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Food prices increase in Thailand as pork supply dwindles

Consumers look set to shoulder higher food prices following recent hikes in the cost of key ingredients, particularly pork, the Commerce Ministry has reported. The ministry found that retail prices of many Thai-style fast-food dishes have already increased by around Bt5 per dish following a hike in the price of raw materials, in particular pork and other meats, and ahead of a rise in the LPG price scheduled for September.

The ministry reported that the price of pork at fresh markets rose to Bt140 per kilogram from an average of Bt130-135 per kilogram last month.

A swine-farming source said the rise in the price of pork was due to a drop in the supply of pigs after farmers cut back in response to an over-supply starting in the middle of last year. That oversupply led to huge losses among farmers.

"The retail price of pork is expected to increase this week as the farm-gate price of pigs has increased by Bt2-Bt3 a kilo. As a result, prices of some foods and other protein sources could rise along with rising pork prices," the source said. Farm-gate value is the net value of a product when it leaves the farm, after marketing costs have been subtracted.


Food prices forecast to treble as climate goes wild

Danger on the road ahead...
Food prices tipped to treble over the next 20 years as an explosion in the world's population triggers a global fight for food.

A government adviser said everyday products such as cocoa and meat could become relative luxuries by the 2040s.

Professor Tim Benton, head of Global Food Security working group, added there could be shortages in the UK in the future as the emerging middle class in south-east Asia sparks a revolution in "food flows" such as the trade in grain and soya around the world.

Professor Benton, from the University of Leeds, told the Daily Telegraph: "Food is going to be competed for on a global scale. There's been a lot written about where food prices are going to go but they are certainly going to double, with some trebling. It's not just fruit and vegetables, but everything."

The shock forecast came as the chief executive of Tesco, Philip Clarke, warned the era of cheap food was over because of the forecast surge in demand.

Comment: Long-term population growth isn't the danger facing us right now: the danger facing us right now, as hinted at in the last line above, is that crops are failing left, right and center for the third year running...

3 strikes and you're out:

Rising food prices, climate change and global 'unrest'


Polish experts examine Kaczynski jet debris - prosecutors

© RIA Novosti. Oleg MineevKaczynski Plane Debris
A Polish prosecutor and four experts are conducting an additional examination of seat fragments in the debris from a jet that crashed in Russia in 2010, killing Poland's then-president, Lech Kaczynski, the Polish Main Military Prosecutor's Office reported.

An Office spokesman said the Polish delegation's visit to Russia had been coordinated with the Russian side beforehand. The experts will work in the western Russian city of Smolensk until the end of next week.

The Russian-made Tu-154 jet, carrying Kaczynski, his wife and a host of top officials, crashed in heavy fog as it attempted to land at an airfield near Smolensk on April 10, 2010. The delegation was flying to Smolensk to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police. All 96 people aboard the plane died.


US couple pleads guilty in Russian adoptee abuse case

© Prince William County PoliceMatthew and Amy Kathleen Sweeney
A couple from Virginia pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges in connection with the abuse of a young boy they adopted from Russia.

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sweeney, an officer in the US Navy, pleaded guilty to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and received a suspended sentence of 60 days behind bars.

His wife, Amy Sweeney, pleaded guilty to felony abuse and neglect, and will be sentenced in December.

The couple adopted Daniil Kruchin from Russia in 2006 and renamed him Daniel Alexander.

He was eight years old when the abuse case first came to light in July of last year. The boy left his home in the middle of the night on July 17 and rang the doorbell of a nearby home in the early morning hours the next day.

Life Preserver

Asylum-seeker boat sinks off Indonesian coast, 60 feared dead

An Australia-bound boat carrying asylum seekers has sunk off the coast of Indonesia, with up to 60 people thought to be dead or missing, Australian media report.

The boat, carrying 170 people, encountered harsh sea conditions and simply broke, News Ltd reported on Tuesday. Rescue efforts by local fishermen have managed to save more than 100 of the passengers, mostly Iranian and Sri Lankan nationals.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has confirmed an official rescue operation, declining to comment further.

The incident comes days after Australia ruled that any refugees arriving by boat would be redirected without exception to neighboring Papua New Guinea for individual assessment before settling there


Gunmen raid Iraq's Abu Ghraib and Taji jails

Gunmen armed with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars raid prisons, as attacks elsewhere kill 13.

Snakes in Suits

The world is aghast over Trayvon Martin. The US (and other racist imperialistic states) need to look at itself

The jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman say they acted in strict accordance with US law. That in itself speaks volumes
trayvon protests
© Ted Soqui/Corbis'The disregard of the idea that all US citizens have an equal right to freedom and protection could not be made more painfully obvious' … protests against George Zimmerman's acquittal in Los Angeles
"O, wad some Power the giftie gie us /

To see oursels as others see us! /

It wad frae monie a blunder free us, /

An' foolish notion."

