Hsiu-Ying Tseng 30 Years

February 7, 2016 by  
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Hsiu-Ying Tseng 30 Years, Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the murders of three of her patients who fatally overdosed, making Tseng the first doctor to be convicted of murder in the United States for overprescribing drugs.

Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the murders of three of her patients who fatally overdosed, making Tseng the first doctor to be convicted of murder in the United States for overprescribing drugs.

A judge on Friday sentenced a Rowland Heights doctor to 30 years to life in prison for the murders of three of her patients who fatally overdosed, ending a landmark case that some medical experts say could reshape how doctors nationwide handle prescriptions.

The sentence came after a Los Angeles jury last year found Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng guilty of second-degree murder, the first time a doctor had been convicted of murder in the United States for overprescribing drugs, the district attorney’s office said.

Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli said before sentencing Tseng that she had attempted to blame patients, pharmacists and other doctors rather than take responsibility for her own actions.

“It seems to be an attempt to put the blame on someone else,” he said. “Very irresponsible.”

Tseng, wearing blue jail scrubs, apologized to the victims’ families, her family and “medical society.”

“I’m really terribly sorry,” she said, before addressing the courtroom audience, which was crowded with victims’ relatives. “I have been and forever will be praying for you. May God bless all of you and grant comfort to all who have been affected by my actions.”

April Rovero, whose son, Joey, died after mixing alcohol with Xanax and oxycodone he had obtained from Tseng, sat expressionless, listening to Tseng’s first public show of remorse.

“It feels too late,” Rovero said outside the courtroom. “But it was better to hear something than nothing.”

Rovero, who founded the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse after her son’s death, praised the judge’s decision.

“Justice has been served,” she said.

Tseng, 46, who was a general practitioner, is among a small but growing number of doctors charged with murder for prescribing painkillers that killed patients. A Florida doctor was acquitted of first-degree murder in September.

Some experts fear that Tseng’s conviction will usher in a precarious new reality — a scenario in which doctors fearful of prosecution are hesitant to prescribe potent painkillers to patients who need them.

Attorney Peter Osinoff, who represented Tseng before the state medical board, told the judge during Friday’s hearing that the doctor no longer represents a danger to society since she surrendered her medical license in 2012.

The trial had already had a “deterrent effect” on other doctors and has captured the medical community’s attention.

“More primary care physicians no longer accept or treat chronic pain patients in their practice,” he told the judge.

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Oregon Sinkhole: Oregon Sinkhole

January 30, 2016 by  
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Oregon Sinkhole: Oregon Sinkhole, A huge sinkhole that won’t stop growing has shut down a stretch of Highway 101 in coastal Oregon.

“It’s massive. There’s just no other way to describe it,” Jared Castle, Department of Transportation spokesman for southwest Oregon, told NBC News.

The state closed down part of 101 in Harbor, Oregon, on Thursday night due to the sinkhole, which is the second sinkhole in as many months in the area. The first one opened on Dec. 13 in a restaurant parking lot next to the highway and, like Thursday’s sinkhole, just kept growing.

The two sinkholes “probably have now met,” Castle said, creating one gaping hole in the highway.

U.S. 101 in #Harbor (MP 358) will close at 9 p.m. due to a #sinkhole – Watch for advance signs for the detour. pic.twitter.com/eT80vu1nLk

– Oregon DOT (@OregonDOT) January 29, 2016
“It’s a monster,” he said. Officials did not know how big it was, but said its depth exceeds 60 feet.

There have been no injuries or evacuations, and officials have re-routed traffic to a detour that runs parallel to the highway, which Castle says will only add 5 or 10 minutes to drivers’ commutes.

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Kalashnikov In Florida: AK-47 Factory

January 29, 2016 by  
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Kalashnikov In Florida: AK-47 Factory, Americans looking to get their hands on the favorite gun of armed rebel groups in Afghanistan will now be able to get one – from Florida.

Kalashnikov USA, once the official stateside importer of Russian-made AK-47s, has acquired a license to operate a 40,000-square-foot facility in Pompano Beach, north of Miami.

The company will receive $162,000 in incentives from the city, Broward County and the state of Florida, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The American company that formerly imported AK-47s from Russia will begin making them at a Florida factory.
Guns pumped out of the factory will be sold wholesale to retailers after the transition to the new facility is completed by mid-February.

America’s Kalashnikov firm cut ties with its namesake Soviet-founded brand in 2014 after the U.S. imposed sanctions on the administration of Vladimir Putin for interference in Ukraine, according to CNN.

Kalashnikov USA retained rights to its name, and guns were made at a small facility in Pennsylvania starting last year before plans to move to the Sunshine State.

The original AK-47 was invented by Russian military man Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947, and has become popular among guerilla troops as well as some governments.

As of 2013, when Kalashnikov died, there were thought to be about 100 million around the world.

