Rat meat now being sold as lamb meat in latest food scandal

Butcher preparing meat 
By: Moses Gold

(Scroll down for video) If you have recently bought some lamb meat in order to prepare a delicious dinner but found it to taste rather strange, it is because it wasn't lamb meat, according to a statement released by the Chinese government.

Chinese police have broken up a gang accused of taking meat from rats and foxes and selling them as lamb meat, in the latest scandal of the country's food security.

The Ministry of Public Security released the results of a three-month campaign against violators of food safety, which showed that authorities are investigating more than 380 cases and arrested 904 suspects.

Among those arrested were 63 people who allegedly ran the operation in Shanghai and the coastal city of Wuxi. They are accused of buying fox, mink, rat and other meat that has not been tested for quality and safety, processed with additives like gelatin and passed off as lamb.

The meat was sold at farmers markets in Jiangsu Province and Shanghai, the statement said.
Despite years of food scandals, from milk contaminated with an industrial chemical, to using industrial dyes in eggs, China has been unable to clean up their food supply chain.

The announcement came as China's top court on Friday issued guidelines which call for more severe punishment for the preparation and sale of insecure food in the last response to contaminated food scandals that have angered the public.

China's Criminal Code, which prohibits harmful and poisonous foods, does not specify what acts are considered a violation of the law.

Baby Food adulteration that severely lacks nutrition is also a punishable offense under the guidelines. Negligent government inspectors are also subject to criminal sanctions.

“With all the scandals lately, from the horse meat scandal to the rat meat scandal, I find it difficult to trust any food label these days. I do not know where to purchase food anymore. Maybe I will need to raise my own animals,” Herminia Whitley, 30, of Blue Mountains, Australia told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the rat meat scandal.

The Supreme Court said that 2,088 people have been prosecuted from 2010 to 2012 in 1,533 cases of food security. It said that the number of cases has grown exponentially in recent years. For example, Chinese courts tried 861 cases of food poison in 2012, compared with 80 cases in 2010.

"The situation is very serious and in fact has caused great harm to people," Pei Xianding a supreme court judge, said during a news conference.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view

School shuts down due to great weather

Children having fun in the sun 
By: Moses Gold

(Scroll down for video) Students at one cool school received an unexpected day off for a reason they have never heard before.

At one private school in Washington state, the promise of good weather in spring led to the decision to give students a day off in order to enjoy a day in the sun.

Friday became sun day of sorts for the 205 students of Bellingham Christian School, in Bellingham, Washington, about 90 miles north of Seattle.

"School canceled due to great weather! Wahooo!" The school website announced on Thursday night. "Yes! It's a sunny day today and everyone has the day off from school," the school website continued.

Principal Bob Sampson said he wanted to give students time to recuperate and enjoy the weather, adding that he wanted to recreate the emotion children get when snow days are announced. The principal began contemplating the possibility of giving the day off earlier this week.

"In a world that has many hard things going on, it's fun to create a moment of joy," Sampson said.
The forecast for Western Washington called for a weekend of sun, with temperatures hitting the low 80s in parts of the region on Sunday.

The sunny day was also made possible because there was no day off this year due to a lack of snow.
Sampson surveyed parents to ensure that the day would not cause any difficulty and pitched the idea to the school board before canceling the school. The 22 staff members also have the day off, he added.

Sampson and another member of staff will be in school very early to welcome students who did not receive the school closing notification.

“This was an awesome decision by the school. I believe nice weather day school closings should be replicated by other schools across the country. Children can use the extra time in the sun,” Celina Noel, 24, of Seattle, Washington told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the school closing.

However, not everyone agreed with Noel.

“This school closing for nice weather is ridiculous. What message does it send to the children? The principal basically told them that school is unimportant, as it takes a backseat to having fun outside in the sun,” Terra Vang, 43, of Seattle, Washington told YourJewishNews.com.

The principal asked the students to take pictures of what they do during their sunny day outside. He plans to show the images on a Monday assembly.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view

California to give away free condoms to 12-year-old children

The condom delivery program 
By: Ryan Lee Hall

(Scroll down for video) If you were worried about your 12-year-old girl getting pregnant you can now breathe easier because the state will give away free condoms for all children as young as 12, according to a statement released by California officials.

12-year-old school children can now have as much sex as they want, and their parents do not even have to know about it, thanks to the California Condom Access Project, run by the Health Council of California, which is making condoms available to children from age 12, with free delivery service, all paid for by the taxpayer. The state has expanded its service to include the counties of Fresno and San Diego, California.

Also, if you keep secrets from your parents, you don't need to worry because if you visit their website, up to 10 free condoms can be delivered in confidential packaging, as well as lubricants and other materials. Also in California, teenagers do not need parental consent for getting birth control.

“I support the measure, since teens are having sex, the state might as well push out the free condoms in every way possible,” Leta McMahon, 40, of San Diego, California told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the new program.

However, not everyone agreed with McMahon.

“It is more than enough that schools are pushing condoms for all, paid for by the taxpayer. I don't’ think that the taxpayer needs to fund a program that delivers free condoms and other sex products to teens,” Brandi Barlow, 30, of Los Angeles, California told YourJewishNews.com.

Amy Moy, vice president of public affairs for the Department of the California Family Health, said: "It is very important that we all share with young people that abstinence is the most effective way to avoid sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. Yet we know that teens are engaging in sexual activity, and only want to help them be as safe as possible and not keep our heads in the sand and pretend it's not a problem."

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Hungarian politicians hold anti-Semitic rally, order Jews to leave Hungary

Jobbik rally in Hungary 
By: Shifra Unger

(Scroll down for video) An anti-Semitic rally was held in Hungary despite promises made by police that no such rally will be held.

