Recall of Thomas the Tank Engine toys due to lead-paint fears

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A recall issued last week for Thomas the Tank Engine toys made in China and containing lead-based paint, is the latest scare for consumers, and follows recent scandals involving Chinese-made pet food, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste and other toys, The New York Times has reported in a series of articles.

Last week, RC2, a U.S. toy company based in Oak Brook, Illinois, issued a recall for its popular wooden “Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends” train sets. The recall involved 1.5 million “Thomas Wooden Railway” vehicles and train sets sold at toy stores and various retailers across the U.S. from January 2005 through June 2007.

A subsequent recall has been issued in the United Kingdom, where Thomas the Tank Engine was originated in the 1940s as a character in a children’s story by the Reverend W.V. Awdry. Around 70,000 toys are involved in the U.K. recall, according to The Guardian.

“RC2 has determined that the surface paints on the recalled products contain lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a press release dated June 13. “Consumers should take the recalled toys away from young children immediately and contact RC2 Corp. for a replacement toy,” the commission said.

Those “adverse health effects” could include brain and nerve damage, especially in young children, as well as blood and brain disorders. Severe lead poisoning causes vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, anemia, loss of appetite, headaches and in particularly high doses, coma and death.

In an article on Monday, The New York Times reported that recalls have been issued for 24 different toys in the U.S. in the past year, and every one of them was made in China. According to the Toy Industry Association, toys made in China account for around 70 percent to 80 percent of all the toys sold in the U.S., The Times said.

“These are items that children are supposed to be playing with,” Prescott Carlson was quoted as saying by The Times. Carlson is a co-founder of a child-safety website called Imperfect Parent, which tracks recalls of toys and other baby products. “It should be at a point where companies in the United States that are importing these items are held liable,” Carlson said.

RC2 would not comment to The Times, and a Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman would not say how long ago the problem with the lead paint was discovered.

For a follow-up article on Tuesday, The Times visited a factory in Dongguan, in China’s Guangdong province, where the “Thomas and Friends” toys are made. The paper interviewed workers and took photos on the factory floor.

“You’re intruding,” a factory manager identified only as Zhong was quoted as telling the reporters. “Tell me, why exactly are you here?”

During the visit, a reporter, translator and a photographer were detained by factory officials, and released a day later after local police and government officials intervened.

The factory also produces other toys for RC2, including toy John Deere trucks, NASCAR racing models and M&M’s cars, The Times said. RC2 makes the toys under licenses from various companies. The “Thomas and Friends” toys are made under license from Hit Entertainment, which owns the “Thomas” brand.

According to RC2, items in the “Thomas and Friends” recall are:

  • Red James Engine & Red James’ # 5 Coal Tender
  • Red Lights & Sounds James Engine & Red James’ #5
  • Lights & Sounds Coal Tender
  • James with Team Colors Engine & James with Team Colors *#5 Coal Tender
  • Red Skarloey Engine
  • Brown & Yellow Old Slow Coach
  • Red Hook & Ladder Truck & Red Water Tanker Truck
  • Red Musical Caboose
  • Red Sodor Line Caboose
  • Red Coal Car labeled “2006 Day Out With Thomas” on the Side
  • Red Baggage Car
  • Red Holiday Caboose
  • Red “Sodor Mail” Car
  • Red Fire Brigade Truck
  • Red Fire Brigade Train
  • Deluxe Sodor Fire Station
  • Red Coal Car
  • Yellow Box Car
  • Red Stop Sign
  • Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign
  • Yellow “Sodor Cargo Company” Cargo Piece
  • Smelting Yard
  • Ice Cream Factory

Toys listed that are marked with codes containing “WJ” or “AZ” are not included in the recall.

Earlier, RC2 said that customers would have to cover shipping costs to return the toys to the company. It later agreed to cover postage after angry complaints by parents, The Times said in an article yesterday. Refunds will take about two months.

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United States President Trump dismisses Secretary of State Tillerson

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

United States President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday, that Rex Tillerson will no longer serve as the Secretary of State. Trump will nominate Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director as Tillerson’s successor, and Deputy Director Gina Haspel will be nominated to replace Pompeo. The Secretary of State is the U.S. equivalent of a foreign minister in most other countries.

