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Fri, 29 Sep 2023
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Food prices jumped 6 percent in Arizona since last quarter

Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket are up in the third quarter of 2013, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $50.87, up $2.90 or about 6% more than the second quarter of 2013. Comparatively, the American Farm Bureau Federation's national survey was $53.20, up $1.66 or about 3% higher than their March semi-annual survey.

Compared to this time last year, the 2013 third quarter Marketbasket survey shows that Arizona's food prices have increased about 3.5 percent.

"Everyone is looking to save money." says Julie Murphree, Communications Director for the Arizona Farm Bureau. "I'd encourage Arizona families to keep hunting for those bargains in our basics like your meats, fruits, vegetables, diary and eggs to stretch your food dollars."

Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona, seven decreased and eight increased compared to the 2013 second quarter survey.

"Stronger demand on the consumer side helped push retail prices higher for some items such as chicken breasts, bacon and shredded cheese," said John Anderson, American Farm Bureau's deputy chief economist. "Meat and dairy items will likely be the main driving force behind expected retail food price increase in the coming year."

Mr. Potato

Texas man arrested after faking his own gun-point kidnapping in front of his terrified wife... so he could go drinking all night with his friends

  • Rogelio Andaverde convinced friends to stage an armed kidnapping
  • He showed up the next morning claiming the kidnappers had let him go
  • The party-loving man now faces criminal charges for the scheme
Rogelio Andaverde

Club life: Rogelio Andaverde was arrested for faking his kidnapping so he could go out drinking with friends
A man faked his own kidnapping in front of his terrified wife so he could spend the night boozing with pals.

Rogelio Andaverde 'arranged' for two masked men to grab him from his home in Edinburg, Texas.

His horrified wife watched as he was dragged at gunpoint from the house and driven away.

She called cops, who launched a hunt for the 34 year old.

Andaverde's wife spent more than five hours with police being interviewed as police searched for the kidnap victim, according to KTVI.

Her husband returned home the following day and said his kidnappers 'just let him go.

Control Panel

'Oops'? Or 'test-run'? Food stamp system glitch hits 17 U.S. states

A food stamp computer glitch across 17 states leaves millions wondering when they can purchase food again using their EBT debit-style cards. Gavino Garay reports.

Source: Reuters

Bizarro Earth

Ten children on Medicaid, but Tea Partier parent still denounces government involvement in health insurance

A short time back, NBC News posted an article profiling some of the diehard anti-Obamacare Americans. It was a portrait in hypocrisy, or perhaps something more than that -- irreconciable imbecility.

Take Greg Collett:

"I don't think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance," says Greg Collett, a 41-year-old software developer in Caldwell, Idaho, who would rather pay the fine for now -- $95 the first year -- than signup....

Collett counts himself among the 29 percent of people who said in an NBCNews/Kaiser poll they are angry about the health reform law. "The issue for me is that it is not the proper role of government," he said.

Collett, who is married and has 10 children, says the kids are covered by Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance plan for people with low income and children who are not covered.

Okay, if you're already dumbfounded, Collett steps into an even deeper quagmire of hypocritical stupidity:

Collett, whose children are home-schooled, likens taking Medicaid to sending children to public school. He also does not approve of government-funded public schools. "The government is taking your money. They are spending it on things they shouldn't be," he says. "Trying to get whatever you can back -- I have nothing against that. You have to at some point try and get your tax dollars back."

Remember that democracy includes both people who can think and people who are caught up in the creationist stage of the dinosaurs.

Arrow Down

Women and children among 89 killed in Madhya Pradesh temple stampede

Temple Stampede
© PTI photo
A scene after a stampede at the Sindhu River bridge through which pilgrims were heading towards the Ratangarh temple in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh.
A stampede at a temple in Madhya Pradesh, where tens of thousands of devotees had assembled to celebrate Navratri on Sunday, killed 89 people and left more than 100 others injured.

Most of the victims of the tragedy at the Ratangarh temple in Datia district, 70 km off Gwalior, were women and children, police said.

"At least 89 people, including 31 women and 17 children, have died and more than 115 injured," said deputy inspector general (DIG) Chambal range, DK Arya.
The incident in Datia brought back memories of a similar stampede at the same place in 2006, when at least 20 devotees had died. It also put the spotlight on poor crowd-control planning by the authorities that have made stampedes a recurrent feature at religious congregations.


