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Zurich mandates organic food for hospitals, schools and cafeterias

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The initiative, passed on Wednesday by 71 votes to 41, stipulates that at least 50 percent of the offerings must be organic. 

It applies to retirement and care centres, hospitals, day care centres, schools, canteens and cafeterias. 

QUIZ: Would you pass Zurich’s Swiss citizenship test?

Environment and Health Director Andreas Hauri acknowledged that there may be some problems in converting over to organic food, but said he was “convinced we can still increase the proportion”. 

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The city said it will now begin to examine how it can boost the proportion of organic foods to the required levels. 

The city’s nutrition strategy already calls for a greater amount of food from the surrounding region, but had previously been silent on the amount of organic food that should be included. 

While the initiative passed, there was some opposition from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP). 

The SVP said the change was “far removed from decency and reality”, arguing that it sent the wrong signals to developing countries. 

READ MORE: Will Switzerland be able to feed itself in the future?

The initiative is “an affront to people in poor countries who do not know how to feed themselves” said the SVP’s Johann Widmer. 

The Free Democratic Party (FDP) also opposed the change, saying it was unclear how the new standards would be implemented. 

Martina Zürcher asked how the 50 percent requirement should be measured. 

“In kilograms? In francs?” she said. 

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Анекдот дня по итогам голосования за 30 июня 2022

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Госдума объединила законы "О валежнике" и "О навозе" в единый закон "О строительстве".
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Barcelona to hand out €3,000 fines to tour guides with groups of more than 15

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The Old Town or Ciutat Vella is one of the most-visited areas of Barcelona and includes well-known tourist areas such as the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas and El Born. Here, it’s not uncommon to see large tour groups, blocking up the narrow streets and stopping the flow of pedestrians.

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The new restrictions were announced by the councillor of the Ciutat Vella district, Jordi Rabassa, and the councillor for Tourism and Creative Industries, Xavier Marcé and are to be put on public display to ensure all potential disagreements can be solved before the rules come into force, which could be as early as the end of July 2022.

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While groups will be limited to 15 people within the Ciutat Vella, in the city’s other neighbourhoods, where streets are slightly wider and it’s not so crowded, up to 30 people will be allowed per group.

Barcelona City Council has also introduced restrictions on the number of tour groups that can enter certain areas at one time. For example, a maximum of eight tour groups will be allowed in the central Plaça Sant Jaume, where the Ayuntamiento is located, five groups will be permitted to enter the colonnaded Plaça Reial, while a limit of three groups can visit the squares around the old Santa María del Mar church in El Born.

This restriction will affect 13 different areas throughout the city.

The new rules will also introduce 24 one-way pedestrianised areas, where the concentration of tourists is even greater, in a bid to stop a bottleneck of people.

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The aim is to make sure that streets are not clogged up by tourists, preventing locals from going about their daily life and accessing areas where they live, work, socialise and run errands. 

Those tour guides who do not comply with the new rules will be faced with fines of between €1,500 and €3,000.

Other rules which will apply to tour groups across the whole city include banning the use of megaphones and making sure that at least 50 percent of the street is left free for others to use.

Barcelona suffered from over-tourism before the Covid-19 pandemic began and in 2019 received a record number of visitors of almost 12 million. This summer has seen a huge increase in tourists after numbers dropped dramatically in 2020 and 2021, and hotel occupation is already at 100 percent for July and August. 

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On Covid, schools, and the death of the liberal expert class

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The New Yorker just ran its second big negative piece on Ron DeSantis in a week, proof of how much the woke media fears the governor of Florida. (Yes, I read the New Yorker so you don’t have to.)

The article is nominally about DeSantis’s support for age-appropriate teaching of gender and sexuality in public schools. Or, as the Democrats like to call it, “Don’t Say Gay.” The wokesters have not figured out that label is not quite the devastating comeback they think.

Plenty of parents of six-year-olds are fine with not having teachers say “gay” - they think that even if they support same-sex marriage (as I do), they and not outsiders should decide what their first- or second-graders hear about sex and family structures. Then again, these are the people who thought “defund the police” was an electoral winner, so their political instincts may not be the best.

But I digress, briefly. As you would expect, the article treats DeSantis as a political opportunist. But, unlike most woke media reporters these days, the author actually took the time both to talk to conservatives who support DeSantis’s views and to try to understand why those views are gaining so much ground right now. (As opposed to just repeating Fox News misinformation racism misogyny America is the worst endlessly.)

The result was something close to the truth - and the best explanation I have seen for the way Covid continues to drive our politics, even if no one is talking about it anymore. I urge you to read these three paragraphs - especially the sentence I have bolded - closely:

When I asked Republican activists and operatives about the rise of the school issues, they told a very similar story, one that began with the pandemic, during which many parents came to believe that their interests (in keeping their kids in school) diverged with those of the teachers and administrators. As Roberts, the Heritage Foundation president, put it to me, parents who were in many cases apolitical “became concerned about these overwrought lockdowns, and then when they asked question after question, there was no transparency about them, which led them to pay more attention when their kids were on Zoom. They overheard things being taught. They asked questions about curricula. They were just stonewalled every step of the way.” The battles regarding the covid lockdowns, Roberts told me, opened the way for everything that came after. “This is the key thing,” he said. “It started with questions about masking and other aspects of the lockdowns.”

Both parties right now are trying to answer the question of how fundamentally covid has changed politics. “From 2008 to 2020, elections were decided on the question of fairness—Obama ’08, Obama ’12, and Trump ’16 were all premised on the idea that someone else was getting too much, and you were getting too little, and it was unfair,” Danny Franklin, a partner at the Democratic strategy firm Bully Pulpit Interactive and a pollster for both Obama campaigns, told me. But the pandemic and the crises that followed (war, inflation, energy pressures) were not really about fairness but an amorphous sense of chaos. “People are looking for some control over their lives—in focus groups, in polls, once you start looking for that you see it everywhere,” Franklin said.

Both parties had shifted, in his view. Biden had sought to reassure Americans that the government, guided by experts, could reassert its control over events, from the pandemic to the crisis in energy supply. Republicans, meanwhile, had focussed on assuring voters that they would deliver control over a personal sphere of influence: schools that would teach what you wanted them to teach, a government that would make it easier, not harder, to get your hands on a gun. A moral panic about gender identity might seem anachronistic, but it served a very current political need. Franklin said, “It’s a way for Republicans to tell people that they can have back control of their lives.”

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The problem - for Biden, for AOC, for the New York Times, for all the people in Park Slope who went to the right schools and believe in the current thing and know paradise is just around the corner if only we raise our taxes a little more - is that “the government, guided by experts” hasn’t had a great couple of years.

To say the least.

The profound failure of lockdowns and now vaccines have woken many average folks to the dangers of bureaucratic overreach, expert overconfidence, and authoritarianism in the name of safety.

They took our rights. The media and public health authorities would like you to forget the closed playgrounds and shuttered malls and mask mandates of 2020. And the vaccine mandates of last fall. They want you to forget that for a while, the federal government tried to take the right to work from tens of millions of unvaccinated people. State and local governments went even further; and countries like Canada and Australia further still. UNTIL 10 DAYS AGO, CANADA DID NOT ALLOW UNVACCINATED PEOPLE ON PLANES - effectively curtailing their right to travel in a country that stretches more than 4,000 miles from British Columbia to Newfoundland.

And they took our rights FOR NOTHING.

You and I and they know everything they did failed.

The proof sits in super-cold freezers where millions of vials of mRNA shots, the greatest medical breakthrough since fentanyl, sit slowly decaying. The proof is in the hospitals and pharmacies that are not offering those jabs to kids under 5, because demand is near-zero… and maybe because some of the physician-administrators who make millions of dollars a year running those hospitals know in their hearts that the risk-benefit analysis for mRNA shots for kids is all risk/no benefit and actually want to do the right thing for once. Not enough to say anything publicly, let’s not get crazy, but enough to make the shots a little harder to get.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci - double-boosted Anthony Fauci - gave us some more proof today.

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer megalomaniac. (This is your excuse to retire, Tony! You got yerself the long Covid!)

So, no, I don’t plan to let Covid and the vaccines go anytime soon. Those of us on Team Reality can’t let the Faucis of the world run from their failure, we can’t pretend it didn’t happen. No mulligans here. Especially because the mRNA shots may have long-run risks we are still just beginning to see.

So the New Yorker frames the proposition the two parties are offering exactly right. The Democrats offer expertise, Ivy League brilliance, the smartest folks in the room; the Republicans personal control.

But why wouldn’t people trust their own judgment over that of “experts” after the disaster of the last couple of years? What the left cannot seem to understand is that I’m not the problem - which is why kicking me off Twitter didn’t save the mRNA shots or the mandates. Ron DeSantis is not the problem either.

Reality is the problem for the left. Reality wants a course correction, and in four months voters are set to deliver that message to the Democratic Party with a foghorn blast.



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cherjr
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bogorad
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История дня по итогам голосования за 28 июня 2022

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Попалась мне тут история про таксиста с томиком Блаватской под рукой. И вот вспомнилось.
Сижу в секс-шопе, никого не трогаю, в смысле покупателей нет. Вечер уже. И вдруг забегает мужик, лет сорока, с телефоном в руке.
- Я тут у вас на сайте вот такую штуку нашел, только размеров не понял. - И показывает фотку с лесбофалом, - Можно его в натуре посмотреть?
*Если кто не знает, это как два фаллоса, торчащих в разные стороны из места произростания.
Показываю ему витрину, там лежит штуки четыре. Размер примерно один, материал разный. Он их в руке взвесил, выбрал розовый гелевый, "Этот потяжелее будет, и ухватистый".
Идем на кассу, и он говорит:
"Мне же не по назначению, просто настоящую дубинку с собой не повозишь, без ничего тоже не особо, я одному в рыло дал, который платить отказался, там чуть не посадили, а тут, сто процентов, что это не оружие, да и никто в ментовку не пойдет, ну кто заставит себя признаться на людях, что его хуем отмудохали".
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Warning: This Agency Is Hazardous to Your Health

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The Food and Drug Administration has once again exposed a deadly menace to Americans’ health: the FDA itself. The rate of smoking has plummeted among Americans in the past decade, but now the agency’s empire-building bureaucrats are doing their best to reverse that trend.

The FDA has ordered Juul to stop selling its electronic cigarette (popularly known as the Juul), the most effective technology ever devised for inducing smokers to quit. The agency is also proposing to limit the amount of nicotine in traditional cigarettes, an approach that has failed in the past to wean smokers off their habit—and would perversely induce them to get their nicotine in more dangerous ways, either by smoking more cigarettes or by buying full-strength ones on the black market.

The Juul ban, temporarily suspended by a federal judge as Juul appeals the FDA’s order, defies not only the principles of public health but also political common sense: Why antagonize millions of voters in an election year by taking away their vaping sticks? The FDA conceded that it could point to no “immediate hazard” to the public from the Juul. It claimed that the company didn’t provide enough information on the Juul’s safety, but that claim is dubious—Juul spent more than $100 million on its application to the FDA. In any case, it’s silly to quibble about minor unknown risks in electronic cigarettes, which the U.K.’s public-health agency estimated to be 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes.

The ban makes sense only as a sop to the bureaucrats and special interests threatened by e-cigarettes, which provide the many benefits of nicotine—weight control, improved concentration and cognitive performance, reduced anxiety and better mood—without the thousands of toxins in tobacco smoke. Like caffeine, nicotine creates dependence and causes slight temporary rises in blood pressure, but both are “fairly harmless,” as the British Royal Society for Public Health concluded.

Anti-vaping activists and their allies at the FDA have claimed that e-cigarettes serve as a “gateway” to smoking for teenagers, but the rate of teenage smoking has fallen much faster during the vaping era than in previous years. When e-cigarettes were introduced a decade ago, 13 percent of high school students smoked; today the figure is less than 2 percent.

No one wants to see teenagers addicted to nicotine, but it is already illegal for them to buy e-cigarettes. Surveys show that the rate of vaping among high school students has declined sharply in the past two years, and that most teenage vapers do so only occasionally, often without nicotine. (A majority of them report using vaping devices for marijuana, yet progressive activists aren’t using that as reason to ban marijuana sales to adults.)

