The Gun Report: July 9, 2013 – NYTimes.com

Ray-twon Briggs, 4, died after being shot in his home on the north side of Youngstown, Ohio, Sunday night. Briggs’s grandmother told police the boy was playing with one of three handguns in the house when he fatally shot himself in the head. Two other children, ages 1 and 5, were also in the room. The boy’s parents were not home at the time of the shooting.

via The Gun Report: July 9, 2013 – NYTimes.com.

Japan conservatives: ‘Hate speech goes too far’ | Asia | DW.DE | 09.07.2013

Arita agrees with that assessment, and warns that Japan is facing a turning point in its political history as it has taken “two or three steps to the right” since the election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December of last year. “Since Mr. Abe came to power, Zaitokukai and other groups have drastically strengthened and escalated their activities,” he said.

Making the situation worse, he said, is that television footage of the protest marches are being broadcast around the world and promoting the image of Japan as a hotbed of intolerant and racist thugs.

via Japan conservatives: 'Hate speech goes too far' | Asia | DW.DE | 09.07.2013.

Ancient Egyptian River Could be Revived for Farming | Green Prophet

“The desert of the Sinai Peninsula receives the most rainfall of any part of Egypt — around 304 millimetres annually — but most of it is of no benefit to agriculture, instead flowing out into the Mediterranean Sea in flash floods,” according to SciDev.net, which interviewed the authors.

Using satellite radar images, the research team mapped out where an ancient river used to drain the Wadi El-Arish valley – back in towards the desert, and then proposed a method to revive it.

They recommend constructing a two kilometer long, six meter deep channel that can be used  to irrigate thirsty farms.

“Accessing that depression would allow its stored water to be used for agriculture,” Farouk El-Baz, an author of the paper and director of the Center for Remote Sensing, told the paper.

The runoff during flash floods is expected to create a 1,400 square kilometer tract of fertile land west of Gebel Halal, which is said to offer other ideal conditions for potential farmers.

via Ancient Egyptian River Could be Revived for Farming | Green Prophet.

FDA’s Team Tomato Fights Contamination | Food Safety News

To scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the tomato is an enigma and the focus of a group of researchers nicknamed “Team Tomato.”

The mystery of the tomato has to do with its vulnerability to contamination by Salmonella, a bacterium that is a common cause of foodborne illness.

From 1973 to 2010, there were 15 multistate outbreaks of illnesses attributed to Salmonella contamination of raw tomatoes, with 12 of these outbreaks taking place since 2000. They resulted in almost 2,000 confirmed illnesses and three deaths, with states in the eastern U.S. hardest hit.

“The conditions in which tomatoes thrive are also the conditions in which Salmonella thrive,” says Eric Brown, Ph.D., director of FDA’s Division of Microbiology. “But the tomato always presented an extra challenge because it is so short-lived. By the time it looked like contaminated tomatoes could be causing illnesses, the harvest would be gone.”

via FDA's Team Tomato Fights Contamination | Food Safety News.

USDA Meat Inspectors Report Enforcement Actions for Quarter | Food Safety News

Meat inspection important for imports? You betcha! Look at the number of pounds imported in one three month period.

There was a spike in imported meat and poultry arriving in the U.S. during the quarter as 818,658,598 pounds were presented for inspection, up from 690,369,432 from the previous quarter. Likewise, imported egg products reached 2,439,721 pounds, up from 1,876,477 during the earlier period.

via USDA Meat Inspectors Report Enforcement Actions for Quarter | Food Safety News.