Women Allegedly Hid Cocaine In Hair Pieces

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  U.S. Customs officials allege two women flying into New York from South America were smuggling cocaine under their wigs and hair extensions.

The officials said the women, who arrived Sunday at John F. Kennedy International Airport from Georgetown, Guyana, appeared nervous when they approached a customs checkpoint at the airport and officers felt bulges on the women’s heads when patting them down for potential contraband, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The suspects, identified as Kiana Howell and Makeeba Graham, were taken to the airport’s medical facility, where their wigs and hair weaves were removed.

Officials said the women were found to be concealing form-fitting plastic bags on their scalps. Howell allegedly was carrying 35.1 ounces of cocaine under her wig and Graham is accused of hiding 36.9 ounces of the drug under her weave, officials said.

The women were arrested on drug smuggling charges.

Romney: ‘Don’t Be Expecting Huge Tax Cut’

WESTERVILLE, Ohio, (UPI) —  Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told supporters his tax-reform plan would probably not cut Americans’ tax bills as much as they might be thinking.

“By the way, don’t be expecting a huge cut in taxes, because I’m also going to lower deductions and exemptions,” Romney told a crowd in Westerville, Ohio, near Columbus.

“But by bringing rates down, we’ll be able to let small businesses keep more of their money, so they can hire more people,” he told the crowd. “My priority is jobs and I’ll make it happen.”

His campaign also backed away from statements Romney’s tax plan would preserve most tax deductions for Americans whose adjusted gross income is less than $200,000 a year.

A staff member told The Wall Street Journal an alternative scenario would preserve those deductions for people who earn $100,000 or less, thus raising revenue by letting fewer taxpayers take deductions.

“What we’re proposing is a tax reform — it’s not a tax cut,” a campaign staffer told the Journal.

The staff member said the campaign hadn’t committed to a plan, so things could change.

Romney has long proposed cutting all income-tax rates 20 percent and lowering the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent. He has said lower rates would spur economic growth.

He has also called for keeping the 15 percent top rate on capital gains and getting rid of capital gains taxes altogether for people making less than $200,000 a year. He has additionally said he would scrap the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax.

But the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, has said Romney can’t do all those things without adding greatly to the deficit.

Several outside estimates have said Romney’s tax plan could cut revenue by $5 trillion over 10 years, which would expand the deficit considerably.

President Barack Obama seized on this Wednesday.

“My opponent and his running mate are big believers in top-down economics,” he said in Bowling Green, Ohio, near Toledo. “They basically think that if we just spend another $5 trillion on tax cuts that favor the very wealthiest … then prosperity and jobs will rain down on everybody else, the deficit will magically go away and we will live happily ever after.”

While Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, told reporters as late as last week, “I want to lower taxes on middle-income people,” he told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in a broadcast that aired Sunday that because he plans to limit exemptions and deductions, most people will essentially pay the same taxes as before.

“That’s right. Middle-income people will probably see a little break, because there’ll be no tax on their savings,” he said.

Man Charged In Online Threat Against Obama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (UPI) —  A Birmingham, Ala., man was indicted for threatening the life of President Obama on his Twitter page, the U.S. Justice Department said.

In the indictment, Jarvis Britton, 25, was charged with knowingly threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict bodily harm on the president by posting the message, “Let’s kill the president. F.E.A.R.,” Sept. 14, the office of the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama said Wednesday in a release.

Britton was arrested Friday and charged with threatening the president, prosecutors said.

“Threats on the life of the president of the United States are a serious matter. We will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said.

Obama’s White Voter Gap

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XImniGyzFEA?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

 
Hello. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. Did you see the latest POLITICO poll just out this week? Mitt Romney has a 14-point lead among middle-class voters.

