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Showing posts from September 20, 2013

Mexico storms: An unnatural disaster

Mexico is counting the cost of tropical storms Manuel and Ingrid. But the reasons they've wrought such devastation are man-made.

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Aerial view of the landslide that buried part of La Pintada village, Guerrero state, Mexico, after heavy rains hit the area, on September 19, 2013. Deaths from floods and landslides battering Mexico neared 100 on Thursday.

MEXICO CITY — Another storm season has brought a fresh spate of death-dealing “natural” disasters to Mexico.

Simultaneously punching the Pacific and Gulf coasts this week, storms Manuel and Ingrid together have tallied nearly 100 deaths so far, with the body count certain to rise as isolated communities dig out and count their victims.

Though the weaker of the two cyclones, Manuel has been the far costlier. Hitting the Pacific resort of Acapulco and remote mountain communities nearby as a tropical storm, it killed scores of people and destroyed many millions of dollars worth of property.

 Ingrid, a Category 2 hurricane, cl…


Kroger CEO Dillon to Exit After 10-Year Run; Grocer Taps COO as New Chief

By Matt Egan

Published September 20, 2013

Breakfast cereal is shown for sale at a Ralphs grocery store in Del Mar, California. Kroger Co. operates supermarket chains such as Kroger, Ralphs, Smith's and Food 4 Less. (REUTERS)

Kroger (KR) announced on Friday that after a decade in charge, David Dillon will relinquish the grocery chain’s CEO reins at the end of the year but stay on as chairman through the end of 2014.

The company said Dillon, 62, will be replaced by another veteran: W. Rodney McMullen, 53, who is currently serving as president and chief operating officer.

“As Kroger implements its strategic growth initiatives, the time is right for the transition of leadership,”
Dillon, who has been with Kroger for 37 years, said in a statement.

 “Rodney has played a leadership role in every major decision Kroger has made for the past 25 years…He is ready to be CEO.”

McMullen joined Kroger in 1978 and has served as president and CEO since 2009 as well as a director since 2003. Di…


To attract wealthy investors, countries such as the United States, Australia and the New Zealand are offering millionaire visas:

Below, the number of individuals worth more than $30 million and their total net worth, by country. 

Credit: Pitch Interactive


Today's #Dailychart reveals the surprising disparity in the wealth of American and Chinese politicians. 

The 50 richest members of Congress in America hold a staggering $1.6 billion. 

But that's nothing compared with China.

 The wealthiest 50 delegates to the National People's Congress (NPC) control $94.7 billion, according to the Hurun Report's latest rich list

Venezuela Prisons are 'Powder Kegs': NGO

Written by Charles Parkinson
Friday, 20 September 2013

Humberto Prado of the Venezuela Prison Observatory

A prominent NGO in Venezuela has strongly criticized the prison ministry's failure to address chaos in the penitentiary system after yet another violent confrontation left scores of prisoners dead.

According to Humberto Prado, coordinator general of the Venezuela Prison Observatory (OVP), the country's jails are "powder kegs," which authorities "only remember when one explodes," reported Globovision.

Prado criticized Prison Minister Iris Varela for failing to act effectively since the creation of her ministry and her appointment two years ago, and highlighted dire overcrowding in jails.

The declarations come days after a brutal battle in Maracaibo National Prison left 16 inmates dead, and less than a month after six prisoners were killed during violence in the same facility. In January, 61 inmates were killed in a riot at a prison in Barquisimeto, which was s…

OOOPPPSS!!! : Brazilian Hackers Mistakenly Attack NASA As Payback For NSA Spying


More: Agence France PresseBrazilHackers


SEP. 17, 2013, 4:38 PM 

Hackers have hit back in retaliation for US cyber-spying on Brazil but mistook the US space agency NASA for the National Security Agency (NSA), a news website reported here Tuesday.

"Some activists decided to protest this US practice but it seems that they picked the wrong target," a specialized blog of the Brazilian news portal Uol said.

"They hacked NASA's web page and left the message: Stop spying on us," it said.

The hackers' message also called on the United States not to attack Syria.

A NASA spokesman confirmed that a Brazilian hacker group last week posted a political message on a number of NASA websites.

"At no point were any of the agency's primary websites, missions or classified systems compromised," said NASA spokesman Allard Beutel.

"We are diligently taking action to investigate and reconstitute the websites impacted during web …

Food Friday Guest Recipe: Michel Roux Jr's Lobster Mango Salad

Michel Roux Jr, Friday, 20th September 2013

This is a delicious and and ultra healthy light meal. Many people balk at the idea of preparing lobster but it is actually very simple, and it contains very little fat and few calories, so is ideal for those who are watching their waistline.

Serves 4

Cut the lobster tail meat into medallions and all the rest into dice. Peel the avocado and mango and dice the flesh. Add the spring onions, lime juice and peel, torn basil leaves, olive oil and seasoning. Toss very gently. Serve the salad in glass bowls or spoon into little endive leaves.

2 cooked lobsters, 500-600g each
1 avocado, ripe but firm
1 mango, ripe but firm
2 spring onions, sliced
juice of 2 limes
peel of 1 lime, cut into thin strips and cooked in a sugar syrup
12 basil leaves
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
green Tabasco
endives leaves for serving (optional)

Read more from Spear's Food Friday

Read more recipes from Spear's…

Obama And Putin Got It Wrong: Why The U.S. Is Exceptional

September 20, 2013 by Chip Wood


What a wonderful brouhaha Russian President Vladimir Putin stirred up when he (or one of his PR flacks) wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times earlier this month.

Much of the piece was pretty much what you would expect from the Russian strongman and former KGB thug. He denied that Syrian president Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own citizens. “No one doubts that poisoned gas was used in Syria,” Putin wrote. “But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons.” If you buy that one, he has a bridge is Vladivostok he’d like to sell you.

And don’t assume that his remark about “powerful foreign patrons” was a sly reference to Russia’s relationship with Syria. No, no, not a bit. After all, Putin wrote: “We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law.”

Yes, I know. It’s hard to keep from laughing out loud at …