Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am dismayed at the in-humane handling of cattle that has resulted in the violation of food safety regulations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company.

In a press release today, California-based Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. indicated that it has voluntarily recalled just over 143 million pounds (65 million kilograms) of raw and frozen beef products, which is considered to be the largest single recall of beef products in U.S. history. The move follows an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) into allegations of animal cruelty and mishandling of cattle destined for the human food chain.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had determined that beef products produced by the Chino, California company were unfit for human consumption as the cattle had not received “complete and proper inspection.”

The recall has been designated as Class II, which the USDA describes as “a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.”

On Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer indicated that charges had been laid against employees of the plant alleged to have taken part in the mistreatment of cattle. “Today [Friday], the San Bernardino District Attorney filed felony animal cruelty charges against two employees who were terminated by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company,” said Schafer. “It is regrettable that these animals were mistreated and I am encouraged and supportive of these actions by the San Bernardino District Attorney in response to this mistreatment.”

The USDA learned of the possible inhumane handling of non-ambulatory (disabled) cattle at the packing plant on January 30 and has since suspended activities at the plant. “We continue to conduct a thorough investigation into whether any violations of food safety or additional humane handling regulations have occurred,” said Secretary Schafer in a press release. “On February 8, our Office of the Inspector General took the lead on the investigation. At that time, USDA extended the administrative hold on Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company products for the National School Lunch Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations while the investigation continues,” said Schafer.

The FSIS reported that Hallmark/Westland had not contacted the FSIS public health veterinarian, as required, when cattle became ill or disabled after undergoing ante-mortem (slaughter) inspection, putting the company out of compliance with FSIS regulations. “Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection FSIS has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall,” explained Secretary Schafer.

The cruelty charges stem from an undercover video that reportedly showed sick cattle being moved by crews using forklifts.

“Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007,” said Steve Mendell, President, Westland Meat Co. and Hallmark Meat Packing. “We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training.”

The USDA stressed that it is “extremely unlikely” that the cattle involved were at risk for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad-cow disease due to the employment of multiple safeguards. The USDA felt the recall was required, however, as the plant had allegedly violated USDA regulations.

The recall involves raw and frozen beef products produced on various dates from February 1, 2006 to February 2, 2008. For further information about the recall, consumers, media, and distributors are encouraged to contact Hallmark/Westland’s Plant Manager Stan Mendell or Food Safety Consultant Steve Sayer at (909) 590-3340 or the FSIS website, www.fsis.usda.gov.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=California_meat_packing_firm_recalls_143M_pounds_of_beef&oldid=4542969”
Posted in Uncategorized
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wikinews will be attending The 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards this weekend, a popular annual event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. True stars will be out to play, present, and else wise schmooze at the CHUM-City Building just above the city’s Entertainment District in the Queen Street West neighbourhood.

MuchMusic is the most popular music channel in Canada, and has been holding the event since 1990. Roughly 6000 fans line the streets surrounding Much headquarters each year, and 1200 more score “the wristband” and enjoy a free festival-style show in the parking lot, watching four outdoor performance areas spread out in the downtown location. New this year is a special roof-top stage, on the top of the building.

Last year’s show reached 3.5 million viewers in Canada and 100 million around the globe, with broadcasts in 65 countries.

Performing at the show will be Avril Lavigne, Fergie, Billy Talent, Hilary Duff, Alexisonfire, Maroon 5, Belly, The Used, and Finger Eleven.

On stage presenting will be Nickelback, Jay Manuel (Canada’s Next Top Model, America’s Next Top Model), Tara Reid (American Pie, this fall’s Land of Canaan), Joss Stone, Sum 41, Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia, Grudge 2), Hedley, Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Sean Avery (New York Rangers), George, Sam Roberts, Emilie de Ravin (LOST), Marianas Trench, and Kardinal Offishall.