This poll points to a problem rarely ever mentioned in the media. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have a big problem — as wide as the Grand Canyon. The biased leftist media (which are openly rooting for Obama) constantly trumpet Mitt Romney’s problems with black, Latino and female voters ad nauseam. But what about Obama’s lack of support among white voters? It is historically large, and it is fueling Romney’s big lead among the middle class. See the latest Rasmussen poll that shows Romney with a 20-point lead among white voters: http://newyorklibertyreport.com/?p=14423

Or what about Obama’s problems in the latest POLITICO poll with males (Romney is up 6), white women (Romney is up 9), married voters (Romney is up 14) and older Americans (Romney is up 7). Other polls show big problems for Obama with veteran, religious, middle-class and independent voters. Obama’s gaps with those groups are all as bad as any voter gap that Romney suffers. But the media never happens to mention them. Strange.

It seems like a hundred times a day we hear or see or read media reports about “Romney’s problem” with black voters, Latino voters and female voters — particularly single women. The media love the term “Romney’s female voter gap.”

The media also love to trumpet polls showing Obama has the lead. Funny how they don’t mention that Rasmussen and Gallop, the two polls regarded as the most accurate by many experts, both show a dead even race. Ronald Reagan was way down to Jimmy Carter at this same time in 1980, yet Reagan won by a historic landslide. Some might conclude that Obama is in big trouble.

The media also never mention that all the other polls are skewed heavily toward Democratic voters (based on the 2008 turnout). Because of the “enthusiasm factor” among conservatives, I believe that the turnout in 2012 will look much more like the GOP Congressional landslide of 2010 (led by the Tea Party turnout) than the Obama Presidential victory in 2008.

So in light of all this, where are the articles and commentaries about Obama’s big problems? Doesn’t anyone in the media notice the only white male voters in the country that the Democratic Party can attract nowadays are union members (and no longer all of them) and media employees (they get 100 percent of those). If the purpose of the media is to report “fair and balanced,” why are they ignoring such a big story? You might call it “the elephant in the room.”

So why do the media talk nonstop about Romney’s female and minority gaps but not even mention Obama’s large white, independent, middle-class, married and male gaps? Why do the media seem to report only on the polls that show the worst results for Romney?

While many of these badly Democrat-skewed polls show Obama leading in battleground States, they forget to mention that Romney is either ahead or dead even in several States that Obama won in 2008: North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. In deep-blue Connecticut, the GOP is now leading for U.S. Senate. That can’t bode well for Obama. Yet the mainstream media paint a picture of the Romney campaign in panic. This is fraud being perpetrated by the media on the American public.

So let me ask a few simple questions. If Romney, the challenger, is even with a sitting President, shouldn’t the media be probing what’s going wrong for Obama? Shouldn’t they be reporting that the Obama campaign is panicking? It seems that Obama’s the one who now needs hope and change.

Shouldn’t a fair and balanced media be asking: “Why has the Democratic Party become such a pariah with white voters?” Obama got a very large percentage of white voters in 2008, so it’s obviously not racism.

Or: “If Obama won a majority of independents and the middle class in 2008, why has there been such a big turnaround in 2012? Could it be Obama’s policies at fault, and not his skin color?”

And how about this one: “Why do polls show that 99 percent of black voters support Obama?”

This question is important because black unemployment and poverty numbers are the worst in decades under this President. So why would just about 100 percent of black voters support him? No politician in history has ever seen unanimous support from one group before. I think it’s an obvious topic to explore, if the media weren’t scared to death at being called racists for merely asking the question.

One last question: Why has the media chosen to ignore Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke publicly stating a month ago that the unemployment numbers are “grave?” For the Fed, that’s a deeply disturbing word. They never use frightening words in public for fear of exciting or panicking the masses. When they start using strong words like “grave” to describe the state of unemployment, that is a sign that the Fed is in full-scale panic mode.

Shouldn’t the media be tying the Fed Chief’s “grave” economic fears to Obama’s leadership as CEO of the U.S. economy? Shouldn’t the media be questioning loudly if it’s possible to be re-elected with such a poor economic record? They would certainly be doing it with gusto (blaring headlines) if Reagan, Bush or Romney were President.

