Designer Drugs Still Deadly

Designer Drugs

Designer Drugs

The designer drugs trade is flourishing, and has become the domain of illegal gangs. In 2015 the number of people poisoned by designer drugs exceeded 7,200. According to data from the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS), this number rose three-fold compared to 2014, and ten-fold over the last five years. “Immediate legislative changes are needed, which would put such substances on a par with drugs when it comes to criminal responsibility. So far, regulations make it difficult to prosecute criminals,” says Mariusz Marciniak, prosecutor and spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk. He adds, “Perhaps there should be a regulation forbidding the sale of drugs on a ‘hazardous substances’ list and their synthetic equivalents.” The scale of designer drugs trafficking is schocking. The police and border guards recently broke up a gang, which in six months (between July 2015 and January 2016) dumped 237 kilograms of these substances onto the market. “Designer drugs bring higher profits than regular drugs because their ingredients are legally available. They gained popularity because they are not prohibited by law,” says Prof. Mariusz Jędrzejko, a sociologist from the Pultusk Academy of Humanities. He supports legislative changes, but claims that prevention and education are most important, especially from the early years of school. Despite all obstacles, it is important to note that after the amendment to the Polish Act of Counteracting Drug Addiciton (from July to December 2015), the police seized over 200 kilograms of designer drugs and arrested 270 people.
rp.pl

Animal Circuses Banned

Animal-Free Circuses in Warsaw

Animal-Free Circuses in Warsaw

The mayor of Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz has issued a directive banning circus shows involving animals. On Tuesday, she announced her decision via social media. Warsaw is not the first Polish city to take this step. The mayor of Słupsk Robert Biedroń has previously refused to allow similar performances in his city and has been campaigning with Polish-American supermodel Joanna Krupa for other cities to follow suit. The authorities in Bielsko-Biała and Legnica also decided against using trained animals for entertainment, as such practices are becoming increasingly controversial. The authorities explain that Polish society’s growing awareness of and sensitivity to animal suffering make it necessary for circuses to adapt to changing attitudes. “Objections are being raised with regard to the objectification of animals in circuses, the taming [of animals] in order to force them to perform actions that are against their nature, and the failure to ensure appropriate conditions of life for any given species, as well as the shameful conditions in which the animals are transported and kept between shows and off-season,” reads the justification of Mayor Gronkiewicz-Waltz’s recent decision. Psychologists from the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) provide yet another argument against allowing shows involving animals, claiming that upon seeing the treatment of circus animals, children receive a message that there is nothing wrong with being cruel to animals.
Gazeta Wyborcza

Tusk to Return?

Comeback?

PM to become President?

According to Paweł Lisicki, editor-in-chief of right-wing magazine “Do Rzeczy” and a journalist of #dziejesienazywo, the manner in which President of the European Council Donald Tusk argued with Polish President Andrzej Duda during their Monday debate in Brussels, suggests that the former Prime Minister of Poland may have an ace up his sleeve and could take part in future presidential elections in Poland. Lisicki explained that Tusk did not hold back in criticising Duda regarding his allegiances to Law and Justice (PiS) and the violation of the Polish Constitution. “It seems clear to me that Tusk is thinking of challenging Duda in the 2020 elections,” writes Lisicki. On the other hand, however, Paweł Zalewski, a member of Civic Platform (PO) said that Tusk tried to steer Duda away from being an errand boy for PiS head Jarosław Kaczyński. “There is no other European country bar Poland, in which a head of state violates the Constitution,” writes Zalewski. When asked about Tusk’s ambitions of becoming future president of Poland, Zalewski writes that Tusk has at least one and a half year left in the European Council and this is his main focus at the moment. Moreover, according to Zalewski, PiS has already showed what their true intentions are by filling all key positions in Poland with Kaczyński cronies, who actually have little knowledge about or competence in their new roles. For instance, Wojciech Jasiński was appointed head of PKN Orlen, the Polish oil and gas powerhouse, however, Jasiński appears to not even know how to read a balance-sheet. “This problem concerns every nomination undertaken by PiS. It is a disgrace, a nightmare,” writes Zalewski.
wp.pl

Duda in Brussels

Duda with His Mentor

Duda with Mentors

On January 18, Polish president Andrzej Duda will visit Brussels to meet with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, with whom he will discuss issues between Poland and the EU. During his stay, Duda will also speak with the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove. According to the Polish Secretary of State Krzysztof Szczerski, the meeting will focus on such topics as the Brexit, migration and energy policies including the future of Nord Stream 2. He also assured everyone that President Duda’s visit to Brussels is not related to the current changes made by the Polish government as the meeting was planned much earlier. Moreover, Szczerski added that up until July 2016 every one of President Duda’s state visits will be dedicated to preparations for the NATO summit in Warsaw. It is expected that the summit will touch on such issues as: security and the military capacity of NATO members, terrorism, the migrant crisis, computer security and the modernisation of military forces. Apart from his participation in the summit, President Duda will also attend the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Washington DC in March. In the second half of 2016, the President of Poland will also make two important business trips: either to one Asian and African country, or two Asian countries.
wp.pl

Warsaw by Night

Castle Square, Sigismund’s Column, the National Stadium or the Place of Culture and Science are just some of Warsaw’s key landmarks that can be admired in a new promo film by 4K Drone. The city has never before been seen before from this perspective. The magical film takes you on an unforgettable journey to the most important of Warsaw’s sites. The film puts Warsaw in a new light and the night views are truly spectacular. The creator of the film is a YouTube user by the name of Drone X Vision. He has a host of drone videos on his channel but ‘Warsaw by Night’ is by far the most popular, with the most hits. ‘Warsaw by Night’ is a kind of tribute to the Polish capital’s architecture. Drone X Vision has already announced that he is working on the second part of the film.
radiozet.pl

Official Air Quality App

Saving the Planet

Saving the Planet

On Christmas Eve, the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection (GIOŚ) officially launched a new app that provides information on air quality in Poland. The app uses geolocation to pinpoint the closest measuring station and download data, updated every hour, allowing its users to access alerts and warnings for the country and for specific cities. The app features all available air quality measurements as well as emission norms for particular substances. Depending on the concentration of harmful particulate matter, air quality is rated on a 6-degree scale from very good to very bad, where each level is assigned a colour from green to red. If, for example, the air quality is deemed “satisfactory” then spending a long time in the open air combined with physical exertion can have a negative impact on one’s health, and so the app will advise its users to “consider limiting activities in the open air, especially if they require prolonged or strenuous physical effort.” While the new app is not the first of its kind, GIOŚ cautions against using unauthorised programs, citing their unreliability. The official app is available free of charge.
Gazeta Wyborcza

Free Medicine?

Free?

Free?

According to Konstanty Radziwiłł, the government draft bill designed to provide senior citizens over the age of 75 with free medication is in its final stages. To be precise, the draft is being consulted internally and will be presented to the public. During a press conference, Radziwiłł also informed the audience that the government will implement procedures preventing situations, in which drugs are prescribed to senior citizens, but later acquired by unauthorised persons. What is more, free medicine will be included in a special list that will be part of a medical product list subject to reimbursement. Radziwiłł mentioned that the list of free medications is currently updated every 2 months and will be successively supplemented. Polish Deputy Minister of Health Krzysztof Łanda informed the public that the list will mostly include products used by elderly people and in particular those that can be reimbursed as much as 30% and 50%. At the same time he noted that not all of these medications will land on the ‘S’ list, because some of them might be abused by the customers. Łanda added that the lists of recommended medications for senior citizens will not include food or dietary supplements because public funds are not meant to be spent on technologies of unproven or doubtful efficiency.
biznes.pl