This is a very interesting documentary about the role of Iranian customs officials in disrupting the flow of Afghan heroin to Europe. At present, Afghanistan (thanks largely to the CIA) is the world largest producer of opium and heroin. Between 2001-2010, the Afghan opium/heroin trade took in over $68 billion in revenue. Of this, $66 billion went to the drug “mafia” (CIA?), $2 billion to the Afghan government and $200 million to the Taliban insurgency.
The principal (shortest) route for transporting heroin to the lucrative European market is via Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey. Most of the illicit heroin is smuggled in trucks across the Turkmenistan border. Iranian customs officials also intercept a lot of diazepam (Valium) originating from Pakistan, where the drug is available without prescription.
At the Turkish border, Iran intercepts large volumes of hydrochloric and acetic acid. These chemicals are destined for Afghanistan, where they are used to refine opium into heroin. Large amounts of ephedrine (used to manufacture methamphetamine) and synthetic drugs (eg tramadol and ecstasy) are also intercepted at the Turkish border.
In response to growing local concern about a World Health Organization (WHO) warning that glyphosate (aka Roundup) probably causes cancer, the city of Bristol has begun using strong vinegar to kill weeds in streets and parks.
The Bristol City Council decision to substitute vinegar for Roundup is part of a year long trial.
Earlier this month the European Parliament voted to ban most uses of glyphosate – particularly “in or close to” public parks, playgrounds and gardens.”
Horticultural vinegar, which contains more acetic acid than regular malt vinegar, can be used as an inexpensive weed treatment. Vinegar-based herbicides will harm any plant they comes into contact with so is best used on patios and driveways rather than lawns. It will only damage the top of the plant, leaving the roots intact.
The trial has been met with mixed reactions in Bristol. Some residents hate the stench. Others point to European communities who have successfully used vinegar for years. Pesticide Safe Bristol Alliance says it’s ‘bizarre’ the council has opted for vinegar when safer, modern technologies are available.
A Metro online poll is running 55% to 45% in favor of the vinegar trial.
On May 10, the New Plymouth Green Party will present a petition to New Plymouth District Council to end the district’s use of Roundup in our city parks and streets.