Short Takes: News From All Over

May 17, 2007

| May 2007

Energy Crisis
By Adam Cayton-Holland, Westword
Rumors have been flying about that the newest energy drink, Spike Shooter, is making children sick, even causing heart palpitations. In a very unscientific attempt to assess the effects of the beverage, Westword writer Adam Cayton-Holland explicitly defies the warning labels and tries to drink two cans of Spike Shooter in one day. The result is both harrowing and hilarious, and leaves Cayton-Holland feeling 'completely cracked out.' --Chris Gehrke

CNN Plans to Release Upcoming Debate Footage Under Creative Commons
By Arlen Parsa, The Daily Background
In a decision that's being applauded by bloggers and presidential candidates alike, executives at CNN have announced that video footage of this summer's Democratic and Republican presidential debates will be free for public re-broadcasting. The footage will be released under the Creative Commons license, which allows internet users to post video online without the restrictions of traditional copyright laws. -- Eric Kelsey

The PB&J Campaign
By the PB&J Campaign
Instead of reaching for a turkey sandwich, consider the environmentally friendly lunch choice: a good old PB&J. According to the PB&J Campaign -- 'an effort of private citizens concerned about the environment and about animal welfare' that is not some 'front for the National Peanut Board' -- swapping a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for its meat-filled counterpart saves an estimated 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and about '12 to 50 square feet of land from deforestation, over-grazing, and pesticide and fertilizer pollution.' (Thanks, Groxie.) -- Bennett Gordon

Psst, Got Antiretrovirals?
By Kai Wright, Mother Jones
'AIDS drugs are among the world's most expensive pharmaceuticals,' reports Kai Wright, and the black market is trying to cash in. People have begun to use the New York state Medicaid system to buy cheap antiretroviral drugs and sell them illegally in the Dominican Republic and other developing nations. 'It is something I cannot fight,' says Dr. Carlos Adon, who treats AIDS patients in the Dominican Republic, where the black market is sometimes the only option to get the medications. 'People want to live.' -- Bennett Gordon

Corporate Hall of Shame
By Corporate Accountability International
Coca-Cola, Halliburton, and ExxonMobil have more in common than just a poor history of protecting workers' rights, they also share the dishonor of being nominees for this year's Corporate Hall of Shame. The website, sponsored by the advocacy organization Corporate Accountability International, asks visitors to vote for the world's three worst corporate offenders. Statistics on the offenses of each nominee and information about counteractions by advocacy groups are available on the site. Voters are encouraged to contribute their own comments about the corporations, which will be posted along with the results in June. -- Chris Gehrke

Terrorist Label Rests With Judge
By Bill Bishop, Register-Guard
The oft-abused 'terrorist' label could carry new weight once a judge in Eugene, Oregon, decides whether it's the appropriate designation for 10 environmental activists who pled guilty to 'conspiracy to commit arsons.' If the judge deems the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front activists as terrorists, they could face an additional 20 years under the 'terrorism enhancement' law. The case is being closely watched by many in the activist community, who worry that slapping the terrorist label on eco-activists will set a disturbing precedent. -- Natalie Hudson

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