Photographer Robin Wong will be photographing the red carpet of the MMVAs for Wikinews and Wikipedia. He first helped the sites in April of this year, photographing Hilary Duff at MuchMusic. Wong’s extensive client list includes Fidelty Investments, Flare Magazine, Masterfile, First Light, Fashion Television, FCB Canada, Profit Magazine, Financial Post, and Publicis. His works have appeared in the 2004 and 2005 Applied Arts Awards Annual, the top publication for the creative industry.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=MuchMusic_Video_Awards_this_Sunday_in_Toronto,_Canada;_Wikinews_will_be_there&oldid=4272724”
Posted in Uncategorized

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The former State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers better known as Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts suffered a major fire last night that could be seen for miles and led to temporary shut down of US Route 1 and Interstate 95 in the area.

The infamous American former mental hospital has been closed since 1992 is the site of a new condominium and apartment buliding complex being developed by Avalon Bay Communities. Four apartment units and four utilities bulidings went in up in smoke in the four-alarm fire. The units were not occupied, however, two were nearing completion which is a major financial setback for Avalon Bay. The fire did not spread to the famous Kirkbride building though, which is being renovated into apartments, aside from a cupola due to radiant heat.

Calls started coming just before 2:00 am EDT Saturday morning to report a fire on the hospital’s grounds which before the development sat unused, decaying and abandoned and became a popular target for ghost-hunters, vandals and urban explorers and also served as the focus of the 2001 thriller/horror film, Session 9 which brought renewed attention to infamous hospital which led to increased security at the site over the years. Reports of explosions before the fire started were noted by neighbors and residents.

About 20 residents on the other side of the 77-acre property were evacuated to Danvers High School as a precaution, they are expected to return later today. Their homes were not harmed by the fire, nor were any injuries reported from them. However, about seven firefighters suffered some minor burns from battling the fire, which took seven hours to bring under control. Firefighters will remain on the scene to make sure no hot spots flare up as the fire is still smoldering.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Condominiums_and_apartments_at_former_mental_hospital_burn_to_the_ground&oldid=641361”
Posted in Uncategorized

Monday, November 20, 2006

Otaki, a small town located in the North Island of New Zealand, has been subject to vandals who have smashed around 70 windows in the local primary school, Otaki Primary School.

The smashed windows resulted in the closure of the primary school today. It is expected that the school will be open tomorrow.

The primary school was not the only property damaged. The police are reporting that the library, memorial hall, law offices, tyre factor, butchery and the citizen’s advice bureau were all attacked, with other attacks possible.

The police say that the damage was done on Saturday night. Business owners are still reporting property damage. Sergeant Mark Toms said: “The damage seems to be widespread, and has not been confined to the school. Mr Toms said that they “are following strong leads as to who is responsible for the vandalism.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=New_Zealand_town_subject_to_window_smashers&oldid=567128”
Posted in Uncategorized

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The United States Federal Reserve has announced an increase of 25 basis points (0.25%) in the federal funds rate bringing it to 5.25 percent. It also announced its approval of a 25 basis point increase in the discount rate to 6.25 percent.

The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions such as banks lend balances they maintain at the Federal Reserve (called federal funds) to other banks overnight. The discount rate is the interest rate that an eligible bank is charged to borrow short term funds directly from the central bank through the discount window.

In its statement, the Fed said that growth is moderating from its quite strong pace earlier in the year, which it partly attributed to a cooling of the housing market and the delayed effect of increases in interest rates and energy prices. The Fed noted that inflation measures were “elevated” in recent months and that while productivity gains have held down increases in labor costs and inflation expectations “remain contained”. However, it pointed out that high levels of resource utilization and high energy and commodity prices have the potential to sustain inflation pressures.

In its outlook over its future moves, the Fed statement said “Although the moderation in the growth of aggregate demand should help to limit inflation pressures over time, the Committee judges that some inflation risks remain. The extent and timing of any additional firming that may be needed to address these risks will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=US_Federal_Reserve_raises_interest_rate_from_5%25_to_5.25%25&oldid=781726”
Posted in Uncategorized

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union approved aid packages to help Georgia recover from its conflict with Russia, which occurred in early August. The IMF approved a US$750 million loan which will allow Georgia to rebuild its currency reserves. The European Union also approved an aid package of 500 million in aid by 2010, which is expected to help internally displaced people (IDPs) and economic recovery in the form of new infrastructure. Only €100 million of the EU aid will be given to Georgia this year.