The rate of smoking among adults has also declined sharply during the vaping era, especially after the introduction of the Juul, and the health benefits have been obvious. A recent study, which tracked more than 30,000 Americans for six years, found that the rate of cardiovascular disease among e-cigarette users was a third lower than the rate among smokers, and no different from the rate among people who neither smoked nor vaped.

Other studies have shown that e-cigarettes help smokers quit and are far more effective than other nicotine-replacement therapies (like nicotine patches or gum). Even smokers with no intention to quit are much likelier to do so if they use an e-cigarette at least once a day. Juul has been particularly successful because it provides a high dose of nicotine in a form that is absorbed quickly, as in a tobacco cigarette. One study found that 50 percent of smokers who bought Juuls went on to quit smoking within a year. Another showed that smokers are more likely to quit if they use a full-strength Juul rather than one with less nicotine.

This is all wonderful news for public health, but bad news for companies that market less effective smoking-cessation products, as well as for the activists, academics, and bureaucrats who have built careers fighting cigarettes. Now that so many Americans have used vaping devices to quit smoking on their own, how can the anti-smoking activists justify their jobs? A lot of money is at stake: more than $800 million a year that the FDA collects from tobacco user fees, which are supposed to be dedicated to improving health by reducing the harm from tobacco products.

To keep the money flowing, bureaucrats misleadingly defined the e-cigarette as a “tobacco product” and set a new goal of eliminating the regular use of nicotine. Since beginning its campaign against e-cigarettes, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products has more than doubled the size of its staff, to over 1,100 people, and it has been dispensing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in outside grants, much of it to nonprofits spreading anti-vaping messages and to researchers who advocate for nicotine prohibition.

Unfortunately, the FDA’s misinformation campaign has been a success, aided by mainstream journalists who created a moral panic by blaming e-cigarettes for deaths that were actually caused by black-market THC products. Early in the vaping era, most Americans realized that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes, but in subsequent surveys a majority say that e-cigarettes are as dangerous or even more dangerous—a mistaken belief that will shorten many smokers’ lives.

Nicotine prohibition is a pointless and unrealistic goal. Alcohol abuse is a much bigger problem than smoking among teenagers, but we’ve learned that banning alcohol sales to adults would create far more problems than it would solve. The same is true for e-cigarettes. If the FDA succeeds in banning Juul and similar products, Americans will simply revert to tobacco cigarettes or turn to modern bootleggers for less safe vaping devices.

“There are at least 4 million adult ex-smokers who quit smoking successfully using e-cigarettes and remain dependent on these products to stay off of cigarettes,” says Michael Siegel of Tufts University, who has been studying tobacco control for three decades. “If the FDA disapproves most electronic cigarettes, the end result will be huge numbers of ex-smokers returning to smoking, which would be a public health tragedy.”

In the FDA’s fantasy world, smokers will be saved once the level of nicotine in cigarettes is lowered to “non-addictive” levels. The agency last week announced plans to limit the level of nicotine in all cigarettes, and it has even declared very low-nicotine cigarettes to be “appropriate for the protection of public health.” It’s a bizarre endorsement for a deadly product, especially considering the past failure of low-nicotine cigarettes to get smokers to quit, as University of Louisville professor of medicine Brad Rodu has pointed out.

“If the only cigarettes the FDA allows are low-nicotine, this is a perfect setup for the black market,” says Rodu, who writes the Tobacco Truth blog. “The FDA has banned Juul, a far less hazardous and uniquely successful cigarette substitute for millions of American adult smokers, while endorsing cigarettes that contain virtually none of the essentially harmless nicotine and all of the toxins of traditional cigarettes. These illogical actions will have no impact on the yearly smoking death toll of a half-million Americans—or they may perversely raise it.”

For now, the best hope for sane policy remains outside the FDA. Perhaps the courts will protect Juul against the FDA’s folly, and perhaps politicians facing reelection will stand up for voters who enjoy nicotine. But as long as the agency—and its $800 million in tobacco fees—remain under the control of nicotine prohibitionists, the FDA will remain hazardous to Americans’ health.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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cherjr
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bogorad
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