The Peruvian government has extended to nine more regions a state of emergency called to cope with unusually cold weather and heavy snowfall.
At least two people have died and 33,000 others have been affected by the cold spell, local officials say.
Tens of thousands of animals have frozen to death over the past week.
President Ollanta Humala has travelled to Apurimac, one of the worst-hit areas, to oversee the distribution of emergency aid.Â Read more »
I blogged about the prospect of guinea pig as a low cost meat. Now others are looking into it.
Guinea pig meat is healthy and on top of that greener than other meats.
You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.
Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.
South American restaurants on both coasts seem to be pushing the trend, answering to demand mostly from Andean expats for what is considered a fine and valuable food in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. The animals â€” calledÂ cuyesÂ in Spanish â€” are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe.Â Read more »
10 human eye balls floating in a jam jar atÂ Stansted Airport in 2007
Hollowed out onions were used to try and smuggleÂ Â ÂŁ163,000 worth of cocaine byÂ a Harvard-educated African Prince at Heathrow Airport.
The green taliban have foist so-called ‘climate mitigation’ programs upon us all…one of the most dodgy being bio-fuels.
It has achieved nothing other than make the staple crops of the poor unaffordable. Maize and wheat prices have gone through the roof.
Now the flipside of the green taliban coin, vegans and hippies, Â are causing problems with another staple in Bolivia and Peru:
Not long ago, quinoa was just an obscure Peruvian grain you could only buy in wholefood shops. We struggled to pronounce it (it’s keen-wa, not qui-no-a), yet it was feted by food lovers as a novel addition to the familiar ranks of couscous and rice. Dieticians clucked over quinoa approvingly because it ticked the low-fat box and fitted in with government healthy eating advice to “base your meals on starchy foods”.
Adventurous eaters liked its slightly bitter taste and the little white curls that formed around the grains. Vegans embraced quinoa as a credibly nutritious substitute for meat. Unusual among grains, quinoa has a high protein content (between 14%-18%), and it contains all those pesky, yet essential, amino acids needed for good health that can prove so elusive to vegetarians who prefer not to pop food supplements.
Sales took off. Quinoa was, in marketing speak, the “miracle grain of the Andes”, a healthy, right-on, ethical addition to the meat avoider’s larder (no dead animals, just a crop that doesn’t feel pain). Consequently, the price shot up â€“ it has tripled since 2006 â€“ with more rarified black, red and “royal” types commanding particularly handsome premiums.
But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grainhas pushed up prices to such an extentÂ that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture.
Peru has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of children died from freezing conditions that have seen temperatures across much of the South American country plummet to a 50-year low.
In 16 of Peru’s 25 regions, temperatures have fallen below -24C.
Four hundred and nine people, most of them children, have already died from the cold, with temperatures predicted to fall further in coming weeks.
But, but, but the planet is warming faster than ever before.
Tell that to the relatives of the cold, dead Peruvian children.
“Over the past three or four years we have seen temperatures during the winter months get lower, and people are unable to survive this,” said Silvia Noble, from Plan Peru.
“This cold weather is now extending into areas that never saw these low temperatures before and children and elderly people are especially at risk as they are not physically strong enough to last month after month of sub-zero conditions.”
But, but, but the planet is warming faster than ever before. It can’t be getting colder year on year, it simply can’t because Nick Smith says so, so does a railway engineer from India plus the real kicker….the science is settled.
Oh I know, this is simply a weather event…when it gets cold it is a weather event, when it is stinking f**cking hot it is climate change. Spare me….no better still spare the children of Peru.
The CTU is in full ass covering mode trying to create distractions;
However Council of Trade Unions economist Peter Conway said the need for major increases could be avoided if a 2014 deadline to introduce full funding was pushed out to 2019. That would smooth out any rises across a longer period of time. “A big increase in the motor vehicle levy would therefore not be necessary, and a more modest increase in the earners levy would be possible for this and other reasons.”
Peter tries to bail out his good friend and ACC Chairman Ross “The 6 Billion Dollar Man” Wilson by suggesting we put the problem on the credit card. They had 15 years to fully fund the ACC from 1998. Not hard – you think they might have used the best economic conditions since WW2 to fix the thing. But they failed so rather than admit it, they try to move the goalposts.
If the ACC debacle proves anything thing, these bozos can not be trusted with our money. Even worse is their lack of remorse for the damage they have caused.
What I find most perplexing about this whole episode and the single main reason why I believe the entire board needs to be sacked despite there being good people on the board, is the complete and utter silence from those good people or any senior management in the face of these massive shortfalls in funding.
With the board controls and management practices that were in place in 2000 before Michael Cullen started wielding the axe on the old board so they could cosset their mates into the positions would never have allowed the funding issue to raise much above $100,000 let alone to the tune of $2.6 billion.
Let’s be very clear here. If this was a private insurance company and they had a funding shortfall of $2.6 billion over three years they would be in receivership quicker than a sailor into a brothel. Their funding arrangement would dry up, if they were listed on the stock exchange then serious questions would be asked of their internal processes, their external auditors and their reporting systems that would allow such a massive previously hidden exposure lie untended for so long. It is inconceivable that the board didn’t know about this and equally inconceivble that the Minister didn’t know either.
That this is a State funded organisation means that it doesn’t fall over but the for long suffering taxpayer yet again has to mend the mess of people who couldn’t run a bath let alone a major insurance company.
The silence of senior staff and board members as they watched this unfold damns them. The Board should be sacked in its entirety, unfortunately taking a couple of good directors with it but as I said their silence damned them. The Board should be sacked immediately as with the CEO, they need to be sacked before the coverups can be completed.