Iran holds trial of suspected Israeli 'spies'

© Unknown
A group of supposed Israeli spies went on trial in Iran on Saturday. The group led by three people was charged with recruiting 60 Iranians and plotting against the government of the Islamic republic, said a judge as quoted by a local news agency.

The accused allegedly acted against Iran's security, collected information transferring it outside the country and assisting anti-religious establishments, Judge Dadkhoda Salari was quoted on Saturday by the Mehr News Agency as saying.

Salari added that many of those charged confessed during interrogation and many documents testifying to their guilt have been confiscated. The judge provided no further details of the trial.

Meanwhile, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Iranian authorizes arrested four men for planning to sabotage nuclear sites on October 6.


American James Henry found dead in Egyptian jail after apparent suicide

© Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
An American detained in Egypt for more than a month has been found dead in his prison cell after allegedly committing suicide. His death comes one day after his detention for violating a curfew was extended.

Egyptian security officials said on Sunday that the body of American James Henry, who told authorities he was a "retired officer," was found at noon at Ismailiya Awal police station.

Henry's death has come one day after his detention period was extended. The man was in custody for violating the curfew imposed by Egypt's military-backed government, state media reported Sunday.

A report from the prosecutor's office said Henry had hanged himself with a belt.


Edward Snowden on receiving the 2013 Sam Adams Award in Moscow: NSA surveillance programmes 'hurt our country'

Video clips posted to WikiLeaks website show former NSA analyst speaking for the first time since July asylum plea

In short video clips posted by the WikiLeaks website on Friday, Snowden said that the NSA's mass surveillance, which he disclosed before fleeing to Russia, "puts us at risk of coming into conflict with our own government".

A US court has charged Snowden with violating the Espionage Act, for disclosing the programmes which he described as a "dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything even when it's not needed".

"They hurt our economy. They hurt our country. They limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships and to associate freely," Snowden said.

Ed Snowden receiving the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, 11 October 2013

Comment: The Wikipedia entry for the Sam Adams Award tell us that:
The Sam Adams Award is given annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, a group of retired CIA officers, to an intelligence professional who has taken a stand for integrity and ethics. It is named after Samuel A. Adams, a CIA whistleblower during the Vietnam War, and takes the physical form of a "corner-brightener candlestick".


Peru bus crash: At least 51 killed, 14 children among dead

Peru bus crash
A makeshift bus carrying 51 people back from a party in south-eastern Peru has plunged off a cliff into a river, killing everyone on board including 14 children.

The crash was the third such incident nationwide this month, all occurring in the southern Andean region of the country and killing a total of 80 people."

During rescue operations, we found two more bodies," Fedia Castro, mayor of La Convencion province where the crash took place, was quoted as saying by the Andina official news agency.

Local prosecutor Juan Carlos Valverde said none of the truck's occupants survived. A previous toll had put the number of dead at 49.

The victims included at least 14 children, and officials were investigating whether the driver, who died with his wife and children, was drunk at the time of the accident.

People often travel by truck in the region due to a shortage of buses, Castro said.The truck tumbled 300 meters (985 feet) in a remote area near the town of Suyucuyo and was carrying revelers.

Deadly crashes are commonplace in Peru, where poorly maintained roads zigzag up and down the towering Andes.

Worsening the problem, drivers are often inexperienced and buses are known to break down frequently.

In the last week, two other deadly crashes in southern Peru took 19 and 10 lives, respectively.

More than 4,000 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2012, according to official statistics.


Grave Problem: Nothing is rotting in the State of Norway

Oslo's funeral director has long wrestled with the particularly morbid job of dealing with Norway's longtime insistence on "plastic graves." Now, she is using technology to fight back.

Shortly after World War II, Norwegians began a three-decade-long practice of wrapping their dead in plastic before laying them to rest in wooden caskets, believing the practice was more sanitary. Hundreds of thousands of burials later, gravediggers realized the airtight conditions kept the corpses from decomposing.

"The priest says 'ashes to ashes,' but we ain't got no ashes on the other end," Margaret Eckbo, Oslo's director of funerals, said while walking around Grefsen cemetery on a hill overlooking the city.

"From ashes to plastic doesn't sound all that good," she said.