City In China Ends Ban On Dogs

JIANGMEN, China, Aug. 6 (UPI) — The city of Jiangmen, China, has repealed its total ban on dogs after only nine days but still bars them in public areas, officials say.

The local ordinance was approved in June, and went into effect July 26, Xinhua reported. The regulation, which banned residents from having dogs within the urban areas of Jiangmen, also authorized stray dogs found roaming the streets to be euthanized, the state-run news agency said.

The regulation, issued by the municipal government, was prompted by the more than 12,000 dog bites in the city in 2010, 42 deaths due to dog attacks between 2008 and 2010, and more than 4,000 dog-related complaints police received between January and July of this year.

On Wednesday, in response to an outcry by residents, officials amended the law to permit dog ownership within the city, but still bans them from public spaces.

Vallejo, Calif., To Exit Bankruptcy

VALLEJO, Calif., Aug. 6 (UPI) — After almost three years, the city of Vallejo, Calif., has been approved to come of out Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy, officials say.

Judge Michael McManus of U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Vallejo’s debt-restructuring plan in the Eastern District of California Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“I’m pleased how things turned out and now the city can begin the process of rebuilding,” said Marc Levinson, Vallejo’s bankruptcy attorney.

The city entered bankruptcy protection in 2008 following three years of budget shortcomings and was $50 million in debt.

Philip Batchelor, Vallejo’s interim city manager, said the city will have to stick to a strict five-year budget, which is intended to produce a flat revenue by increasing the city’s sales tax by 1 percent and keeping the public workforce at its current level, which is down 50 percent in some sectors.

Vallejo is the second-largest municipal bankruptcy filing in California, following Orange County’s bankruptcy filing in 1994.

Other cities are looking the Vallejo situation; on Monday, Central Falls, R.I., filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, and Jefferson County, Ala., is currently looking to prevent bankruptcy by restructuring its $3.2 billion debt connected to bonds for a new sewer system.

Eat Gazpacho Right Away To Save Vitamin C

MADRID, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Scientists in Spain recommend eating gazpacho — a soup containing vegetables eaten cold — as soon as it is prepared to retain more vitamin C.

Study co-author Elena Maria Rodriguez and colleagues at the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of La Laguna examined gazpacho and compared the levels of vitamin C — ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acid — in each of the ingredients separately before preparation and in the resulting gazpacho.

Although there many recipes, gazpacho generally contains bread, olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions and garlic, the researchers say.

“We found that the gazpacho showed a lower ascorbic/dehydroascorbic acid ratio than the vegetables used to prepare it,” Rodriguez says in a statement. “This suggests that some of the vegetables’ antioxidant capacity is lost.”

The study, published in the Journal of Food, finds peppers had the highest vitamin C content, followed by tomatoes and then the gazpacho itself. In general, tomatoes and garlic contained the highest levels of organic acids — citric, oxalic, fumaric, malic and glutamic — and cucumbers the lowest. Garlic and onions had the highest concentrations of the main organic acids of present, glutamic and citric, than the other vegetables, the study says.

The study authors recommend eating gazpacho as soon as it has been prepared, or “preserving it correctly so that the vegetables maintain their antioxidant characteristics.”

Police Cars Set On Fire At London Protest

LONDON, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Two police cars were set on fire in London Saturday during a demonstration to protest the shooting death of a young man by police, police said.

A crowd estimated at 300 people gathered in Tottenham, north London, to demand justice for the man’s death, Sky News reported.

The BBC reported Metropolitan Police said riot officers were deployed after the protesters threw projectiles at the squad cars, setting them ablaze. The officers also had bottles and other objects thrown at them, police said.

The British network said the demonstration was held in response to Thursday’s shooting death of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four.

“… A number of bottles were thrown at these two cars — one was set alight and the second was pushed into the middle of the High Road. It was subsequently set slight,” the BBC quoted an unidentified police spokesman as saying.

“The officers were not in the vehicles and were unhurt.”

One member of the crowd, Vanessa Robinson, said the protest started peacefully, but turned into “absolute chaos.”

Maria Robinson of Tottenham called the situation “absolutely manic” and said people were throwing bottles, “making bottle bombs,” setting fires and breaking into shops.

David Akinsanya, 46, who also lives in the neighborhood, said several shop windows had been smashed.

