Sex toy sales take off amid Colombia’s coronavirus quarantine

Sex toy sales take off amid Colombia's coronavirus quarantine ...

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Gerson Monje holds up his cellphone to proudly show off his online sex shop. A red banner reading “sold out!” is plastered across half of the products.

While most Colombian businesses suffer during a five-week lockdown meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus, one online industry has seen an explosion in sales in the usually conservative country: sex toys are flying off virtual shelves.

“Sales started going up on day four of the quarantine,” said Monje, who is still able to have products delivered to customers amid the national lockdown. “We’ve seen a rise of 50%.”

“People are at home and have more time on their hands. They’re with their partners or alone and need fun in their daily activities when it comes to being intimate,” Monje said.

Reuters spoke to six online sex shops in Colombia and all said they have seen a swell in sales since the quarantine began. Colombians are meant to remain at home until Apr. 27, except for outings to buy food and medicine and visits to banks, among other exceptions.

Sex toys could help people keep their spirits up during long isolation, psychologist Dr. Carolina Guzman said and might lead to an easing of sexual mores.

“Colombia has a very conservative idea around sexuality and communication surrounding it,” she said. “It’s a good time for people to allow themselves to work on their curiosity and to understand that buying and using these products is a great thing.”

Other countries have seen a similar phenomenon. Sales of sex toys in Denmark have more than doubled, while British lingerie chain Ann Summers said sex toy sales were up 27% in the last week of March.

Inside the Sex Sense sex shop in Bogota, manager Adriana Marin watched Pope Francis give a Good Friday Mass on her computer as she sprayed boxes of products with disinfectant.

Her online shop sales have taken off even though her storefront is closed and there is stiff competition. There are about 30 other sex shops in her neighborhood alone.

At the Bali Sex Store in Medellin, sales are up 140%.

Products with mobile phone applications that allow separated partners to control toys for one another are particularly popular, said Katty Gonzalez, the store’s marketing director.

“Before people didn’t have time because of so many things going on in their daily lives and I think that because of what’s happening at the moment, it’s giving them the opportunity to explore different things,” she said.

‘Help us’: Cook County inmates post signs in windows as COVID-19 cases mount

 

Inmates at the Cook County Jail have put up signs in their windows asking for help as COVID-19 cases continue to mount.

Several signs were spotted in inmates’ windows throughout Division X, a maximum security facility.

Some signs said “help us, don’t let us die” and “save us.”

304 detainees and 174 correctional officers have tested positive for COVID-19. Two detainees have died as a result of the virus.

Staff said any detainee who is showing symptoms is immediately removed from where they’re housed and taken to receive medical attention.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office sent the following statement.

Any detainee who is symptomatic for the virus is immediately removed from the tier where he or she is housed and taken to receive medical attention by Cermak Health Services staff. The signs in the window are located in Division X, a maximum security facility, not Cermak Health Services.” 

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Medical marijuana Super Bowl ad rejected by CBS

The company described its Super Bowl commercial as more of a public service announcement.

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A medical marijuana company said its ad planned for Super Bowl Sunday was rejected by CBS.

Acreage Holdings told USA TODAY it made a 60-second ad featuring three individuals who say their lives have improved by using medical marijuana.

The company described the commercial as more of a public service announcement than an advertisement.

Acreage said the rejection came after its ad agency sent storyboards to the network.

The company told USA TODAY it received a return email that said: “CBS will not be accepting any ads for medical marijuana at this time.”

A CBS spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY that it does not currently accept cannabis-related advertising.

According to USA TODAY, the spot focuses on a Colorado boy who suffers from Dravet syndrome, a Buffalo man who was on opioids for 15 years after back surgeries, and an Oakland veteran who lost part of his leg during military service.

At the end of the commercial viewers are then asked to call on their congressional representatives to call on change.

Acreage said it expects to post the ad online once it’s finished.

CBS is reportedly charging around $5.2 million for a 30-second ad during this year’s Super Bow

At least 27 dead, 27 injured in Texas church shooting, authorities say. Texas native Devin Kelley is identified as shooter 

The suspected gunman in a Texas church mass shooting on Sunday has been identified as a Texas native in his mid-20s, officials said.

The alleged gunman was ID’d as Devin Kelley from New Braunfels, federal and state law enforcement sources confirmed.
At least 26 people were killed and 20 injured after the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.
The shooter is dead, according to law enforcement officials.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told a local newspaper that a man walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire, leaving multiple people dead.

-Air Force officials confirmed to ABC News he served in the U.S. Air Force from 2010 until he was discharged.
-In 2012, Kelley was court martialed for two counts of assault on his spouse and assault on their child.
-He received a bad conduct discharge, confinement for a year and a reduction to the grade of E-1.
-A source told ABC News Kelley spent a year in the brig at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and got out in 2013 for the 2012 offenses.
-He was dressed in all black with tactical-type gear and was wearing a ballistic vest.
-He was at a Valero gas station before he drove across the street to the church, exited his vehicle and opened fire, according to officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
-He moved to the right side of the church and continued to fire, before he entered the church and shot people inside.
-As he exited the church, a local resident grabbed his rifle and “engaged” the suspect. The suspect dropped what was described as a Ruger AR assault-type rifle and fled from the church.
-The local citizen pursued the suspect and when law enforcement responded, the suspect crashed and was found deceased in his vehicle.
-It was not immediately clear whether he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by the local resident.
-Multiple weapons were found in the vehicle, and the vehicle was being processed by special operations group bomb techs.
-Authorities are searching his social media accounts and said that on Facebook in recent days, he showed off what appeared to be an AR-15-style gun.
-An ATF source said that agents are searching the alleged shooter’s home for explosives.

Amazon delivers 65 pounds of Marijuana to a Florida couple 

Police are investigating how 65 pounds of marijuana ended up being shipped to a Florida couple that ordered four storage units from Amazon. 
The couple suspected that something was wrong when they found out that their package—shipped via UPS and meant to contain four empty bins—weighed 93.5 pounds. 


“They were extremely heavy,” the Orlando woman told local news network WFTV, asking not to be named for safety reasons, “more heavy than you would think from ordering four empty bins.”

Amazon has often been criticized for adding excessing packaging to its deliveries, but when the couple smelled the package they realised the weight had nothing to do with the wrapping.
They called the police after discovering the tightly wrapped, compacted bales of marijuana which were then seized. But their ordeal isn’t over yet: they now fear repercussions from whoever shipped the drugs, which have a street value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If prices on websites like Honest Marijuana are anything to go by, an ounce of weed in Florida can cost around $200, giving the 65 pounds of weed a street value of around $200,000.
“We were still pretty fearful our home would be broken into, and we didn’t sleep there for a few days,” the Amazon customers said.

Police are investigating how 65 pounds of marijuana ended up being shipped to a Florida couple that ordered four storage units from Amazon. 
The couple suspected that something was wrong when they found out that their package—shipped via UPS and meant to contain four empty bins—weighed 93.5 pounds. 
“They were extremely heavy,” the Orlando woman told local news network WFTV, asking not to be named for safety reasons, “more heavy than you would think from ordering four empty bins.”
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Amazon has often been criticized for adding excessing packaging to its deliveries, but when the couple smelled the package they realised the weight had nothing to do with the wrapping.
They called the police after discovering the tightly wrapped, compacted bales of marijuana which were then seized. But their ordeal isn’t over yet: they now fear repercussions from whoever shipped the drugs, which have a street value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If prices on websites like Honest Marijuana are anything to go by, an ounce of weed in Florida can cost around $200, giving the 65 pounds of weed a street value of around $200,000.
“We were still pretty fearful our home would be broken into, and we didn’t sleep there for a few days,” the Amazon customers said.

Massachusetts is one of eight U.S. states that has legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the drug remains illegal in Florida. The possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis is considered a felony.
Possessing more than 25 pounds is a felony punishable by a mandatory sentence between 3 years and 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.
The couple sought an apology and an explanation from Amazon, but at the end of exchanges, mostly by email and carried out for more than a month, all they got was a $150 gift card from Amazon with an email reading: “I am unable to do anything else at this time,” as WFTV reported.
According to the local network, Amazon said in a statement that its customer service team was in direct contact with the customer to address their concerns and will cooperate with law enforcement to investigate the case. The authorities said the case is still under investigation there have been no arrests as yet. 


Massachusetts is one of eight U.S. states that has legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the drug remains illegal in Florida. The possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis is considered a felony.

Possessing more than 25 pounds is a felony punishable by a mandatory sentence between 3 years and 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.
The couple sought an apology and an explanation from Amazon, but at the end of exchanges, mostly by email and carried out for more than a month, all they got was a $150 gift card from Amazon with an email reading: “I am unable to do anything else at this time,” as WFTV reported.
According to the local network, Amazon said in a statement that its customer service team was in direct contact with the customer to address their concerns and will cooperate with law enforcement to investigate the case. The authorities said the case is still under investigation there have been no arrests as yet. 

Las Vegas Shooter Has Been Identified As, Stephen Paddock age 64 from Mesquite, NV 

MESQUITE, Nev. — Police have identified the man accused of killing at least 50 people in a Las Vegas shooting rampage as Stephen Paddock, 64, a resident of Mesquite, Nev.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said officers determined the gunshots were coming from a room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay complex on the Las Vegas Strip. Officers stormed the room and killed the suspect, Lombardo said.
“Right now, we believe it’s a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor,” Lombardo said. He said a motive for the shooting had not yet been determined.


