MelamineIn 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.

Damascus EmbassyThe United States closed its embassy in Damascus to the public on October 30 because of security concerns stemming from anti-U.S. demonstrations in the Syrian capital following a U.S. raid on Syria on October 26. A statement on the embassy website said the decision to close was made “due to past demonstrations which resulted in violence and significant damage to US facilities and other embassies.”

A Pakistani government spokesman announced on October 29 that the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, had been summoned to receive a formal protest concerning American missile attacks on the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the nation’s tribal areas along its border with Afghanistan. Pakistan’s foreign ministry issued a statement that “a strong protest was lodged on the continued missile attacks by U.S. drones inside Pakistani territory.”

Iraqi Soldier in MosulAccording to a New York Times report of October 28, the U.S.-backed, Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has been forcing Kurdish units of the Iraqi army out of the northern city of Mosul. The Baghdad government dispatched 1,000 additional police to the troubled city several weeks ago in response to attacks against the city’s Christian population by terrorists groups linked to al-Qaeda. The attacks had prompted about 4,000 Christians to flee the city.

Syria ProtestsThe Syrian government has condemned what it said was a U.S. helicopter raid inside its territory on October 26, resulting in eight civilian deaths. The statement said: “Syria condemns this aggression and holds the American forces responsible for this aggression and all its repercussions.” Syrian sources said the U.S. helicopters attacked the Sukkariyeh farm near Abu Kamal, five miles from the Iraqi border.

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