Lance Armstrong’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs has exposed the cyclist to potentially severe legal trouble. in particular, the federal criminal investigation into the former cyclists’s history with the U.S. Postal Service, which sponsored his racing career. Armstrong’s team got some $30 million from the Postal Service. The initial investigation into potential fraud — that centered on Armstrong’s continued denial of using performance-enhancing drugs — was dropped a year ago. No reason was given for that decision. Armstrong’s admission to Oprah was a stunning reversal for Armstrong after years of public statements, interviews and court battles in which he denied doping and zealously protected his reputation. Just hours before the revelation, Armstrong appeared at the cancer charity he founded and tearfully apologized to the Livestrong charity that he founded and turned into a global institution on the strength of his celebrity as a cancer survivor. CBS News has also learned Armstrong has indicated he may be willing to testify against others involved in illegal doping.
The New York State Assembly is expected to pass a major new gun law today that would make them the first legislative body to react to the Newtown massacre. Late on Monday night, the Republican-controlled state Senate passed a package of new rules by an overwhelming vote of 43-18. The bill now goes to the Democratic-led Assembly where it is expected to easily win approval before heading to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo pushed hard for the bill following the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting just one month ago. And on the first full day of the new session, he got his wish—even waiving a normal three-day waiting period for votes on new bills. The bill will expand on the state’s pre-existing assault weapons ban and also outlaws guns with any “military-style features.” People who already own such guns can keep them, but must register their weapons with the state. It will also add new tracking measures for ammunition dealers and bullet sales. It also puts new purchase restriction on people who are deemed mentally ill. In a potentially controversial change, health officials must now report patients they believe to be a danger to others, and such reporting would authorize police to confiscate any firearm those patients already own. The concern is that gun-owning patients won’t seek treatment out of fear they will lose their weapons.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a property-rights case that could have national implications about what government can require landowners to do in exchange for allowing them to develop their property. Coy Koontz Sr.had a plan when he bought 14.9 acres east of Orlando, Fla. It did not include having his son end up at the U.S. Supreme Court, however. But now 18 years of legal wrangling have brought the Koontz family and government agencies to the brink of a climactic court argument. The outcome will influence the power of government to impose certain monetary conditions before granting land-use permits. The National Association of Home Builders and conservative allies have lined up with the Koontz family. They want the court to rule that a government agency that refuses a land-use permit because the property owner declines to pay certain fees has essentially taken the property. This would compel agencies to more strictly justify their permit requirements. From the opposite side, California and 18 other states are urging the court not to impede the widespread use of fees by characterizing them as a taking.
Police in New York City plan to combat the theft of painkillers and other highly addictive prescription medicines by asking pharmacies around the city to hide fake pill bottles fitted with GPS devices amid the legitimate supplies on their shelves. The New York Police Department believes the so-called “bait bottles” could help investigators track stolen drugs and locate suspects. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was expected to unveil the plan Tuesday at a La Quinta, Calif., conference on health issues hosted by former President Bill Clinton’s foundation. The NYPD has begun creating a database of the roughly 6,000 pharmacies in the New York City area with plans to have officers visit them and recommend security measures like better alarm systems and lighting of storage areas. Kelly says it also will ask them to stock the GPS bottles containing fake oxycodone. There have been similar attempts to track prescription drugs on a limited basis but the NYPD claims this would be the first widespread effort.