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Otherwise healthy man suddenly dies from overdose of Black Licorice candy

A 54-year-old man in Massachusetts died after his heart stopped beating from eating too much black licorice candy.

Elias Marat

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(TMU) – In a tragic and unpredictable turn of events, a 54-year-old man in Massachusetts died after his heart stopped beating from eating too much black licorice candy. The man’s sudden death at a McDonald’s in 2019 had doctors clueless, and became the focus of a study by senior medical researchers.

We all have our guilty pleasures and vices: it could be that we like to butter our toast on both sides, drink a pot of coffee daily, snack on moonshine cherries, or the common problem of compulsive eating as we sit in front of the TV. And no doubt, these vices do carry a health cost – but the cost of this man’s black licorice habit turned out to be far beyond anything imaginable.

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the 54-year-old man didn’t have a history of heart problems. His doctors attested that he regularly took his dog out on walks and was fit enough to meet the physical demands of his job as a construction worker.

However, his relative fitness wasn’t enough to contend with his fatal habit of consuming one to two large bags of black licorice every day for three weeks – a problem which, without any warning, had a massively detrimental impact on his health.

According to the report, the habit resulted in a precipitous drop in his potassium levels, causing his sudden heart failure at the McDonald’s. After suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing, the man never regained consciousness and died 24 hours after arriving at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“We almost didn’t believe it when we figured it out,” Dr. Jacqueline B. Henson, who treated the man while she worked at the hospital, told New York Times. “We were all shocked and surprised.”

Doctors soon discovered that the man had a generally poor diet and consumed at least a pack of cigarettes a day, according to friends and family. Yet none of those factors could explain his death. As it turned out, his death could be traced to his sudden switch from red to black licorice three weeks prior to his death.

Officials of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have announced that consuming two ounces of black licorice for 12 days can result in an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia for people aged 40 and over, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.

Medical practitioners are generally taught that black licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, a common plant extract used to sweeten candies and other foods that can dangerously reduce potassium levels when consumed in high doses.

The ingredient is also common in other foods and drinks that contain licorice root, such as jelly beans, licorice tea, certain types of chewing gum, popular anise liquors like ouzo, raki, arak, and anisette, and a number of Belgian beers. Sweet-flavored chewing tobaccos also commonly contain licorice.

However, overconsuming these products cause our potassium levels to plunge, throwing off the balance of sodium and potassium that’s necessary for a healthy functioning heart. When our potassium levels drop, sodium levels skyrocket – resulting in arrhythmia and boosting our blood pressure.

The Massachusetts case, however, is an extreme one and far from the norm, noted Dr. Henson, who said that the occasional licorice treat shouldn’t be confused with poison.

“It’s fine taken in sort of small amounts, infrequently,” Henson said. “But when taken on a regular basis, it can lead to these issues.”

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Senate Intelligence Leaders Say Mystery “Sonic Weapon” Attacks on U.S. Officials Increasing

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After it was revealed Thursday that US intelligence is investigating at least two potential “directed energy” sonic attacks on White House personnel – one of which is alleged to have happened just off White House grounds – the US Senate Intelligence Committee weighed in on Friday, saying such mysterious incidents appear to be happening with greater frequency worldwide.

Senators Mark Warner (D) and Marco Rubio (R) agreed that such microwave energy attacks have gone on for “nearly five years” and have targeted “US government personnel in Havana, Cuba and elsewhere around the world.” In a joint statement the two ranking members said, “This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this,” according to Reuters. 

As with the late 2016 into 2017 ‘Havana Syndrome’ attacks in which some 50 diplomatic personnel reported experiencing strange symptoms from vomiting to concussions to extreme nausea to chronic headaches, which was believed the result of some kind of undetected ‘directed energy’ weapon, the most recent incidents saw media reports speculate that Russia or China might be behind them. 

It was starting last week that the mysterious incidents returned to national media spotlight after defense officials said they believe Russia is likely behind microwave energy weapon attacks on US troops in northeast Syria. Apparently some US troops occupying the country began reporting”flu-like symptoms” which caused the DoD to investigate possible linkage to microwave or directed energy weapons on the battlefield of Syria. Politico reported that “officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”

Despite instances of strange symptoms and even head injuries experienced by diplomatic personnel or troops abroad, no “energy weapon” has ever been found or uncovered that’s believed to have caused any of these alleged attacks. Most often US personnel report the symptoms enough time after the alleged attack took place for the “plot” and culprit to remain undetected. Naturally this has resulted in immense skepticism and pushback.