Trump first made the announcement in an early morning tweet at 5:43 AM ET (UTC?04:00). The State Department said in a statement, Tillerson “did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason” for his dismissal from office.

The President spoke to the press on the South Lawn of the White House later on Tuesday, saying “I’ve worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time. Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect. We’re always on the same wavelength. The relationship has always been very good and that’s what I need as Secretary of State.”

Trump wished Tillerson well, adding that “Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. We — we got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things,” continued the President. “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently.”

According to NBC News and Reuters, there have been months of disagreements between Trump and Tillerson leading up to the dismissal.

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Used forklifts Maximize business performance at affordable price


Lornell Morris.

Fork lift trucks are also known as lift trucks that are widely used by several organizations for the transportation of materials. As the name signifies, these trucks are basically manufactured to lift heavy loads that are not possible for many to lift through the use of manpower. In simple words, these types of trucks are intended to maximize efficiency as well as business. Most of the firms dealing with construction are taking the benefit of these trucks to move raw material and other goods, and save huge cost and time.

If you re the one who has a business or planning to start a business then the first step you should purchase a suitable truck to fulfill your business needs. This step is required to move raw materials or other stuff that you re going to use for a business. It will take lots of human power utilization. These trucks can save cost significantly. Well, once you are determined to use these trucks for your business then you can simply buy a new truck. In case you have some financial problem or wish to save huge amount of money, the used one will be quite profitable.

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Meanwhile, choosing trucks often depends upon business strategies and material that you want to be moved. If your requirement of moving material is small then a small size truck can be preferred. When a firm is into a business dealing with transportation of heavy things, these heavy duty fork lift trucks can ideal for you. Most of the time businessmen go for brand new trucks. People who either do not need these trucks for a long time or are not using them for daily activities they can prefer the used forklifts trucks.

Generally, the perception is that an owner sells his trucks either due to damage or some other reasons. But few people understand that these fork lift trucks are sold by an owner who wants to wind up his business. So, be sure that always you ll get these trucks in a good condition.

Today, you may find many used forklifts for sale dealers in your area. But, finding them on the internet is always a better option. The web will give information about the source that offers high performance trucks at cheaper rates. The purchaser should make a choice after getting available information about a particular truck. Besides this, buyers can get several kinds of attachment that will assist a user to make every task easier. You can also enhance the workability of these lifting machines or vehicles by replacing certain parts of it.

Overall, used fork lift trucks are advantageous over using manpower to get efficiency in a business. These used trucks can produce the same quality of works as brand new. So, if you ve requirement for these types of trucks then buying the used one would be a far better choice to you save the cost of production.

Lornell Morris Jr. is the author of this article on Lift Trucks. Find more information on Used Forklifts here.

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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Scotland denies bail to terminally ill man convicted of Lockerbie bombing

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scotland has refused bail to the Libyan man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 despite his terminal cancer, as he can receive treatment in prison. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was jailed in 2001 for the 1988 bombing of the transatlantic airliner, killing 270 people, but is seeking to have his conviction overturned.

Minutes after Edinburgh’s Appeals Court rejected bail on compassionate grounds Jim Swire, spokesman for the victim’s families who lost his daughter in the disaster, complained about the ruling. “It has never been a goal of our group to seek revenge,” said a lawyer outside the court reading from his statement. “The refusal of a return to his family for a dying man whose verdict is not even yet secure looks uncomfortably like either an aspect of revenge — or perhaps timidity.”

Al-Megrahi, a former intelligence officer, is 54 and serving a minimum of 27 years for the bombing. He has advanced prostate cancer which is spreading through his body. His request for bail was rejected by Lord Hamilton, Scotland’s head judge, who said that as doctors say he could live a few more years he should not be released unless and until after his appeal succeeds or his condition worsens.

Should Megrahi have been released?
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Some other doctors give his time as just months, as the cancer has reached his bones. Hamilton however said that palliative hormone treatment could prolong his life. Hamilton also said Al-Megrahi was not suffering “material pain or disability”.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission ruled last year that the conviction may be a miscarriage of justice. It said there was significant doubts to be raised over several key pieces of evidence in the original trial.

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Field Guides To Our Rescue}

Field guides to our rescue


Jacques Habra

One of the inevitable parts of our travel kits are field guides and NIMS guides. These tiny but not to be ignored pocket books give us quick knowledge about a particular species of plant or an animal that we seem to be interested in. Its generally used by tourists to identify animals or plants that may look alike but are not closely related.