These loans are aimed to restore confidence in Georgia’s economy and send a signal to international investors that Georgia’s economy is sound. According to the IMF, international investors have been “critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman of the IMF executive committee, said the loan will “make significant resources available to replenish international reserves and bolster investor confidence, with the aim of sustaining private capital inflows that have been critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Georgia has requested $2 billion in international aid to help it recover from the conflict. So far, the United States has pledged $1 billion in aid. Further assistance and loans to Georgia are expected from other organizations. Kato noted that “…Georgia is expected to receive financial assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors and creditors in support of the reconstruction effort.” It is expected that an international donors’ conference will take place next month to solicit more aid for the country.

Georgia’s government expects that economic growth will be more than cut in half as a result of the conflict. Last year, Georgia’s GDP increased 12.4% and it is predicted by the IMF that growth will be less than 4 percent in the coming year.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=IMF_and_EU_approve_aid_for_Georgia&oldid=3031841”
Posted in Uncategorized

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union approved aid packages to help Georgia recover from its conflict with Russia, which occurred in early August. The IMF approved a US$750 million loan which will allow Georgia to rebuild its currency reserves. The European Union also approved an aid package of 500 million in aid by 2010, which is expected to help internally displaced people (IDPs) and economic recovery in the form of new infrastructure. Only €100 million of the EU aid will be given to Georgia this year.

These loans are aimed to restore confidence in Georgia’s economy and send a signal to international investors that Georgia’s economy is sound. According to the IMF, international investors have been “critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman of the IMF executive committee, said the loan will “make significant resources available to replenish international reserves and bolster investor confidence, with the aim of sustaining private capital inflows that have been critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Georgia has requested $2 billion in international aid to help it recover from the conflict. So far, the United States has pledged $1 billion in aid. Further assistance and loans to Georgia are expected from other organizations. Kato noted that “…Georgia is expected to receive financial assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors and creditors in support of the reconstruction effort.” It is expected that an international donors’ conference will take place next month to solicit more aid for the country.

Georgia’s government expects that economic growth will be more than cut in half as a result of the conflict. Last year, Georgia’s GDP increased 12.4% and it is predicted by the IMF that growth will be less than 4 percent in the coming year.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=IMF_and_EU_approve_aid_for_Georgia&oldid=3031841”
Posted in Uncategorized

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office is to launch an investigation into the collapse of car manufacturer MG Rover. The move follows the conclusion of a four-year enquiry started immediately after the firm became insolvent.

The group of four who owned MG Rover — John Towers, Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards — have been accused of asset stripping. The quartet, known as the Phoenix Four, paid a symbolic £10 (approximately €15) for Rover in 2000. At that time the company received an interest-free loan from former owner BMW for £427 million (approximately €700 million) and came with a large amount of unsold stock.

Between then and Rover’s April 2005 bankruptcy, by which time there were unpaid debts of £1 billion (approximately €1.5 billion), the Phoenix Four had removed an estimated £40 million worth of assets including pensions and salaries. An enquiry was launched by ministers that was expected to take a year, but the final report was not delivered to business secretary Lord Mandelson until three weeks ago.

The government used taxpayer’s money to fund a £6 million loan to MG Rover and attempted to negotiate a deal with a Chinese company, but these efforts failed. MG Rover’s collapse caused the loss of an estimated 15,000 jobs, including with various suppliers. A former MG Rover factory does still build a small number of MG sports cars in Longbridge by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, who bought most of the designs.