Funny how the media completely ignore Obama’s big problems with so many crucial voting groups. And his failure with that little thing called the economy. A total media blackout. No one in the mainstream media even thinks to address Obama’s grave problems — especially Obama’s glaring white voter gap. That’s a hot story that’s just waiting to be written.

Media bias to this extent is expected in Russia, Venezuela or Iran. But American voters deserve better.

I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. See you right back here next week. Same time, same place. God Bless.

Mom Sues After Being Arrested For Allowing Kids To Play Outside

In July 2011, a Texas mom spent the night in jail after a neighbor called and told police that children were playing outside unsupervised. Tammy Cooper was arrested on child endangerment charges. Now, she’s suing her neighbor Shelley Fuller, the arresting officer and the La Porte Police Department.

Cooper’s children, age 6 and 9, were playing outside when a neighbor called 911 and claimed the children had been abandoned. When police arrived, Cooper told them she had been sitting outside the entire time. Nonetheless, she spent 18 hours in jail.

Cooper, who says she routinely allows her children to play outside while she keeps on an eye on them from inside the house, was handcuffed in front of her children.

“The incident also led to an investigation by Child Protective Services, requiring Cooper to take her children to the CPS office in Houston,” reads the complaint. “Her children were separated from her and interrogated by child abuse investigators. CPS found no cause for concern regarding the well being of Cooper’s children and dropped the investigation.”

Florida School System Expected To Vote On Paddling

A school system in Florida might decide to bring back paddling. Though seldom used, corporal punishment is legal in schools in 19 States, including Florida.

New school board member and former principle Carol Ely is an advocate of corporal punishment. When she takes her seat on the board, the old standard of discipline will be revisited.

Ely was the principal of Shady Hill Elementary in Ocala, Fla., for 14 years. She says that, in her experience, paddling is far more effective than other methods of discipline, such as suspension.

“The return rate of children for corporal punishment has been almost zero,” she said.

Some parents are in favor of the idea, such as Linda McClean: “I would let them get a spanking and when they get home they would get another one for disrespecting school.”

But others disagree with the practice.

“No one should ever hit my kid. It should never be allowed,” said parent Jerrilyn Taylor.

Ely will pursue making corporal punishment an option when she joins the board next month.

Israel Lobbyist: False Flag Needed To Attack Iran

A false flag may be on the horizon, one that will be used to throw the United States into full-on military conflict with Iran.

Consider these remarks from Patrick Clawson, director of the pro-Israeli lobby Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

I frankly think that crises initiation is really tough. And it’s very hard for me to see how the United States President can get us to war with Iran. Which leads me to conclude that if, in fact, compromise is not company that the traditional way America gets to war is what would be best for U.S. interests.

Some people might think that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us into WWII; you may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor. Some people might think that Mr. Wilson wanted to get us into WWI; you may recall he had to wait for the Lusitania episode. Some people might think that Mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam; you may recall we had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode. We didn’t go to war with Spain until the [U.S.S.] Maine exploded. And, may I point out, that Mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call out the Federal army until Fort Sumter was attacked — which is why he order the commander at Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolinians said would cause an attack.

So, if, in fact, the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war.

Clawson went on to suggest that the United States could move on to blatantly launching military assaults against the Iranian armed forces in undeclared war saying, “Iranian submarines periodically go down, someday one of them might not come up — who would know why?”

Clawson’s closing remark suggested that the United States should “get nastier” in its use of covert and unConstitutional military attacks against Iran in order to provoke a violent response aimed at the United States from the uncooperative nation. Doing so would serve to drum up patriotic American public support for yet another long, costly and unwinnable Mideast war at behest of Israeli special interests.