A far-right Hungarian political party held the anti-Semitic rally Saturday, before the start of an important meeting by leaders from the worldwide Jewish community.

Addressing a crowd of hundreds of supporters in a square near the national parliament, the leader of the extreme nationalist Jobbik party, Gabor Vona, told Jews that they "should find another country, as Hungary is not for sale.”

A large banner held by protesters said: "Peddlers! This is our country."

The World Jewish Congress this year chose Hungary as the place to host its annual plenary meeting, usually held in Jerusalem, in order to show their support for the country's Jewish community, and to draw attention to the rise of anti-Semitism in parts of Europe.

"It was very disturbing to see so many people there listening to the hateful speeches," Michael Thaidigsmann, a World Jewish Congress spokesperson, who was present at the rally said on Saturday. However, he said: "These people are fanatics and do not represent mainstream Hungary."

The Hungarian Government has tried to block the Jobbik rally but a police ban was overturned by a court. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is speaking at the opening of World Jewish Congress, blasted the court's decision.

“This rally was a very disturbing event, as it is the same type of rallies which were common during the rise of the Hitler regime in Nazi Germany. The government needs to put a stop to this immediately. The judges who allowed this anti-Semitic rally need to be removed and charged with inciting hate,” John Brown, 40, of Bathurst, Australia told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the anti-Semitic rally.

Hungary's Jewish community, which dates back hundreds of years, is the largest in Central Europe, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. Education on the Holocaust, in which about 600,000 Hungarian Jews perished, is mandatory in Hungarian public school.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view

Prostitute arrested after robbing boy, 14, during sexual encounter

Dareka Brooks 
By: Ryan Lee Hall

A young boy was robbed by a prostitute who he invited to his home.

The 14-year-old boy ordered a prostitute, but was sprayed with mace and robbed. The woman fled the scene before having sex.

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s office, the 14-year-old boy used his iPad to contact Dareka Brooks through a website where people advertise sex for payment.

Brooks responded to the boy’s request and arranged to meet him at his house while his parents were away.

Brooks, 22, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin arrived at the child's home. She told him to go to a bedroom and take off his pants. While the boy was sitting on his bed, Brooks allegedly sprayed him with mace and fled the scene with his iPad, a piggy bank and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Investigators said the teen immediately called the police and gave a description of Brooks and the vehicle she had. Officer located Brooks at a local hotel after they traced the boy’s iPad.

“This woman should be ashamed of herself. I am glad she was caught and exposed for what she did. I am sure the boy learned his lesson to never allow a stranger into his house,” Patricia Harris, 37, of Newark, New Jersey told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the arrest.

Brooks was arrested at the hotel when police found the stolen items in her possession. She was booked into jail on charges of armed robbery. Her bail was set at $10,000.

Lost California hikers can be ordered to pay $160,000 in rescue costs

Nicolas Cendoya and Kyndall Jack 
By: David Ross

(Scroll down for video) Two hikers, who were lost for three days, were rescued by a rescue team after a several day long search.
Now, they might be held responsible for their rescue cost.

One of the two teenage hikers who was rescued from the Cleveland National Forest in Orange County, California, has been charged with drug possession.

Nicolas Cendoya, 19, of Costa Mesa, was arrested Wednesday, after police found methamphetamine in his car. The authorities had searched his car, which was parked near the Holy Jim Canyon trail, looking for clues that could lead to his rescue during the dramatic search of five days.

When they were rescued, Cendoya and Kyndall Jack, 18, told police they were out on a day trip on Sunday when they got separated and were lost in the woods. They were found and rescued separately. Cendoya was spotted, barefoot and less than a mile from his car on Wednesday. Jack was discovered the next day, also without shoes.

The rescue operation, involved multiple law enforcement agencies, and cost about $160,000. One volunteer reserve deputy was injured during the search when he fell 60 meters into a ravine and is reportedly recovering from a head injury and broken ribs. After being found, the teens were treated in a hospital for severe dehydration and other problems.

“We were all so happy that they were found alive and well, it was a scary week for all of us until they were home safely. Now, they are trying to put the terrifying incident behind them,” James Wilson, 19, of Orange County, California told YourJewishNews.com after the teens were discovered.

Authorities believe that the pair went to the woods to do drugs, causing them to be impaired. Cendoya denied Tuesday that he was on drugs during the hike.
If convicted on drug charges Cendoya could face up to three years in prison.

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Israeli fighter jets bomb Iranian missles

Smoke rising in Syria after attack 
By: David Ross

(Scroll down for video) Iran suffered a major setback after its missiles were attack by Israeli military fighter jets, according to a statement released by government officials.

Israeli forces have carried out an airstrike against a sophisticated missile cargo bound for the Lebanese Hezbollah political and military organization, officials from the United States, Lebanon and Israel, said Saturday.

The attack took place about 4:00 am on Friday on an air defense center on the outskirts of Damascus International Airport, according to a Lebanese security official who was in the Syrian capital at the time. The airport is known to be the destination of weapons from Iran for both the Syrian government and its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The attack appeared to be identical to one in January in which Israeli planes attacked a convoy carrying weapons to Hezbollah, with warplanes hitting targets from a location on the city of Deir al-Ashayer in Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

Lebanese authorities and residents had reported unusually intense Israeli overflights during the previous 48 hours, suggesting the aircraft may have reached its target from the Lebanese airspace.

“Iran should listen to the clear message of the international community that Israel will be allowed and will strike Iranian weapons that is deemed a threat to Israel,” James Carter, 50, Albury, Australia told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the Israeli airstrike.

The attack, Israeli officials said, came a day after it was approved at a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view