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The Daily Buzz: December 18, 2014

Obama pardons eight people in prison on drug charges; human rights groups demand an end to UN counternarcotics aid for Iran due to drug-offense executions; and the US now welcomes Cuban rum and cigars.

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Obama Pardons Eight People in Prison for Nonviolent Drug Crimes
President Obama has commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related offenses, half of whom were facing life in prison for nonviolent, low-level crimes that included “possession of an unregistered distilling apparatus” in the 1960′s. There are still many thousands more Americans facing lengthy sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, like Stephanie George, who was recently released after 17 years.

DEA Officer Admits to Soliciting Sexual Favors From Drug Defendants
A Virginia police officer on a DEA task force has admitted to soliciting sex from multiple drug offenders in exchange for urging prosecutors to reduce their sentences. Kevin C. Moore pleaded guilty this week and has been charged with bribery for one of the offenses.

World-famous Cuban cigars. Photo via

World-famous Cuban cigars. Photo via

Iran Criticized for Executing Drug Offenders
Six international human rights groups have petitioned the UN to end counternarcotics aid to Iran until the country abolishes the death penalty for drug offenses. Iran executed between 500 and 625 people last year, according to a UN estimate, at least half of them for drug trafficking convictions.

Welcome to the US: Cuban Cigars and Booze
The US quietly restored diplomatic relations with Cuba this week. This means, among other things, that US can majorly step up its cigars-and-rum game! Cuban cigars and rum are world-renowned. But before you stock up on a lifetime supply, keep in mind US travelers are only permitted to bring back up to $100 worth of alcohol and tobacco products.

Demi Lovato Credits Kim Kardashian for Teaching Her Body Image Acceptance
The pop singer, who battled eating disorders for years, says she is finally learning to accept her body, thanks to reality star Kim Kardashian changing the beauty standard. “I really started to accept my body when the trend started becoming less about super-skinny models that was completely unattainable for anybody to have,” says Lovato. “Kim Kardashian has revolutionized what’s accepted with curves nowadays.”