DES MOINES — The legal age for buying nicotine-infused merchandise — including cigarettes and “vaping” products — would jump from 18 to 21 under a bill that has cleared its first hurdle in the Iowa Senate.Senate President Charles Schneider of West Des Moines is the Republican who’s sponsoring the bill. “I’ve got two of the largest, if not the largest public high schools in my district and probably the largest private high school in my senate district and I’ve been hearing more and more from parents and teachers about kids in high school who are using, particularly, vape products,” Schneider said, “and that it’s becoming an epidemic.”Senator Tom Shipley, a Republican from Nodaway who also supports the move, has a daughter who teaches middle school in West Omaha.“When I told her what I was thinking about doing, she said: ‘Oh, dad, you can’t believe it,’” Shipley said. “‘It’s just pervasive through this place. It’s just everywhere and most of their parents don’t even know they’re doing it. Here at school even.’”Illinois and 10 other states have already raised the legal age for buying tobacco products. The move has the backing of the company that makes the JUUL nicotine pods as well as traditional tobacco companies.“Youth access to tobacco products primarily comes from their social access and their friends who happen to be of age, but they are not,” Jeff Boeyink, a lobbyist for the parent company of Phillip Morris, said during a senate subcommittee hearing on the bill. “Moving from 18 to 21 removes most of this access out of the high school area, which is what we are trying to target here.”The owners of the shops that sell electronic cigarettes and vaping products oppose raising the nicotine purchasing age to 21.“You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. Thirty percent of teens drink alcohol, so if raising the age to 21 to buy alcohol didn’t fix teens drinking alcohol, it’s probably not going to fix teens vaping,” said Sarah Linden, the CEO of Generation V, with shops in Council Bluffs, Davenport and five others in Nebraska.Health advocacy groups also oppose the bill. They want lawmakers to make the penalties for selling nicotine-infused products to minors tougher. They want an increase in the state’s tobacco tax and they want the state to spend more on programs that help smokers quit.“Our goal is to improve upon the current bill and we are asking to be part of the solution,” Danielle Oswald-Thole, a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, told senators.She pointed to what she called “scary” statistics, like a 2018 survey that found 23 percent of 11th graders in Iowa had used an e-cigarette in the past month.
A ruling that should have established as to whether the Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice has the legal backing to hear cases involving millions of United States dollars against the government prior to its establishment in 2010, remains undecided. The controversy came about in a US$10.7 million vehicle debt case levied against the Liberian government by lawyers representing Prestige and Alliance Motor Corporation, owned by Lebanese businessman, George Haddad. State lawyers have argued that the court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case. The Commercial Court was established by legislation in 2010 as a specialized court to provide efficient and effective resolution in commercial cases throughout the country. Despite the lack of jurisdiction argument, the court has demanded lawyers on the case to submit a five-page “proposed ruling,” which lawyers told the Daily Observer they have done. However, the court is yet to carry out its decision into the matter, which legal experts described as “very delicate.” According to one legal expert, “If the court agrees, it will give more business people that the government owed in the millions of United States dollars the opportunity to take similar action to collect their debt through the court.” Sherman and Sherman Law Firm represents Prestige and Alliance Motor Corporation. The firm filed an “Action of Debt” against the Liberian government for allegedly crediting a fleet of vehicles from 2003 to 2006, totaling over US$10.7 million, which the government has failed to settle. Besides the cars, the lawyers also alleged that the company provided spare parts during the transactions with the government, and has subsequently asked the court to give their client justice. In a counter argument, state lawyers admitted owing the Lebanese businessman, but are arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
0Shares0000Construction work underway at Doha’s Education City Stadium on May 18, 2019 © AFP / Karim ABOU MERHIDOHA, Qatar, Sep 30 – Qatar will inaugurate the third of its eight World Cup stadiums when the Education City ground hosts the Club World Cup semi-final tie on December 18, FIFA said on Monday.The 40,000-seat venue seven kilometres (four miles) outside central Doha will also host the third-place play-off and the final of the tournament which gets underway on December 11. The inaugural game will see Liverpool, as European champions, face either CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey, Al Sadd of Qatar or minnows Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia who are Oceania champions.The 2022 hosts have so far inaugurated the newly-built al-Janoub stadium in May, as well as the Khalifa International stadium which opened in 1976 and was relaunched in 2017 after a full refurbishment.“With all three venues located a maximum of 12 kilometres from central Doha, the FIFA Club World Cup 2019 will provide a glimpse of Qatar’s compact nature ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022,” FIFA said in a statement.“Taking place around the same time of the year and with matches kicking off from 17:00 local time (1400 GMT), this year’s tournament will also give teams and fans alike the chance to experience Qatar’s mild winter.”Average temperatures are expected to range between 15 and 24 celsius (59 to 75 Fahrenheit), it added.Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said following Al-Janoub’s opening in May that two further new stadiums would be ready “by the end of this year (or) first quarter” 2020.The exact date would depend on the timing of events to launch the two venues, he added.“By 2021 all our stadiums will be ready,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)