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Tornado hits Selma, Alabama; 8 deaths reported




SELMA, Ala. Crews worked through the night searching for those stranded after a catastrophic storm unleashed tornadoes throughout the United States South sections, killing at least eight people and causing significant damage in Selma, Alabama.

Before the worst storms passed across Georgia on a track south of Atlanta, one tornado carved a 20-mile (32-kilometer) path through two rural Alabama villages.

According to Autauga County Coroner Buster Barber, searchers discovered a body after sunrise Friday while exploring an area near a home that was heavily damaged Thursday when the hurricane slammed central Alabama. Seven people have died in that part of the county, 64 kilometers northeast of Selma.

According to Butts County Coroner Lacey Prue, a passenger died in Georgia after a tree fell on a vehicle in Jackson. Officials said the storm looked to have thrown a freight train off its rails in the same area.

According to Ernie Baggett, Autauga County’s emergency management director, at least 12 individuals were seriously injured and brought to hospitals as rescuers cut through downed trees looking for more needy people.


Tornado Flings Mobile Homes Into The Air

According to him, over 40 residences were demolished or severely damaged, including numerous mobile homes that were catapulted into the air. “They weren’t just blown away. They were blown a long way.”

Authorities predicted a full picture of the destruction would emerge Friday as they search for more victims. The National Weather Service reported possible tornado damage in at least 14 Alabama counties and five Georgia counties late Thursday.

In Selma, the city council declared a state of emergency on a sidewalk using smartphone lights.

The hurricane hit Griffin, south of Atlanta, as mourners gathered at Peterson’s Funeral Home for a wake. When a large tree fell on the structure, about 20 individuals inside the building scrambled for cover in a lavatory and an office.

“We were in absolute shock when we came out,” said Sha-Meeka Peterson-Smith, the funeral home’s chief operating officer. “We heard everything, but we had no idea how horrible it was.”


Storms, Winds, And Tornadoes Wreak Havoc On The Southern States.

On Thursday, a powerful storm system churning up high winds and generating tornadoes ripped across the United States South, killing at least seven people in Georgia and Alabama. (January 13)

According to her, the uprooted tree smashed straight through the front of the business, demolishing a viewing room, a lounge, and a front office. No one was injured.

Griffin officials told local news sources that several individuals were trapped inside an apartment building after trees crashed. A Hobby Lobby store suffered roof damage, and firemen freed a man pinned for hours under a tree that had fallen on his house from 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, the city imposed a curfew.

On Thursday, the weather service got reports of more than 40 tornadoes from all over the country. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Carolina were all warned about tornadoes. Reports of tornadoes still need to be checked out, and some of the damage may turn out to be caused by wind.


Tornado Created Wide Path In Downtown Selma

The tornado that slammed into Selma carved a wide path across the downtown area, destroying brick buildings, uprooting oak trees, flipping cars, and leaving electricity lines dangling. Plumes of dense, black smoke from a fire ascended over the city; it was unclear whether the storm started the fire.

Selma’s mayor, James Perkins, says that no one has died, but that a lot of people have been seriously hurt. Friday morning, officials planned to gain an overhead glimpse of the city.

“There are a lot of downed power lines,” he explained. “The streets are really dangerous.”

Mattie Moore was among the Selma citizens who picked up boxed meals from a downtown charity.

“Thank God we’re still alive. “It’s like something out of a movie,” Moore said of the devastation.

Selma is an Alabama city with about 18,000 people. It is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Montgomery, the state capital. On March 7, 1965, state troopers severely beat Black protesters marching for voting rights across the Edmund Pettus Bridge as part of the civil rights struggle.


Storm Got Darker And Darker

Malesha McVay captured video of the massive twister, which became dark as it swept away home after home.

A natural La Nina weather cycle, warming of the Gulf of Mexico likely due to climate change, and a decades-long eastward shift in tornado activity — combined to make Thursday’s tornado outbreak unusual and damaging, according to Victor Gensini, a tornado researcher at Northern Illinois University.

La Nina, a cooling of regions of the Pacific that affects weather around the world, played a factor in creating a wavy jet stream that brought a cold front through, according to Gensini. However, this is insufficient to cause a tornado outbreak. Moisture is the other component.

