That Tariff Thing - Now Costing U.S. Jobs
The China-US tariff volley may be amusing from afar, but now it's costing Americans their livelihood. Yesterday (Wednesday), China announced a 25% tariff on an additional $16 billion worth of US goods in retaliation for our similar move and the consequences have become very real for a lot of hard working Americans in South Carolina. TV-maker Element Electronics is citing the tariffs as the reason it is essentially closing its doors: It intends to shut down its Winnsboro plant and lay off 126 of its 134 employees according to a letter to the state's Department of Employment and Workforce. The letter explains the tariffs hit television components from China that it relies on, and the layoffs will commence in October unless it can get its parts off the tariff list. And a tweet from the company that suggests optimism: It writes that as the "only USA assembler of televisions, we believe the inclusion of our parts on the list ... is accidental and resolvable." It's working to have the parts removed from the list. The State notes the layoffs would be a big blow for Fairfield County, which counted Element Electronics as its biggest employer, having recently suffered the loss of a Walmart and a textile mill. (CNBC)
Pregnant? Don't Eat Poppy Seeds! 
A new mom is asking a Maryland hospital to revamp its approach to drug tests for expectant moms after her poppy seed bagel breakfast resulted in a false positive for opiates. Elizabeth Eden said, "It was traumatizing!" Her saga began when her doctor alerted her to the result of her drug test while she was in labor. Eden said, "Well, can you test me again? And I ate a poppy seed bagel this morning for breakfast." The answer was "No, and you've been reported to the state." That meant Eden's daughter, was held at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson for five days and a case worker had to visit her home. Increased awareness about false positives means hospitals generally look for opiate levels beyond 2,000 nanograms per millimeter. Eating one teaspoon of poppy seeds can result in levels of 1,200 nanogram per millimeter, but St. Joseph Medical Center considers a positive test to be above 300 nanograms per millimeter. The hospital's head of obstetrics says raising the limit would let actual drug users slip through undetected. But, citing a letter in which Eden advises the hospital educate expectant moms about the risks, the doctor adds, "it's a really good point that people probably should know that if you use poppy seeds before you have a toxicology screen that it could result in a false positive test." (WBAL)
Man's Wake Takes Eight Lives!
In Peru, a man's friends and family were attending his wake after his unfortunate death. Then came the dinner after the wake - which killed at least eight of them! No kidding. The culprit is a meat stew served that was somehow tainted. Dozens more remain sick, and Reuters actually has the death toll at 10. Health Minister Silvia Pessah said the meal contained chemicals used in pesticides known as organophosphates, which were reportedly responsible for two other poisonings in the region in recent months. The best guess for now is that the cook grabbed the wrong box while preparing the meal. (Reuters)
Fish in the Collarbone?
It's a bizarre fitness challenge that originated in China but recently went viral on Asian social media channels and is causing all manner of problems. They call it the "fish in collarbone challenge" where young women fill their collarbone indentation with water and put one or more live fish into it to show off how skinny they are. Not only is the depth of a person's clavicle indentation a poor way of measuring their fitness level - it's also cruel to the fish. Besides, who knows how many of these poor fish were accidentally dropped or wiggled their way out of the small collarbone puddles for the mere satisfaction of these vain people? In case you haven't already figured it out, skinny women with prominent collarbones are considered more attractive in China. (Oddity Central)
The Crayon That Can Kill?
According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund the Playskool brand of crayons contains toxic levels of asbestos and they're calling on retailers such as Dollar Tree and to pull the items from their shelves. Playskool crayons reportedly tested positive for asbestos, which can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma if inhaled or ingested. The group tested 36-packs of crayons purchased at a Dollar Tree store in Chicago but noted that they are also being sold online at Amazon, eBay and Dollar Tree executives, meanwhile, said independent tests have indicated that its crayons do not contain asbestos. Amazon, eBay and did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The findings come three years after a report from the Environmental Working Group Action Fund found that four brands of crayons manufactured in China contained toxic asbestos fibers. The group also tested five other crayon brands - Crayola; Target's Up & Up; Cra-Z-Art; Disney Junior Mickey and the Roadster Racers; and Roseart - that were found to be asbestos-free. (
Damn Cows!
In Sanford, Florida, Jennifer Anne Kaufman was being chased by police for drug possession when she bailed out of a car and ran right through a pasture. Unfortunately for her, her run for freedom was cut short by a small herd of cows. A Seminole County Sheriff's helicopter captured the night incident on video as the crew gave play-by-play to officers on the ground. A crew member offered this nugget to pursuing officers: "If you see a large group of cows, they're literally following her." The cows eventually ran Kaufman into a fence, where police were waiting to arrest her. An arrest report shows the car Kaufman was in crashed during a police pursuit. Charges against her include resisting an officer and drug possession. (
What the What?
In Leeds, England, a drunk couple decided to have sex - in the middle of Roundhay park - on Sunday afternoon - in front of everybody! Even after being confronted by several people calling out the outrageous behavior, the randy couple kept at it. One parent actually went over and slapped the man and ordered them to stop what they were doing. Witnesses began recording the pair and one woman can be heard telling police over the phone that she had reported the tryst half an hour ago but nobody had turned up. She said they were "in the middle of loads of kids playing cricket" adding "they're at it again' and ‘it's like the fifth time now." Police didn't arrive until 46 minutes after the first call on Sunday and by the time they arrived at 1.55pm the couple had gone. A statement from police issued later read: ‘"Each call is prioritized based on threat, harm and risk to the public." (Metro)


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