The above-mentioned catalysts for war offer a frightening outline of the campaign of subversion that anti-Iranian zealots like Clawson wish to employ in order to make Americans support another conflict in the Mideast. Any aggression, such as acts of terror, toward the United States in coming months will likely be blamed on the Iranian government. But people like Clawson make it perfectly clear, things are not always what they seem.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfoaLbbAix0&w=420&h=315]

Hard For Him To Say He’s Sorry

Earlier this week, between refusing to meet with his world leadership colleagues and bringing his Presidential acumen to bear on the geopolitically destabilizing NFL officials’ strike, President Barack Obama dropped by the set of Barbara Walters’ henhouse cluckfest “The View.” During the course of his interaction with such notable thinkers as stand-up comedienne Whoopi Goldberg and junior varsity liberal shill Joy Behar, Obama once again blamed the catastrophic violence overtaking the Mideast on the so-called “movie” “Innocence of Muslims.” After watching a few moments of that schlock-fest, I can promise you that calling it a “movie” is nearly as big a stretch as calling Obama “Presidential,” or Valerie Jarrett’s face “natural-looking.” But I digress.

During his sit-down with the gals, Obama — who presumably brought along the Mrs. in order to appeal to the all-important Neiman Marcus demographic — abruptly reversed course from his previous declarations regarding the Islamofascist murders of four Americans in Libya two weeks ago. He said:

There’s no doubt that… it wasn’t just a mob action. What’s clear is that, around the world, there are still a lot of threats out there.

Obama taped the appearance in Walters’ chicken coop on Monday. And then, in that grand tradition of Democratic aspirants to the Presidency, he flip-flopped again. Addressing the mewling appeasers and parking ticket scofflaws at the United Nations, Obama returned to his blame-the-crappy-video narrative:

I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well.

That’s a none-too-subtle return to the “it’s the movie’s fault” talking point which made Obama a national laughingstock last week. In addition to being demonstrably wrong (crappy movies don’t kill people; psychotic Muslim fanatics do), Obama’s statement marks what has to be a new record for Democratic duplicity. Obama — who took nearly 10 days to acknowledge that terrorists just might have been involved in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya — managed to pronounce diametrically opposed reasons for the same event in less than 24 hours. Furthermore, the idea that the President — even one as mortifying as Obama — would apologize to terrorists and their appeasers for a poor exercise in free speech is nearly as appalling as dismissing the rumored rape and the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans as “bumps in the road.”

How far into the clown car has this buffoon climbed if his latest pronouncement manages to be less offensive than his description of the victims of the Islamofascists’ rape-and-murder-a-thon as “bumps in the road?” Forget about the fact that Obama’s own minions are now openly acknowledging that the Libyan massacre was an act of terrorism (as is Obama himself, depending on the audience). Focus instead on the fact that the re-election of Obama not only guarantees a continuation of the death spiral down which he has driven us, but it also sends a message to the rest of the world that we’re perfectly willing to go along for the ride.

–Ben Crystal

The President Is A King

After years of bristling under the rule of a monarchy, Americans were loath to create another. Antifederalist Philadelphiensis warned that the U.S. Constitution was creating an executive with even more power than a king.

In Antifederalist 74 he wrote: “[T]hat the President is a King to all intents and purposes, and at the same time one of the most dangerous kind too — an elective King, the commander in chief of a standing army, etc. And to those add, that he has a negative power over the proceedings of both branches of the legislature. And to complete his uncontrolled sway, he is neither restrained nor assisted by a privy council, which is a novelty in government. I challenge the politicians of the whole continent to find in any period of history a monarch more absolute.”

Now we have perpetual war, a growing Homeland Security apparatus that has compiled enough ammunition to shoot every American five times over and a President who ignores Congress and rules by executive order. It seems Philadelphiensis had it right.

 

GOP Lawmakers Want More Answers On Libya Attack

On Wednesday, a group of eight House GOP committee chairmen demanded that the Administration of Barack Obama issue a new briefing about the events that unfolded in Benghazi, Libya, that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.

According to The Hill, the lawmakers scolded the Administration for its inconsistent account of the events leading up to and during the attack. In a letter to Obama, the lawmakers said that they were “disturbed” by statements indicating the attack stemmed from an anti-Islamic video.  

