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Wed, 22 Mar 2023
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Minnesota Public Schools Forcing Kids to Eat Lunch in 10 Minutes

Hungry Kid
© Minyanville
Speed eating legend and Nathan's hotdog receptacle Takeru Kobayashi might have to throw in the -- imaginably very greasy -- towel, with a new generation of American children being groomed to master the fine art of stuffing face.

Mother Jones has picked up on an outrageous report out of Minnesota, where two elementary school students claim they're given a measly 10 to 11 minutes to eat lunch. 10 to 11 minutes! Let's break that down. That's one to two minutes getting served food with highly questionable nutritional content, another minute trying to squeeze a seat in at the cool-kid's table. Finally, these sixth graders are given a whopping seven minutes to socialize -- and do I dare say, enjoy themselves -- and, oh yeah, carefully chew and digest their food. School administrations might shave off another minute if they switched to edible packing, allowing students to avoid a trip to the garbage by saving their trash for an afternoon snack.

Fast eating among US students is an unfortunate nationwide norm. The School Nutrition Association, whose mission it is to educate and empower its members to provide healthy meals for children, estimates students have on average 25 minutes to eat lunch. Cost restrictions are equally as tight. Even with new federal guidelines, which provide more funding for fresh and healthful foods in cafeterias, schools have less than $3.00 per a student to spend on mealtime. That's roughly the cost of large cup of coffee at your local Starbucks.


Apple responds to tax criticism by highlighting job creation

apple inc
Rebuttal comes in the wake of a report claiming the tech giant goes to great lengths to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Apple responded today to criticism that the company goes to great lengths to cut its global tax bill by billions of dollars every year, trumpeting the "incredible number of jobs" it has created.

The statement was in response to an in-depth report published yesterday by The New York Times that depicted Apple as a pioneer in developing ways to sidestep taxes and that claimed companies seeking to do the same have used its methods as templates. "Apple serves as a window on how technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age and ill-suited to today's digital economy," the Times reported.

In response, Apple said it was one of the biggest taxpayers in the U.S.

Arrow Down

Apple avoids paying billions in worldwide tax

apple tax
Apple, the world's most profitable technology company, doesn't design iPhones in Nevada. It doesn't run AppleCare customer service from Reno. And it doesn't manufacture MacBooks or iPads anywhere nearby.

Yet, with a handful of employees in a small Reno office in a company subsidiary named Braeburn Capital, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other US states.

Apple's headquarters are in Cupertino, California. By putting an office to collect and invest the company's profits in Reno, just 350 kilometres away, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.

California's corporate tax rate is 8.84 per cent. Nevada's, zero.

Setting up an office in Reno is one of many legal methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars a year.


Passersby save boy from having arms cut off by father in San Diego cemetery

© Jen Lebron Kuhney
A San Diego Police officer collects evidence at the scene of Saturday's assault at Mount Hope Cemetery.
A young woman whose "motherly instincts kicked in" stopped a man who was slashing his son with a sharp object Saturday during a wild assault at Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego.

Police said that Joseph Ramirez, 30, of San Diego took three of his children to the cemetery on Market Street just before 4:30 p.m. and starting slicing the forearms of his 8-year-old son. Ramirez reportedly had been hearing the voice of his dead grandmother in his head.

The incident began while Jaymisha Pires and Corey Granberry, both 21, were visiting the cemetery to visit the grave of Granberry's godson. Pires confronted Ramirez, begging him to release the boy.

"My motherly instincts kicked in when I saw him hurting that little boy," said Pires, who has children aged 6 and 2. "It was a blur. I just wanted him to stop."


French Journalist Missing in Colombia


Romeo Langlois
A French journalist is missing after being injured in a shoot-out between Colombian security forces and members of the revolutionary guerrilla group FARC.

It is believed Romeo Langlois may have been kidnapped by the rebels.

He has not been seen since the firefight, prompting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe to make a statement saying his government is liasing with Bogota.

Langlois had been following the security forces as they tracked the FARC members.

The Colombian Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon described what he had been told about the last sighting of Langlois.


Nutella Backs off 'Balanced Breakfast' Claims After Hit with $3-million Lawsuit

© unknown
They were four aggrieved American mothers who said they were shocked when they found out that the Nutella they were spreading on their kids' bread was a confection that packed twice as much sugar as a similar amount of jam or syrup.

Now, the makers of the popular hazelnut-flavoured spread have agreed to a $3-million settlement to end four class-action suits filed in the United States that claimed that Nutella engaged in misleading marketing to portray its product as a healthy part of breakfast.

The women alleged they and other consumers were duped by Nutella television ads, which used words like "nutritious" and "healthy," and by the company's website, which quoted a nutritionist.

