Reuters blog archive
from India Insight:
Rumours of an impending salt shortage led to panic-buying in India’s north-eastern states and parts of West Bengal state on Friday, officials and media reports said, with a kilo of salt being sold for as much as 200 rupees ($3) compared to average retail selling prices of about 20 rupees (around 35 cents).
Witnesses reported people queuing up at grocery stores to stockpile salt packets, with several shops running out of the usually cheap and plentiful product a day after similar rumours surfaced in Bihar state.
On Thursday, the Bihar state government said that there was abundant supply of the condiment after panic-buying in several districts and state capital Patna following rumours of a reduced supply from Gujarat state, India’s biggest producer of salt.
A senior police official in Mizoram state said many stores in the state had run out of salt.
from The Great Debate:
President Barack Obama recently unveiled in Berlin a new proposal to have the United States and Russia reduce their long-range deployed nuclear weapons by roughly one-third, relative to levels under the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
Arms control skeptics swiftly attacked his plan. They asserted that reducing deployed U.S and Russian strategic warheads to about 1,000 each would risk U.S. and allied security -- especially when other countries are now modernizing their nuclear forces. They also claim that Russia will not take up the offer.
from Full Focus:
Photographer Siegfried Modola traveled to document Ethiopia’s ancient salt trade in the Danakil Depression, one of the hottest and harshest environments on earth, with an average annual temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34.4 Celsius). For centuries, merchants have traveled there with caravans of camels to collect salt from the surface of the vast desert basin. The mineral is extracted and shaped into slabs, then loaded onto the animals before being transported back across the desert so that it can be sold around the country. Read Siegfried's personal account here.
from Fan Fare:
What do international spies do on their day off? Go on a "spy tour," says former CIA chief of operations Jack Devine.
While stationed in London as head of CIA operations in Britain, Devine -- a 32-year CIA veteran -- said he decided to go on one of the city's walking tours that tells tourists tales of espionage.
from Shop Talk:
Two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans surveyed said they partake in wine on holidays and special occasions while at home, while another 58 percent drink wine at home with dinner on an ordinary night, according to consumer trend tracker Mintel.
The wine market has grown 20 percent from 2004 through 2009 despite the recession, but at the peak of the slowdown in 2008 it declined 3.2 percent, Mintel said. With consumers slowly feeling better about the economy, the firm expects the wine market to increase by 2.1 percent this year.
from Environment Forum:
The Los Angeles Times reports that rocket-builder RocketDyne and a Santa Monica-based renewable energy company, SolarReserve, are planning to build a plant that they say could eventually power 100,000 homes by using solar power and molten salt.