April 11, 2013 |
For more than a year, the system worked flawlessly. Containers of counterfeit cigarettes shipped from China to the ports of Newark and New York moved easily through U.S. Customs and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security without inspection. From the docks, the cigarettes, falsely labeled as Marlboro and Marlboro Lights, made their way to a nondescript warehouse in southern New Jersey, where they were readied for the final leg of their trip, to California. The transport crew, responsible for smoothing the way through Homeland Security and making sure the cigarettes - nearly 2.3 million packs of them - got to California safely, was none other than the FBI. The FBI's elaborate logistics operation was part of a sting set up to stem the tide of contraband cigarettes into the United States, according to court documents filed this week in U.S. District Court in Camden.
April 8, 2013 |
MARIO BALOTELLI, the gifted-yet-troubled soccer star for AC Milan, has a penchant for doing stupid things. This weekend, he was cited for smoking a cigarette in the bathroom of an Italian train, which was carrying his AC Milan squad to face Fiorentina on Sunday. Club vice president Adriano Galliani said Balotelli will be fined. Balotelli was really ticked off when he heard that the train's ticket collector, who caught him smoking, told Galliani, "You need to pull his ears. He was smoking in the bathroom," Gazzetta dello Sport reported.
March 28, 2013 |
This story has been modified to correct an editing error Flower children of the '60s used to stress the importance of set and setting when consuming drugs. That knowledge apparently didn't make it down to three New Jersey stoners. On Tuesday night, Tpr. Erik Tapia was headed to work. He pulled into the parking lot of the State Police Barracks for Troop B in Totowa, which serves most of northeast New Jersey. As Tapia stepped out of his car he immediately was hit by the acrid scent of burning pot. The source of the smoke: a 2002 Oldsmobile parked a few cars away.
March 26, 2013
DID YOU hear the footsteps last week? Are they coming for you next? The gargantuan CVS drugstore chain has ordered its nearly 200,000 employees to disclose personal health information - weight, height, body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar - or they will have a $600 penalty added to their annual health-insurance bill. CVS public-relations director Michael DeAngelis sees it differently, telling me that employees who take the survey will pay $600 less for health coverage.
March 21, 2013
R EADERS, I always appreciate hearing from you. Recently, I got a letter that I decided to answer in my column. I think this reader's situation and my advice to her will resonate with many of you. Dear Kimberly: Please help me. I am the 42-year-old mom of a 14-year-old and a 4-year-old. After smoking cigarettes heavily for 27 years, I decided to quit last July. I was very proud of myself , as I had only cut down during my pregnancies. The problem is that I've gained 40 pounds.
March 14, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - This time there was no doubt. There was no new pope yet, and the mystery of who - and when - was as thick as the unmistakable heavy black smoke billowing from the Sistine Chapel chimney. As thousands waited in a cold night rain in St. Peter's Square, the cardinals signaled Tuesday that they had failed on their first attempt to find a leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and their troubled church. "It's black, it's black, it's waaay black!" screamed Eliza Nagle, a 21-year-old Notre Dame theology major on an exchange program in Rome, as the smoke poured from the 6-foot-high copper chimney.
March 14, 2013
A woman was arrested in Parx Casino earlier this month for smashing a beer bottle over the head of a fellow slots player that blew cigarette smoke in her face, according to police records. Dana Sarne, 30, from Morrisville, asked Paula White to extinguish her cigarette while the two were playing slots on March 4, records say. Sarne said the smoke was irritating her asthma. According to the records, the two were playing in the casino's smoking section. White refused to put out the cigarette, records say, then blew smoke in Sarne's face.
March 13, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - As tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square gasped in excitement, Gloria Hudock of Peters, Pa., strained to see the smoke pouring out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel against the black night sky. No successor to Pope Benedict XVI was elected on the first ballot of the conclave. Smoke rose at 7:42 p.m. "It's definitively black," she said, on observation aided by several Jumbotrons on which Vatican television broadcast a well-lit image of the chimney. Hudock, with her husband, Gabe, and their 13-year-old son Stephen, happened to be visiting their older son, John, who is studying at Duquesne University's Rome campus, and planned to keep a smoke watch.
March 5, 2013 |
PRINCETON - Another New Jersey community is considering a ban on smoking in public areas. Princeton's Board of Health is scheduled to vote March 19 on a proposal that would ban smoking on municipal property, in town-owned parks, and outside pools. First-time violators would face a $250 fine. Proponents say the measure would help save lives and improve the quality of life for all. But critics say they worry about infringing on people's personal rights. Officials say dozens of New Jersey towns and cities - about 25 percent of municipalities - already have similar no-smoking ordinances.
February 15, 2013
DEAR ABBY: It bothers me greatly to know that so many children continue to start smoking at an early age. My husband and I did that, and now we're paying an awful price. We have had emphysema for years. Four of our children also took up the habit. I finally started paying them to quit ($100 every two weeks they didn't smoke - up to five payments). I decided to head off the temptation our grandchildren would face. We told them if they didn't start smoking by the age of 18, we'd pay them $2,000.