brothers shared a third leg, bowels and urinary organs.

The twins underwent a colostomy — an operation to bypass a damaged part of the colon — but Libyan doctors told their parents that no one in war-torn Libya could perform what would be a risky separation surgery.

The parents began making appeals through traditional and social media. Then their father found al-Rabeeah’s program online.

Al-Rabeeah said their father wrote to him saying, he had a set of twins and he was searching for any country to help them.

“So I immediately responded to him to provide me with details and reports,” al-Rabeeah told ABC News.

After reviewing their records with his colleagues they decided they wanted to help the family, al-Rabeeah said. They presented the case to the crown prince, who “immediately directed me to bring them and the government would totally finance them.”

The last two centimeters

After arriving in Riyadh, Ahmed and Muhammed undertook a detailed medical evaluation. Al-Rabeeah’s team estimated the complex surgery would take about 14 to 15 hours and require approximately 35 surgeons and nurses.

“We told the parents there is a 30% risk of either a major complication or loss of life because of the crossing of major organs,” al-Rabeeah said.

Still, the parents agreed to continue with the surgery.

At 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 14, the operation began. After receiving anesthesia and undergoing further tests, the twins had their intestines separated.

“That took about an hour and a half,” al-Rabeeah said, “then we separated the bowel to give each one of them an appropriate amount based on their blood supply to ensure that they can survive.”

Next, the pediatric urology and orthopedic teams worked to separate Ahmed and Muhammed’s internal and genital organs, and al-Rabeeah explained they have to split the pelvis from the front and from the back.

The tensest and most emotional moment comes near the end of the surgery.

“In the last two centimeters, there is a silence in the room and we count from five to zero when the bodies are separated into two,” he said.

“And that moment, the parents are informed, they can see it live. There is a big emotion between all the surgical team that this is the first time when the twins are put on two separate tables for the first time in their lives,” he added.

‘Hugging me like a father’

Ahmed and Muhammed’s procedure was the 48th operation on conjoined twins conducted by al-Rabeeah. While unfamiliar with the Saudi pediatric surgeon’s program, Tepper acknowledged that this is a high number.

Al-Rabeeah said that in each surgery one of the most difficult components is dealing with the emotional weight of operating on patients who are frequently under the age of 1.

“You stay with (the families) for weeks before the surgery,” he said. “So there is a lot of emotion, lots of bonding. And I must admit, it’s not easy. But, with time you can build on it.”

And not all of the patients survive. In 2017, a set of conjoined twins from Gaza made it to al-Rabeeah’s operating room, but he discovered that one of the twins was reliant on the other for survival.

“You cannot, for example, salvage a twin at the risk of the other except in few conditions when one of the twin’s life is dependent on the other, which we call almost like a parasitic twin,” he said. “It was not an easy surgery, but we knew ahead of time that it’s going to happen. But we managed to save a beautiful girl. Her name is Haneen. She recovered well.”

He has remained in touch with many of his former patients.

“I separated (Polish twins) in 2005,” al-Rabeeah told ABC News. “I happened to visit Poland this year … and when (the twins) saw me — they are now, as you could imagine, 15 years of age — they’re coming, running and hugging me like a father. I really cannot believe how my tears came down. So both of them were crying and I was crying. It was really emotional.”

‘I’m crying because I’m happy’

On two tables, Ahmed and Muhammed each had their own set of doctors to reconstruct their small, separated bodies. Surgeons recreated bowels, urinary systems and genital organs for each twin.

After over three and a half hours, the twins went from the operating room to the intensive care unit. The operation was successful and both are now recovering.

Once the surgery ended, al-Rabeeah let the parents walk into the room.

“(The twins’ father) came and tried to kiss my hand. I refused, so he hugged me. And while he’s going to his child, which is Ahmed, he just fell into a big cry. And we have to rub his back and tell him that they’re OK, they’re stable. He said, ‘I’m crying because I’m happy,” al-Rabeeah recounted.

The babies would stay in the pediatric intensive care unit for around two weeks before doctors remove the artificial respirator to start their feeding. Once Ahmed and Muhammed are stable, they will be taken to the pediatric surgical ward for further rehabilitation.

The twins are expected to be in recovery for eight to 12 weeks.

After the twins moved to the ICU, al-Rabeeah left the hospital for home. He said his family prepared a celebratory dinner for him.

The emotions and intensity of a separation surgery often keeps him awake late into the night.

“But I sleep really happy that I have managed to draw a smile on the face of a family that has been under stress and big suffering. For them now to smile … is a really happy feeling,” he said.

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Scoreboard roundup — 12/1/19

iStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Sunday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Miami 109, Brooklyn 106
Memphis 115, Minnesota 107
Boston 113, New York 104
Dallas 114, L.A. Lakers 100
Detroit 132, San Antonio 98
Oklahoma City 107, New Orleans 104
Orlando 100, Golden State 96
Toronto 130, Utah 110
L.A. Clippers 150, Washington 125

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Minnesota 3, Dallas 2
Boston 3, Montreal 1
Edmonton 3, Vancouver 2

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Miami 37, Philadelphia 31
Cincinnati 22, NY Jets 6
Tennessee 31, Indianapolis 17
Pittsburgh 20, Cleveland 13
Washington 29, Carolina 21
Green Bay 31, NY Giants 13
Baltimore 20, San Francisco 17
Tampa Bay 28, Jacksonville 11
L.A. Rams 34, Arizona 7
Kansas City 40, Oakland 9
Denver 23, L.A. Chargers 20
Houston 28, New England 22

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Maryland 84, Marquette 63
Arizona 73, Wake Forest 66
Villanova 83, La Salle 72

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Posted On 02 Dec 2019
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