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Canada to ban key substance in ‘bath salts’ drug

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MONTREAL — Canada said it was moving to ban the main substance used to make “bath salts” — the drug linked to a grisly attack in the United States in which a man almost killed another by chewing his face.

The drug — which as its name suggests resembles regular bath salts in texture — can spark an often aggressive, chaotic experience for users, including intense hallucinations.

Key to the production of the illegal drug is a synthetic stimulant known as MDPV that, under new regulations expected to take effect within months, will become illegal to produce, own, deal, export or import in Canada.

“This action helps give law enforcement the tools they need to keep our streets and communities safe from this new and emerging drug that ruins lives and causes havoc in communities across the country,” Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a statement announcing the pending ban.

Reports have suggested that a nude assailant who gnawed the face of a homeless man in the US city of Miami last month was likely under the influence of “bath salts.”

The white powder — which can be inhaled, injected or smoked — is often billed as legal by websites that sell it. Sometimes, it is marketed as ecstasy, according to federal Canadian police official Mike Cabana.

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“We applaud the federal government for their quick response in recognizing the extreme dangers of the ‘bath salts’,” Cabana said.

Canadian authorities have noted a recent rise in the use of “bath salts” in provinces along the country’s Atlantic coast. In Nova Scotia, police have seized “bath salts” mixed with cannabis.

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Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank

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Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.

The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.

Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.

Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.

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Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns

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Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.

In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.

The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.

"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."

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Trump jumped to Speaker Pelosi’s defense in marathon Fox News interview

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In a strange twist, President Donald Trump appeared to defend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity Wednesday.

Hannity began by saying to Trump that he believes Pelosi has lost control of her own party, as officials like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) continue to call for impeachment.

"I say Nancy Pelosi is the speaker in name only," Hannity told Trump, calling Ocasio-Cortez the real start.

But what Trump said was the unusual point.

"I think Nancy Pelosi probably has control of it, I hear different things, but I think she does," Trump said, appearing to defend the Speaker. "She knows what she's doing. We will see how it all comes out."

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