CHARLOTTE, N.C. —President Obama's selection of this Southern city for the 2012 Democratic convention signals he will try to reassemble his diverse coalition of 2008 supporters and fight for the conservative-leaning states that helped him win the White House.
The Democratic National Committee announced the selection of Charlotte on Tuesday, rejecting bids by a trio of Midwestern cities hit hard by the recession — Cleveland, Minneapolis, and St. Louis — in favor of the more economically stable North Carolina.
With the economy certain to dominate Obama's re-election bid, North Carolina's long-term industrial transformation — from tobacco, textiles and furniture to research, energy and banking — also plays into what may be the centerpiece of the Democrat's re-election bid, a call for America to focus on innovation to compete in the changing global marketplace.
Drug czar: 'Bath-salt' drugs a serious threat
WASHINGTON — White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske warned people Tuesday against taking the newest synthetic drugs, often marketed as "bath salts" and being sold legally on the Internet and in drug paraphernalia stores.
The powdered drugs are sold under such brand names as "Ivory Wave" or "Purple Wave." Kerlikowske said synthetic stimulants in them have made hundreds of users across the country sick already this year. A Mississippi sheriff's office has said the drugs are suspected in an apparent overdose death there.
"They pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of young people and anyone who uses them," Kerlikowske said in a written statement. The American Association of Poison Control Centers has received 251 calls related to "bath salts" so far this year, compared to 236 such calls to poison centers during all of 2010.
Kerlikowske said these stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure and heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions.