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What Europe’s Sewage Says About Its Drug Habits



Scientists in Norway and Italy have analyzed sewage samples from European cities to compare the drug habits of their inhabitants, the Science Daily reports.

Tracing the urinary biomarkers of cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and cannabis in sewage from 19 cities in 11 European countries during seven consecutive days in March 2011, the researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) in Oslo and the Mario Negri Institute in Milan say they were able to get an accurate measure of drug use across the population, reports Le Figaro.

The results, published in the Science in the Total Environment journal, found the highest cocaine use in Antwerp (Belgium), followed by Amsterdam (Netherlands), the AFP reports. Amsterdam also had the highest concentration of ecstasy and cannabis. The highest levels of methamphetamines were found in Helsinki and Turku (Finland), as well as Oslo (Norway).

Extrapolating from their results, scientists estimate that 500 million Europeans consume approximately 355 kilograms of cocaine daily. According to the AFP, the report says that about a third of European citizens have tried an illicit drug. At least one person dies of an overdose every hour.

In general, says the Science Daily, cocaine and ecstasy loads were most elevated on weekends, spiking on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Big Brother For The People: India's CCTV Strategy For Cracking Down On Police Abuse

"There is nothing fashionable about installing so many cameras in and outside one’s house," says a lawyer from a Muslim community. And yet, doing this has helped members of the community prove unfair police action against them.

A woman is walking in the distance while a person holds a military-style gun close up

Survellance and tight security at the Lal Chowk area in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India on October 4, 2022

Sukanya Shantha

MUMBAI — When sleuths of the National Investigating Agency suddenly descended on human rights defender and school teacher Abdul Wahid Shaikh’s house on October 11, he knew exactly what he needed to do next.

He had been monitoring the three CCTVs that are installed on the front and the rear of his house — a chawl in Vikhroli, a densely populated area in suburban Mumbai. The cameras told him that a group of men and women — some dressed in Mumbai police’s uniform and a few in civil clothes — had converged outside his house. Some of them were armed and few others with batons were aggressively banging at the door asking him to immediately let them in.

This was not the first time that the police had landed at his place at 5 am.

When the policemen discovered the CCTV cameras outside his house, they began hitting it with their batons, destroying one of them mounted right over the door. This action was captured by the adjacent CCTV camera. Shaikh, holed up in his house with his wife and two children, kept pleading with the police to stop destroying his property and simply show them an official notice.

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