Borders Biscuits and Macphie of Glenbervie were both honoured in the 2011 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, hosted last night.The two firms were among 20 winners announced at the awards ceremony in Dunblane. Borders Biscuits came top in the Bakery and Cereal category for its Gourmet Goodness range, launched in March this year, which uses “imaginative ingredients” from around the world.Food ingredients firm Macphie took home the Food Service accolade for its Red Velvet Cake Mix and Vanilla Rainbow Frosting.The event, now in its 15th year, was hosted by BBC Radio 2 food and drink presenter Nigel Barden.
Two years ago, Don Blankenship’s lawyers argued that the longtime coal baron was so despised in West Virginia that he could not receive a fair trial from a state jury. Now, the former Massey Energy CEO is setting out to prove his counsel wrong by joining the 2018 West Virginia Republican primary for U.S. Senate.“I’m Don Blankenship, candidate for U.S. Senate, and I approved this message,” he announced at the beginning of a 30-second ad posted to his Vimeo page.Blankenship’s entry into the race for the seat currently held by former Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, was reported on Wednesday by Mountain State-based media outlets and confirmed by the chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party.Blankenship will join an already heated battle between U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, essentially breaking down along the national battle lines that are emerging between GOP factions: Jenkins represents the establishment Republican selected by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while Morrisey is the insurgent backed by former White House aide Steve Bannon of Breitbart.Blankenship’s candidacy blows up that dynamic. His persona and name recognition dwarfs that of either of the others, as he has been a presence in West Virginia coal culture since the early ’80s. His career has been a long series of labor, miner safety, and environmental horrors, making him the subject of countless books and news stories, including a Rolling Stone profile that memorably labeled him as the “Dark Lord of Coal Country.”In “Mine War on Blackberry Creek,” a documentary film produced about a labor fight in the early ’80s, a still-new-to-Massey Blankenship laid out his vision of raw capitalism as “a jungle.” “Unions, communities, people —everybody’s gonna have to learn to accept that in the United States you have a capitalist society, and that capitalism, from a business standpoint, is survival of the most productive,” Blankenship said.Blankenship and Massey won that fight, breaking the United Mine Workers of America in what now looks like a turning point in labor history. Blankenship’s subsequent rise through the company saw a dramatic expansion in brutal mountaintop removal strip mining techniques, as well as a relentless approach to maximize profit by cutting costs that endangered not only miners but those who lived in the communities around Massey mines.In one case, people living near a Massey mine found that their groundwater had been poisoned because the company disposed injected toxic waste into abandoned coal shafts. Blankenship’s own neighborhood was affected; he had a private water line run to his house from nearby Matewan, but didn’t offer the service to others.Simultaneously, Blankenship invested millions of dollars into building the West Virginia Republican Party. At one point in the 2000s, he gave $3 million toward the election of a state supreme court candidate, who then helped overturn a $50 million jury decision against Blankenship in a civil suit.The biggest outrage in a career full of them came in April 2010, when 29 men died at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine after sparks from a longwall cutter ignited a massive explosion. Four separate investigations found that poor ventilation, poor rock dusting, and a company culture that encouraged poor safety practices created conditions for the explosion. Blankenship, however, has peddled a different theory, blaming the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for creating the conditions that caused the explosion. He commissioned a 2014 documentary to tell his side of the story, prompting several individuals featured in the film to disclaim it—including Manchin, who was governor at the time of the disaster.Federal prosecutors eventually brought criminal charges against Blankenship, not for the disaster itself but for conspiring to skirt safety regulations at the mine. Blankenship faced three felony counts worth a potential 30 years, but was convicted only of a misdemeanor that put him in prison for one year.Since emerging from confinement earlier this year, Blankenship has used Twitter and his website to push his Upper Big Branch theory blaming the government, as well as to attack Manchin and former President Barack Obama.Blankenship clearly intends to use his Senate campaign—and the media attention that will come with it—as a megaphone for the message he’s been hammering the last few years. Greg Thomas, a representative for Blankenship, told West Virginia Public Radio that his run for office is “about getting the truth out about [the Upper Big Branch disaster] and exposing a government cover-up.”“It’s going to be interesting whether or not this political campaign is just an extension of this campaign to clear his name, or whether he’s really going to weigh in on the issues facing West Virginia in the future,” said Bill Price, a Charleston, West Virginia-based Sierra Club organizer.For conservationists and environmentalists, there’s not much to like about any of the three GOP candidates. “All three of them are fairly conservative and pushed back significantly on any environmental regulations,” Price said. “As far as their votes on anything related to the Clean Power Plan, the Stream Protection Rule, there’s not any significant difference between any of them.”Scott Crichlow, an associate professor of political science at West Virginia University, said that Blankenship exemplifies a recent trend in politics where personal brands largely outweigh policy stances. In a low-turnout, three-way Republican primary—in the last GOP U.S. Senate primary in 2014, only 85,322 people cast ballots—there’s a real chance that Blankenship could capture a plurality of voters. Says Crichlow, “If he actually puts resources into this and it’s a three person, well-resourced race, it doesn’t take that many voters to win.”