The Phoenix Four released a statement criticising the criminal investigation. “There has never been any suggestion of improper conduct by the directors and this was confirmed in a report by the administrators PWC six months after they took over the running of the company. Four years on, any suggestion [of] another further investigation is frankly ridiculous and smacks of kicking this issue into the long grass. If the government has been so concerned to get to the heart of the matter why has it flatly refused more than 30 requests under the Freedom of Information Act which would have revealed correspondence and documents the directors believe would have shed some light on the government’s role in the affair?”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=UK_Serious_Fraud_Office_to_investigate_MG_Rover_collapse&oldid=1100552”
Posted in Uncategorized

Friday, October 9, 2009

The BBC has received 487 complaints after Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Anton du Beke used a racist remark for his dance partner. Actress contestant Laila Rouass, who is of Morrocan descent, was called a “paki” by her dance partner during rehearsals for the show. British tabloid News of the World revealed the information from the BBC One programme in their newspaper on Sunday.

By Monday, it had emerged that there had been 63 complaints to the corporation. Since Thursday, the racist comment by du Beke has caused a total of 487 complaints to the BBC. Du Beke has since apologised to Rouass for the comment.

Bruce Forsyth, who presents the show alongside Tess Daly, had an unscheduled interview with radio show TalkSport on Wednesday. During the interview he said that, in days gone by, the remark would not have been treated so seriously. He said: “You go back 25, 30, 40 years and there has always been a bit of humour about the whole thing.

Everybody has a nickname.

“Americans used to call us ‘limeys’ which doesn’t sound very nice, but we used to laugh about it. Everybody has a nickname,” Forsyth stated to the BBC Radio 5 Live show. “I’m sure there was nothing vindictive about what he [Anton du Beke] said…the page should be closed on it. It’s a damn shame and I feel for him and Laila, she’s a lovely girl. He is a lovely, sensitive guy. OK, he can be a bit mouthy and can say quick things off-the-cuff like I do. But when you’re like that you can slip up every now and again. You can say something that you don’t mean.”

HAVE YOUR SAY
What is your opinion on Bruce Forsyth’s reaction?
Add or view comments

As a result of the comments made by Bruce Forsyth, the Victoria Derbyshire show received a record 600 complaints from listeners. Afterwards, Forsyth apologised for the comments he made on the show, and released a statement on Thursday saying: “To be absolutely clear, the use of racially offensive language is never either funny or acceptable.” A spokesperson for the BBC has also said: “The BBC does not condone offensive language in the workplace. Anton du Beke has apologised to Laila, who has accepted his apology.”

Kulvinder Ghir, an actor from Asia, showed his dissatisfaction for what was said on the radio show, stating: “Claiming the word paki is harmless is just ignorance.”

There has been calls made from viewers to the BBC over the last few days to dismiss Anton du Beke from Strictly Come Dancing. Earlier this year, former The One Show presenter Carol Thatcher was dismissed from ITV1 reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! due to racist remarks she made while on the programme. Despite this incident, the BBC have decided not to sack Anton du Beke from the BBC One dancing show.

The BBC has now had 686 complaints since Friday, an increase of 199 complaints from Thursday.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=BBC_receives_487_complaints_after_%27Dancing%27_race_row&oldid=1979175”
Posted in Uncategorized

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the world is on the brink of a global recession but predicts the economy will begin to recover by late 2009.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF, stressed nations must work together to avert a global recession and warns there is “no domestic solution” to the crisis. He also said this week’s coordinated interest rate cuts around the world are a good example of the international cooperation needed to restore faltering economies.

Furthermore, he announced the IMF has activated an emergency program Wednesday that allows the fund to provide loans more easily and quickly to emerging countries in economic trouble. This program was first used during the 1997 Asian crisis.

The program might be used in Iceland, which has seen major problems hitting the financial sector. Iceland has been forced to nationalize the three largest banks and, most recently, Kaupthing Bank.

The IMF chief made these remarks in Washington D.C. on Thursday, as top officials from IMF nations and the G-7 industrialized countries are gathering for meetings on economic issues. U.S. President George Bush is set to meet with G-7 finance ministers at the White House on Saturday.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=IMF:_World_on_brink_of_recession;_prepares_special_loan_program&oldid=1233787”
Posted in Uncategorized
TO TOP