Chikungunya cases surge in Dominican Republic, Haiti | CIDRAP

Chikungunya infections in Caribbean countries spiked last week, led by quickly growing numbers mainly in the Latin parts of the region, according to the latest update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Also two new countries—Barbados and Chile—are investigating their first suspected or confirmed imported cases, according to media and infectious disease reporting system sources.

via Chikungunya cases surge in Dominican Republic, Haiti | CIDRAP.

Quality Egg Agrees to Pay $6.8M Fine for Selling Tainted Eggs

If you were a young and dumb kid who steals an egg truck – it’s see ya in 5 years! Endanger thousands of people and make many ill? Pay a fine! Buy local or forget eggs.

An Iowa company has agreed to pay $6.8 million in fines for crimes that include selling the tainted eggs that caused a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2010.

A plea agreement filed Monday by federal prosecutors calls for Quality Egg to plead guilty Tuesday to charges of bribery, selling misbranded eggs and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

The company is admitting that, between 2006 and 2010, it intentionally sold eggs to customers in Arizona, California and elsewhere with false labels that disguised how old they were.

The company says its employees twice bribed a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector in 2010 to approve eggs that didn’t meet federal quality standards.

Company owners Austin and Peter DeCoster are expected to plead guilty Tuesday to introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

via Quality Egg Agrees to Pay $6.8M Fine for Selling Tainted Eggs.

Woman journalist found with throat cut in southern Libya – Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Naseeb Miloud Karfana, a TV journalist based in the southern city of Sabha, was murdered on Thursday 29 May. Her body was found together with her fiancé’s in the city’s northern Al-Hay Al-Jadida district. Her throat had been cut and she appeared to have been tortured.

Naseeb had worked for the state-owned TV station Libya Al-Wataniya as its programme coordinators in Sabha for the past eight months, the station’s director, Ali Shaniber, said.

Karfana left the TV station at about 7 p.m. with her fiancé, who came to collect her in his car, so that they could attend a friend’s wedding together. When she failed to arrive, her mother contacted the TV station, where an employee confirmed that Karfana had left.

The authorities have not as yet released any autopsy reports identifying the exact cause of death of the two victims.

Relatives said Karfana and her fiancé had recently received repeated threats from an unidentified person. Reporters Without Borders urges the competent authorities to carry out an impartial investigation without delay to identify the motive for this double murder, giving full consideration to the possibility of a link to Karfana’s work.

“It is imperative that those responsible for this shocking murder are quickly found and brought to account, in order to end impunity in Libya,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

via Woman journalist found with throat cut in southern Libya – Reporters Without Borders.

Turks and Caicos Islands to become a Canadian province?

Why not – eh?

Repeating Islands


The possibility of the Turks and Caicos Islands joining Canada has made headlines lately. Here, thanks to Peter Jordens, is a compilation of links to articles on the issue. From Rita Demontis’s article on The Toronto Sun (below), to links to information and opinions, you can definitely read all about it.

Thanks to the recent visit of Turks and Caicos Premier Rufus Ewing, Canadians are once again fantasizing about the idea of inviting this tropical paradise into the federation fold as a new Canadian province or territory. This despite Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird throwing cold Atlantic water on the idea by saying, “we’re not in the business of annexing islands in the Caribbean.”

To that I say — rats! As far back as 1917, when then Prime Minister Robert Borden first floated the idea, Canada has toyed with the possibility of legally embracing this jewel into the federation fold…

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Maya Angelou: America’s Miss Lou

Repeating Islands

Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou dance at the The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.

Diane Abbott dedicated her column in Jamaica’s Observer to a celebration of Maya Angelou and her Caribbean roots.

THE death of American writer, performer and activist Maya Angelou at 86, has rightly prompted an outpouring of appreciation of her life and work. I knew her for over 25 years and the praise was well merited.

Angelou was America’s Miss Lou.

She was not necessarily the best poet and writer of her era. But she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays and several books of poetry. She produced innumerable plays, movies and television shows over a 50-year career. Her work encapsulated important truths about her society. And her statuesque presence and engaging performing skills made her an iconic figure.

In the later years of her career she was taken up by US television superstar Oprah Winfrey. This kept Angelou’s public profile high, well into her 80s. Probably the highlight of…

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Samir Kassir on being Arab

Read this if you have not read before

hummus for thought

Samir Kassir

Today we remember Samir Kassir.

Nine years ago to this day, a car bomb exploded in Beirut. The usual confusion that followed was soon replaced with a nation-wide shock. The victim this time was none another than Samir Kassir.

Kassir cannot be described in a few words, so I won’t try and do so. The son of a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother, Kassir was one of the most well known intellectuals of the Arab left. He was a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, and of Secular Democracy throughout the Middle East. His attempt to defend universal principles of equality and justice and adopt them to a Pan-Arab context made him deeply unpopular with some, leading to his death – it is usually believed that it was his opposition to the Syrian government’s presence in Lebanon and his criticism of the Baath party that killed him.

The following is an…

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Where Did I Lose My Name? #poetry #travel

penned in moon dust

new name

Somewhere between LAX, Charlotte  and Baltimore

I lost my identity

in the airplane engine’s intake

(or in the Starbuck’s line)

I was sucked in

spun about

spit out on a cup

what remains are three letters

that don’t belong to me

I finger them

striving for meaning

squinting for an answer

“L” always a sexy letter

that looks better curvy

saying “linger on my loops”

“I” is almost floating away

in a cloud of after thought

at 30,000 feet

“Z” a backwards s

the sound buzzes through your teeth

rather than hisses

and where am I?

Drowning in remembrance

attached to another name?

or talking in strange tones

after too much helium?

gather up your bags

whoever you are

there is  another leg to life’s journey

regardless of the name


Ever had your name spelled wrong? Been called something else? How do you respond?

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The Newark Tory candidate’s mansion home he’s trying to keep secret:

Posh, very posh!

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the Tories!)

The Tory candidate for the Newark by-election Robert Jenrick describes himself as “the son of a secretary and a small businessman”.

But for some strange reason, nowhere does he mention he’s also a Director of Christie’s auction house.

Perhaps he’s trying to present himself as a man of the people.

Which is probably why he also doesn’t mention his home.

Well, one of Jenrick’s homes to be exact – he also owns two houses in London – but the most impressive in his personal collection of expensive houses is his country home called Eye Manor which he bought in 2009.

Eye Manor is situated in Herefordshire (not in Nottinghamshire where Newark is situated) and was listed for sale at a reasonable £1.3 million.

Reasonable I say because it really is very, very nice indeed:

eye manor 1

eye manor 2

eye manor 3

eye manor 4


Not exactly a man of the people then?


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