Friday Latte: Chicken Censorship in Iran, Low Diamond Demand, Japan Fighting for Imported Rice

Bawk Bawk...Big Brother?
Chickens facing censorship in Iran -- "They show chicken being eaten in movies while somebody might not be able to buy it," Mr Ahmadi-Moghaddam, brother-in-law of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told a law enforcement officers conference in Tehran. "Films are now the windows of society and some people observing this class gap might say that we will take knives and take our rights from the rich. IRIB [Iran's state broadcaster] should not be the shop window for showing all which is not accessible." The warning is the latest sign of official alarm over the strains being caused by rampant inflation and international sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects is intended to produce an atom bomb, despite Tehran's denials.

Radioactive rice.
Japanese Consumers Reconsidering Rice Loyalty -- In the four months that Walmart has been selling low-cost Chinese rice here, the big American retailer has struggled to keep shelves stocked at some stores. A Japanese chain, Beisia, also sold Chinese-grown rice for the first time this year but quickly ran out. Kappa Create's sushi restaurants have started to serve rice grown in California, while Matsuya, one of Japan's biggest beef and rice bowl chains, has introduced a blend of Japanese and Australian rice. Daikokuten Bussan, which runs discount stores across the country, says it would carry foreign rice if it could get a stable supply.

Bling bling.
De Beers Reduces Diamond Output -- De Beers SA, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds, is paring back its diamond output for this year in response to slightly weaker demand, the company's Chief Executive Philippe Mellier said Friday. De Beers plans to produce between 28 million to 30 million carats of diamonds this year, compared with 31.3 million carats last year. "I cannot give you an exact production but we will adjust production in accordance to stakeholders' demand," Mr. Mellier told journalists in a call. "Because of the softness in the market, we are focused on waste stripping and maintenance."

Drought woes continue in the States.
Widespread Drought Is Likely to Worsen -- The drought that has settled over more than half of the continental United States this summer is the most widespread in more than half a century. And it is likely to grow worse. The latest outlook released by the National Weather Service on Thursday forecasts increasingly dry conditions over much of the nation's breadbasket, a development that could lead to higherfood prices and shipping costs as well as reduced revenues in areas that count on summer tourism. About the only relief in sight was tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico and the Southeast that could bring rain to parts of the South.

- Sheena Moore

First Voice

  1. Thomas Kase:

    Iran’s ambitions make me think of this poem by Ernest Dowson:

    Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longham (the brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long)
    They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
    Love and desire and hate:
    I think they have no portion in us after
    We pass the gate.
    They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
    Out of a misty dream
    Our path emerges for a while, then closes
    Within a dream.

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