We’ve been gone for a while now, but shortly we will return to regular posting.
USDA closes California Foster Farms plan over roach infestation
Oregonian: The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended poultry processing at the Foster Farms plant in Livingston, Calif., saying it is infested with live cockroaches.
The suspension comes amid a USDA investigation of three Foster Farms plants in central California, including the one in Livingston, over a nationwide salmonella outbreak that’s sickened more than 400 people.
Cockroaches, which feed and lurk in unsanitary places such as sewers and bathrooms, can carry harmful viruses and bacteria, including salmonella. It’s unclear whether an infestation caused the outbreak, however. Chicken are typically contaminated with salmonella.
The suspension notice said inspectors for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service have cited the Livingston plant repeatedly since September for roaches.
Photo: A Foster Farms plant in Fresno, Calif., was among three implicated in a nationwide Salmonella outbreak that started last March and appears to be ongoing, sickening more than 400. One of the other plants, in Livingston, Calif., was just closed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over a roach infestation. (The Associated Press)
As the government shutdown reached its eighth day yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a multi-state salmonella outbreak.
The strain, Salmonella Heidelberg, has been attributed to Foster Farms brand chicken products at three facilities in California. According to the CDC, as of yesterday, a total of 278 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of SalmonellaHeidelberg have been reported from 17 states—77 percent of which have been reported from California. The number of ill people identified in each additional state is as follows …
Everyone the U.S. Government Owes Money To, in One Graph (via Planet Money)
As a child I was bullied by bigger boys who threatened to beat me up if I didn’t give them what they wanted. But every time I gave in to their demands their subsequent demands grew larger. First they wanted the change in my pocket. Next it was the dessert in my lunchbox. Then my new Davy Crockett…
Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive” and “protected from externalities.”
US government shutdown starts as Congress remains deadlocked
NBC News: A federal government shutdown began Tuesday morning as a deadlocked Congress failed to reach an agreement on a short-term funding measure by a 12:01 a.m. deadline.
The shutdown was the first since 1997.
On the Senate floor shortly after midnight, Senate Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said the shutdown was “an unnecessary blow to America.”
Government officials told agencies to begin executing plans for a shutdown shortly before midnight Monday.
In a memo to executive branch officers sent less than half an hour before the deadline, Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Burwell said there was no “clear indication” that Congress would reach an agreement to keep the government operating.
The United States Supreme Court is being asked to hear a federal lawsuit challenging the military’s legal ability to indefinitely detain persons under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, or NDAA.
According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges — a co-plaintiff in the case — attorneys will file paperwork in the coming days requesting that the country’s high court weigh in on Hedges v. Obama and determine the constitutionality of a controversial provision that has continuously generated criticism directed towards the White House since signed into law by President Barack Obama almost two years ago and defended adamantly by his administration in federal court in the years since.
Should the Supreme Court reject the plaintiffs’ plea, Hedges said it could signal the “obliteration of our last remaining legal protections.”
"the suburb of agbogbloshie in ghana’s capital, accra, has in recent years become a dumping ground for computers and electronic waste from europe and the united states. hundreds of tons of e-waste end up here every month as countries in the west attempt to unload their ever increasing stockpiles of toxic junk. of the 20 to 50 million tons of electronics discarded each year, 70% will end up in poor nations.
"increasingly, this e-waste is finding it’s way to west africa and countries like ghana. traders bypass international laws by labeling the equipment as second hand goods or charity donations, but in reality as much as 80% of the computers sent to ghana are broken or obsolete. their final resting place is the agbogbloshie dump where they are broken apart, mostly by children, to salvage the cooper, hard drives and other components that can be sold on.
"the disposal of electronic goods in the west is a costly affair and must be done in an environmentally responsible manner. however, in places like ghana there are no such regulations, and toxic metals like lead, beryllium, cadmium and mercury are continuously being released, causing untold damage to human health and the environment."
photos and text by andrew mcconnell