Is Sarah Palin running forpresident or isn’t she?If the former Alaska governorand Republican superstar knowsthe answer to that question, she’snot saying.And her silence has speculationrunning rampant over themeaning of her family’s EastCost bus tour of historic sites.Is it adry-run for the 2012campaign or just a brilliantburnishing of the Sarah Palinbrand?“It’s not about me. It’s not apublicity-seeking tour. It’s abouthighlighting the great things aboutAmerica,” Palin said in aninterviewwith Fox NewsChannel’s Greta Van Susterenaboard the bus on Tuesday.Wherever the tour lands, Palinhas been swamped by media eventhough her exact schedule hasbeen something of a mystery.The press has been scrambling tokeep up since she kicked off hertour Sunday arrivingat theRolling Thunder motorcycle rallyin Washington on the back of aHarley. And that’s by design,Palin told Fox.“I don’t think I owe anything tothe mainstream media,” she said.“I think it would be a mistake forme to become some kind of conventional politician and doingthings the way it’s always beendone with the media in terms of relationships with them, tell themto come along, and we’llorchestrate this, we’ll script thisand we’ll basically write the storyfor you about what we’re doingeveryday.“I want them to have to do a littlebit of work on a tour like this andthat would include not necessarilytelling them beforehand whatevery stop’s going be,” she said.“The media can figure out wherewe’re going if they do theirinvestigative work. ”But there’s more to the mysterythan just the matter of keeping journalists out of the loop.“We know where we’re going,”Palin explained in the interview.“There’s a couple of differentreasons why we’re not going tobroadcast it to the whole world —one is security issues and anotheris if the price of gas spikes muchhigher we’re not going to be ableto go too far.”Photo Credits: REUTERS/MollyRiley (Palin at Rolling Thunder)REUTERS/Brendan McDermid(Palin in New York)This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersfeatured article:YouCannot Kill An Ideology With AGun.
AP - The Rev. Bob Marrone waspained to see the steeple of his137-year-old church shattered andstrewn on the grass in the centralMassachusetts town of Monson,yet he knows he's more fortunatethan some of his neighbors wholost their homes after tornadoestore through the state, killing atleast four people and injuringabout 200.
New York Times (blog)Stalwarts inChina'sWaterStruggleNew York Times (blog)To report out my article onChina's ambitious and troubledplan to divert water from thesouth to try to satisfy the drinkingneeds of people in the dyingnorth, I traveled to the Han River,a tributary of the Yangtze Riverthat winds through the heart...and more »
In the latest installment of Butterfly Effect, we follow theimpact of China's bulging realestate market on commoditiessuch as copper, the latest techinnovations those commoditiesenable, the scrap they create, andthe subsequent recyclingopportunities--in China.1. China's Ghost CitiesIn November 2009, Al JazeeraEnglish correspondent MelissaChandiscoveredthe nearly empty"ghost city" of Kangbashi on thesteppes of Inner Mongolia,equipped with six-lane highways,an opera house, art museum, and astadium. The city immediatelybecame a symbol of China’shousing bubble, which hasresulted in 64.5 million emptyapartments across the country--enough to house a third of itsurban population.Stranger still is the effect that thebubble, burst or not, has alreadyhad on the prices of commoditiesaround the world. And how thoseprices have lead to technologicalinnovation. And how rapidinnovation means more e-waste.And how that means moreopportunities for recycling and abooming recycling business. Putanother way, throwing out yourcell phone is the financialequivalent of mailing a check toChina.While Kangbashi became thelatest example of China’soverbuilding (on par with theempty New South China Mall--the world’s largest), the city isactually a complete success. Itssold-out apartments are second orthird homes owned by theresidents of Ordos, the city nextdoor. Ordos is the capital of China’s coal and rare earth metalsmining boom, with a GDP-per-capita estimated to be higher thanBeijing.A year ago, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch economist Ting Lupaid a visit to Kangbashi, notingin a subsequent report that ownersin the neighboring city "are socash-rich that they really don’tbother to rent their [empty]apartments." As TsinghuaUniversity economist Patrick Chovanec explains, Kangbashiowners are treating their emptyhomes as "'a store of value,' likegold." A city that found richesdeep underground is buildinganother city skyward.2. What Goes Up… Must ComeDown?Kangbashi’s speculators arehardly alone. One unforeseenconsequence of China’s buildingboom has been the run-up incommodity prices. Decades of falling commodity prices have,since 2002, given way to steadilyclimbing ones.Exhibit A: China’sinsatiable demand for coal (46.9percent of world demand), steel(45.4 percent), zinc (41.3percent), aluminum (40.6percent), and copper (38.9percent), despite the fact that thecountry comprises less than 10percent of global GDP.The typical explanation for this
