Headlines September 17, 2008

Is Obama elitist?
Obama has been characterized as ‘elitist’ by.. brace yourself now because the hypocrisy is enormous: Lynn Forester de Rothschild. Somebody with a ‘de’ in name should not call somebody else ‘elitist’. Like the pot calling the kettle black.
She feels Obama is “arrogant” (I agree) and doesn’t connect with “average Americans” (stupid statement coming from de Rothschild). What she really wanted to say but could not is that Obama is “uppity” and could not be representing “average white Americans”.

The bad (???) thing is that she is going to deflect to McCain camp. I had nothing against McCain in the beginning, but after Barbie Palin came into game I changed my mind. Somehow I can understand dilemma the Americans are facing right now: they are not quite happy with Obama as potential president and they don’t like the alternative of Palin as very possible president.
Finally the Democrat camp came to their senses and asked for a full medical record of McCain. At least they could find out what are the odds to get President Palin in the next 12 months or so.

And maybe the Democrats should trump de Rothschild move with Julie Nixon and Susan Eisenhower who are both supporting Obama even if they came from Republican camp.

Russia threatens to unilaterally claim part of the Arctic
Source: Telegraph
“Global warming has stepped up the fight for the disputed Arctic, believed to be laden with vast reserves of oil and gas. Russia has pitted itself against Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States to fight for a greater part of the region, arguing that most of it is Russian territory since an underwater ridge links Siberia to the North Pole’s seabed.
“We must finalize and adopt a federal law on the southern border of Russia’s Arctic zone,” Mr. Medvedev told a meeting of the Security Council, in remarks carried by Interfax news agency.
“This is our responsibility, and simply our direct duty, to our descendents,” he said. “We must surely, and for the long-term future, secure Russia’s interests in the Arctic.”
Under international law, each of the five countries that lay claim to the Arctic own a 320-kilometre zone that extends north from their shores. That arrangement is up for UN review in May next year.”

French commandos rescue hostages
Source: Daily Mail
“French commandos have stormed a luxury yacht to rescue two French tourists who were being held for ransom by heavily-armed Somali pirates, President Nicolas Sarkozy has said.
Gunmen from Somalia have hijacked more than 30 ships so far this year, making the strategic shipping lanes in the busy Gulf of Aden the most dangerous in the world.

Hours after the French raid, pirates seized an oil or chemical tanker believed to be Hong Kong-owned, a maritime official said. More than two dozen European tuna fishing vessels rushed to the Seychelles for safety, fearing more attacks.

It was the second time this year that French troops had acted against Somali pirates. In April, French commandos captured six of them shortly after a ransom had been paid for the release of another French yacht and its 30-strong crew.

The couple rescued today was seized on September 2 by gunmen who had demanded a ransom of more than $1.4 million (£785,000) and the release of the pirates captured in April.
On Sunday, pirates fired rockets at a French tuna fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, 400 nautical miles (740 km) off Somalia.”

Milk scandal puts again China on a hot seat
My biggest pet peeve is outsourcing to China and India and don’t get me starting bitching about it.

Today I wanted to talk about the latest scare coming from China: tainted milk. We came to terms with toys made in China and contaminated with various chemicals, we came to terms to the death of family pets unfortunate to be fed contaminated food and now we struggle to understand why some guys will deliberately add melamine to milk.

What sort of a monster will taint baby food just to make money? So, these two Chinese brothers, turned entrepreneurs, decided to make more money by adding water to milk (increase the volume). Too bad that milk is tested for protein and standard tests measure the nitrogen level in order to evaluate the protein content. What to do to throw off inspections for protein content? Well, add a compound that contains nitrogen. And what comes handy? Melamine.

Melamine is an organic substance used to make fertilizers, plastics, glues and fire retardants. The same contaminant has been identified by veterinary scientists as the culprit to the death of pets last year. In the past Chinese admitted that that the practice of adding melamine to food for pets is common in China and has been going on for years so probably somebody thought that if it’s good for pigs and other animals, it should work for human babies as well.

After the milk was altered as to increase the profit and to throw off inspections, it’s been sold to Sanlu, China’s biggest provider of powdered milk. The result: three Chinese babies killed and at least 1,200 made ill with kidney stones. We are talking about 3 tones of milk sold to Sanlu, which has been ordered to cease production pending an investigation. The worst part of the story is that the NZ company Fonterra, which owns a 43% stake in Sanlu, warned the Chinese counterpart in August about the contaminated milk and it took Sanlu 6 weeks to make the recall.

I was reading yesterday that the powdered milk made by Sanlu is not sold officially in Canada but it may be found in ethnic stores. Canadian Food Inspection Agency did not find anything contaminated on the samples tested.

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