In the last several weeks, Romer Labs, an international diagnostic testing lab for the agricultural, food, and feed industries, discovered 30 samples of animal feed to be contaminated with melamine, sourced from China. Melamine is a toxic chemical that is found in plastics, adhesives, and pesticides. Since melamine contains high levels of nitrogen, it is added to food products to make it appear as though those products have higher levels of protein than they actually contain. Adding melamine to food ingredients and products allows China to misrepresent the protein content of food while lowering their production costs.
On April 18, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi — who is in Japan as an advance man for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit in May — that the unrest in Tibet has become an international issue. The Beijing government maintains that the ongoing protests and suppression of freedom in Tibet are a domestic matter.
Google, the internationally popular Internet search engine, is under fire. Christine A. Varney, President Barack Obama's nominee to be the next antitrust chief at the Justice Department, has publicly branded Google as a monopoly.
Just in time for the flu season, Google has created a new health tracking and reporting website focused on the flu called "Google Flu Trends." The service tracks and compiles the number of search queries from all 50 states related to the flu, like "flu symptoms," "nausea," or "cough."
The recent precipitous climb in global food prices is nothing less than “mass murder,” according to UN food envoy Jean Ziegler. In a recent interview with an Austrian newspaper, Ziegler, commenting on the climb in commodities prices that have triggered food riots in Haiti and growing lines from Latin America to Africa to Asia of hungry people seeking UN food handouts, suggested that the food shortages are a consequence of globalization.
At a conference on April 16, Richard Fisher, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, warned that the U.S. economy could be facing trouble in the future. “According to official government reports,” cautioned Fisher, when it comes to wealth transfer programs including Social Security and Medicare “the gap between what we will take in and what we have promised to pay … now stands at $83.9 trillion.”
The media is anxiously speculating about what it hopes will be a rash of Obama executive orders overturning those issued during the past eight years by President George W. Bush.
As part of the pulse-taking of the electorate to see what makes Americans’ hearts beat faster as the United States heads toward another presidential election, an Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll found that the worsening economy is Americans’ number one concern, yet candidates’ positions on the economy are not creating a base of support for any of the leading presidential candidates: Clinton, McCain, or Obama.
Neoconservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife has had a change of heart concerning Hillary Clinton. Scaife, the partial heir of the Mellon family fortune, once was involved in the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign and helped to fund efforts by the American Spectator magazine in the 1990s to expose Bill Clinton’s womanizing and abuse of power while governor of Arkansas. But he has decided to throw his support behind Hillary Clinton after a meeting with her in March.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 4986), which Congress passed on January 22 and President Bush signed into law on January 28, contained language that effectively repealed revisions to the Posse Comitatus Act made in 2006. The 2006 language made it easier for a president to declare martial law.