Health officials were worriedenough about an unusuallyvirulent outbreak of food-borneillness from the E. coli bacteria,which hasinfected more than1,500 peoplein Germany andkilled at least 17. But the concern jumped to another level onThursday when the World HealthOrganization (WHO) announcedthat the responsible pathogen wasa strain of E. coli that they believehad never before been seenbyscientists.( More on TIME.com:Q&A: AFood Safety Expert ExplainsGermany's E. Coli Outbreak )According to the BeijingGenomics Institute in China,which has been working withGerman scientists on theoutbreak, the new strain isdangerous:Bioinformatics analysis revealedthat this E. coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectiousand toxic.This is a new serotype — notpreviously involved in any E. colioutbreaks. Comparative analysisshowed that this bacterium has93% sequence similarity with theEAEC 55989 E. coli strain, whichwas isolated in the CentralAfrican Republic and known tocause serious diarrhea. This newstrain of E. coli, however, has alsoacquired specific sequences thatappear to be similar to thoseinvolved in the pathogenicity of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome. Theacquisition of these genes mayhave occurred through horizontalgene transfer. The analysis furthershowed that this deadly bacteriumcarries several antibioticresistance genes, includingresistance to aminoglycoside,macrolides and Beta-lactamantibiotics: all of which makesantibiotic treatment extremelydifficult.The preliminary genetic analysisindicates that the new strain is amutant, the combination of twodistinct groups of E. coli:enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)and enterohemorrhagic E. coli(EHEC). As is often the casewhen germs get together and startsplicing, the result is not good forpeople, as Liverpool Universitybiologist Dr. Paul Wigleytold theBBCThursday:One nasty bacteria seems to haveacquired a toxin from anothernasty bacteria which has resultedin an even nastier bug. It seems itis producing two toxins whichcause the damage and lead tobloody diarrhea and damage totissues including the kidneys.Indeed, the worst cases of theoutbreak have involved acutekidney failure, which is often alife-threatening complicationof normal E. coli outbreaks. Butusually E. coli, like most food-borne illnesses, only poses amortal threat to very youngchildren or those who are alreadyweak. In the case of the currentoutbreak, however, women makeup more than two-thirds of thoseaffected, and young and middle-aged adults — the very patientswho should be able to weather thebacteria without major risk —form a very high percentage of theworst cases. Those acute cases arealso occurring with unusualfrequency; while kidneycomplications might occur in 5%to 10% of most E. coli outbreaks,Germanyhas reported470 kidneyfailure cases out of about 1,500known infections.( More on TIME.com:GermanEgg Scare: Are Lax Food-SafetyLaws to Blame?)It's important to remember,however, that we're still in theearly days of the outbreak, and it'spossible that there may be anumber of much less severe casesthat have simply gone undetected,which would lower the overallseverity of the strain.German doctors also use abroader definition than Americansfor kidney failure. By the sametoken, the unusual age range of the victims could have less to dowith the strain itself than thesource, which might be a foodchildren are less likely to eat.Still, scientists warn that theoutbreak could continue formonths.Researchers are uncertain wherethe outbreak began, and they stilldon't know what food might becarrying the contaminant.Reinhard Burger, the head of Germany's Robert Koch Institute,initially pointed the fingeratSpanish cucumbers, but thatseems to be a mistake — albeitone that has cost Spanish farmershundreds of millions of dollars.( More on TIME.com:Top 10Most Dangerous Foods)Indeed, produce farmers acrossthe European Union are hurting,as consumers have stoppedbuying vegetables and fruits,afraid that anything might carrythe pathogen. The situation mayonly worsen; Russiaannouncedan immediate banon all Europeanfresh produce in response to theoutbreak. Although the E.U. hasprotested, if Russia holds up itsban, it will hurt: the Russianmarket for European produce isworth $5.5 billion a year.Moscow's move is almostcertainly an overreaction, but it'snot an unusual one in these kindsof food-borne illness outbreaks,especially one that looks to be thissevere. The outbreak has spreadbeyond Germany to several otherEuropean countries, withthreepeople infectedin Britain.Americans who've traveled toGermany recently have been toldto watch for symptoms.( More on TIME.com:Top 10Panics!)Disease detectives will work hardto trace the outbreak back to itssource, but given the complexityof the European produce market— and the comparative lack of aunified pathogen databank of thesort kept in the U.S. — theoriginal culprit may never bediscovered. This mystery is onethat isn't likely to end soon.Related Links:Food Safety Violators CouldFace Death Penalty in ChinaThe Senate Passes a Food-Safety