Here at Latitude News, we call our Saturday story the ‘mishmash,’ or the mix of stories from around the world that doesn’t quite fit with our usual coverage.
Definitely not a dog’s life
Americans own approximately 80 million dogs, the Humane Society reports. If you are one of them, you might want to skip over this story.
Why? The first line of the Philippine Daily Inquirer says it all: “For many Filipinos, dogs are not their best friend but a favorite food.”
The newspaper reports that the illegal trade in dog meat thrives in the island nation. Nearly 300,000 dogs are killed for their meat each year. The paper relates a story of police raiding a dog abattoir in Pangasinan in the northern Philippines, arresting men, saving dogs and disposing of the carcasses of butchered dogs.
A man hooks a dog from its cramped cage before it is butchered and sold in nearby restaurants serving dog meat in the northern Philippines province of Benguet. (Reuters)
Eating dogs is illegal in the Philippines. But apparently punishments including stiff fines and up to two years in prison haven’t stopped the business, which is estimated to be worth $4.16 million a year. The newspaper explains a slice of the market:
“In Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet, alone, there are around 60 restaurants, eateries and canteens that serve dog meat. These are found all over the city, including the central business district, and are patronized by no less than local politicians, heads of government offices, policemen and even professionals.”
Granted, how cultures value food is relative. For some cultures, eating beef is abhorrent. For others, grasshoppers are a fine snack. But here’s a reason not to eat dogs: “…consumers risked contracting rabies and other diseases when they ate dog meat,” the Inquirer reports. Yuck.
Speaking of tasteless…
In South Africa, fashion designers say they’ll soon sell a new line of clothes in the United States. The designs feature sleek fits, jaunty accents and vibrant colors that evoke the years the country’s founding father, Nelson Mandela, spent rotting in a jail under the boot of Apartheid authorities.
Did you just do a double-take?
Yes, the 46664 fashion label — shamelessly named after Mandela’s identification number at the notorious Robben Island prison — is going to be selling clothes online in the U.S. and Canada later this month, report’s South Africa’s City Press.
Nice shirt. It really evokes prison. A model displays the 46664 clothing brand. (Reuters)
The exact date of when sales start is July 18 — Mandela’s 94th birthday. The label’s designer, Chris Vogelpoel, tells the newspaper that the upcoming line was inspired by Mandela’s love of literature.
See? Robben’s Island wasn’t so bad. Mandela could read there. (Though authorities restricted access to materials.) Let’s celebrate by sewing some new pants.
Here’s a thousand bucks – so sorry about that nuclear disaster
When it comes to government largess, everyone wants a taste.
In Japan, after the Fukushima power plant melted down following an earthquake and devastating tsunami in March 2011, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, promised to pay approximately $1,000 each to adult residents of a zone around the destroyed facility.
Well, TEPCO forgot the 1,700 inmates who were incarcerated in Fukushima Prison at the time of the disaster.
The Japan Times reports that TEPCO has given 36 inmates compensation and another 79 have submitted applications for the cash.
TEPCO reportedly approached the prison to inquire about giving the prisoners money, but the administrators refused. The crafty prisoners figured out the deal themselves and started writing letters. Why not, right?
An activist at Japan’s Center for Prisoners’ Rights said the prison was wrong not to inform the inmates.
Our thought: $1,000? That’s it? As compensation for a nuclear disaster? Jeez.