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Posts tagged USA

Pirates kill American hostages

Somali pirates on Tuesday killed four Americans, including a retired couple, onboard their hijacked yacht in a sudden violent turn to efforts to end a hostage drama, the U.S. military said.

Four Somali pirates also died, two of them killed by U.S. special forces in one of the deadliest endings to a raft of hostage-takings off the coast of Somalia which often are resolved through ransom payments.

Jean and Scott Adam, a California couple active in missionary work, had been sailing the world on the S/V Quest yacht for more than seven years and had planned to take in sites from India to Djibouti to Crete on their latest trip.

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, a couple from Seattle who joined the Adams, were also killed by the band of 19 pirates who commandeered the yacht in waters southeast of Oman, U.S. officials said.

"We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest," General James N. Mattis, the head of U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.

Read more.

Men dressed as Continental Army soldiers demonstrate a “fight during revolutionary war” as they celebrate George Washington’s birthday at Mount Vernon, Virginia, on February 21, 2011. Washington’s birthday is a US federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first US president. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day. Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775 1783, and he presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787.
Photograph by: JEWEL SAMAD, AFP/Getty Images
The world in photos: February 21, 2011

Men dressed as Continental Army soldiers demonstrate a “fight during revolutionary war” as they celebrate George Washington’s birthday at Mount Vernon, Virginia, on February 21, 2011. Washington’s birthday is a US federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first US president. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day. Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775 1783, and he presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787.

Photograph by: JEWEL SAMAD, AFP/Getty Images

The world in photos: February 21, 2011

The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever it may occur.

US President Barack Obama condemns violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen.

More here.

New WikiLeaks doc claims US threatened China with force

The United States threatened to take military action against China during a secret “star wars” arms race within the past few years, according to leaked documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph.

The two nuclear superpowers both shot down their own satellites using sophisticated missiles in separate shows of strength, the files suggest.

The American government was so incensed by Chinese actions in space that it privately warned Beijing it would face military action if it did not desist.

The Chinese carried out further tests as recently as last year, however, leading to protests from Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, secret documents show.

Beijing justified its actions by accusing the Americans of developing an “offensive” laser weapon system that would have the capability of destroying missiles before they left enemy territory.

The disclosures are contained in the latest documents obtained by the WikiLeaks website, which have been released to The Daily Telegraph.

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Defining meat: Taco Bell hit with ground beef lawsuit

In Canada, the Food and Drugs Act in conjunction with the Meat Inspection Act defines ground meat as “boneless, skinless meat of the species indicated that has been ground” and specifies fat content at 10% (extra lean), 17% (lean), 23% (medium) and 30% (regular). The guidelines also specify that: “the standards provided above do not allow for the addition of: any species other than the species named; mechanically separated meat; any preservative (e.g. sulphites, sodium erythorbate, ascorbic acid, etc.); any other ingredient or additive (e.g. fillers, seasonings, phosphates, etc.)”.

Taco Bell describes it as:  ”Water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate.”

And now, a new class action lawsuit is looking for some clarity.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao after a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, January 19, 2011. 
For details on the $45 billion exports deal reached today here.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao after a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, January 19, 2011. 

For details on the $45 billion exports deal reached today here.

Dead birds, dead fish and doomsday.

Last week, Arkansas was hit by two seemingly mysterious phenomenon. First, thousands of fish washed up dead on the banks of the Arkansas River, not far from Ozark. According to the Chicago Tribune, an estimate 80-100,000 fish may have perished. Then, on December 31, 100 miles away in Beebe, Arkansas, thousands of birds - some 3000 grackles, blackbirds and starlings - simply dropped out of the sky, dead. And if those two events (and images of workers in gas masks and Hazmat suits collecting dead birds) wasn’t enough to spin some conspiracy theorist into high alert, the news on Monday that 500 more dead birds were found on the side of the road in Louisiana might.

The scientific explanation came swiftly as the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission tried to get out in front of any conspiracy chatter by positing that a disease outbreak was responsible for the fish deaths. The state’s Game and Fish Commission reported after examining some of the blackbirds that the animals “showed trauma” and that the birds had “hit something very hard and had hemorrhages.” There was talk of fireworks or lightning starling the birds en masse, causing them to flee, but to stay low - thereby running into houses and other obstructions, and noting that blackbirds have poor night vision.

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