- Robert Burns
The US is always collectively amazed, on those rare occasions when it has cause to glimpse at how it is perceived by its less friendly critics abroad. The most egregious example, of course, was 9/11, when even the brutal enormity of the attack against America was not quite enough to still the hateful tongues of people crass enough to insist that the US had got what was coming to it. The citizens of the US have an absolute right to go about their business without being slaughtered. Of course they do. Which is why the world is aghast that this right does not extend as far as Trayvon Martin.

When the unarmed 17-year-old was shot dead by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on 26 February 2012, the killer wasn't even arrested for 44 days, having said that he fired in self-defence. Self-defence? He'd already called the police, telling the operator that Martin was acting suspiciously - "up to no good, on drugs or something". Zimmerman had been told by the operator not to follow the teenager. But nevertheless he found himself and his gun right next to Martin, provoking a struggle. What kind of self-defence is this, when you decide that someone is trouble, and that you're going to stalk him, safe in the knowledge that if things get out of hand ... well, you're armed? Yet a jury decided that going out armed, looking for a particular person to defend yourself against, is still self-defence, and on 13 July Zimmerman was acquitted of murder.

Only protest from the public ensured that Zimmerman was tried for killing Martin at all. Only protest from the public has ensured that this killing has been seen through the prism of race. Yet to an outsider, it is obvious that Martin died because he was black, and that Zimmerman walked free after killing him for the same reason.

Eye 2

French politician provokes outrage by suggesting Adolf Hitler 'did not kill enough Roma gypsies'

French politician causes outrage after stirring up memories of holocaust

In an incendiary outburst, Gilles Bourdouleix also accuses gypsies of incest

Calls made for UDI party leader Jean-Louis Borloo to sack his colleague

A French politician has caused outrage by suggesting that Adolf Hitler 'did not kill enough' Roma gypsies.

In the latest ferocious attack on travellers, MP Gilles Bourdouleix stirred up memories of the Holocaust, when the Nazis sent thousands of gypsies to the gas chambers because Hitler believed them to be sub-human.

Mr Bourdouleix, who represents a constituency in the Maine and Loire region of west France, was visiting an illegal Roma camp in the town of Cholet, where he is deputy mayor, when he made the incendiary comments.
Holocaust: French MP Gilles Bourdouleix has been accused of saying Hitler did not kill enough Roma gypsies
Surrounded by armed police, Mr Bourdouleix was trying to persuade the new arrivals to move on.

But as he began to speak to community leaders, some of the Roma gypsies standing by began to make Nazi salutes in his direction.

Mr Bourdouleix was recorded by a local journalist saying: 'Like what, Hitler didn't kill enough'.

Stock Down

Best of the Web: Everything is fine, but...

Everything is going to be just great. Haven't you heard? The stock market is at an all-time high, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that inflation is incredibly low, and the official unemployment rate has been steadily declining since early in Barack Obama's first term. Of course I am being facetious, but this is the kind of talk about the economy that you will hear if you tune in to the mainstream media. They would have us believe that those running things know exactly what they are doing and that very bright days are ahead for America. And it would be wonderful if that was actually true. Unfortunately, as I made exceedingly clear yesterday, the U.S. economy has already been in continual decline for the past decade. Any honest person that looks at those numbers has to admit that our economy is not even close to where it used to be. But could it be possible that we are making a comeback? Could it be possible that Obama and Bernanke really do know what they are doing and that their decisions have put us on the path to prosperity? Could it be possible that everything is going to be just fine?

Sadly, what we are experiencing right now is a "mini-hope bubble" that has been produced by an unprecedented debt binge by the federal government and by unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve. Once this "sugar high" wears off, it will be glaringly apparent that by "kicking the can down the road" Bernanke and Obama have made our long-term problems even worse.

Unfortunately, most Americans don't understand these things.

Most Americans just let their televisions do their thinking for them, and right now their televisions are telling them that everything is going to be fine.

No Entry

Nanny state or much-needed clean-up? UK leader Cameron moves to limit hardcore online pornography

Too little too late? Entire generations of young people have already become addicted to hardcore pornography.
Every household in Britain connected to the internet will be obliged to declare whether they want to maintain access to online pornography, David Cameron will announce on Monday.

In the most dramatic step by the government to crack down on the "corroding" influence of pornography on childhood, the prime minister will say that all internet users will be contacted by their service providers and given an "unavoidable choice" on whether to use filters.

The changes will be introduced by the end of next year. As a first step, customers who set up new broadband accounts or switch providers would have to actively disable the filters by the end of this year.