NEWS CLUES: It’s Like Adderall For Your Eyeballs

HOLD THE PHONE: Obama Claims Delegate Lead Over Clinton

obama_speaking.jpgIn a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night. The Obama camp now projects topping Clinton by 13 delegates, 847 to 834. NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party’s complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates, versus 829 to 838 for Clinton. Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at this summer’s Democratic convention. With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to have won around 840 delegates in yesterday’s contests, while Clinton earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s Washington bureau chief, said on the “Today” show. [via POLITICO]


CORONER’S REPORT: Heath Ledger Killed By Accidental O.D. Of Prescription Meds

heathledgerdrake.jpgNEW YORK – Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other prescription drugs, the New York City medical examiner said Wednesday. The cause of death was “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine,” spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said in a statement. The medical examiner’s office only provided generic names, so it is unknown whether he took generic or brand-name drugs. Police had said they found six types of prescription drugs, including sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication, in Ledger’s apartment. Oxycodone is a painkiller marketed as OxyContin and used in other painkillers such as Percodan and Percocet; hydrocodone is used in a number of painkillers, including Vicodin. Diazepam and alprazolam are the generic names for the anti-anxiety drugs Valium and Xanax, and the other two drugs are sleep aids commonly sold under the brands Restoril and Unisom. “What you’re looking at here is the cumulative effects of these medications together,” she said. In a statement released through Ledger’s publicist, the actor’s father, Kim, said Wednesday: “While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.” [via ASSOCIATED PRESS]


STREET CLEANER: Milton’s Fed Fraud Trial Begins Local Theatrical Run

miltonstreet2.jpgJury selection is underway in the federal fraud and tax-evasion trial of T. Milton Street, the street food vendor and activist, former state legislator and long-time political gadfly. U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis spent about one hour questioning a panel of 75 prospective jurors about their ability to fairly judge the case against Street and co-defendant John H. Velardi Sr. before breaking for lunch at 12:15 p.m. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Wzorek said he believes the jury could be selected in less than a day, meaning the lawyers could begin opening statements this afternoon. On the other hand, given Street’s very-public persona developed over 30 years in politics, and his relationship as older brother to the former mayor, could mean it takes much longer to pick an impartial jury. Street, 68, of Moorestown in South Jersey, is charged with mail and wire fraud in a scheme to defraud a minority contractor who hoped to get maintenance work at Philadelphia International Airport. Street is also accused of failing to pay federal taxes on $2 million in consulting fees he earned from 2000 to 2004. [via INQUIRER]

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