US Marshal Allegedly Points Gun at McDonald’s Cashier for Long Wait Time
This past weekend, the off-duty United States Marshal who was arrested and charged after allegedly pointing his gun at a McDonald’s cashier in Brooklyn was released without bail. Deputy Marshal Charles Brown was allegedly drunk when he entered a McDonald’s in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn at 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, the New York Post reported. After reportedly pointing his loaded weapon at cashier Joanna Diaz because of the long wait time, he then turned the gun on a customer who tried to come to Diaz’s aid. Brown then fled after receiving and paying for his order, according to sources. Brown was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court for charges of menacing, harassment, and violating firearm license regulations, Brooklyn Eagle reported.
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More Than 60 Russians Die After Drinking Bath Lotion to Get Drunk
In Russia, poisonings related to the consumption of substitute alcohol are not altogether uncommon, with an estimated 12 million people annually resorting to cheap, fake spirits; in the latest instance of this tragedy, in the city of Irkutsk in Siberia, 62 people died this weekend after drinking bath lotion containing deadly levels of methanol and antifreeze. The mass poisoning led to a declared state of emergency in the city. The Russian government is pushing for tighter regulations on the sale of surrogate alcohol, Reuters reported. The bath lotion, called Hawthorn, was labeled with warnings against internal use, but it also failed to list methanol as one of its ingredients, the Associated Press reported. The bottle instead listed ethyl alcohol (which is beverage alcohol) as an ingredient.
Portobello Road Gin
London Welcomes a Gin Hotel, Museum, and Bar Called ‘The Distillery’
The world’s first gin hotel, a unique, four-floor venue called The Distillery, opened its doors in London on Dec. 16. The new venture includes the Portobello Road Gin distillery, two bars, a museum, an off-license shop, the Ginstitute, and a hotel, according to a press release. Visitors will not only be able to learn about the history of gin through the museum (which has a copy of the first English cocktail book, among other treasures), but will also have the opportunity to taste and make their own gin blends at London’s renowned Ginstitute. The Distillery is currently accepting reservations for its soft launch, and offering specials at the venue’s two bars, The Resting Room and GinTonica.
A Year Later, Flint Water Crisis Is at a Standstill With a Bill Passed Bill But Investigation Stalled
In 2015, a state of emergency was declared in Flint, Michigan, due to the undrinkable, lead-contaminated water in the city’s pipes. A year later, the state of the water seems to be at a standstill. On Dec. 16, a bill was passed to authorize a $170 million project for addressing the lead-contaminated water. The bill, signed by President Obama, showed promise for all water projects in the country, from Flint to the drought in California, the Star Tribune reported. However, after the bill was signed, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced that he would cease his investigation into the crisis and addressed the “failures” of the state of Michigan. He blamed the Environmental Protection Agency for causing, and then exacerbating, the crisis. In an effort to continue the investigation and conduct a more thorough examination of the crisis, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings called for a subpoena of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, The Hill reported. Cummings wrote in a letter on Friday that “allowing Governor Snyder to flout the committee’s authority will deny the people of Flint the answers they deserve.”
Flickr / Vemma Corp / CC BY 2.0
Alleged Vemma Pyramid Scheme Put to an End With FTC Settlement
In August 2015, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Vemma Nutrition Company for its alleged pyramid scheme that targeted college students and young adults, leading to the suspension of operations at the company. More than a year later, the FTC has settled with the health and wellness beverage company that will bar it from operating any pyramid, Ponzi, or chain marketing scheme, according to Consumer Affairs. Under the stipulated order, Vemma is banned from compensating employees for recruiting new participants. The order also imposes a $238 million judgment that will be partially suspended upon payment of $470,136 and surrender of certain real estate and business assets, according to the FTC website. In light of the settlement, BK Boreyko, CEO of Vemma, said in a statement that the company “paid a huge price to prove the value of our products and the ongoing validity of our business” and is excited about the company’s future.