One deeply critical response to all the reporting late this week quipped: “Another day, another mostly anonymously sourced story about unidentified assailants supposedly assaulting U.S. government employees around the globe. This time, according to CNN, federal agencies are looking into something closer to home: symptoms suffered by a White House employee in Virginia and National Security Council staffer near the south lawn of the White House.”

“Although a government report later concluded the most likely cause was instead some sort of ‘directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy’ (i.e. a microwave weapon), that conclusion was primarily based on a lack of evidence for other causes and received strong pushback from many others in the scientific community.”

The commentary in Gizmodo pointed out further that “No hard evidence of any kind for the technology has ever been publicly presented by the US government. Reports citing government officials who suspect Russian intelligence to be involved have largely been anonymous and buoyed primarily by rumors the Russian government may have resumed Soviet-era research into experimental weapons.”

Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission

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Woman Faces 20 Years of Felony Charges, Criminal Record for Overdue Video Rental

Elias Marat

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A Texas woman recently learned that she had a 21-year-old outstanding warrant for her arrest, a felony embezzlement charge, and had likely been passed up for jobs over two decades – all due to a Sabrina the Teenage Witch video tape.

While video rental stores have been largely rendered extinct by changing technology and the rise of streaming services, 52-year-old, Caron McBride has long been haunted by the ghost of entertainment’s past.

The 52-year-old recently learned that she had run afoul of the law in neighboring Oklahoma when she tried to get her name changed on her drivers’ license following her marriage.

She then learned of the charges against her for renting the tape, which she has no recollection of ever watching.

Either way, her name was used to rent the VHS tape at Movie Palace in Norman, Oklahoma, on Valentine’s Day in 1999.

Following the duration of the 10-day rental period, the tape wasn’t returned – and was referred to law enforcement.

Prosecutors argued that McBride had “wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously embezzled” the tape, which was valued at a stunning $58.59.

And while the story faded into the annals of shuttered video rental venues in 2008, her criminal record continued to persist.

Upon learning of her felony embezzlement charge, she called the Cleveland County District Attorney’s office in Oklahoma and learned about the charge “over the VHS tape.”

“I had to make her repeat it because I thought, this is insane,” she said. “This girl is kidding me, right? She wasn’t kidding.”

“I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” she told KOKH.

She’s pretty sure that the “felony embezzlement” charges likely narrowed her job prospects and led to her rejection by prospective employers in at least five cases over the past 20-plus years.

“It’s a serious issue. It’s caused me and my family a lot of heartache financially because of the positions I’ve lost because of those two words. Something’s got to give,” she told KFOR.

On April 21, prosecutors finally dropped the charges citing the “best interest of justice,” but McBride must still have her record expunged.

McBride believes that the man she lived with at the time may have rented the video for his two young daughters.

“I’m thinking he went and got it and didn’t take it back or something,” she said. “I have never watched that show in my entire life — just not my cup of tea.”

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Shadowy Florida Company Took Over Large “Chunk” of Pentagon’s Internet in Inauguration Day Mystery

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A shadowy company set up last September linked to a DARPA / FBI contractor who peddled a ‘lawful intercept’ internet spy device to government agencies and law enforcement a decade ago, took over a massive portion of the Pentagon’s idle internet addresses on the day of President Biden’s inauguration, according to an in-depth investigation by the Associated Press.

The valuable internet real estate has since quadrupled to 175 million IP addresses which were previously owned by the US Department of Defense – about 1/25th the size of the current internet, and over twice the size of the internet space actually used by the Pentagon.

It is massive. That is the biggest thing in the history of the internet,” said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at network operating company Kenntic.

The company, Global Resource Systems, was established by a Beverly Hills attorney, and now resides in a shared workspace above a Florida bank.

The company did not return phone calls or emails from The Associated Press. It has no web presence, though it has the domain grscorp.com. Its name doesn’t appear on the directory of its Plantation, Florida, domicile, and a receptionist drew a blank when an AP reporter asked for a company representative at the office earlier this month. She found its name on a tenant list and suggested trying email. Records show the company has not obtained a business license in Plantation.

