Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Melon Recall

Burch Farms and the FDA have declared a recall of cantaloupe and honeydew melons.

The recall was announced after Listeria monocytogenes was found in a honeydew, at the packing plant in North Carolina.

At least eighteen states received melons from the plant.

All melons will should have a Burch Farms or Cottle Strawberry sticker on them, but some stores remove stickers, so consumers are advised to contact the store where they bought the melons, if they are concerned.

No reports of illness due to the contamination have been reported.

CDC Releases Obesity Rates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their study of 2011 US obesity rates.

As part of the study they rated each state, and the District of Colombia, by the percentage of the state's adult population having a BMI of more than thirty.

Colorado came in as the most healthy state, with only 20.7% of adults being obese. Mississippi was ranked as the fattest state, as 34.9% of adults are considered obese there. Nationally the average is listed as being 35.7%.

This marks a dramatic increase from the past. Twenty years ago, no state had higher than twenty percent obesity rate. Just ten years ago, only Mississippi had a percentage higher than twenty-five percent, tellingly Colorado at the time was the only one below fifteen.

Vice Presidents Campaigning

The two vice presidential candidates have begun their solo campaigning, and it was straight to the differences.

Vice President Biden began in Virginia by telling voters that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to "put y'all back in chains".

Bringing in class warfare, the supposed "war on women", and pointing out the pro life beliefs of Romney and Ryan as being attacks upon freedom, rather than being in defense of life.

Meanwhile, in Lakewood, Colorado, Congressman Ryan focused on how he and Governor Romney want to rebuild America, instead of remaking it, "We're not going to replace our founding principles, we're going to reapply them."

Ryan spent the first part of his speech promising to make the US no longer energy dependent on other nations, declaring that "We will approve the Keystone pipeline." and pointing out that "Obama has done everything he can to make it harder to use our own energy."

He then moved to talking about the national debt "Obama promised to cut the deficit in half in four years." stating that "We need to leave our children a debt free nation." The Congressman concluded that "We can turn our country around. It's not too late to turn it around. We can put America back on the right track."

It really was striking, the differences between the two. Biden's entire focus was on disinformation and division, showing the weaknesses of the Obama platform, which has nothing to stand on. Whereas, Ryan's message was one of uniting the country, so that it can re energize and profit once again.

Both candidates did have a slight blunder in their speeches. Biden couldn't actually even remember which state he was in, saying he was in North Carolina, instead of Virginia. Whilst Ryan accidentally misspoke Obama's 2008 campaign slogan saying, "We've gone from hope and blame, excuse me hope and change." which truly only fit reality.

Five Suicide Bombings in Afghanistan

Suicide attacks in Afghanistan focused on busy markets and a major hospital, on Tuesday.

None of the targets were military in nature, though some police were amongst the dead.

At least thirty-eight were killed, and over a hundred injured in five separate attacks.

Forces led my NATO have been trying to put an end to the insurgency ahead of the 2014 withdrawal deadline.

Attacks have actually picked up since the holy month of Ramadan has started, showing how little regard the attackers actually have for the Muslim religion, they claim to be fighting for.

62 Fires Rage Throughout US, Firefighter Dies

As sixty-two wildfires are raging through the US, one of them became deadly.  Near Orofino, Idaho twenty year old Anne Veseth, in her second year as a fire fighter, was killed when a tree fell on her as she was helping to fight the Steep Canyon Fire. At least a dozen fires are burning in the state.

Washington's Taylor Bridge Fire has burned over 24,000 acres in less than twenty-four hours. Around 450 people have been evacuated and National Guard troops are being activated to help with efforts. One hundred and forty prisoners have also been put on the front lines to fight the fire. At least sixty homes have been burned down. One of the fire fighting crews barely escaped the flames, but luckily did so without injuries. Kittitas and Yakima counties have been declared emergency areas by Governor Chris Gregoire.

Seven hundred and fifty fire fighters are concentrating on trying to contain the Holloway Fire. At nearly 420,000 acres, it crosses onto both sides of the Oregon, Nevada border. Flames up to fifteen feet were reported coming from the blaze. A firefighter battling it suffered burns to the leg and forearm and minor smoke inhalation. She was air lifted out, and is being treated in a Salt Lake City burn center.

North of San Fransisco, a fire is nearing 7,000 acres are about thirty percent combined. So far two buildings have burned down, whilst another was damaged and nearly five hundred homes are threatened. A fire fighter was injured, there as well, but no details on the extent of their injures have been released. Further north another fire is nearing fifty-five square miles and threatening six hundred homes. Four fires near San Diego are combining to burn 2,300 acres, and threatening the city's power supply.

In Oklahoma over a dozen fires are burning, and have already destroyed 120 structures. The fires have combined to burn around 50,000 acres, forcing thousands to evacuate.

A wild horse herd is being threatened by a fire in Utah, which is nearing thirty-four square miles of burned area.

Hot dry weather is expected to continue throughout the western US. The entire country is going through the worst drought in decades. Some areas have not seen temps drop below one hundred degrees in weeks. Others have seen weeks go by without any kind of precipitation.