Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Nicotine cocktails, black dogs and other news and views for Wednesday 15 January

From this morning’s Australian papers.
  • Joe Hockey sets hard line on handouts – “Taxpayer subsidies will not be paid to struggling companies that fail to fix their problems under a hardline edict from Joe Hockey aimed at forcing employers and unions to scrap workplace deals that push up costs. Rejecting aid for ‘lazy’ companies, the Treasurer told The Australian that federal cash would not be used to shore up dividends or to continue poor industrial practices.” - The Australian
  • ‘Billions wasted’ in grants: A-G - The Australian
  • Entering the post-Australia Post era – “Propping up a postal service few of us need or use is a waste of taxpayers’ money.” - Fairfax tabloids
  • Alex Somlyay fraud claim papers sent to federal police – Fairfax tabloids
Some links to other things I’ve found interesting today
15-01-2014 nicotinecocktails
  • Tobacco Returns To The Bar, This Time Inside Cocktails – “Take a sip of the Oaxacan Fizz at Father’s Office in Los Angeles and you’ll discover the unmistakable taste of tobacco. That’s because this cocktail is sweetened with a small amount of tobacco-infused sugar syrup. ‘A lot of people say, ‘I only smoke when I drink,’ says chef-owner Sang Yoon. “We say, ‘Now you can do both.” Mixologists are helping tipplers enjoy tobacco even as smoking bans spread to more than half the states in the U.S. Though some may drink the cocktail in search of a buzz, mixologists say tobacco adds an unexpected flavor profile that pairs well with dark liquors. Creating the tobacco syrup was a trial and error process for Yoon. ‘We took a Marlboro Lights cigarette apart and tried doing an infusion, which turned out to be horrible,’ he says. ‘We tried chopping up cigars; that tasted horrifying. We tried snuff, which didn’t work.’ Pipe tobacco was ultimately the winner. ‘It’s much sweeter aromatically and on the palate,’ he says. And it echoes the smoky elements of the San Juan Del Rio mezcal, which forms the drink’s backbone.”
  • Productivity crisis haunts global economy – “A productivity crisis is stalking the global economy with most countries failing last year to improve their overall efficiency for the first time in decades.”
  • Hollande ducks First Lady Valerie Trierweiler question
  • Atheist Afghan granted religious asylum in UK – “An Afghan citizen has been granted asylum in the UK for religious reasons – because he is an atheist. The man fled to the UK from a conflict involving his family in Afghanistan in 2007, aged 16, and was allowed to stay in the UK until 2013. He was brought up a Muslim, but during his time in the UK became an atheist, his legal team said. They said he would face persecution and possibly a death sentence if he was returned to Afghanistan.”
  • Out of the frying pan, into the fire – “We celebrated too soon: UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to amend the disastrous section 5 of the Public Order Act has seen free speech flung from the fry pan into the fire. By creating an offence of “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour,” section 5 became catch-all legislation that significantly undermined British free speech. As Lord Dear of the House of Lords noted recently “almost anything could be seen as insulting – even a street preacher reciting the Bible, a student telling a police officer his horse looked “gay” and an atheist with a sign saying religions are “fairy tales.” 27 years too late, Cameron’s government promised to amend the laws to protect free speech. However, the new “nuisance” laws look to be even more restrictive than the “insulting” laws they were trying to overhaul.
My loyal dog Punch declares: “The following story is an outrage. There should be no place for colour prejudice in the modern world”
  • Black dogs are last to be picked at shelters because of the color of their fur – “Black dogs don’t get as adopted as easily as others animals of other colors. The reason is largely because of some common misconceptions about them. Black dogs are mischaracterized as mean and potentially violent and according to NBC News. Black Dog Syndrome is a phenomenon in which dogs with black fur often go unadopted because of misinformed stereotypes. Black dogs are are euthanized at a much higher rate than dogs with different complexions.”
15-01-2014 efintimesSee other newspaper front pages at:
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