Incorporated in Delaware and registered by a Beverly Hills lawyer, Global Resource Systems LLC now manages more internet space than China Telecom, AT&T or Comcast. –Associated Press

One name is linked to Global Resource Systems in the Florida business registry – that of Raymond Saulino – who as recently as 2018 was listed in Nevada corporate records as a managing director of a cybersecurity/internet surveillance company called Packet Forensics. According to the report, “The company had nearly $40 million in publicly disclosed federal contracts over the past decade, with the FBI and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency among its customers.”

In 2011, Packet Forensics and Saulino, its spokesman, were featured in a Wired story because the company was selling an appliance to government agencies and law enforcement that let them spy on people’s web browsing using forged security certificates.

The company continues to sell “lawful intercept” equipment, according to its website. One of its current contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is for “harnessing autonomy for countering cyber-adversary systems.” A contract description says it is investigating “technologies for conducting safe, nondisruptive, and effective active defense operations in cyberspace.” Contract language from 2019 says the program would “investigate the feasibility of creating safe and reliable autonomous software agencies that can effectively counter malicious botnet implants and similar large-scale malware.”

Saulino is also listed as a principal with a company called Tidewater Laskin Associates. Incorporated in 2018 (and sharing the same Virginia Beach, VA address as Packet Forensics – a UPS store – with different mailbox numbers), Tidewater obtained an FCC license in April 2020 for unknown reasons.

Calls to the number listed on the Tidewater Laskin FCC filing are answered by an automated service that offers four different options but doesn’t connect callers with a single one, recycling all calls to the initial voice recording.

Saulino did not return phone calls seeking comment, and a longtime colleague at Packet Forensics, Rodney Joffe, said he believed Saulino was retired. Joffe, a cybersecurity luminary, declined further comment. Joffe is chief technical officer at Neustar Inc., which provides internet intelligence and services for major industries, including telecommunications and defense. -AP

And now a company linked to Saulino, which didn’t exist before September, took control of a massive chunk of the Pentagon’s internet space on inauguration day for unknown reasons.

According to a terse and opaque explanation from the Pentagon’s Brett Goldstein – head of the Defense Digital Service which is running the project, the military hopes to “assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space” and “identify potential vulnerabilities” in order to defend against cyber-intrusions by global adversaries who consistently infiltrate US networks – occasionally from unused internet blocks. What that has to do with Global Resource Systems is anyone’s guess.

Explanations for what the internet space could be used for are purely speculative, and include “honeypots” – machines set up with vulnerabilities laid as bait to draw hackers, “Or it could be looking to set up dedicated infrastructure — software and servers — to scour traffic for suspect activity.”

“This greatly increases the space they could monitor,” said Madory.

Why did the Pentagon choose Global Resource Systems – a company linked to a ‘spooky’ individual – on inauguration day? “As to why the DoD would have done that I’m a little mystified, same as you,” internet pioneer Paul Vixie told AP.

More via AP:

Deepening the mystery is Global Resource Systems’ name. It is identical to that of a firm that independent internet fraud researcher Ron Guilmette says was sending out email spam using the very same internet routing identifier. It shut down more than a decade ago. All that differs is the type of company. This one’s a limited liability corporation. The other was a corporation. Both used the same street address in Plantation, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

“It’s deeply suspicious,” said Guilmette, who unsuccessfully sued the previous incarnation of Global Resource Systems in 2006 for unfair business practices. Guilmette considers such masquerading, known as slip-streaming, a ham-handed tactic in this situation. “If they wanted to be more serious about hiding this they could have not used Ray Saulino and this suspicious name.”

Guilmette and Madory were alerted to the mystery when network operators began inquiring about it on an email list in mid-March. But almost everyone involved didn’t want to talk about it. Mike Leber, who owns Hurricane Electric, the internet backbone company handling the address blocks’ traffic, didn’t return emails or phone messages.

Despite an internet address crunch, the Pentagon — which created the internet — has shown no interest in selling any of its address space, and a Defense Department spokesman, Russell Goemaere, told the AP on Saturday that none of the newly announced space has been sold.

Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission

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