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Israel fears sushi shortage after quake

Image
© Unknown
Kikkoman. Can be found in one-third of Israeli households
Situation in Japan may affect regular supply of ingredients for one of Israelis' favorite dishes

While Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of last Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami, and has yet to recover from one of the greatest disasters in its history, Israelis fear a shortage in the ingredients of one of their favorite dishes: Sushi.

Many of sushi's basic components come from Japan or are imported through the battered countries. Will Israelis soon suffer from a shortage of the beloved rolls' necessary ingredients?

"There may be a shortage of sushi components, but we are still studying the situation," says Dudi Afriat of the Rakuto Kasei company, which imports the Kikkoman soy sauce, as well as seaweeds, wasabi, rice and other necessary ingredients for sushi rolls.

Rakuto Kasei is the main supplier of raw materials for sushi to all restaurants in Israel, and markets products to supermarkets as well.

Handcuffs

Massive online pedophile ring busted by Europol

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© Jerry Lampen / Reuters
Grant Edwards, of the Australian Federal Police (right), Peter Davis (center) of the U.K.'s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Europol director Rob Wainwright outline details of arrests during "Operation Rescue" linked to a global child abuse network during a news conference in The Hague Wednesday.
Five Americans are among 184 people arrested so far; 230 abused children, some as young as seven, have been taken to safety

An Internet pedophile ring with up to 70,000 members - thought to be the world's largest - has been uncovered by police, a security official said Wednesday.

The European police agency Europol said in a statement that "Operation Rescue" had identified 670 suspects and that 230 abused children in 30 countries had been taken to safety. More children are expected to be found, Europol said.

It said that so far 184 people had been arrested and investigations in some countries were continuing. Most of those detained are suspected of direct involvement in sexually abusing children.

They include teachers, police officers and scout leaders, AP reported. One Spaniard who worked at summer youth camps is suspected of abusing some 100 children over five years.

Europol director Rob Wainwright said Wednesday the ring, which communicated using an Internet forum, was was "probably the largest online pedophile network in the world."

Oscar

Glenn Beck blasted for Japan quake comments

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© Unknown
Glenn Beck
US celebrities and media Tuesday blasted right-wing radio host and television presenter Glenn Beck for calling the monster quake that rocked Japan last week a message from God.

Actress, author and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg said Beck should "check the mirror" if he thought Friday's 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami were signs of God's anger with mankind.

"If this is because we're misbehaving and God is pissed (angry), I would check the mirror, Glenn," Goldberg said on "The View" talkshow, which she co-hosts with three other women.

The disaster has claimed nearly 3,400 lives and left more than 10,000 people missing in northeastern Japan.

In a rambling presentation on his radio show on Monday, Beck said God may have caused the catastrophe in Japan because he was angry with mankind, and warned people to change their ways.

"I'm not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes. Well -- I'm not not saying that either," Beck said.

Arrow Down

14 Reasons Why The Economic Collapse Of Japan Has Begun

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© U.S. Navy photo
The economic collapse of Japan has begun. The extent of the devastation is now becoming clear and many are now projecting that this will be the most expensive natural disaster in modern human history. The tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th swept up to 6 miles inland, destroying virtually everything in the way. Countless thousands were killed and entire communities were totally wiped out.

So how does a nation that is already drowning in debt replace dozens of cities and towns that have suddenly been destroyed? Many in the mainstream media are claiming that the economy of Japan will bounce right back from this, but they are wrong. The tsunami decimated thousands of square miles.

The loss of homes, cars, businesses and personal wealth is almost unimaginable. It is going to take many years to rebuild the roads, bridges, rail systems, ports, power lines and water systems that were lost. There are going to be a significant number of Japanese insurance companies and financial institutions that are going to be totally wiped out as a result of this great tragedy.

Of course in the days ahead the Japanese people will band together and work hard to rebuild the nation, but the truth is that it is impossible to "bounce right back" from such a massive loss of wealth, assets and infrastructure.

Just think about what happened after Hurricane Katrina. Did the economy of New Orleans bounce right back? No, there are some areas of New Orleans today that still look like war zones. Well, this disaster is much worse.

The truth is that this is going to be one of the defining moments in the history of Japan. Hundreds of miles along the coast of Japan have been absolutely devastated. Authorities are finding it difficult to even get food and water into some areas at this point.

Even before this great tragedy Japan was one of the nations that was on the verge of a national economic collapse. Their economy had been in the doldrums for over a decade and their national debt was well over 200 percent of GDP. Now the Japanese economy has experienced a shock from which it may never truly recover.

People

Thriving Metropolis or Ghost Town? Crisis Transforms Tokyo

Tokyo empty shelves
© Reuters/Issei Kato
People shop for food from almost empty shelves at a big-box supermarket in Tokyo March 16, 2011.
Areas of Tokyo usually packed with office workers crammed into sushi restaurants and noodle shops were eerily quiet. Many schools were closed. Companies allowed workers to stay home. Long queues formed at airports.