“Decades after al Qaeda attacked our embassies in East Africa, which catalyzed a series of events that led to the attacks on 9/11, it appears they executed a highly coordinated and well-planned attack against us again,” the letter said. “Clearly, the threat from al Qaeda and affiliated groups has metastasized; yet we do not appear to be learning from the past.”

Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent a separate letter to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice on Wednesday asking “how the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations could characterize an attack on a U.S. consulate so inaccurately five days after a terrorist attack that killed four Americans.”

This was in response to Rice’s assertion that the attacks were “spontaneous.”

Study: Urban Coyotes Practice Monogamy

COLUMBUS, Ohio (UPI) — Coyotes living in cities don’t stray from their mates and couples stay together for life, which may help them thrive in urban areas, U.S. researchers say.

Scientists at Ohio State University said genetic samples of 236 coyotes in the Chicago area over a six-year period found no evidence of polygamy nor of one mate ever leaving another while the other was still alive.

“I was surprised we didn’t find any cheating going on,” OSU wildlife ecologist Stan Gehrt said. “Even with all the opportunities for the coyotes to philander, they really don’t.”

Loyalty between mates may be a key to their success in urban areas, he said.

Living in food-rich cities encourages female coyotes’ natural ability to produce large litters of young, so it’s important for females to have faithful partners to help raise them all, Gehrt said.

“If the female were to try to raise those large litters by herself, she wouldn’t be able to do it,” Gehrt said in an OSU release. “But the male spends just as much time helping to raise those pups as the female does.”

Unlike males of polygamous species, a male coyote “knows that every one of those pups is his offspring” and has a clear genetic stake in helping them survive, Gehrt said.

U.S. Weather Satellite Fails, Shut Down

WASHINGTON (UPI) — An important weather satellite monitoring the U.S. East Coast has shut down, necessitating activation of a spare satellite to take its place, officials said.

After several days of glitches and problems, the GOES-13 failed Monday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said.

Launched in 2006, its mission was to track weather systems across the eastern United States while another satellite performed similar functions for the western U.S. region.

GEOS-13’s monitoring responsibilities have been transferred to a replacement, GOES-14, which was launched in 2009 into a storage orbit as an in-space spare if needed, SPACE.com reported.

“NOAA maintains backup GOES satellites in case unforeseen events occur, providing full redundancy for monitoring severe weather over the United States and its territories,” NOAA officials said.

The replacement GOES-14 will be the primary monitoring satellite for East Coast weather until the GOES-13 satellite’s malfunction can be diagnosed and repaired, they said.

Following News, Political Knowledge Linked

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Following the news is one way Americans learn about politics but it is not sufficient, by itself, enough to create political knowledge, U.S. researchers say.

A study at the University of Missouri School of Journalism found teens, especially, must think about and discuss with their peers what they read or watch on the news, to learn and understand political issues.

Adolescents who spend more time thinking and talking about the news with their peers and relatives tend to know more about political developments in the country than those who simply follow the news, a university release said Tuesday.

News consumption does not directly lead to political knowledge, the researcher found. Instead, news consumption leads to thinking about the news, which then leads to engagement in discussions about the news, which finally ends with political learning.

“This is important because an individual’s political identity begins long before one is eligible to vote,” doctoral student Edson Tandoc said. “Our political identity is not shaped overnight and so it is important to start molding our future voters while they are still young.

“Our study shows that if parents and educators want to increase political knowledge and action among younger generations, it is important to involve them in discussions about what they are reading in the news,” he said. “Just giving them a story to read is not enough. Teenagers need to be able to think through and talk about political issues in order to retain knowledge about them.”

U.S. River Turtles In Population Decline

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UPI) — A river turtle species, once one of the most wide-ranging in the United States, still suffers from past harvesting and declining water quality, researchers say.

