China: Musty Meat at McDonald’s?

July 21, 2014

China: Musty Meat at McDonald's?

McDonald’s in China has stopped using meat from a local supplier after Shanghai authorities halted the firm’s operations over food safety concerns. The meat processor is suspected of supplying meat well past its due date and mislabeling it. KFC and Pizza Hut in China have also stopped using products from the supplier, Shanghai Husi, which is owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Illinois.

More:

“Yum, McDonald’s in Shanghai food safety investigation,” Engen Tham and Adam Jourdan, Reuters

“KFC, Pizza Hut, and McDonald’s are hit with a new China food scandal: expired meat products,” Lily Kuo, Quartz

“China’s latest fast food scandal: McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut sold expired meat,” Lindsay Abrams, Salon

“China food scandal spreads to Japan as Burger King, Starbucks admit using tainted supplier,” Reuters via South China Post

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Germany: Wurst Crime Ever

July 20, 2014

Germany: Wurst Crime Ever

Germany’s anti-trust agency (Bundeskartellamt) has fined 21 sausage manufacturers and 33 individuals $460 million for illegal price-fixing over two decades.  Gott im Himmel!

The ring is alleged to have met in Hamburg’s luxurious Hotel Atlantic. Wonder what they ate?

Sausages are central to the German identity, second only to beer. In related German crime news, thieves in the city of Krefeld broke into a warehouse and stole 300,000 liters (80,000 gallons) of beer. Ten truckloads. Worth $3 million. Right before Germany’s big World Cup celebration party.

More:

“German sausage makers in meaty fine over price-fixing,” BBC News

“Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on sausage manufacturers,” press release

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Berlusconi: Not Guilty in Teen-Sex-for-Hire Case

July 19, 2014

Berlusconi: Not Guilty in Teen-Sex-for-Hire Case

Billionaire septuagenarian, football team ownerBunga-Bunga Party host, one-time cruise ship crooner and disgraced 3-time former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been acquitted of having sex with an underage prostitute, This decision by an Italian appeals court cancels the penalties of the sentence, 7 years in prison and a lifetime ban from politics. But don’t look for Mr. Berlusconi in Parliament just yet. He was expelled from the Italian Senate due to an earlier tax fraud conviction, so it looks like the Italian Government will remain Berlusconi-free for the foreseeable future.

More:

“Berlusconi Underage Sex Conviction Overturned By Italian Court,” Scott Neuman, NPR

“Italy appeals court clears Berlusconi in sex trial,” Ilaria Polleschi and Silvia Aloisi, Reuters via Chicago Tribune

“‘Bunga bunga’ showgirl incredulous at Silvio Berlusconi’s acquittal,” Nick Squires, Daily Telegraph

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Image (“Berlusconi Seraglio, after Fernand Cormon”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Appeals Court: Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage is OK

July 18, 2014

Appeals Court: Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage is OK

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an earlier Federal court decision and struck down Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban, ruling it violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause. The same Federal court rejected a similar law in Utah. Either or both of those cases may now be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The full Oklahoma opinion is here.

More:

“Court Finds Oklahoma Cannot Ban Gay Nuptials,” Jack Healy and Adam Liptak, New York Times

“Appeals court upholds ruling voiding Oklahoma gay marriage ban,” Heide Brandes, Reuters

“Federal appeals court rejects Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban,” German Lopez, Vox

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Johnny Winter, 1944 – 2014

July 18, 2014

Johnny Winter, 1944 – 2014

Blues guitarist, singer, and producer Johnny Winter (John Dawson Winter III) died Wednesday while on tour in Europe.

 More:

“The Lion in Johnny Winter: A Tribute to the Guitar Icon,” David Marchese, Rolling Stone

“Texas guitar great Johnny Winter dies,” Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle

“Johnny Winter, Virtuosic Blues Guitarist, Dies at 70,” Ben Sisario, New York Times

“Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dies At 70,” Bill Chappell, NPR

“Johnny Winter remembered: Blues guitarist struck a chord with rock fans,” Jim Farber, New York Daily News

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Technology Shields German Government from Spies

July 17, 2014

Technology Shields German Government frrom Spies

“German politicians are considering a return to using manual typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the US surveillance scandal.

The head of the Bundestag’s parliamentary inquiry into NSA activity in Germany said in an interview with the Morgenmagazin TV programme that he and his colleagues were seriously thinking of ditching email completely.”

More:

“Germany ‘may revert to typewriters’ to counter hi-tech espionage,” Philip Oltermann, The Guardian

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Colombia Menaced by Invasion

July 16, 2014

Colombia Menaced by Invasion

Colombia produces much of the world’s high-quality Arabica coffee. The coffee-growing region of this Central American country is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the EU granted the crop Protected Denomination of Origin status.

A major customer for Colombian coffee is the USA’s sprawling, globe-spanning Starbucks coffee shop chain. There are approximately umpteen bazillion Starbucks locations worldwide. Today, July 16th, there will be a new one. In Bogotá, capital city of Colombia. In the high-end Parque 93 district. Near a homegrown Juan Valdez Café. Ouch.

Starbucks plans to open 50 locations in Colombia by 2018.

 More:

“Make room Juan Valdez: Starbucks opens in Colombia,” Joshua Goodman, AP via Miami Herald

“Starbucks to take on Juan Valdez in Colombia,” Marina Villeneuve, Washington Post

“Starbucks ya está listo para abrir sus puertas en Bogotá, pero algo esconden los gringos…” pulzo

“Starbucks se instala en Colombia oficialmente,” LA F.m.

“A cartographic guide to Starbucks’ global domination,” David Yanofsky, Quartz

La Federación Nacional de Cafeteros website

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Taxi!

July 15, 2014

Taxi!

 

Hari Kondabolu talks about Race:

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Aux armes, citoyens! Aux barricades!

July 14, 2014

Aux armes, citoyens! Aux barricades!

It’s July 14th, La Fête Nationale, Bastille Day, the holiday commemorating this date in 1789 when crowds stormed the Bastille Saint-Antoine prison, an event leading to the founding of the French Republic. Today La République faces a greater, more insidious threat than the monarchy of Louis XVI.

Last summer French hypermarchés began hyping a new beverage to innocent jeunes: A wine that tastes like Coca-Cola. The icebox wine cooler called Rouge Sucette (Red Lollipop), produced by Haussmann Famille/Châteaux en Bordeaux, is 75 per cent wine with sugar, water, and cola flavoring added. Quelle horreur!

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Taiwan Busts Racing Pigeon Kidnapping Ring

July 14, 2014

Taiwan Busts Racing Pigeon Kidnapping Ring

“Five people have been arrested in northern Taiwan for allegedly kidnapping dozens of racing pigeons for ransom, police said Tuesday. The suspects were accused of setting traps along racing routes to capture the pigeons before demanding up to Tw$10,000 ($333) per bird from their owners in ransom money, the Taipei City police department said.”

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