A federal law enforcement official said a cache of weapons was found inside the hotel room where Paddock died, and investigators believe the suspect used the vantage point to fire on the crowd below gathered for an outdoor country music concert.
Police blocked off the road to the suspect’s home in Mesquite, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Records show that Paddock resided at 1372 Babbling Brook Court in a home he purchased in 2015.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department obtained a search warrant and officers were planning to search Paddock’s home, said Quinn Barrett, public information officer for the Mesquite Police Department. He said the department had secured the home and the perimeter around it but is playing only a supportive role in the investigation.

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Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico left without electricity 


Hurricane Maria has knocked out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5m people, emergency officials have said.

Abner Gómez, head of the disaster management agency, said the hurricane had damaged “everything in its path”.

None of the customers of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority had any electricity, he said.

Maria weakened to a category three storm with winds of 115 mph (185km/h) as it moved across the island.

“The information we received is not encouraging,” Mr Gómez told a briefing, urging people to stay in their homes.


Earlier, Puerto Rico’s governor asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster area after the storm unleashed heavy flooding and life-threatening winds.Governor Ricardo Rossello said major damage was inevitable, although 500 shelters had been established to protect people.

The devastating storm has already left seven people dead on the island of Dominica, which was badly affected on Monday.

Aerial footage shows flattened houses and the death toll on Dominica is likely to rise, with details remaining scant as communication links are down.

Images shared on social media show roofs being stripped away as winds as strong as 140 mph (225 km/h) whipped trees and power lines in Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan.

Maria made landfall in Yabucoa in the east of Puerto Rico early on Wednesday, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The US territory is facing $73bn in public debt and the damage left by Maria could exacerbate its financial crisis. Declaring a disaster would mean the island could receive more federal assistance in its recovery.
“God is with us; we are stronger than any hurricane,” Mr Rossello said. “Together we will rise again.”

Puerto Rico has experienced just one category five storm since 1851 – the Okeechobee Hurricane in 1928.

Maria is the second storm of this strength to hit the Caribbean this hurricane season – the first being category five Irma earlier in September. Maria began moving roughly along the same track as Irma.

Officials in Puerto Rico feared the debris left by Irma could prove extremely dangerous in the high winds.

Chicago Teen Kenneka Jenkins Found Dead in Rosemont Hotel Freezer

ROSEMONT, IL — A Chicago teen was found dead Sunday inside a walk-in freezer at a Rosemont hotel. The family of Kenneka Jenkins, 19, said police told them the teen was inebriated when she let herself into the freezer and died inside. The teen was reportedly at a party on the ninth floor of the hotel celebrating a new job.

Her mother, Tereasa Martin, set up a GoFundMe page titled “Justice for Kenneka,” saying, “We believe there is more to the story,” and adding, “Since this is still under investigation, there isn’t much I can say.”
Martin spoke with reporters outside the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, where Jenkins was found dead on Sunday. She said her daughter left home around 11:30 p.m. Friday to attend a party at the hotel.
“(I’m) horrified,” she told the Chicago Tribune. Martin said she heard from her daughter’s friends just 4 a.m. Saturday to say they couldn’t find her.
She told WGN she headed straight to the hotel, where she asked them to check surveillance video. She said she was told to contact police, so she called 911 and was told to wait a few hours because Jenkins could be out with friends.
“We were begging for help, and no one was helping,” Jenkins told WGN. Jenkins’ sister filed a missing person report with Rosemont police on Saturday afternoon, kicking off an 11-hour search for the 19-year-old. 
Jenkins’ body was found inside the walk-in freezer. She was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m. Sunday, according to the Cook County medical examiner. 


The Crowne Plaza issued a statement on Sunday, telling ABC-7 it was “saddened by this news, and our thoughts are with the young woman and her family during this difficult time.” The hotel said the safety of its guests and employees is its first priority, adding that hotel staff is cooperating with authorities.
Jenkins’ mother told WGN she has a hard time believing police’s version of events, saying safety features make it possible to open walk-in cooler doors from the inside. She also said that if her daughter was drunk, she would have had trouble opening the heavy freezer doors and realized they weren’t the doors to an elevator or hotel entrance.
“I believe someone in this hotel killed my child,” Martin said.
A GoFundMe page created by Martin said donations would help cover funeral arrangements and help with the investigation. “Help me get justice for her,” Martin wrote.
Kenneka Jenkins 19, was found inside a walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont.