The Daily Need

Friday morning roundup

Culture

Gallic heartthrob Vincent Cassel makes a splash in movie theaters for a second week in a row with the premiere of “Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1,” the second film in Jean-Francois Richet’s gangster epic based on the true story of one of Europe’s most infamous criminals.

Health

Two psychiatric researchers have gotten approval from the FDA and DEA to conduct a study that couples the use of MDMA, or ecstasy, with intensive psychotherapy in the treatment of veterans with PTSD. According to an article on Time.com, “the basis for using ecstasy in PTSD treatment is that the drug dramatically reduces immediate anxieties, allowing the user to open up emotionally, even as the body and brain are energized by the drug.”

Economy

The economy lost 54,000 jobs in August, according to a Labor Department report released today – a loss that was less discouraging than some had anticipated. Many also welcomed the addition of 67,000 private sector jobs, even as the government continued to shed 2010 Census workers. The unemployment rate saw a slight upward tick from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent this month.

Environment

A major earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale hit Christchurch, New Zealand at 4.35 a.m. local time (12:35 p.m. EDT Friday). Recovery efforts to restore power and evacuate residents are already underway. Despite the widespread damage, no deaths were immediately reported.

Security

Militant groups in Gaza joined forces and vowed to step up their attacks against Israel in the coming days. Earlier this week, Hamas took responsibility for two attacks in the West Bank that left four Israeli settlers dead and two others injured. A spokesman for Hamas’ military wing told the BBC that, “The actions of resistance have gone into a new and advanced stage of co-operation… for more effective attacks against the enemy (Israel).”

 
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