Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Ikea pulls meatballs over horse meat

Europe

Ikea pulls meatballs over horse meat

The escalating crisis over horse meat in beef products in Europe claimed another big retail victim Monday when the Swedish furniture giant, Ikea, withdrew meatballs from sale in 14 European countries. The retailer said it had removed some products from its stores in Sweden after the authorities in the Czech Republic detected horse meat in Ikea meatballs. The company said it had made the decision even though its own tests two weeks ago had not detected horse DNA. Ikea also announced that it was stopping sales "of the concerned batch" of meatballs in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland. The move came as European Union ministers were meeting in Brussels to discuss how to contain a crisis that began last month in Ireland, spread quickly to Britain, and has now expanded steadily across the continent. Around a dozen countries have now been affected.

Pasadena, Calif.

Mars rover analyzing powder from rock

The Mars rover Curiosity has successfully transferred a pinch of rock dust to its onboard laboratories for inspection, two weeks after drilling into its first rock.

NASA said Monday it received confirmation of the deliveries over the weekend. Scientists will spend the next several weeks studying the rock's chemical and mineral makeup.

Curiosity landed in Gale Crater near the equator last summer on a mission to determine whether the environment was favorable for microbes. It drilled into a flat rock this month and collected a tablespoon-size sample from the interior — the first time this was achieved on Mars.

The car-size rover still has to drive to Mount Sharp rising from the center of the crater floor. The trip is expected to take at least nine months with stops.

Washington

Bork tells of Nixon offer on high court

Robert Bork says President Richard Nixon promised him the next Supreme Court vacancy after Bork complied with Nixon's order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973.

Bork's recollection of his role in the Saturday Night Massacre that culminated in Cox's firing is at the center of his slim memoir, Saving Justice, that is being published posthumously by Encounter Books. Bork died in December at age 85.

President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork to the high court in 1987. The nomination failed in the Senate.

Nigeria

Video claims sect holds French hostages

A French family kidnapped last week on the Cameroon-Nigeria border appeared on a video posted on YouTube on Monday, with one of the hostages and a gunman claiming that the family is being held by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.

The family — three adults and four children — are shown sitting on the ground inside a sort of tent made from prayer mats, in front of a black Qaida-style banner, grim-faced but apparently in good health. The children, boys ages 5 to 12, fidget and glance at the camera. The family is flanked by two masked, fatigues-wearing men holding rifles, and in front of them is another masked hostage taker, who reads out a statement in Arabic demanding the release of "brothers" and "sisters" and threatening twice to "slaughter those we took" unless the group's demands are met.

Elsewhere

Afghanistan: The U.S. military has determined that its forces weren't involved in the alleged abduction and killing of civilians in a province in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

China: Two Tibetan monks in their early 20s set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule near dozens of pilgrims who had gathered for prayers to mark the end of the Tibetan New Year festival, the Washington, D.C.-based, International Campaign for Tibet reported Monday.

Israel: A Palestinian prisoner who died in an Israeli jail was given a hero's burial with military honors in the West Bank on Monday.

Times wires

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Middleton, Robinson students arrested in threats to shoot up schools, Tampa police say

Middleton, Robinson students arrested in threats to shoot up schools, Tampa police say

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Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

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Top 5 at noon: Mayors in Florida face fines of $5,000 if they enact stricter rules on gun control; Bucs release running back Doug Martin; and more

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Schools, Tampa police warn against ‘misleading’ school security reports

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Parkland students going to Tallahassee to push for gun law changes

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