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Showing posts from October 4, 2012

Peeling the mango: Community dynamics and social accountability efforts in Sierra Leone ...


Recently, at a community meeting I attended at Robina clinic in Tonkolili district, Sierra Leone, facilitators asked a group of young women to rate the quality of health service delivery using what they coined the “mango test.” 

As part of this “test” community members decide how many hypothetical mangos, on a scale from 0 to 5, they would give a nurse as thanks for the quality of her care. The group fell into deep discussion.

 One young woman holding a child explained that she would give the nurse two mangos even though she has never actually found a nurse at the clinic (the nurse was absent for over five months in 2011). 

She reasoned that the nurse likely felt excluded being an outsider from a distant community, and she would not want to discourage her and trigger further absenteeism or, even worse, the nurse’s resignation or ire the next time the mother comes to the clinic. 

As an American who grew up in a culture where fiercely and lo…


James Bond, Declassified: 50 Things You Didn’t Know About 007 ...

On October 5, 1962 the first Bond film, Dr. No, hit theaters. Five decades and 22 films later, the spy has been immortalized as a legendary screen hero. TIME has compiled the most interesting stories, anecdotes and tidbits from the franchise. Bond at the Box-Office: The RankingsBy LILY ROTHMAN@lilyrothman | September 19, 2012| + EVERETT Thunderball

Which James Bond movie has really made the most money in the U.S.? We ran the domestic total gross for each of the first 22 films, according to, through an inflation calculator—and came up with a semi-scientific answer: Thunderball, 1965: 63,595,658 in 2012 = $465,114,416 Goldfinger, 1964: 51,081,062 in 2012 = $379,613,032 You Only Live Twice, 1967: 43,819,547 in 2012 = $302,248,605 Diamonds are Forever, 1971: 43,819,547 in 2012 = $249,261,813 Moonraker, 1979: 70,308,099 in 2012 = $223,106,192 Die Another Day, 2002: 160,942,139 in 2012 = $206,101,662 Casino Royale, 2006: 167,445,960 in 2012 = $191,349,369 From Russia with Love,…

CRISIS: California Gas Stations Shut as Oil Refiners Ration Supplies ...

By Lynn Doan and Joshua Falk - Oct 4, 2012 5:48 PM ET

Gasoline station owners in the Los Angeles area including Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) are beginning to shut pumps as the state’s oil refiners started rationing supplies and spot prices surged to a record.

Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) stopped selling gasoline on the spot, or wholesale, market in Southern California and is allocating deliveries to customers. 

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) is also rationing fuel to U.S. West Coast terminal customers. Costco’s outlet in Simi Valley, 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles, ran out of regular gasoline yesterday and was selling premium fuel at the price of regular.

The gasoline shortage “feels like a hurricane to me, but it’s the West Coast,” Jeff Cole, Costco’s vice president of gasoline, said by telephone yesterday. “We’re obviously extremely disheartened that we are unable to do this, and we’re pulling fuel from all corners of California to fix this.”

Spot gasoline in Los Angeles has su…

Niña de 12 años es más inteligente que Einstein y Hawking ...

Por Agencias /

Olivia Manning, de Liverpool, consiguió una puntuación de 162 en un test de inteligencia, por encima de genios como Albert Einstein y Stephen Hawking. 

Admite que tiene una habilidad especial para absorber rápidamente y recordar información nueva

Jueves, 04 Octubre 2012 19:12

La joven hizo temblar a la comunidad científica de todo el mundo. Ni ella pudo creer su calificación en el test. "Me gusta ayudar a mis compañeros con la tarea", dijo.

Una alumna de 12 años fue aceptada en Mensa después de descubrir que es más inteligente que Albert Einstein y Stephen Hawking.

Olivia Manning, de Liverpool, consiguió una puntuación de 162 en un test de inteligencia. Lo que la catapultó muy por encima de la media de 100.

Su puntuación no es sólo dos puntos mejor que el genio físico alemán Einstein y que el profesor Stephen Hawking, sino que la ubica como una de las personas más inteligentes del mundo.

La adolescente recibió el honor de ingresar en Mensa -lo que sig…

FIRST TIME IN 50 YEARS: Walmart Workers Walk Off Jobs ...

“I’m Excited, I’m Nervous, I’m Scared…”

Dozens of workers at Southern California stores launched a one-day work stoppage in protest of alleged retaliation against their attempts to organize. October 4, 2012  | 

Today, for the first time in Walmart’s fifty-year history, workers at multiple stores are out on strike. 

Minutes ago, dozens of workers at Southern California stores launched a one-day work stoppage in protest of alleged retaliation against their attempts to organize. In a few hours, they’ll join supporters for a mass rally outside a Pico Rivera, CA store. 

This is the latest – and most dramatic – of the recent escalations in the decades-long struggle between organized labor and the largest private employer in the world.

“I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m scared…” Pico Rivera Walmart employee Evelin Cruz told Salon yesterday about her decision to join today’s strike. “But I think the time has come, so they take notice that these associates are tired of all the issues in the stores, al…

Washington Public Policy Conference Makes an Impact on Capitol Hill ...

October 4, 2012

In Today's Issue:

2012 Washington Public Policy Conference attendees preparing to March on Capitol Hill.

More than 500 industry leaders carried the produce message to the offices of senators and representatives from 30 states in the annual March on Capitol Hill. 

The 2012 Washington Public Policy Conference attracted attendees from 36 states, Canada, Greece, Italy and Mexico. 

The event featured speakers with an array of perspectives on current industry hot-topics and market segment education sessions that sparked dialogue on the latest pressing issues.

“This year’s WPPC really highlighted the passion and focus that United Fresh members put towards their advocacy efforts,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “We had a strong turnout of members who were engaged in all aspects of the program. Between the congressional visits and the education sessions, the event was productive, spirited, and overall, a success!”

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan hi…

Carriers' Profitability in 2012 and into 2013: What's possible? ...

After container lines lost an estimated $8 billion in 2011, and were still bleeding red ink in the 1st quarter of 2012, the carriers rallied with a series of largely successful rate increases that drove up spot rates by more than 200 percent in Asia-Europe and 80 percent in the eastbound trans-Pacific by early summer. 

This was a rare instance in which carrier discipline trumped overcapacity, discipline that took many shippers and analysts by surprise. 

Second quarter carrier earnings reflected these higher rate levels, which have pushed carriers into profitability. 

In the 2nd quarter 13 out of 18 container lines reported positive income, according to Alphaliner.

At this year's TPM Asia conference, Tan Hua-Joo, Executive Consultant for Alphaliner will address the question of whether or not these higher rates will hold, given the continuing debt crisis and recessionary conditions in Europe, sluggish growth in the U.S., and importantly, a glut in new capacity set to enter the market du…

Mexican cartels move into Ecuador – Colombian trafficking turf ...

Mexican and Colombian criminal groups could start battling for control of drug trafficking routes in Ecuador, something that could further threaten the country's precarious security situation.

By Edward Fox, InSight Crime / October 4, 2012

InSight Crime researches, analyzes, and investigates organized crime in the Americas. Find all of Edward Fox's research here.

In Pictures: The Latin American Drug War

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The drug trade through Ecuador has historically been controlled by Colombia’s criminal groups who, until recently, essentially held a monopoly over corridors moving through and out of the country. This is gradually changing however, with Mexican transnational criminal groups interested in moving further down the drug chain to cut out Colombian middlemen. As one antinarcotics agent told El Comercio, “Colombian cartels no longer have the same power.”

Mexican gangs linked to …