University of Florida researchers studying river turtles in Missouri found populations of the northern map turtle have not recovered from harvesting, mostly for food, that caused a 50 percent population loss between 1969 and 1980, the university reported Tuesday.

River turtles are vital to ecosystem functions by cycling nutrients and maintaining food web dynamics, the researchers said.

“The importance of river turtles is really underplayed,” said lead author Amber Pitt, a Clemson University postdoctoral research fellow who conducted research for the study as a UF graduate student.

“River turtles are long-lived, rely on the same water resources that we do and can serve as indicators of water quality,” Pitt said. “People should be concerned if turtles are impacted by poor water quality because we are likely being affected, too.”

The northern map turtle, Graptemys geographica, inhabits river systems from southern Arkansas to Quebec in Canada.

“Oftentimes with conservation, you have the charismatic mega fauna that people care about, such as sea turtles — everybody cares about sea turtles, including me,” Pitt said.

“But river turtles are facing just as many threats as sea turtles. People are also harvesting river turtles and there are very few laws in place to stop this harvest — it’s a global epidemic that is causing turtle populations to be wiped out.”

NASA Creating 3-D Moon Images

GREENBELT, Md. (UPI) — NASA says its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is acquiring stereo images of the moon in high resolution to provide 3-D views of the surface.

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University is developing a processing system to automatically generate anaglyphs — images that can be viewed in 3-D using red/blue-green glasses — from most of these stereo pairs, the space agency reported Tuesday.

The anaglyphs will give better understanding of the topography of the lunar surface by making lunar features such as craters, volcanic flows, lava tubes and tectonic features jump out in 3-D, NASA said.

The stereo images are created by the orbiter’s Narrow Angle Camera targeting a location on the ground and taking an image from one angle on one orbit, and from a different angle on a subsequent orbit.

Detailed images of the moon’s surface in 3-D will be available to the general public through Arizona State University’s website at http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/ and a NASA website at www.nasa.gov/lro as they become available, NASA said.

Report: Infants Need Meat, Fish, Poultry

OTTAWA (UPI) — Infants as young as 6 months old would benefit from eating meat, poultry and fish, a group of Canadian health organizations announced Tuesday.

Under the auspices of the federal Health Canada agency, the Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and Breastfeeding Committee of Canada recommended parents break from North American tradition in order to bolster infants’ intake of iron.

“Infants should be offered iron containing foods two or more times each day,” the summary said. “They should be served meat, fish, poultry or meat alternatives daily.”

The recommendations said such meat substitutes as tofu are also healthy for babies, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

“While meat and fish are traditional first foods for some aboriginal groups, the common practice in North America has been to introduce infant cereal, vegetables and fruit as first complementary foods,” the groups said.

Additionally, the report said mothers should breast-feed their children for at least six months and supplement infants’ diets with 400 international units of vitamin D each day.

Parents Have Big Impact In Reducing Weight

SAN DIEGO (UPI) — Parents can make a big difference by helping to instill healthy behaviors in their children, a U.S. health and wellness company says.

Dr. Mary Jane Osmick, vice president and medical director of health services for American Specialty Health — which provides fitness and exercise programs for health plans, insurance carriers and employer groups — said obesity now affects 17 percent of all U.S. children and adolescents — triple the rate from just one generation ago.

“Parents can make a big difference by helping to instill healthy behaviors in their children,” Osmick said in a statement. “For example, I recently witnessed the ‘power of parental influence’ on children’s eating habits. While standing in line at a salad bar, I overheard a father planning the meal with his three children. ‘OK,’ he said, ‘Remember how we talked about getting lots of colors on our plates — green, yellow and red? Now, how are you going to make that happen?’ First, he chose a place where healthier eating was possible, and then, he guided his children to make healthy food choices.”

Many of the risk factors that affect childhood obesity can be addressed when parents are thoughtful and take action, Osmick said.

“Parents can influence their children in factors such as healthy food choices, minimizing fast-food, increasing exercise and reducing sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games.”