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‘Military solution’: Joe Biden Military Solution

January 24, 2016 by  
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‘Military solution’: Joe Biden Military Solution, US Vice-President Joe Biden has said the US and Turkey are prepared to seek a military solution against so-called Islamic State (IS) if a political agreement in Syria proves impossible.

Mr Biden said a political deal “would be better” but “if that’s not possible” the US would pursue alternatives.

US officials said Mr Biden’s remarks on a deal referred to planned peace talks between Syrian officials and rebels.

They said his comment on possible military action applied only to IS.

The US vice-president was speaking after meeting Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul.

Commenting on the chance of achieving a political settlement in Syria, Mr Biden said: “We are neither optimistic or pessimistic. We are determined.”

Referring to possible military action, he said this would entail “taking out Daesh”, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

Mr Biden said he and Mr Davutoglu had discussed how their countries could further support Sunni Arab rebels opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Imposes dress code: Kansas Lawmaker Dress Code

January 24, 2016 by  
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Imposes dress code: Kansas Lawmaker Dress Code, Three years ago, a Kansas lawmaker made a rule on attire that included specifics for women testifying before a state committee: no low-cut tops, no miniskirts.

This week, it made news and raised some hackles. But Republican state Sen. Mitch Holmes defended his choice.

Holmes wrote an 11-point guideline for the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, which he chairs. It details instructions for etiquette and rules for witnesses testifying on elections or ethics bills.

Rule number 2 reads: “Conferees should be dressed in professional attire. For ladies, low-cut necklines and miniskirts are inappropriate.” It offers no additional guidance on how long a skirt should be or what constitutes “low-cut” for women’s necklines.

Colleagues object

Some of his fellow lawmakers found the second line of the rule offensive.

The dress code is sexist and insulting because it singles out women, state Sen. Laura Kelly, a Democrat from Topeka, told CNN affiliate KWCH.

“I think my first thought was, ‘For crying out loud, what century is this?’” she said. “There was no suggestion that men needed any help deciding what to put on in the morning.”

“It’s hard enough to get people to come and testify as it is, and now we’re giving them a particular dress,” Democrat Rep. Barbara Ballard told the affiliate.

Holmes didn’t get much support from fellow Republican Rep. Peggy Mast. “An individual is an individual and I don’t judge what other people would choose to feel is appropriate,” Mast said.

Holmes: Applies to men, too

Holmes defended his rules, and said they apply to men as well.

“First off, there’s a misunderstanding that I have a rule that only applies to women. And that’s just not the case. The rule says all conferees should be addressed in professional attire,” Holmes told the affiliate.

Regardless of dress, he said, no one has been blocked from testifying. And he has never had to confront anyone so far about attire before the committee. He decided to add the rule after the wardrobe of a lobbyist piqued his ire.

“[She] had a low-cut that extended way down almost to the navel,” Holmes told KWCH.

He is thinking of adding some wording on what might not be appropriate attire for men.

Holmes said the rule has been around for three years, so he’s surprised it’s creating a stir now.

“A particular reporter, one known for not joining in the pledge of allegiance, decided to make an issue of the committee rules I use,” he said in a message to KWCH.

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Airport Workers Strike

November 19, 2015 by  
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Airport Workers Strike, Airport workers demanding $15 an hour have gone on strike at seven major airports in the U.S.
The workers, mostly cabin and airport cleaners, were picketing Thursday morning at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York City, as well as airports in Newark, N.J., Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale, Fl., according to the Service Employees International Union.

The SEIU tweeted videos of workers picketing outside terminals at JFK, Newark, and Philadelphia airports.

At Chicago’s O’Hare airport, more than 14 security workers joined the strike against unfair labor conditions. The employees are not affiliated with TSA — they’re subcontracted through a company called United Security. O’Hare said it knew of the strike in advance and airport operations wouldn’t be affected.

At JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK, the workers brandished signs saying “on strike over unfair labor practices” with the old TWA terminal visible in the background.

The strike was expected to involve thousands of workers, but it was not immediately clear how many were striking.

The union organizing the strikes, the SEIU, said Thursday morning that it was too soon to know what kind of effect the work stoppage was having on airport operations.

The workers are subcontracted by outside companies to work with various airlines, including JetBlue (JBLU), Delta (DAL) and United (UAL). They’re striking for new contracts, which include medical benefits and hourly wages of $15 an hour.

Outside #JFK @JetBlue Terminal 5, airport workers are demanding justice. Will you stand with them? #Strike4Families pic.twitter.com/2VS-EX-ksBuxT

— 32BJ SEIU (@32BJ_SEIU) November 19, 2015

In Fort Lauderdale, cabin and airport cleaners were to be joined by baggage handlers, ramp workers, wheelchair attendants, and janitors.

Picket lines started forming Wednesday outside airport terminals.

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