Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

KC Royals won their home opener against the New York Yankees this afternoon, 5-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 37,296. The win ties them with Chicago at the top of the heap in the AL Central.

The price at the pump is poised to increase just in time for the summer driving season. EIA Administrator Guy Caruso said that gasoline prices could top $4 a gallon in some parts of the country during parts of the summer driving season, which started April 1 and runs through the end of September.

As prices of cereal grains soar, food processors feel the pinch
In the past year, the price of commodities has ratcheted up to record levels. Wheat is up 107% with futures trading at $13.00 per bushel. Interstate Bakeries, makers of those iconically American products Twinkies and Wonder Bread, was pushed into bankruptcy four years ago by four-dollar-per-bushel wheat. Of course, Interstate is not alone. It’s a situation that has chewed through the food chain like a rat in a grain bin, affecting a smorgasbord of food companies in the region, from vodka makers to pork processors. And while a portion of escalating prices is being passed on to consumers at the supermarket, the impact of astronomical commodity prices is being felt in other ways, including thousands of lost jobs and the remaking of some industries.

Violence spreads in Zimbabwe There for a minute it looked like Mugabe might allow power to transition, but alas, no such luck. Reports of violence against opposition party members are becoming almost routine, and black youths driving white farmers from their land. As Mr. Mugabe sought to cling to power beyond his 28th year in office, Zimbabwe’s High Court began to weigh the opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s demand for the immediate release of the presidential election results. They have still not been announced, but the opposition believes they will give it victory.....With international pressure building on Mr. Mugabe’s government to tell his nation who won, the police, part of his apparatus of power, arrested five election officials accused of tampering with the vote to the detriment of Mr. Mugabe’s tally, the state-run newspaper, The Herald, reported Tuesday.....The opposition party has pleaded for international intervention to resolve Zimbabwe’s political stalemate, and at a press conference in Harare on Tuesday, Tendai Biti, its secretary general, protested what he called “the deafening silence” from the African Union and a regional bloc of nations known as the Southern African Development Community, the Associated Press reported.....“I say to our brothers and sisters across the continent, don’t wait for dead bodies in the streets of Harare,” he said.

Kenya is boiling over, too Opposition leaders announced on Tuesday that talks with the government were being suspended as a power-sharing agreement remained out of grasp. Riots erupted as dozens of young men stormed into the streets, setting fires, ripping up rail lines and chucking rocks at police officers. “No cabinet, no peace!” yelled the protesters, in reference to the cabinet that has yet to be formed because bitter divisions between the government and the opposition party.

France suspends humanitarian mission to Colombia The mission to save the kidnapped politician Ingrid Betancourt has been halted after FARC rebels said they would not permit the delivery of emergency medical attention to Ms. Betancourt, who has been on a hunger strike since February.

Driven by hunger, mob storms Haitian palace
At least five people have been killed in the civil unrest that started last week as food prices increased sharply and people struggled to feed themselves. "We are hungry," they shouted before attempting to smash open the palace gates with metal bins.

Wink, Wink; Nudge, Nudge
Ever since Enron fell apart and some friends of George faced jail time for fraud, the outlandish notion that these perfidious fuckwads should be held accountable for stealing the retirement funds of millions of people and ripping off the entire state of California had to be put down like a lame pony. Accountability is for little people. Now, instead of facing criminal charges for corporate crimes, the big boys who can afford a lot of justice get a hug and some understanding. Fines are paid, and outside monitors are appointed, and corporate malfeasance never comes to light like it would at trial.

Taking their own advice and making a confession On Tuesday the German Catholic Church made public a report in which it is revealed that the church exploited at least six thousand individuals who were assigned to forced labor on Catholic projects such as in hospitals and monastery gardens during the Nazi era.

Where was this stuff when I was a kid??? Kids in Venezuela who were given a special cavity-fighting candy showed a 62% decrease in the incidence of dental caries - over children who brushed regularly!

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