Oct 3, 2019

Federal judge approves first safe U.S. injection site in Philadelphia

People advocating for the safe injection site in Philadelphia. Photo: Cory Clark/NurPhoto/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a 1986 law designed to ban "crack houses" does not apply to a Philadelphia nonprofit's proposal to open the nation's first supervised injection site, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Why it matters: The decision addresses a legal debate occurring in several U.S. cities that have approved or considered approving facilities for people with drug addictions to inject themselves in a supervised environment.

  • The Justice Department had argued against the site and immediately vowed to appeal the decision.
  • Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen warned in a statement that the decision isn't a green light for other injection sites, per the Inquirer: "Any attempt to open illicit drug injection sites in other jurisdictions while this case is pending will continue to be met with immediate action."

The big picture: At least a dozen cities have proposed supervised injection sites as a way to counteract the rise in drug overdose deaths.

  • The limited scientific research available shows injection sites rarely do more harm than good, despite concerns that the sites could encourage people to use drugs or lead to increased crime, per Science Direct.
  • A study on overdose mortality rates in Vancouver found that overdose deaths in the area around an injection facility fell by a third after it opened. The rest of the city saw a 9% drop.

Go deeper: Read the court opinion

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The West has a meth problem

Santa Ana police officers inspecting crystal meth and tools for stealing cars in 2016. Photo: Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Methamphetamine led to more drug overdose deaths in 19 western states in 2017 than fentanyl, according to a new report from the CDC.

Between the lines: This was the first time that the CDC has broken down regional differences in overdose deaths by drug, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Go deeperArrowOct 28, 2019

Sophisticated hackers target UN and NGO North Korea-watchers

Hackers targeting nongovernmental humanitarian groups, including UN groups like UNICEF, sought to steal login credentials using sophisticated phishing sites, according to a new report by mobile security firm Lookout.

Why it matters: Lookout doesn't attribute attacks to specific actors, but the lures used to draw targets to the phishing sites were links only of interest to workers following North Korea issues. That suggests North Korea is a likely suspect here.

Go deeperArrowOct 24, 2019

"Typosquatting" is a problem for 2020 candidates

Screenshot via Billdebiasio.com

2020 candidates face around 550 websites that aim to "typosquat" — or provide unintended content via a misspelling — their campaigns, according to a new report from Digital Shadows.

How it works: Users who go to Tulsi2020.co rather than Tulsi2020.com would find themselves redirected to a political rival's page — in this case, Marianne Williamson's — but the tactic can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019