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NEWSFLASH: Need-to-Know Stories 12/29 - 1/4

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This week, a Russian city was rocked by two suicide blasts only six weeks before the Winter Olympics in Sochi. As the Russian government struggles to uncover who was responsible for the blasts, Colorado opened its first marijuana stores after a succession of laws that legalized marijuana use in the state.

Happy New Year, and welcome back to NEWSFLASH!

Russian City Hit By Two Suicide Blasts

The southern Russian city of Volgograd was hit by two suicide bombings early this week, prompting concerns over security measures leading up to the Sochi Winter Olympics.

A blast at Volgograd’s main train station last Sunday took 17 lives, while a second bomb detonated on a trolley bus one day later and claimed 14 victims.

The bombings reminded Russians and the international community of the central government’s tense relationships with Chechnya and Dagestan. Both regions have violently clashed with the Russian government in the past.

While government officials predict that no violence will mar Sochi because of the intense security presence around the city, security experts have warned that other cities in the North Caucasus could become targets.

No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the blasts.

Colorado Stores Now Legally Sell Marijuana for Recreational Use

Colorado passed some of the world’s most liberal laws where marijuana possession and usage were concerned, but the state took things even further by becoming the first place in the world to legally sell marijuana for conventional use.

Lines of 100 or more people long trailed from some stores on Wednesday as people waited to purchase marijuana from Colorado stores for the first time. Under Colorado’s laws, anyone 21 years of age and older legally holds the right to buy recreational marijuana.

At the beginning of this year, another Colorado bill came into law legalizing marijuana possession for state residents between 18 and 21.

Many hail Colorado’s legalization of marijuana sales, stating that the sale “[marks] the beginning of the end of the nation's decades-long war on marijuana and its harmful human and fiscal toll." Others, however, have warned against the potential harm caused by marijuana use. 


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