As Japanese authorities struggled to avert disaster at an earthquake-battered nuclear complex 240 km (150 miles) to the north, parts of Tokyo resembled a ghost town.

Many stocked up on food and stayed indoors or simply left, transforming one of the world's biggest and densely populated cities into a shell of its usual self.

"Look, it's like Sunday -- no cars in town," said Kazushi Arisawa, a 62-year-old taxi driver as he waited for more than an hour outside an office tower where he usually finds customers within minutes. "I can't make money today."

Cow

Food Prices Jump Most Since 1974

shopper @ groc store
© AP/Al Behrman
In this March 1, 2011 photo, a customer looks at fresh vegetables at a Kroger Co. supermarket in Cincinnati. Wholesale prices jumped last month by the most in nearly two years due to higher energy costs and the steepest rise in food prices in 36 years.
Wholesale prices rise 1.6 pct. due to biggest jump in food costs in more than 36 years

Wholesale prices jumped last month by the most in nearly two years due to higher energy costs and the steepest rise in food prices in 36 years. Excluding those volatile categories, inflation was tame.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the Producer Price Index rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent in February -- double the 0.8 percent rise in the previous month. Outside of food and energy costs, the core index ticked up 0.2 percent, less than January's 0.5 percent rise.

Food prices soared 3.9 percent last month, the biggest gain since November 1974. Most of that increase was due to a sharp rise in vegetable costs, which increased nearly 50 percent. That was the most in almost a year. Meat and dairy products also rose.

Dollar

Wisconsin protesters target bank that supported Governor Walker

Wisconsin Shame
© The Raw Story

As the protesting spirit spreads in Wisconsin, one tactic that union members are now adopting is to take aim at institutions that have donated heavily to Governor Scott Walker.

Members of the Wisconsin firefighter's union set out for a local branch of the M & I Bank on Thursday to withdraw their personal savings. The UpTake, which describes itself as "a citizen-fueled, online video news gathering organization," reports that "on Thursday members of the union withdrew close to $200,000 from the bank."

A website titled "Keep on eye on Marshall & Ilsley Bank" had been targeting the M & I Bank since last month. "After working families gave Marshall and Ilsley Bank (M&I) a $1.7 billion bailout in 2008," the site explains, "their executives did an about face and funded Governor Scott Walker's attack on our right to collectively bargain. In fact, their financial help combined was more than what the Koch Brothers contributed. And while Governor Walker was demanding austerity from working people, M&I CEO Mark Furlong got an $18 million golden parachute. Even after the bank was having difficulty paying back its TARP loan."

Radar

Midsomer Murders: On the trail of the real Midsomer

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© Unknown
As uproar threatens the sleepy world of Midsomer Murders, Iain Hollingshead visits Haddenham - which has featured regularly in the long-running murder mystery series - to discover the truth behind the camera.

If Greg Dyke, the former Director-General of the BBC, thought the organisation he once led "hideously white", I wonder what he'd make of ITV's Midsomer Murders.

Yesterday, there was uproar when Brian True-May, the show's co-creator and executive producer, told Radio Times that the drama, which regularly attracts six million viewers and is just starting its 14th series, has thrived because its all-white cast shows the true English village - a genteel, if somewhat homicide-prone, contrast to the multiculturalism that prevails in Britain's cities.

It is, he said, the "last bastion of Englishness". An ITV spokesman declared himself "shocked and appalled" by the comments made by Mr True-May, who was promptly suspended by the production company, All3Media.

Heart - Black

UK: Locked up and sedated: Dementia patients being denied basic rights, says damning report

Elderly patients with dementia are being illegally locked in their rooms and sedated in hospitals and care homes, a report warns.

Staff are routinely flouting official guidelines and depriving confused residents of their basic human rights in the belief that it is in their best interests.

A highly critical study warns that hospitals and care homes are breaking the law by 'restraining' the elderly without authority - locking them in rooms overnight, sedating them or even binding them to beds and chairs.
Golden years
© Alamy
Golden years: But an inquiry has revealed that many elderly people in care are being abused and neglected (Posed by models)

The inquiry by the Care Quality Commission points out that nurses and care home staff often resort to such measures to prevent patients coming to harm through falls and other injuries - but by law they must apply for permission. The commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England, warned that many staff are unaware of this.

Attention

U.S. State of Michigan set to allow voiding of union contracts

Detroit - The Michigan House gave final approval on Tuesday to granting state-appointed emergency managers broad powers to break labor deals with failing schools an cities, and the plan is expected to be signed into law.

New Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign the draft law soon, asked for the plan to extend the powers of emergency managers appointed to save failing programs. Detroit Public Schools, the state's largest district, has been under emergency management for two years.

House members voted 62-48 to approve an amended version of the bill Senators passed last week. Several Democratic attempts to change the bill were rejected before the final vote.

Last week, hundreds of pro-union demonstrators had jammed the Capitol in Lansing from the rotunda to the floors above to protest the plan in a scene similar to the weeks of opposition raised by workers at the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison.