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Feds issue horse slaughter permit

Valley Meat Company, the former beef packing plant
cheap ray ban outlet in Roswell that hopes to process horse meat for export, received its long delayed permit for federal meat inspections Friday, removing one hurdle to the plant opening but refueling opposition to domestic horse slaughter.

Other hurdles including White House and Congressional opposition, the stalled renewal of a state wastewater discharge permit and a cacophony of protests by animal rights activists could still derail the plant opening.

A. Blair Dunn, an Albuquerque attorney representing Valley Meat Co., said the company received its of inspection Friday from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, which clears the way for federal meat inspectors to inspect horse meat processed at the plant.

But like the Obama administration, both the House and Senate
replica ray ban sunglasses agriculture committees are backing proposals to cut funding for those inspections, and Congress has yet to pass an agriculture appropriations bill that would contain or eliminate such funding.

of those appropriations bills, especially given last week death of the farm bill in the House, will preclude Valley Meat from opening, Dunn said Friday.

likely means the funding (for inspections) will continue to be in place certainly during fiscal year 2014, because it looks more and more like Congress is looking at a continuing resolution. So the funding is there and likely to be there for 2014. plants that slaughter horses have been unable to operate in the United States since 2007, when Congress prohibited the USDA from financing inspections of horse meat. But in 2011, Congress quietly removed that ban, and the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Act opened the door to resume domestic horse slaughter.

Besides Valley Meat, Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, Mo., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa, have applied for federal horse slaughter inspections.

Last year, Valley Meat sued the USDA, saying it was intentionally dragging
discount ray bans its feet on its grant of inspection application. That suit remains pending, Dunn said.

The possibility of resuming horse meat processing in the United States has triggered a huge debate. Proponents say horse slaughter is a viable alternative to the burgeoning population of unwanted horses in the United States, and a preferable option to shipping more than 150,000 horses to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. Concerns have been raised that Mexican slaughter plants are virtually unregulated, and that horses are subjected to deplorable conditions and cruel death.

Animal rights groups and horse advocates say there is no way to humanely kill horses, and that an iconic symbol of the American West deserves better. They also say there no way to ensure the safety of horse meat.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Welfare Institute and Animal Protection of New Mexico issued a joint statement Friday condemning the USDA actions.

Mexicans reject the idea of a horse slaughter plant in our state, Lisa Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection of New Mexico, said in the statement. are a valuable part of our heritage, and we have worked hard to develop a robust safety net for them, not condemn them to slaughter. joint statement included comments from Gov. Susana Martinez, state Attorney General Gary King and state Land Commissioner and veterinarian Ray Powell, all of whom are on record as opposing domestic house slaughter.

New Mexico congressional delegation also weighed in on the controversy, with Democrats blasting the USDA decision.

issuing a grant of inspection to Valley Meat Company in Roswell, the USDA has ignored the significant and compelling food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection concerns associated with this particular plant, said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

She also said
cheap ray bans it was irresponsible for the USDA to blame Congress for not acting when the USDA has failed to be an engaged and effective regulator in this process.

Pearce is pleased that the USDA finally followed current law and provided an answer to Valley Meat Company request. No matter what the circumstance, every business deserves an answer and fair treatment under the law, Pearce spokesman Eric Layer said Friday.

Democrat Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich criticized the USDA decision, as did Rep.

Heinrich will continue to pursue measures at the federal level to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter, including eliminating money for horse slaughter inspections and outlawing the sale and transport of horses or horse meat, said Heinrich spokeswoman Whitney Potter.

Udall said horse slaughter is not practical in New Mexico or safe for consumers.

Valley Meat Co., which has spent thousands of dollars converting the Roswell plant for horse slaughter and passed a USDA inspection, also faces a state hurdle regarding discharge of wastewater.

Though the plant applied to renew its current wastewater discharge permit in 2010, the state has yet to act on it.

They just going through the normal renewal process, but Valley still has the permit that they were operating on in 2012, so there no impediment to that, Dunn said.

He conceded that threatened lawsuits could delay Valley Meat Co. from opening.

heard repeatedly that there are going to be other lawsuits to try to stop Valley from opening. How much success they might have with that I don know, but it bound to slow things down a little bit. that none of those impediments or lawsuits are in place, within a couple of weeks Valley Meat could be up and running, Dunn said. now it just a matter of getting the hiring done and getting people to the plant to go to work. said the plant could employ between 40 and 100 workers.Articles Connexes:

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Watertown Daily Times Mobile

officials said Wednesday. is not a member of the International Criminal Court. Convention Against Torture in 1994, now has an obligation to ensure accountability.

all countries, if someone commits murder, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they commit rape or armed robbery, they are prosecuted and jailed.
discount ray bans If they order, enable or commit torture recognized as a serious international crime they cannot simply be granted impunity because of political expediency, he said. Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA harsh interrogation techniques at secret overseas facilities is the of a process toward prosecutions, because the against torture is absolute, Ban spokesman said.

On Tuesday, Rep. William L. Owens, D Plattsburgh, described portions of the report released Tuesday as but added that he did not want to time and energy pointing fingers. He said his focus was reining in the intelligence agency.

want to learn from it, have legislation go through, and focus on where we are and where we going, he said. special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, said the report shows was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed (it) to commit systematic
cheap ray ban outlet crimes and gross violations of international human rights law. government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability, Emmerson said. tactics included slamming detainees against walls, confining them to small boxes, keeping them isolated for prolonged periods and threatening them with death.

However, a Justice Department official said Wednesday the department did not intend to revisit its decision to not prosecute anyone for the interrogation methods. The official said the department had reviewed the committee report and did not find any new information that would cause the investigation to be reopened. our investigation was not intended to answer the broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct. United States is also not part of the International Criminal Court, which began operating in 2002 to ensure that those responsible for the most heinous crimes could be brought to justice. That court steps in only when countries are unwilling or unable to dispense justice themselves for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. Security Council,
replica ray ban sunglasses but the United States holds veto power there. case mentioned in the report, suspected extremist Gul Rahman was interrogated in late 2002 at a CIA detention facility in Afghanistan called in the report. There, he was shackled to a wall in his cell and forced to rest on a bare concrete floor in only a sweatshirt. He died the next day. A CIA review and autopsy found he died of hypothermia.

Justice Department investigations into his death and another death of a CIA detainee resulted in no charges.

President Barack Obama said the interrogation techniques significant damage to America standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies. CIA Director John Brennan said the agency made mistakes and learned from them, but insisted the coercive techniques produced intelligence helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives. Senate investigation, however, found no evidence the interrogations stopped imminent plots.

Mr. Owens echoed Obama concerns about how the report would affect America moral standing in the world.

is a situation that it hard to believe people did those things, and it raises certainly from the point of view of people who did it, you have to question what their moral ground is, Mr. Owens said.

The testimony of Arizona Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war for five years in Vietnam, also helped shape Mr. Owens opinion of the report.

you have someone in that position saying it dangerous to be in this kind of activity, I tend to agree with it, he said.

European Union spokeswoman Catherine Ray emphasized Wednesday that the Obama administration has worked since 2009 to see that torture is not used anymore but said it is commitment that should be enshrined in law. Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier was quoted as telling the Bild daily that Obama had clearly broken with Bush policies and, as a
cheap ray bans result, Washington openness to admitting mistakes and promising publicly that something like this will never happen again is an important step, which we welcome. was deemed right and done back then in the fight against Islamic terrorism was unacceptable and a serious mistake, Steinmeier said. a crass violation of free and democratic values must not be repeated.Articles Connexes:

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Obama State Of The Union Address Highlights Battle For The Middle Class

WASHINGTON More than anything, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address signaled a fresh battle for the hearts and minds of America’s beleaguered middle class and Republicans weren’t having any of it.

Obama mentioned the middle class at least seven
Michael Kors handbags times and touted "working" people at least nine as he rolled out proposals to offer new child tax credits, raise the minimum wage, extend paid family leave and make college more affordable. He mentioned "families" 16 times.

But well
cheap Michael Kors handbags outlet before Obama’s speech was over, House Speaker John Boehner’s (R Ohio) office was firing off responses, declaring that Obama’s "regulatory onslaught squeezes the very middle class families he claims to be trying to help," and that he was threatening to veto what Republicans consider to be jobs bills.

In the GOP response to the address, freshman Sen. Joni Ernst (R Iowa) suggested that the president has harmed regular people.

"The new Republican Congress also understands how difficult these past six years have been," said Ernst, who first attracted attention by promising to make Washington insiders squeal like the
wholesale Michael Kors handbags outlet hogs she used to castrate on a farm. "For many of us, the sting of the economy and the frustration with Washington’s dysfunction weren’t things we had to read about. We felt them every day."

Such sentiments were echoed widely by Republicans leaving the address, who pointed
Michael Kors handbags outlet to people’s struggles as evidence that the GOP’s agenda will better serve most Americans.

"If you
Michael Kors handbags look at middle class families who have lost income over the past several years, if you look at Colorado families where median income has declined . that is not a stronger place than it was, and not a stronger place than it needs to be," said Sen. Cory Gardner (R Colo.).

"You know, I was disappointed.
fake Michael kors handbags outlet I was disappointed that I didn’t hear more from the president as far as how we were going to help those middle class families," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R Wash.), the top woman in the GOP leadership. "I thought he painted a little rosy picture of how things are, at a time when people continue to see their wages actually shrink, take home pay shrinking. Job opportunities are not enough."

But the tone of the GOP’s response highlighted a difficult fact to deal with in the two years before the next presidential election: Republicans are making an argument that is often negative, leaving Obama and Democrats to strike a more positive tone as unemployment continues to fall and hiring improves.

And it is focused right at the heart of the American electorate.

Asked for three highlights in the president’s speech, Rep.

"We’ve been talking about the middle class for a long time," Schumer said. "They [Republicans] have been talking about budget deficits and cutting the deficit not now. Even the [Keystone] pipeline, which is hardly a middle class bill, 35 permanent jobs, [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell is saying it’s a middle class jobs bill. They’ve appropriated our rhetoric, but that’s about it. They can’t break away from being a special interest party."

Some Republicans acknowledged that they had a more negative message, but they also suggested Americans would not buy Obama’s prescriptions.

"Those are the kind of background noise that you hear in
Michael Kors handbags outlet every State of the Union speech kind of a litany or grab bag of proposals. It’ll be forgotten by midnight," said Sen. Jeff Flake (R Ariz.).

Sen. John Boozman (R Ark.) called Obama’s ideas "everything for everybody," and suggested that people in his state, at least, would not believe the president.

"They understand that there’s nothing in life free," Boozman said. "When you promise universal this, universal that, somebody’s going to have to pay for that, and the reality is the middle class always winds up paying the bill."

The basic disagreement over which policies are viable and which ones will
Michael Kors handbags outlet do the most to help the nation’s most coveted voting bloc also telegraph what is likely to be a contentious two years, with the GOP willing to embrace almost none of Obama’s proposals.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D Fla.) predicted the likely level of cooperation between the White House and the GOP led Congress by invoking a phrase used in Passover celebrations that asks, "Why is this night different from all other nights?"

"With regards to Republicans and their antipathy to the president, tonight was no different from all other nights," Grayson said, noting how GOP lawmakers would "sit there like stone" every time Obama outlined one of his priorities. "They don’t care . unfortunately his proposals that require congressional approval are dead on arrival."

Julia Craven, Jesse Rifkin, Donte Stallworth and Maxwell Tani contributed reporting.

HuffPost’s Tyler Kingkade reports:

President Barack Obama didn’t mention college sexual assault during his State of the Union address Tuesday, an issue his administration has highlighted.

In an address that largely focused on economic issues, Obama chose to discuss higher education issues like the cost of a college degree, his free community college plan and simplifying the process of applying for federal financial aid.Articles Connexes:

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