Lack Of Vitamin D Increases Heart Risk

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (UPI) — People with low levels of vitamin D were associated with a higher risk of heart attack and early death, researchers at the University of Copenhagen said.

Dr. Peter Brondum-Jacobsen of Copenhagen University Hospital and the University of Copenhagen said the study involved more than 10,000 Danes. The study compared people with the 5 percent lowest levels of vitamin D with the 50 percent of the highest levels of vitamin D.

The Copenhagen City Heart Study measured vitamin D levels in blood samples from 1981 to 1983. Researchers tracked those on the registries up to the present.

The study found the low levels of vitamin D compared to optimal levels were linked to a 40 percent higher risk of ischemic heart disease, 64 percent higher risk of heart attack, 57 percent higher risk of early death and no less than 81 percent higher risk of death from heart disease.

“With this type of population study, we are unable to say anything definitive about a possible causal relationship. But we can ascertain that there is a strong statistical correlation between a low level of vitamin D and high risk of heart disease and early death,” Brondum-Jacobsen said in a statement.

The findings were published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Canada Criminalizes ‘Bath Salts’ Drug

OTTAWA (UPI) — The Canadian government made the street drug known as bath salts illegal Wednesday, putting it in the same category as heroin and cocaine, officials said.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq made the announcement in Ottawa, saying it was now “illegal to possess, traffic, import or export, unless authorized by regulation.”

The name for the drug is methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV. It resembles, but is no way related to, such legitimate bath salts such as Epsom salts, a health ministry release said.

Most users eat the drug but it can be snorted through the nose.

Users get a similar “rush” as with amphetamines but since the drug appeared in 2010 there have been unconfirmed reports of users experiencing violent behavior, heart attack, kidney or liver failure and suicide. Hallucinations and panic attacks have also been linked to the drug’s use.

The health ministry said police and the Canada Border Services Agency can make arrests and confiscate illicit bath salts.

While more than 30 U.S. states have similar bans, UPI found various websites still offering bath salts for less than $30.

Verizon Joins Cybersecurity Group

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (UPI) — Communications company Verizon has joined the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance to counter cybertreats to U.S. information technology infrastructure.

The alliance, composed of leading companies in the security industry brings together cybersecurity capabilities and technologies in a collaborative effort.

“With its use of technology, broad industry knowledge and solid portfolio of cybersecurity solutions, we are pleased to welcome Verizon to the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance,” said Curt Aubley, vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed’s NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center.

“Through close collaboration with the other Alliance members, we will work with Verizon to explore and identify emerging network defense capabilities to support customers in both government and commercial areas.”

Lockheed’s NextGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center is a research and development facility that brings together alliance members and their customers to develop pilot cybersecurity programs.

Lockheed Martin said it and Verizon will apply their intelligence-driven threat detection and defense methodologies to various projects undertaken by the alliance. Verizon also will contribute insights gained its studies on data breaches.

“The threats posed by cyber-crime are very real and impact every person and organization across the United States and around the world,” said Susan Zeleniak, senior vice president, public sector markets, Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

“By working together through organizations such as the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance, we can identify common-sense solutions to combat these threats and help ensure the integrity of critical data, applications and systems.”

Retail Sales Up Slightly In Week

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. retail sales receipts rose 0.6 percent in the week ending Saturday compared with the previous week, a trade association in Washington said.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales rose modestly week-to-week, but were up 2.9 percent compared with the same week of 2011, a climb from the 2.1 percent year-over-year gain of the previous week.

The council’s report, issued Tuesday, said the national average temperature dropped 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit compared with the same week of 2011. The upper Midwest experienced its first hard frost, Weather Trends International said.

That same cool weather pattern “likely boosted” sales of fall apparel, the trade group said.

After 11 consecutive weeks of gains, the national average price of gasoline — having gained 50 cents in the 11-week climb — eased back, dropping 5.2 cents to $3.826 per gallon in the week ending Monday.