These small light weight books contain lot of valuable information, photos and maps that can help us lead to our animal or plant we want to reach, their primary habitats, their description, their food habits, migration etc. Just by flipping few pages we can unravel a whole lot of animal secrets weve always been dying to find out.

Normally field guides are mostly dealing with plants and animals but other than this there are also field guides who help in identifying rocks, footprints, minerals, clouds, stars and planets and plenty of other things of interest. So if you are a nature lover then filed guides have surely been a trip a part of your trips at some point or the other.

Not only do we find conventional field guides for every particular species of animals but we also have specialized field guides which include guides to habitats like deserts, coastal regions, forests, wetlands, guides to activities like wild life photography, hiking, eco-tourism and guides to conservation, endangered species and threatened communities.

Finding an unknown species name in a field guide does not necessarily mean that every time youre flipping pages you slog to find the unknown animal or plants description.

These guides are arranged so methodically that each time we want to get any information we get to the point right away-

According to physical characteristics-

For instance a field guide to trees might group its species according to whether leaves are attached to trees singly, in pairs or in groups.

According to whats related to what-

For instance bird field guides nearly always group together birds that belong to the same order (duck order, owl order or perching bird order)

Its totally up to you to choose which order you prefer the most. Generally for amateurs its better to go with a field guide according to physical traits and for professionals to choose field guides arranged taxonomically.

Online field guides:

The internet also has available to us a whole new face of field guides at click of a button with high-quality graphics and lot more interactivity compared to the old pocket book

For more information on using and buying

Field guides


NIMS guides

, please visit InformedGuides.com. InformedGuides.com also provides information on emergencies, emergency response and disaster management.

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Field guides to our rescue}

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Navy helping New Orleans pets

Navy helping New Orleans pets
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Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Spanish word “tortuga” means “turtle.” But in the wake of the New Orleans disaster, the USS Tortuga is helping other animals.

For nearly two weeks now, sailors from Tortuga’s repair division have devoted much of their time during this disaster relief operation to ensure the health and comfort of displaced pets.

September 4th, just after the ship moored to a pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) New Orleans, HT1(SW) Mark Hanley and DC1(SW) Antony Graves gathered materials from the repair shop on board to construct a kennel along the levee. The facility they made soon became a popular shelter for the homeless animals of the storm.

Tortuga’s search and rescue team brought aboard more than 170 displaced citizens during this past week, providing them with food, water, medical aid and a place to sleep.

Tortuga’s makeshift kennel, named ‘Camp Milo & Otis,’ has housed as many as 90 dogs, eight cats, one rabbit, one guinea pig, a pair of parakeets and a flightless pigeon during the past week of operation.

Currently, there are 14 dogs that remain in Tortuga’s care, as many of the other pets have been taken to animal shelters in the area for extra medical attention, or been claimed by their owners upon arrival to Tortuga. The pets that Tortuga has registered have all been in the hands of professional veterinarians assigned to provide expert medical attention to the members of Camp Milo & Otis.

Dr. Kelly Crowdis and Dr. Latina Gambles, both from Tuskegee University and Christian Veterinary Missions, have treated many of the pets for infection, dehydration, malnourishment and broken bones at the Camp during the past week.

“The animals were bathed and assessed before physical interaction with the sailors,” said Dr. Crowdis. “They’ve been given immunizations, antibiotics and medications based on their medical needs.”

Dr. Crowdis added, “What these sailors have done on their own has been such a heart-warming thing. As an animal lover, it is so comforting to know that everyone cares about the animals in addition to the human lives rescued from the storm. I’m very pleased with these guys for taking the initiative to construct this kennel.”

Graves, Hanley and other members of their division have consistently bathed, fed, walked and given special attention to every dog, every day.

“We play with them,” said Hanley. “We take them out of their kennels to give them attention every day. And we’ll continue to do that for as long as our ship’s mission keeps us here.”

September 11th, the Agricultural Center at Louisiana State University donated supplies to “Camp Milo & Otis” in support of Tortuga’s efforts to help the animal victims.

