Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

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United States

  • Allergy Alert:Isabella Foods (El Paso, TX) recalls Isabella Foods of El Paso Green Chicken Tamales (36-oz pkgs of 12 tamales; Est P-13389; Produced through Jan 18, 2013) and Isabella Foods of El Paso Red Pork Tamales (36-oz pkgs of 12 tamales; Est 1960; Produced through Jan 18, 2013), due to undeclared wheat or soy. The recalled products were supplied to institutions and retail stores in the El Paso, Texas area.
  • Food Safety Recall:San José Valley Veal (Santa Clara, CA) recalls San Jose…

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I thought Philippines was better than this – shameful


via South China Morning Post and BBC News


Carlos Celdran was demonstrating in support of new family planning laws during a mass at Manila’s cathedral in 2010. A court found Mr Celdran guilty of “offending religious beliefs” in a ruling made public on Monday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) called the verdict “a setback for free speech”.


“It was worth every moment,” Carlos Celdran, 40, told friends yesterday after Manila Judge Juan Bermejo Jr. sentenced him to over a year in jail for performing acts “notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful” in a place devoted to religious worship – a violation of Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code.

154141_10151400580841131_1525215322_nDuring the verdict, Celdran was dressed in the same 19th century garb of national hero Jose Rizal, which he wore when he burst into a ceremony at Manila Cathedral two years ago. He had held up a placard saying “Damaso”

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A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

Khouloud and Nidale are a couple that distracted everyone from the utter failure of our politicians at coming up with an electoral law last week with them using loopholes in Lebanon’s political system to have a civil marriage in Beirut. Everyone was abuzz with what the couple did.

But, as is the case with Lebanon, not all reactions were positive and their marriage left us with more questions than answers (link).

The first official reaction to the marriage was Lebanon’s president Michel Suleiman who expressed his support to what Khouloud and Nidale did, voicing the need for civil marriage in Lebanon. His statement was also echoed by the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al Raï.

Soon enough, our prime minister Najib Mikati was the first to shoot down hope of ratifying a proposal to have legalize marriage in Lebanon because we “don’t need such controversial issues at the time being.”…

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Beautiful in all seasons

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

I finally had enough time on my hand to visit one of my favorite places in Lebanon: the Cedar mountains. They are probably the most underrated locations in the country and are nowhere near as visited as they should be because, quite frankly, very few places in this country can rival them in sheer landscape beauty.

Using my iPhone 5’s panorama feature, I was able to capture what I believe are pretty decent shots of the drive up to the mountains, the town of Becharre with its snowy mountainous backdrop, the Cedar Mountains themselves and part of the Kadisha Valley known as Qozhaya on the way back.

These locations may be far from Beirut – about 130 km – but they’re worth every single minute spent driving and every dollar spent in gas. I think I’m lucky that I live nearby and only need about 30 minutes to get there.

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chtodelat news

In August 2012, the magazine Russian Reporter published a long, detailed article on Valentin Urusov, a diamond miner and trade union activist from Yakutia who was sentenced to six years in prison for drug possession in 2008. I hadn’t heard of Urusov before. Few in and outside Russia have. Despite efforts over the last four years to increase international pressure to have him freed, Urusov’s plight and that of Russian political prisoners like him get overshadowed by more capitalist friendly names like Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the late Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in Russian police custody in 2009, or the more sensational and repackageable Pussy Riot. It’s safe to say we won’t be hearing about the US Congress sponsoring a “Urusov Law,” nor will any of his tormentors find themselves on a US State Department persona non grata list.

Many regard Urusov’s conviction, based on what they allege…

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Thank you for your efforts and insights


This is a collection of photos from Egypt, from  various sources, as the country mark the second anniversary of its revolution.  To me, it was a surreal, poignant, and sad event. These photos powerfully reflects what is good and also what is badly wrong about Egypt now.

Tahrir early FridayTahrir. Twitter via @Beltrew


Egyptian opposition leader Sabbahi ( Daily News Egypt)

National  Front of Egypt women National Front of Egypt’s women. Twitter via @ Beltrew

Tahrir again1

Women with Hijab and niqb protesting in Tahrir. Twitter

Sufi socialistSheikh Samir Mansi, a Sufi- socialist who thinks the consititution is poison. He bears the crescent and the cross. Twitter via @erincunningham

wheelchair A disabled Egyptian joins the march. Twitter via @Egyptocracy

Who rule EgyptProtestor hold a sign” who rule Egypt? Morsi, Supreme Guide, or Obama?” Twitter via @betsey_heil

US tahrir

A man holding a sign asking for the U.S. to stop supporting Morsi.Twiter via @betsey_heil


Protestors attempting to tear down the security wall in Cairo. Daily News Egypt

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Pride's Purge


The government has announced it is to close a loophole in which thousands of able-bodied young military personnel are abusing the benefits system by travelling to Afghanistan and other places in the Middle East and returning to the UK without limbs in order to claim disability benefits.

Government ministers say under the system put into place by the previous Labour administration – cheats can use a loophole in the benefit rules which allows people to join the armed forces and be sent to places like Afghanistan where they can be blown up and shot at, thereby enabling them to claim thousands of pounds in disability benefits on their return to the country.

The government is tackling the problem with a two-pronged attack. Firstly, they are reducing the military’s effectiveness by cutting the number of armed forces personnel by 25% – thereby ensuring more of its members are killed outright rather…

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Cannot possibly add anything to this whimsy – except to say read it!

Pride's Purge

(satire – sort of)

The Food Standards Agency is urgently investigating how excess amounts of artificial sweeteners – including significant traces of fudge – have been allowed to find their way into what was supposed to be the red meat of David Cameron’s speech today on Britain’s relationship with the EU.

The Food Safety Authority reported on Wednesday that results of an analysis they carried out into the speech have revealed it also contained dangerous levels of unprocessed tripe – which they say accounted for as much as 80% of the total red meat content of the speech.

The FSA also expressed concerns about the inaccuracy of some of the labelling of a number of the ingredients contained within the speech – which had been sold to the public as pure British bulldog but was in fact found to contain large traces of cattle, sheep and chicken DNA.

According to…

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