Tara Culp-Ressler: The Obama Administration’s Strategy On Heroin Addiction: Treat It As A Public Health Problem
The Obama administration unveiled a new strategy to combat heroin abuse on Monday, pledging $2.5 million in additional funds to target five “high intensity drug trafficking areas.” The plan, which aims to pair law enforcement officials with health experts, is notable for its emphasis onconnecting heroin users with treatment rather than focusing on putting them behind bars. In the 15 states participating in the pilot program, a
public health official will coordinate “heroin response teams” and help track the number of overdoses in their region. More first responders will be trained about how to administer naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and prescription painkillers. The new strategy “demonstrates a strong commitment to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic as both a public health and a public safety issue,” according to Michael Botticelli, the Obama administration’s director of national drug control policy.
Katie Valentine: Here’s How The Government Plans To Cut Emissions From Landfills
The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Friday that aim to reduce landfill emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases by nearly a third, in an attempt to more tightly regulate a sector that accounts for nearly a fifth of total U.S. methane emissions. The proposals seek to update methane regulations on new and existing landfills. If enacted, the EPA says the regulations would reduce methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills by487,000 tons a year beginning in 2025. Since methane is about 25 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide, that reduction would be equal to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 12.2 million metric tons — the amount emitted by more than 1.1 million homes.
Under the proposed rules, landfills would have to start capturing two-thirds of their methane and other hazardous emissions by 2023. That’s 13 percent more than they’re currently required to capture. The proposed regulations would apply to the more than 2,000 active municipal solid waste landfillsin the United States, which together make up the nation’s third-largest source of methane emissions. These emissions are produced when organic matter, such as food waste, decomposes in a landfill. Once the EPA’s proposed rules are filed in the federal register, they’ll be subject to a 60-day public commenting period.
For the first time since the Ebola outbreak was declared in Sierra Leone, the country has recorded zero new infections. There were no new Ebola cases reported last week according to the WHO. At the height of the outbreak Sierra Leone was reporting more than 500 new cases a week. Last week, for the first time since May last year, there were zero new cases.
But authorities are warning against complacency. OB Sisay, Director of the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), said: “This does not mean Sierra Leone is suddenly Ebola free. “As long as we have one Ebola case we still have an epidemic. People should continue to take the public health measures… around hand-washing, temperature checks, enhanced screening.”
President Barack Obama disembarks Air Force One upon arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 18, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with, from left, Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, and Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer in the Outer Oval Office before making a statement in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Aug. 18, 2014. Photo by Chuck Kennedy
President Barack Obama meets the Weithman family: Joe, Rhonda, and their children, Rachel, 9, and Josh, 11, in their home in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 18, 2010. Photo by Pete Souza