Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Denmark Gives up on Fat Tax

Denmark has decided to abolish it's fat tax.

In October of 2011, the country began adding a tax to any food with saturated fat levels of more than 2.3%.

That included dairy produce, meat, and processed foods.

Their goal was to reduce obesity in the country, by making being fat, more expensive.

But the move backfired, as the cost of the tax caused food prices to go up, putting jobs at risk.

Danes were also avoiding the tax, by crossing over into Germany to buy foods.

Several supermarket chains have already said they will reduce the price of foods, as soon as the tax is gone.

It is not exactly clear when Denmark will be removing the tax, but the government has pledged to do so.

The country has also announced that it will give up on a planned sugar tax.

Shenzou 10 Scheduled For June 2013

Shenzou 9's liftoff
China is planning their next manned space mission.

Shenzou 10 is being scheduled for June of 2013, and like 9 will have three occupants, 2 males and a female.

They will dock with the Tiangong 1 module, which has been in orbit for over a year.

The astronauts are set to stay there for fifteen days, perform experiments as well as performing web chats with Chinese citizens.

Selection of the crew will not be taking place until the beginning of 2013, according to officials.

Pepsi Special Debuts in Japan

Pepsi is trying something new, and they're calling it Pepsi Special.

Sales of the new soda started Tuesday in Japan.

The company made Special with dextrin, a fiber which is supposed to help reduce fat levels.

Special is supposed to taste just like regular Pepsi.

A commercial for the soda shows a Japanese man torn between pizza and hamburger, but thanks to Pepsi Special he can have both.

Time will tell if it makes it's way over to other parts of the world.

Titan Supercomputer, Fastest in The World

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee, now holds the fastest computer in the world.

The Titan can run up to 17.59 Petaflops a second.

A Petaflop is about a quadrillion (a thousand trillion) calculations.

Titan is made up of 560,640 processors and 261,632 accelerator cores.

The computer not only calculates so much so fast, but it uses less than twenty megawatts of electricity, for each Petaflop.

Don't be worrying about getting one for home, quite yet, the supercomputer takes up a rather large area.

Duke Researchers Claim to Perfect Invsibility Cloak

Researchers at Duke University claim to have perfected an invisibility cloak.

They used a diamond shaped area to keep there from being any reflections.

Unfortunately, it only works from one direction, making it not quite yet feasible for real world applications.

So researchers perfection is one dimensional, not the three of the world we live in.

However, it is an exciting step forward.

France Recognizes Syrian Opposition Coalition as The Legitimate Representative of Syria

French President Francois Hollande made France the first western government to recognize the Syrian opposition Coalition.

In a press conference, he said, "I announce today that France recognises the Syrian national coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and as future government of a democratic Syria, allowing it to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad's regime."

When asked about whether France would arm the group, he stated, "On the question of weapons deliveries, France did not support it as long as it wasn't clear where these weapons went. With the coalition, as soon as it is a legitimate government of Syria, this question will be looked at by France, but also by all countries that recognize this government."

Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the Coalition would have to prove itself, before the United Kingdom would give it formal recognition. "We want to see that they have support inside Syria. That is a very crucial consideration. If they do all these things, well then, yes, we will be able to recognize them as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people."

On Monday, the Gulf States declared the Coalition to be the only representative body of the Syrian people.

Remembering: Continental Army's Capture of Quebec

In 1775, after a failed attack, in September, Colonial forces marched on Montreal, Quebec, for a second time.

On November 13, 1775, Continental Army forces under Brigadier General Richard Montgomery took Montreal from British forces, without much fight from the defenders.

It would be one of the few Colonial victories in Canada.

By the end of December, British forces would devastate a Continental force attacking Quebec City.

The disastrous defeat there would mark the end of the invasion of Canada.

Thirty-Two States With Secession Petitions, Counter Petitions Showing Up

The number of secession petitions has risen to thirty-two states, according to the White House.

Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Delaware, Ohio, California, Wyoming, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, and West Virginia all joined the list, since Sunday.

That leaves only eighteen states, without one up yet.

Not surprisingly, Texas's has the most signatures, with well over the number needed.

Most of the other states are closing in on the required twenty-five thousand, as well.

Counter petitions have also popped up, with one demanding that anyone who signs a secession petition be stripped of citizenship, and another saying they should be deported.

Chances of any of the petitions actually being taken seriously, by the Obama administration, are completely below zero.

Arizona Woman Runs Husband Over For Not Voting

A pregnant Arizona woman ran down her husband after she found out he hadn't voted in the Presidential election.

Gilbert Police arrested Holly Solomon, twenty-eight, on Saturday, after she chased he husband through a parking lot, with their Jeep.

She eventually caught up to him, running him over, and pinning him under the vehicle.

He is in critical condition, in the hospital.

Holly told police that she was angry that he hadn't cared enough for their family or country enough, to vote against Obama.

Police have charged her with domestic violence and aggravated assault.

They do not believe she was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

Hostess Shutting Down 3 Bakeries After Strikes

Hostess Brands has announced that it will be closing three of it's bakeries.

The company will be closing facilities in St. Louis, Seattle, and Cincinnati.

Around thirty percent of the company's workforce went on strike, earlier this month, and the company warned that this might be a result.

Currently, the company is going through it's second stretch of Chapter 11 protection, within the last decade.

Officials in the company warned the union to not do anything while the company's financial position was unstable.

Six hundred and twenty-seven people worked at the three facilities being shut down.

Over eighteen thousand people are employed by Hostess Brands, in it's thirty-six facilities across the country.

Greece Given Two Year Extension

Officials from the European Union and International Money Fund could not come to an agreement, Monday, on what to do about Greece's economic troubles.

The only thing they managed to accomplish was giving the beleaguered country until 2016, from 2014, to get their debt under control.

That may or may not help, as no one can seem to find a way to keep Greece going until then.

No agreement could be made how to pay for the extra two years, or when Greece would be given the remaining ninety billion euros worth of loan, already promised.

Initially, the bailout was to help the Greek economy recover by 2020, but it has become abundantly clear that they simply won't be able to hit that mark.

Argument, between the lending nations, includes when the magic year of Greek recovery could happen by, with many hopeful for 2022.

Fears are that the billions of euros, already loaned to Greece, have been completely wasted.

Others fear that the Greek government will fall, due to it's imposition of extremely unpopular cuts demanded by the loaners.

For some the worry is not just that Greece will go under, but that it will drag other members of the EU, if not all, down with it.

The lending nations will resume discussion on November 20.

Iran Shows Off New Missile Systems

Iran has spent the first couple days of their Velayat 4 war games showing off new missile systems.

In an effort to show their invulnerability to sanctions, they claim that every component of each of the systems is built completely in Iran.

They also tested out a new artillery system, which they claim has stealth ability that no enemy could pick up.

Some experts point out that Iran often exaggerates their claims of what their military hardware is capable of, and that while their infrastructure has greatly improved, there's no way they are capable of building everything on their own, yet.

Syria Continues Bombing Ras al-Ain

Syrian aircraft struck the town of Ras al-Ain, for a second day, despite Turkey's warning them not to.

The government's forces are trying to scare the rebels out of the town, so that they can retake it.

It's Turkish counterpart Ceylanpinar, just feet across the border, was shaken by the bombs.

Turkey is trying to avoid joining the conflict, but continues to state it's readiness to do so, if the Assad regime continues to push it.

With the Syrian opposition finally showing a united front, calls for a no fly zone have only risen.

Turkey is pushing NATO to place Patriot missiles along it's border, for defense, but it would be an easy step to go from defense to enforcement, of a no fly zone.