The air in the Southeast is normally rather dry this time of year, but the dew point was twice the average, presumably due to exceptionally warm water in the Gulf of Mexico, which is likely influenced by climate change, according to Gensini. That moisture met the cold front, resulting in devastating storms.tornado

School Canceled For 90,000 Children

According to, which records outages nationwide, approximately 22,000 people in Alabama were without power early Friday. After the storm system ripped a path across a tier of counties immediately south of Atlanta, approximately 23,000 people in Georgia were still without power.

On Friday, school was canceled for 90,000 kids in at least six Georgia counties.

The meteorological office in Kentucky verified that an EF-1 tornado struck Mercer County and that personnel was evaluating the damage in a few more counties.




Sweden Close To Becoming First ‘Smoke Free’ Country In Europe For 2024




STOCKHOLM — In Sweden’s outdoor bars and eateries, summer is in the air but not cigarette smoke.

The World Health Organisation will observe “World No Tobacco Day” on Wednesday, and Sweden, which has the lowest smoking rates in the European Union, is almost ready to declare itself “smoke free” (defined as having fewer than 5% of the population smoking every day).

While others refer to the presence of “snus,” a smokeless tobacco product prohibited elsewhere in the E.U. but marketed as an alternative to cigarettes in Sweden, many experts credit decades of anti-smoking campaigns and laws.

Regardless of the cause, the 5% goal is now within sight. According to the statistics agency Eurostat, only 6.4% of Swedes over 15 smoked every day in 2019, the lowest rate in the E.U. and significantly lower than the average of 18.5% for the 27-nation bloc.

According to statistics from Sweden’s Public Health Agency, the smoking rate has decreased since then and last year, it was 5.6%.

Carina Astorsson, a Stockholm resident, claimed that the reason was that “we like a healthy way of living.” She said she had never been interested in smoking because “I don’t like the smell; I want to take care of my body.”

Younger generations of health-conscious Swedes appear to be aware of the dangers of smoking. Nearly 20% of people smoked 20 years ago, a low rate globally. Since then, anti-smoking policies, such as those that forbid smoking in restaurants, have reduced the smoking rate throughout Europe.

From 2014 to 2019, France saw record-low smoking rates, but this progress halted during the COVID-19 epidemic, which is partly blamed for creating the stress that led to smoking. In France, about one-third of those between 18 and 75 admitted smoking in 2021, a small rise from the previous year. 25% of people smoke every day.

Sweden, which has the lowest smoking rates in the European Union, is almost ready to declare itself “smoke free”.

Sweden has taken more steps than others to outlaw smoking, and the country claims that this has positively impacted several health factors, including a comparatively low rate of lung cancer.

According to Ulrika Rehed, secretary-general of the Swedish Cancer Society, “We were early in restricting smoking in public spaces, first in school playgrounds and after-school centers, and later in restaurants, outdoor cafes, and public places like bus stations.” Taxes on cigarettes and severe regulations on marketing these items have been significant concurrent factors.

She continued, “Sweden is not there yet,” pointing out that smoking prevalence is higher among underprivileged socioeconomic categories.

In the 10.5 million-person nation, seeing individuals lighting up is getting harder and harder. Outside the entrances to hospitals and other public facilities, as well as at bus stops train platforms, and smoking is not permitted. Like most of Europe, Sweden has a smoking prohibition extending to bars and restaurants’ outdoor seating areas as of 2019.

On Tuesday night, many people ate and drank on Stockholm’s terraces as the sun sank. While cigarettes were not present, some tables did have snus cans. Some drinkers put tiny pouches of moist tobacco under their upper lips between beer sips.

Long promoting their product as a less dangerous alternative to smoking, Swedish snus manufacturers take pride in the nation’s dropping smoking rates. Health officials in Sweden hesitate to suggest smokers switch to snus, another extremely addictive nicotine substance.

Rehed declared, “I don’t see any justification for pitting two harmful products against one another.” “It is true that smoking is more dangerous than most other activities, including snus. But even with snus, there are numerous health hazards.

Snus use during pregnancy has been associated in certain studies with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and preterm births.


Sweden, which has the lowest smoking rates in the European Union, is almost ready to declare itself “smoke free”.

