Short Takes: News From All Over: April 15, 2004

China Plans for Free Condoms
By Staff, Herald Sun
Acknowledging that HIV/AIDS poses a major threat to its population, China will begin handing out free condoms at all entertainment venues. New syringes and methadone will also be made available. Government estimates put the number of Chinese infected with HIV/AIDS at 840,000, but international experts call that a gross understatement and worry that the number could balloon to 10 million by 2010. — Jacob Wheeler,5481,9262898,00.html

Take a Closer Look: Smell the Satire
By Staff, Hublog /
What’s the saying: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words?’ Or is it, ‘A picture is worth a thousand other pictures.’ Well, the portraits of right-wing extremist Attorney General John Ashcroft who launched a war against the world’s great evil, Internet Porn, or shoot-em-all cowboy President George W. Bush who thinks Iraq ought to be an extension of his Texas ranch, may reveal a few surprises. — Jacob Wheeler

Vancouver Bus Rider Union Brings Back Night Bus Service
By Staff, The Dominion
Night owls in Vancouver have reason to smile now that the regional transit board Translink has voted to reinstate 24-hour bus service. The decision was a positive surprise to the Bus Riders Union, whose members ride the buses and talk to passengers about how the union can help them. — Jacob Wheeler

Michigan Students Hunger Strike to Support Farm Worker Justice
By Staff, Michigan Independent Media Center
Student activists at Central Michigan University and the University of Florida are engaged in a concurrent hunger strike to protest Taco Bell’s presence on college campuses. Nineteen other schools have been successful in their ‘Boot the Bell’ campaign. According to a CMU Student/Farmworker Alliance press release, ‘the farm workers who pick tomatoes for Taco Bell’s parent company, YUM! Brands Inc., make an average of $7,500 per year, leaving farm workers’ income at half the national poverty level.’ — Jacob Wheeler

Zinc Nasal Sprays May Kill Your Sense of Smell — But Pepper Could be the Cure
By Staff, eMediaWire
Popular ‘anti-cold’ zinc-based nasal sprays may prevent you from ever smelling the roses again, but a can of good old pepper spray could save the day. No, not the kind carried by riot police, but a nasal spray with natural hot pepper extract called the Sinus Buster. — Jacob Wheeler

Cola Wars: Striking Unionists Battle Coke and Paramilitaries
By Staff, In These Times
Columbia’s notorious paramilitary unit, the AUC, has threatened the lives of 30 local Coca-Cola workers who began a hunger strike one month ago to protest the company’s mass firing of 91 of their colleagues — three-fourths of whom were union leaders. Anti-sweatshop student groups in the United States are organizing, and DePaul University in Chicago has asked the Workers Rights Consortium to step in. — Jacob Wheeler

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