Organic food popularity exploding in China after wave of toxic chemical food scandals

Natural News
January 15, 2015
Julie Wilson

(NaturalNews) In a land surrounded by pollution and lax food safety regulations, the Chinese are turning to organics in hopes of living a healthier, cleaner life through better nutrition provided by higher quality foods.

A multitude of food scandals has left the Chinese weary about purchasing foods in the country’s conventional market. In 2013, a factory in the city of Kunming was reportedly using pond water to make rice vermicelli. The pond was specifically used for washing feet, according to reports. That same year, a Beijing KFC was exposed for serving rice that contained 13 times more bacteria than toilet water. Continue reading Organic food popularity exploding in China after wave of toxic chemical food scandals

Paris attacks: Pope Francis says freedom of speech has limits

15 January 2015

Pope Francis has defended freedom of expression following last week’s attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – but also stressed its limits.

The pontiff said religions had to be treated with respect, so that people’s faiths were not insulted or ridiculed.

To illustrate his point, he told journalists that his assistant could expect a punch if he cursed his mother.

The remarks came as funerals were held for four people killed in the attack by militant Islamists.

Friends and family paid last respects to cartoonists Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, and Georges Wolinski, as well as columnist Elsa Cayat and policeman Franck Brinsolaro.

Eight magazine staff, a visitor to the magazine, a caretaker and two policemen died in the attack. A policewoman and four people at a kosher supermarket died in separate attacks. Continue reading Paris attacks: Pope Francis says freedom of speech has limits

Russia Just Pulled Itself Out Of The Petrodollar

15 January 2015
Tyler Durden

Rapidly shaping up as the most illiquid market in history

Back in November, before most grasped just how serious the collapse in crude was (and would become, as well as its massive implications), we wrote “How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed“, because for the first time in almost two decades, energy-exporting countries would pull their “petrodollars” out of world markets in 2015.

This empirical death of Petrodollar followed years of windfalls for oil exporters such as Russia, Angola, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Much of that money found its way into financial markets, helping to boost asset prices and keep the cost of borrowing down, through so-called petrodollar recycling. Continue reading Russia Just Pulled Itself Out Of The Petrodollar

India: MP Sakshi Maharaj vows death sentences for Hindus converting to Islam or Christianity

International Business Times
By Umberto Bacchi
January 7, 2015

An Indian lawmaker with the ruling Hindu conservative party has claimed death sentences should be introduced for people who convert to other religions, in the last episode to fuel communal tensions since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.

Controversial MP Sakshi Maharaj, an outspoken member of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also told a religious gathering in Uttar Pradesh that each Hindu woman should mother four children in order to protect the predominance of India’s largest religious group. Continue reading India: MP Sakshi Maharaj vows death sentences for Hindus converting to Islam or Christianity

Council rangers could test hi-tech wearable devices to monitor illegal parking

Daily Telegraph
John Morcombe
Manly Daily
January 08, 2015

Giuseppe Porcelli of TechBeach

But the company behind it will have to prove to the council that its product is better than the device the council is already using.

TechBeach says it has worked with Google to develop software for Google Glasses that will let rangers crosscheck car registration plates with the council’s database­ to check if a car is parked in an area where it is authorised to park.

The information will appear on the Google Glasses worn by the rangers, telling him or her that the car is owned by a local resident and is parked legally. Continue reading Council rangers could test hi-tech wearable devices to monitor illegal parking

Cameron to Obama: Force Tech Companies to Cooperate with Surveillance Agency

15 January 2015
Kurt Nimmo

British government engaging in “cynical opportunism” following attack in France

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, wants President Obama to pressure social media to cooperate with GCHQ, the British intelligence service that works closely with the NSA in the United States to surveil the internet and private electronic communication.

Intelligence services are increasingly critical of encryption methods used by Facebook and Twitter to secure the communications of users.

MI5 boss Andrew Parker took the tech giants to task for encryption and warned the “dark places from where those who wish us harm can plot and plan are increasing.”

Parker said tech companies must offer “greater co-operation” in the fight against terrorism and added that “privacy has never been an absolute right.”

Cameron’s request follows an earlier suggestion that the United Kingdom may outlaw online messaging services that use encryption.

Cameron, in a meeting scheduled for Friday in Washington, will ask Obama to support an effort to deny people the government considers terrorists and terrorist sympathizers a “safe place” on the internet.

Privacy International has accused Cameron and the British government of “cynical opportunism” in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

“Government officials … rally in the name of freedom and human rights claiming that the terrorists will never win and hate us for our freedoms. Then moments later … they attempt to curtail our rights they boldly proclaim in public as unassailable,” a spokesman for the group said.

Farmer sells off lambs as drought looms

NZ Stuff
15 January 2015

GETTING READY: David Meares, a Greta Valley sheep and beef farmer, is selling off lambs as drought looms.

A North Canterbury farmer has sold 1400 of his lambs early to head off a dry weather pattern not seen for a couple of decades.

David Meares, one of the country’s sharpest livestock analysts, made the move this week after looking at his frazzled pasture and slumping prices in saleyards and processing plants. Continue reading Farmer sells off lambs as drought looms

Russian billionaire’s team helps rebuild wharenui destroyed in fire

NZ Herald
15 January 2015
Anne Gibson

Reports say the blaze was started by children playing with a lighter.

A Russian billionaire’s workers are helping Maori plan a new Northland meeting house after a devastating fire.

Staff working for oligarch Alexander Abramov are providing assistance for the rebuilding of Ngatiwai’s Te Uri o Hikihiki wharenui at Mokau Marae, north of Whangarei, after it was destroyed two years ago.

Clive Stone, resource consent manager of the tangata whenua, said he had been working in a team to plan the new building since the fire on November 8, 2013.

The marae is about 5km north around the coast from Mr Abramov’s $50 million-plus Helena Bay luxury lodge, now being finished ready for next summer and thought to be New Zealand’s most expensive new residential project, with a main house or lodge and three separate beachfront residences, two of which can be subdivided internally to provide accommodation for a number of guests. Continue reading Russian billionaire’s team helps rebuild wharenui destroyed in fire

Jade no longer a ‘floppy noodle’ thanks to medical cannabis

NZ Stuff
13 January 2015
Alexandra Newlove

BRIGHT-EYED: Jade Guest, 7, is not the “floppy noodle” she was once, thanks to medical cannabis.

For the first time in her life, 7-year-old Jade Guest is holding on to her mother, giggling, and smiling every day.

It’s all thanks to a controversial plant and a 7000-kilometre journey that’s torn the Guest family apart.

Kiwi-born Brendan Guest and American wife Jessika settled in Whangarei in 2013, but late last year Jessika returned to Colorado with their children Jade, then 6, and Ethan, 8, in a bid to get medicinal cannabis to treat Jade’s worsening epilepsy.

Brendan has remained behind in New Zealand for his job.

The pharmaceuticals Jade was being prescribed in New Zealand had turned her into a zombie, did little to stop her seizures and in some cases made them worse, her mother says.

“The breaking point for me was watching more and more families having success with cannabis oil, most of them refugees from other states living in Colorado,” Jessika says. Continue reading Jade no longer a ‘floppy noodle’ thanks to medical cannabis