When Sweden joined the E.U. in 1995, they wanted an exception to the E.U.’s ban on smokeless tobacco since they are so fond of their snus, a distant relative of dipping tobacco in the United States.

“It’s part of the Swedish culture; it’s like the Swedish equivalent of Italian Parma ham or any other cultural habit,” said Patrik Hildingsson, a spokesman for Swedish Match, the leading snus producer in Sweden that tobacco giant Philip Morris recently purchased.

According to him, policymakers should push the tobacco industry to create less dangerous smoking substitutes like snus and e-cigarettes.

“I mean, there are still 1.2 billion smokers in the globe. In the E.U., almost 100 million individuals smoke every day. And I believe that the restrictions on policymaking are limited,” he remarked. You will need to offer smokers various alternate, less dangerous options.

Turkmenistan, which has a tobacco consumption rate below 5%, is ahead of Sweden in terms of phasing out smoking, according to WHO, the U.N. health office. However, it should be noted that this is mostly because smoking is virtually nonexistent among women. The rate is 7% for men.

The WHO credits a variety of tobacco control initiatives, such as education programs, restrictions on tobacco advertising, and “cessation support” for smokers who want to give up the habit, for Sweden’s dropping smoking rate. However, the agency pointed out that when you include snus and similar products, tobacco usage in Sweden is higher than 20% of the adult population, comparable to the global average.


Sweden, which has the lowest smoking rates in the European Union, is almost ready to declare itself “smoke free”.

In an email, which stated that “changing from one harmful product to another is not a solution.” The tobacco industry is attempting to deceive consumers about how deadly these products are by promoting a purported “harm reduction approach” to smoking.

According to Tove Marina Sohlberg, a researcher at the Department of Public Health Sciences at Stockholm University, Sweden’s anti-smoking laws stigmatize smoking and smokers, driving them into designated smoking locations and out of sight in public places.

She claimed that we are telling smokers their behavior is unacceptable in society.

One of the few remaining smokers in Stockholm, Paul Monja, thought about his habit as he prepared to light up.

He described it as an addiction that he hoped to overcome at some point. “Perhaps not now, maybe tomorrow.”


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2023: Ruling Clears Way For Purdue Pharma to Settle Opioid Claims, Protect Sacklers From Lawsuits




On Tuesday, a federal judge issued a verdict that allowed Purdue Pharma, the producer of OxyContin, to settle hundreds of lawsuits over the devastating effects of opioids.

The affluent Sackler family of Stamford, Connecticut, would sell their stake in Purdue to a new business called Knoa, with the proceeds going towards combating the opioid crisis. This proposal was authorized by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. They would also make a long-term monetary investment of between $5.5 and $6 billion. At least $750 million will be distributed to opioid crisis victims and their families. Victims’ compensation is included in only one other large opioid lawsuit settlement.

Even though the Sackler family did not file for bankruptcy on Tuesday, they are shielded from legal action related to the opioid crisis due to the court’s judgment.

The judgment overturned a lower court decision from 2021, which held that judges in bankruptcy court had the authority to accept a deal that would extend bankruptcy protections to people who have not formally filed for bankruptcy.

The proposed settlement to resolve claims against Purdue brought by hundreds of state, local, and Native American tribal governments and other entities centers on these safeguards.

Ed Neiger, a lawyer for individual victims, said, “It’s a great day for victims, some of whom desperately need the money and have been waiting for this day for a long time.”

Members of the Sackler family have made it plain that they will only fulfill their obligations under the agreement if they are granted certain legal protections.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Sackler family, who owns Purdue, said, “The Sackler families believe the long-awaited implementation of this resolution is critical to providing substantial resources for people and communities in need.” To paraphrase, “We are pleased with the Court’s decision to allow the agreement to move forward and look forward to it taking effect as soon as possible.”


A federal judge issued a verdict that allowed Purdue Pharma, the producer of OxyContin, to settle hundreds of lawsuits over the devastating effects of opioids.

In its statement, Purdue hailed the decision as “a victory for Purdue’s creditors, including the states, local governments, and victims who overwhelmingly support the Plan of Reorganisation.” The business has stated that it will prioritize providing “billions of dollars in value for victim compensation, opioid crisis abatement, and overdose rescue medicines.”