Nutella contains little protein and consists primarily of sugar and modified palm oil, the plaintiffs said in court documents.

They also noted that in 2008 a British advertising watchdog had determined that Nutella's manufacturers ran similarly misleading ad campaigns in the United Kingdom.

The settlement, which was reached earlier this spring, will be reviewed before approval at court hearings in California and New Jersey in July.

Comment: Sott has carried many excellent articles about the detriment of sugar consumption:

Sugar High: The Dark History and Nasty Methods Used to Feed Our Sweet Tooth
Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say
Addicted to Sugar?
Stopping Addiction to Sugar: Willpower or Genetics?
Sugar Addiction is Real
Sweet Sabotage: The Harsh Reality of Sugar, Sugar Substitutes and "Natural Sweeteners"

Heart - Black

Florida Man Allegedly Stabs Bathing Grandmother to Death

© unknown
Whaley, 23, is facing one count of first-degree murder. He is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail.
US, Florida - A 23-year-old Lake Wales man is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail facing first-degree murder charges in the death of his grandmother.

Christopher Chase Whaley allegedly stabbed Barbara Denmark repeatedly while she bathed.

According to a Polk County Sheriff's Office report the suspect had gotten into an argument with Denmark, 69, and his aunt, Cassandra Pippin, on Saturday. The suspect was in Daytona Beach at the time and allegedly decided to kill the pair when he returned home.

Detectives say Whaley had been living with Denmark in her Lake Wales mobile home for at least the past five years.

When the suspect arrived home he went into his bedroom and thought about committing the murders. Whaley then went to the kitchen, grabbed two knives and attacked his grandmother in the tub.

The report states he left the bathroom and when he came back she was out of the tub and on the floor. Whaley checked but found her unresponsive and called 9-1-1. The suspect apparently decided not to kill Pippin, who also lives in Polk County.

When deputies arrived Whaley met them and turned himself in. He was arrested on one count of first degree murder and transported to the Polk County Jail.

Heart - Black

7 People Killed as Bus Carrying Vacationers Crashes on its Way to Tokyo Disneyland

A bus carrying dozens of vacationers to Tokyo Disneyland has crashed on a highway, killing seven passengers.

Police say the other 38 passengers and the driver were injured in Sunday morning's accident on a highway in Gunma, north of Tokyo.

The bus crashed into a roadside wall. Steel wall panels sliced the vehicle in half.

Police are investigating the cause. They say all the passengers are believed to be Japanese nationals, mostly young adults.

Police were having difficulty identifying the bodies. Six of those killed were women.

The crash happened as Japan head into the "Golden Week" holidays this week.

Source: The Associated Press


Sudan Declares State of Emergency as Clashes Continue

© Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
A woman in South Kordofan. Fleeing air attacks from Sudanese forces, thousands have left their homes for makeshift shelters in the Nuba Mountains.
Khartoum, Sudan - Sudan declared a state of emergency on Sunday along much of its border with South Sudan as the momentum toward all-out war continues to build after weeks of clashes over disputed areas and oil.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's decree gives authorities in the border areas wide powers to make arrests and set up special courts. It was issued a day after Sudan detained three foreigners and a South Sudanese near the border and accused them of spying for South Sudan, a charge the South denies.

South Sudan, meanwhile, said Sunday that it would remove its security forces from the contested region of Abyei in response to demands from the African Union and the United Nations Security Council. "We are not occupying any contested area," said South Sudan's minister of information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

But reports of fighting continued through the weekend. On Saturday, Sudanese aircraft bombed Panakuach, a town near the border in Unity State, Mr. Benjamin said. And on Sunday, South Sudan's army said clashes with what it called a militia group backed by Sudan left 21 people dead in Malakal, near the border. Mr. Benjamin called the militia a "mixture" of Sudanese forces and southern militiamen.


Nigeria: As Gunmen Fire On Worshippers...Two Profs, 17 Others Killed in Buk Attack

© unknown
Bayero University
Kano - Two professors and at least 17 other people were killed yesterday when gunmen struck a lecture theatre and a sport complex used by Christian worshippers at the Bayero University, Kano.

Witnesses said the attackers arrived on motorbikes and a Honda car at about 9am, and hurled small homemade explosives into the two centres before opening fire on fleeing worshippers.

Professor Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi of the university's Library Science Department and a Chemistry Professor were among those reported dead.

A number of other lecturers as well as some students were believed to have also been killed in the incident. It happened at a time when the university was on vacation.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the deadliest yet in Kano since the major Boko Haram assault on the city on January 20 that left 186 people dead.

Witnesses told Daily Trust that the attackers came through the university's main gate and escaped on motorbikes through a smaller gate.