Jun 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed that a 15-year-old Indonesian boy who died May 30 had H5N1 avian influenza, but the agency said four nurses who had suspicious symptoms after caring for avian flu patients were not infected.The 15-year-old boy, from the Tasikmalaya district in West Java, experienced symptoms consistent with avian flu May 24 and was hospitalized May 26, according to the WHO. An investigation by provincial health authorities found that he had contact with his household’s sick and dying chickens the week before he became ill.The WHO report concluded, “The H5N1 virus is considered firmly entrenched in poultry throughout much of Indonesia. Unless this situation is urgently and comprehensively addressed, sporadic human cases will continue to occur.”The newly confirmed case is one of several where exposure occurred despite a clear signal of a high-risk situation arising from poultry deaths. Pending better control of the disease in animals, WHO and officials in the [Indonesian] Ministry of Health see an urgent need to improve public awareness of this disease, the risk factors for infection, and the behaviors that should be avoided.”Indonesia’s toll of confirmed avian flu cases has reached 49, including 37 deaths. Vietnam has the highest count, with 93 cases and 42 deaths.For the four Indonesian nurses, test results after 4 days of monitoring “have now convincingly ruled out H5N1 infection,” a separate WHO report said today. Two of the nurses had cared for 10- and 18-year-old siblings in Bandung, West Java, who died May 23, and two had cared for patients in the North Sumatra cluster that involved at least seven members of one extended family in May.Tests showed that one of the West Java nurses was infected with a seasonal influenza A(H1N1) virus. The other nurse had only transient, mild symptoms but was tested as a precaution.In North Sumatra, a 34-year-old female nurse likewise had only mild, transient symptoms. The other nurse there, a 42-year-old woman, had experienced flu-like sickness June 1.The WHO report concludes, “The speed and thoroughness with which influenza-like illness in these nurses was investigated are indicative of the heightened concern among Indonesian health authorities.”The negative test results for all four nurses provide reassuring evidence that the virus is not spreading efficiently or sustainably among humans at present.”WHO’s investigation of the North Sumatra case cluster continues; the agency released no new information today on the source of the outbreak or further details on potential human-to-human transmission.Worldwide, the number of avian flu cases has reached 225, with 128 deaths, according to the WHO.Asia-Pacific test exerciseIn other avian flu news, the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group announced it will conduct an exercise Jun 7 to test the countries’ response to an avian flu pandemic, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) story today.The dry run, called “APEC Pandemic Response Exercise 2006,” will test communication among the APEC countries, the article said. The exercise, to be coordinated by Australian officials, will involve a hypothetical scenario in which the H5N1 virus is spreading easily between people.In addition to Australia, participating APEC countries include the United States and such avian-flu-affected countries as Indonesia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam, according to AFP. The simulation will begin about 7:00 a.m. Sydney time and conclude about 26 hours later when links with Washington, D.C., have been established.APEC also includes Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Russia, and Taiwan.See also:WHO confirmation of case in 15-year-old boyhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_06_06b/en/index.htmlWHO statement on nurseshttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_06_06/en/index.html
NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) – The crushing defeat in Sunday’s final against Australia will haunt Harmanpreet Kaur and her team for a while but India hope the experience will only make them better before the next Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in 2022.India finished the group stage as the tournament’s only unbeaten team and progressed to the final after their semifinal against England was washed out.The expectations were naturally high, especially since India had beaten the hosts in the tournament opener, but Australia thrashed them by 85 runs to lift their fifth title. The cricket-mad country reacted with maturity to the setback and support poured in for Kaur’s team, which included several teenagers.“It was a tough day for #TeamIndia. Our team is young and will grow into a solid unit,” batting great Sachin Tendulkar tweeted. “You have inspired many across the globe. We are proud of you. Keep working hard and never lose hope. It will happen one day,” he added. Encouragement also came from men’s team captain Virat Kohli, who endured similar heartbreak in last year’s 50-overs World Cup, where India topped the group stage but lost in the semi-finals against New Zealand.“Proud of all the efforts put in by the Indian Women’s Cricket Team throughout their #T20WorldCup campaign. I’m confident that you girls will bounce back stronger than ever,” tweeted Kohli. Opener Shafali Verma had set alight the group stage with her batting pyrotechnics but endured a nightmare on Sunday when she managed two, having dropped player-of-the-match Alyssa Healy earlier in the match.The 16-year-old was in tears after the defeat and was consoled by senior team mates. “I told her she had to be really proud of the kind of campaign she’d had,” opening partner Smriti Mandhana said.“This is a time to introspect. Failure teaches you a lot more than success. The team needs to be left alone and think of how we can be better in the next few years.” Both Mandhana and skipper Kaur were woefully out of form in the tournament while India’s fielding was below-par in the final.“We didn’t field well. When you are playing a great level of cricket, you cannot drop the chances and we were not up to the mark,” Kaur said.“We will take this seriously and when we come to play next time, we will be one of the best fielding sides.”