Larry Smith is a former cop who lives in South Dakota. He’s had Parkinson’s for 20 years, which gives him symptoms including severe dyskinesia (uncontrolled movements), loss of voice and tremors. This clip from Ride With Larry, a documentary about him and his extraordinary efforts to address his illness and raise awareness, has gone viral on social media—and it’s easy to see why.
Smith is shown taking medical marijuana for the first time—it is still not legally available in South Dakota. After he puts a drop of cannabis oil under his tongue, the unedited, sped-up film shows the rapid change he undergoes. His involuntary movements end, his hands are steady and he can speak normally.
Dr. Daniele Piomelli of UC, Irvine explains what we know about the science of what’s going on, as well as frustrations about the political obstacles to wider study and use of medical marijuana. For many, the sight of this dramatic positive change in a person with this debilitating disease will speak louder than words.
Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report
On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.
"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."
FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon
A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.
"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.
Mike Pompeo asks Egypt to stop harassing US citizens
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed Egypt's release of a US citizen but urged the ally to stop harassment of others.
Mohamed Amashah, 24, was freed Monday, nearly 16 months after he was arrested in Cairo's Tahrir Square for holding up a sign seeking the release of prisoners, according to human rights campaigners.
A dual US-Egyptian citizen who lives in New Jersey, he had gone on a hunger strike this year to protest his conditions.
"We thank Egypt for securing his release and his repatriation," Pompeo told a news conference.
"But at the same time, we urge Egyptian officials to stop unwarranted harassment of US citizens and their families who remain there," he said.