After a second round of negotiations late last year, all states previously on the fence about supporting the proposal finally joined in. There was only one major holdout, the Justice Department’s U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee’s Office.

In April 2022, a lawyer from that department argued before the 2nd Circuit that it was “fundamentally inconsistent” to allow some lawsuits to be dismissed from the cases of people who did not file for bankruptcy and thereby lost most of their assets.

The Justice Department did not immediately announce its intention to appeal the Supreme Court’s verdict on Tuesday. On Tuesday, a spokeswoman said they would not comment.

A judge in the bankruptcy court will need to approve the most recent version of the deal before it can go into effect.

Even while the Sackler family is still the legal owner of Purdue, they have not been compensated in years.


A federal judge issued a verdict that allowed Purdue Pharma, the producer of OxyContin, to settle hundreds of lawsuits over the devastating effects of opioids.

After hearing arguments in the Purdue case last year, all three federal appeals judges concluded that the Sackler family could be shielded from legal action. Even if courts permit such arrangements, bankruptcy law does not, as one judge, Richard Wesley, pointed out in a separate judgment.

Regarding the opioid industry, Purdue may be the most well-known company. However, not only has one medicine manufacturer been sued by state and local governments, but so have several distribution corporations and pharmacies. Some lawsuits have gone to trial, but many more are being settled out of court.

More than $50 billion has been offered or paid out in settlements in the past few years. Drug manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Teva, wholesalers AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and retail pharmacies CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart all have agreements. More than half a million deaths in the United States over the previous two decades have been connected to the opioid problem, with over 70,000 deaths annually in recent years.

Fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids, not prescription painkillers, have been mostly responsible for deaths in recent years.


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US Study Finds 1 In 10 Get Long COVID- 19 After Omicron




WASHINGTON, DC covid-19 — Research of over 10,000 Americans hopes to shed light on the illness by revealing that about 10% of persons suffering from protracted COVID-19 following an omicron infection, a lower estimate than earlier in the epidemic.

Preliminary data from a study funded by the National Institutes of Health emphasize a dozen symptoms that most characterize chronic COVID, the umbrella term often encompassing devastating health problems that can linger months or years following even a moderate occurrence of COVID-19.

Long COVID affects millions worldwide, causing symptoms like fatigue and brain fog. Researchers have not yet determined a cure, an effective treatment, or even a reliable method of diagnosis. The key to research getting those answers is better describing the illness.


Long COVID affects millions worldwide, causing symptoms like fatigue and brain fog.

Dr. Leora Horwitz of NYU Langone Health and one of the study’s authors, noted, “Sometimes I hear people say, ‘Oh, everybody’s a little tired.'” “No, it’s crucial to understand that long-term COVID-19 patients are unique.”

More than 8,600 persons who had COVID-19 at various stages in the pandemic are included in the new study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, along with 1,100 controls.

About one-third of COVID-19 patients, by some accounts, have had chronic COVID-19. This is consistent with the experience of NIH research participants who reported being ill before the omicron variant arrived in the United States in December 2021. At the same time, recruitment for the study began, and scientists speculated that those who had already been experiencing COVID symptoms for some time could be more interested in participating.

In contrast, only roughly 10% of study participants who had their first coronavirus infection after the study began and were, therefore, able to report symptoms in real time continued to have them six months later.


While previous studies revealed a decrease in long COVID -19risk with the appearance of omicron, its descendants continue to spread today.

The main issue is how to find people who have long-term COVID and help them.

The present study identified Twelve symptoms as potentially defining long-term COVID: exhaustion, confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest pain, erectile dysfunction, loss of smell or taste, thirst, persistent cough, and odd movements.

Researchers rated the severity of the symptoms to provide a benchmark that might be used in future studies of potential long-term treatments for COVID, whether as part of the NIH study or elsewhere, to ensure that like patients are enrolled.

Horwitz emphasized that the list was not meant to be used by doctors to diagnose extended COVID but as a tool for future study. The long-term effects of the coronavirus can affect patients with a single symptom, multiple symptoms, or even no symptoms at all.

Horwitz said, “we don’t even know what that means,” despite the widespread interest in researching extended COVID.



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