”We got medical supplies, bowls, food, cages, leashes, collars, toys, cat litter and cleaning supplies from these people yesterday,” said Graves. “It’s nice to know that so many people out there have heard about what our ship is doing, and responded by donating so much to support us the best they can.”

A photo gallery of unclaimed pets is on the USS Tortuga’s web site.

As part of disaster plans, the Department of Homeland Security has also deployed Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams to provide medical care to pets and livestock, as well as provide any needed veterinary medical care for search and rescue dogs.

There are over 3,850 animals being sheltered around the state. If someone is looking for a pet they should contact their nearest Humane Society or go online to http://www.petfinder.org// . More information is also available at http://www.vetmed.lsu.edu//.

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Australian Senator arrives at Parliament dressed as a beer bottle

Australian Senator arrives at Parliament dressed as a beer bottle
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Family First Senator Steve Fielding arrived at Parliament today, dressed as a beer bottle to raise awareness of a bill he intends to move in the Senate today. Senator Fielding will introduce a bill to establish a nationwide refund scheme for bottles and cans.

A similar scheme has operated in South Australia since 1977.

Family First wants a rebate of 10 cents per container, while the Australian Greens want 20 cents.

Speaking to reporters outside parliament dressed as a beer bottle, the Senator said the legislation would reduce litter by 25 per cent. “There’s a message in this bottle.”

“I am no longer trash, I’m cash.”

“We should get the litter off the streets and off the creeks and into recycling – that’s good for the environment and good for the community”

“It’s a win-win and I can’t understand why nationally we don’t have a scheme,” said Senator Fielding.

Senator Fielding said that recycling not only reduced litter, but also consumes less energy than making new containers from scratch. “Recycling a plastic bottle saves more than 80 per cent of the energy used to make a bottle from scratch and recycling aluminium cans uses just five per cent of the energy used making a can from scratch,” said the Senator.

Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Greens said while there were environmental benefits from recycling, it would also create thousands of new jobs.

“This is a very good way of recycling and reducing energy because a lot of energy goes into making cans and bottles,” Senator Brown told reporters.

“It will employ tens of thousands of people across Australia.”

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Meditation For Beginners: What Are The Easiest Meditation Techniques?}

Submitted by: Trevor Johnson

Meditation for beginners – what’s the easiest meditation technique for a beginner in meditation – is the question that a lot of people are asking nowadays. Meditation has lots of benefits including helping you to relax and, at last, the western world is waking up to the idea of meditating on a regular basis. The only question that’s really left is where to start?

Try a local meditation class

You’ll find these advertised in places like your local health food shop or alternative health center. Quite often they’re linked in with a yoga class as the two subjects can often go hand in hand. If you’re unsure where to start or need the kind of routine that a local meditation class offers then they’re well worth investigating.

If there isn’t a meditation class locally at a time that works for you then:

Try an online meditation class

These have almost all the benefits of an in-person meditation class but with the flexibility in time scheduling to work around your needs. Which is great if you have an irregular routine or if a local class clashes with your other activities.

Download a beginners meditation course

Because so many people are taking up meditation there are a myriad of online options available.

Breathing meditation is well catered for whether you’re just starting out or want something more advanced. Most of these courses take the form of a guided meditation which talks you through the whole relaxation process and makes sure that you are following it correctly.

Other guided meditations are readily available as well. You can choose from ones that are aimed at a general relaxation or others where you can use the power of meditation to help your body to heal itself. There are also guided meditations which are designed to help you connect with your higher self. These will lead you through the process of connecting with your spirit guide, the other worldly entity that many people believe looks after us in this life.

Energy meditations are also available for instant download. They are another great way to start the meditative process and, as the name suggests, will help you to relate to your core energy and bring you back in touch with yourself.

Binaural beats meditations are slightly more controversial as traditional meditators don’t like the way that these MP3s allow you to short-cut the learning process that is normally associated with meditation. Instead, you just listen to an specially recorded track which does all the complicated stuff to get your brainwaves down to the level you’d experience if you had been practising meditation for years and years.

These are my personal favorite way to meditate and are the way that I personally recommend that you start out if you are a beginner in meditation. The reason that I think they are so good is that there is no learning curve associated with binaural beats meditations. All you do is press play on your CD or MP3 player and let the high tech binaural beats take care of everything else. They really are the simplest meditation for beginners method.

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meditation for beginners

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