A 5-year-old boy has died after eating the seeds of the rosary pea, a highly toxic plant. The boy died within 24 hours of ingestion, but his 7-year-old brother, who was in critical condition after eating seeds from the same plant, was saved after being admitted to a hospital in New Delhi. Rosary peas, scientifically known as Abrus Precatorius , are one of the most poisonous plants on the planet. While they are native to India and parts of tropical Asia, the plant can be found throughout Florida and Hawaii, and is often used by gardeners as ornamental vegetation. In India, the plant is known as Ratti or Gunchi. The poison itself, abrin, is one of the most potent toxins known to man. It is 30 times more lethal than ricin , a poison derived from castor beans that made its way into popular culture thanks to the hit cable-TV series Breaking Bad . Swallowing a single, well-chewed rosary pea seed is enough to kill a human, and there is no known antidote. Abrin is so deadly that it … [Read more...] about Boy, 5, dies after eating common plant more deadly than king cobra
SRINAGAR, Kashmir — They come for the biggest tulip garden on the continent. They come for the snow-capped Himalayas. They come for the lakes. They come for the natural beauty that over time has enchanted Hindu kings, Mughal emperors, British colonialists and millions of regular people. Tourists have returned in droves to Jammu and Kashmir, in what India calls a sign of how it has turned things around in the disputed region, where violent separatists have been active for decades. Three years ago, in a stunning move , India’s Hindu nationalist government cemented control of the Muslim-majority area, saying that would finally bring peace. “The region was a terrorist hot spot,” Amit Shah, India’s powerful home minister and a key lieutenant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said recently. “Now it has become a tourist hot spot.” But what lures visitors to the area offers only a brief escape for many residents, who remain stuck in an old cycle of fear, desperation and uncertainty. … [Read more...] about A Surge in Tourists in Restive Kashmir, but ‘No Mental Peace’ for Residents
When Rebel ran away, my friend set up a search party to look for him in Sanjay Van, the sprawling forest in India’s capital and a place full of hazards for the missing: scorching temperatures and scarce water, sharp-fanged golden jackals, and marauding gangs of pariah dogs. My friend ordered the five of us in the rescue group to disperse in different directions, with strict orders to report any possible sighting. About 90 minutes later, my friend emerged victorious from the prickly brush, his calves full of tiny cuts, with Rebel, my 50-pound dog, cradled in his arms. Through the long days of the pandemic and its strange aftermath, my friend often held me up, too. He was the constant voice on the other end of the line through the lonely lockdowns. He was a patient listener as I processed the fallout from my divorce. He was my cheerleader when I decided to give up alcohol. His concern was palpable when my mother had a stroke. He always showed up, accompanying me to a … [Read more...] about My Friend Helped Me Carry My Burdens. His Proved Too Heavy.
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 9 NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party on Thursday looked set to retain control in his home state of Gujarat following a record state legislature win, but it was trailing behind its rival Congress party in northern Himachal Pradesh state. The landslide win in Modi’s home state is expected to provide a big boost to the party ahead of national elections due in 2024. The BJP has not lost state assembly elections in the western industrial state since 1995. Modi was Gujarat’s top elected official for 13 years before becoming prime minister in 2014. Modi’s party remains popular despite criticism of rising inflation, unemployment and religious polarization. According to India's autonomous Election Commission, the BJP was leading in 158 out of 182 seats in the Gujarat state legislature and the Congress party was … [Read more...] about Indian PM Modi’s party heading for big win in his home state
Even as the Mexican police jet started its descent into Long Island, Joaquín Guzmán Loera had no idea where he was going. All he knew was that hours earlier, he had been whisked from a prison in Ciudad Juárez and put aboard the plane. But as an airport glimmered on the ground outside his window, Mr. Guzmán — shackled, handcuffed and in the care of two American law enforcement agents — anxiously asked where he was being taken, according to a person briefed on the trip. One of the Americans answered him in Spanish. “Bienvenido á New York,” he said. It was nearly two years ago that Mr. Guzmán, the infamous drug lord known as El Chapo, was extradited from Mexico and flown across the border, ending one of the century’s most notorious criminal careers. As the longtime leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, he wore many guises: the savvy smuggler who packed cocaine in cans of jalapeños , the brutal killer said to have shot up a Puerto Vallarta nightclub and the folklore hero who … [Read more...] about Jailbreaks, Submarines, a Gold-Plated AK-47: El Chapo’s Trial Will Tell an Epic Tale
To have a crack at an international kingpin, undercover officers from Boston and New Hampshire went from the mountains of northern Mexico through the Caribbean to Spain, where they discovered operatives of the powerful Sinaloa cartel setting up new routes and new markets. When it finally ended last year, Operation Dark Water, as the investigation was known, was heralded as a milestone in the fight against the global drug trade. Police officers seized 750 pounds of cocaine and caught four cartel members, including a first cousin to its infamous kingpin, Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán Loera. But for the Sinaloa cartel, a criminal multinational corporation handling billions of dollars, the arrests proved only a minor setback, authorities acknowledged. The cartel has established channels of cooperation with so many European criminal groups, including Sicily’s Cosa Nostra and street gangs in Budapest, that business there continues to boom. On Saturday, Mexican and American authorities … [Read more...] about El Chapo’s Arrest Unlikely to Break Mexican Cartel
Among women in the United States who no longer have an abortion clinic nearby, many are turning to abortion pills ordered online, outside the U.S. medical system. As a result, the illicit abortions that were once invisible — the back-alley abortions before Roe v. Wade — are becoming increasingly possible to track and count in post-Roe America. Counting these abortions is important to understanding the full impact of abortion bans. That means knowing how many women in states with bans are finding abortions another way, as well as how many are carrying unwanted pregnancies to term. But researchers are debating how well the existing data captures the full scope of the post-Roe landscape. Abortion pills from overseas are a black market with limited transparency, operating outside the U.S. medical and legal systems. Although one of the biggest sources of abortion pills from overseas is sharing information about its orders, it’s unclear exactly how many women end up using such pills to … [Read more...] about The (Incomplete) Revolution in Counting Abortions
The Biden administration took a public stand last year against the abuse of spyware to target human rights activists, dissidents and journalists: It blacklisted the most notorious maker of the hacking tools, the Israeli firm NSO Group. But the global industry for commercial spyware — which allows governments to invade mobile phones and vacuum up data — continues to boom. Even the U.S. government is using it. The Drug Enforcement Administration is secretly deploying spyware from a different Israeli firm, according to five people familiar with the agency’s operations, in the first confirmed use of commercial spyware by the federal government. At the same time, the use of spyware continues to proliferate around the world, with new firms — which employ former Israeli cyberintelligence veterans, some of whom worked for NSO — stepping in to fill the void left by the blacklisting. With this next generation of firms, technology that once was in the hands of a small number of nations is … [Read more...] about How the Global Spyware Industry Spiraled Out of Control