“It’s really bad,” he said. “There are two police cars on fire. I’m feeling unsafe. It looks like it’s going to get very tasty. I saw a guy getting attacked.”

300,000 Join Israeli Housing Protests

JERUSALEM, Aug. 6 (UPI) — About 300,000 people around Israel joined protests Saturday against the government’s housing policy and the high cost of living in the country.

The turnout was about twice what it was July 30, The Jerusalem Post reported. The biggest rally was in Tel Aviv, where the crowd was estimated at 280,000.

The Knesset or Parliament approved a law Wednesday that transfers the approval of new construction projects by regional committees. Protest organizers said that would bring new people to the rallies.

Itzik Shmuli, head of the Israeli National Union of Students, said the protests are not aimed at bringing down the government.

“We are young people who are demanding a change in the cruel economic policies,” he said. “We are demanding a personal economy over one that tramples, we are demanding an economy that takes into consideration the suffering of people and not one that only crunches numbers.”

Rabbi Beni Lau, who also spoke in Tel Aviv, said protesters “want to found a state based on social justice.” Lau said the Israeli tent “has room for all.”

Tymoshenko Arrest Angers Opposition

KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 6 (UPI) — An opposition leader in the Ukrainian Parliament called Saturday for an emergency session on the arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The arrest during a court hearing Friday also has been criticized internationally, RIA Novosti reported.

Mukola Tomenko, the vice speaker of Parliament said Ukraine is in a “situation of unlawfulness.”

“Today, Parliament is the only place where the opposition can at least present an alternative perspective on what is going on in Ukraine and on the unprecedented unlawful and undemocratic actions of the authorities,” Tomenko said.

Tymoshenko, who came close to defeating President Viktor Yanukovych in the most recent presidential election, says the case against her is political. She is accused of illegally signing a gas agreement with Russia in 2009.

She had been banned from traveling outside Kiev but was ordered detained by a judge Friday.

David Kramer, president of Freedom House in Washington, said the arrest “has moved this situation from the absurd to the outrageous.”

In Russia, a Kremlin official told the Kommersant newspaper the arrest could have “long-term consequences” for Yanukovych.

Boehner: S&P Sent Dems ‘wake-up Call’

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) — U.S. House Speaker John Boehner called Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating “a wake-up call” for the Democratic Party.

The Ohio Republican said Friday his party has been willing to tackle the country’s debt problem, The Hill reported.

“Republicans have listened to the voices of the American people and worked to bring the spending binge to a halt,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, decades of reckless spending cannot be reversed immediately, especially when the Democrats who run Washington remain unwilling to make the tough choices required to put America on solid ground. It is my hope this wake-up call will convince Washington Democrats that they can no longer afford to tinker around the edges of our long-term debt problem.”

S&P, when it changed its rating for U.S. treasury bonds from AAA to AA+, said both parties share in the blame. The agency said Republicans were most responsible for the “political brinksmanship” in the debt limit crisis that demonstrated the government has become “less stable, less effective and less predictable.”

Polish Farmer-politician Takes Own Life

WARSAW, Poland, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Andrzej Lepper, a populist Polish politician whose career ended in a sex scandal, was found hanged in his office in an apparent suicide.

Police discovered the body Friday, the Warsaw Business Journal reported. Lepper, a former pig farmer, deputy prime minister, minister of agriculture and leader of the Self-Defense Party, was 57.

Lepper became involved in politics after the fall of the Communist regime when many farmers were ruined by the hyperinflation of 1989-1992. He founded a hybrid between a political party and union, “Self Defense for the Republic of Poland.”

The movement was involved in strikes and blockades. In 2001 it became a serious political force when it won 10 percent of the seats in Parliament.

In 2005, Lepper, a leading Eurosceptic, came in third in the presidential race and his party won 11 percent of the seats in Parliament. But two years later Self Defense won only 2 percent of the vote and no longer had representation in Parliament.

With a stable economy, Lepper’s program was less attractive to voters. He also was brought down by allegations he demanded sexual favors from a subordinate.

Opposition Snubs Cyprus President

NICOSIA, Cyprus, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Cypriot President Demetris Christofias tried to revitalize his government and reach out to the opposition but was left with a new Cabinet much like the old one.

Kikis Kazamias, a former member of the European Court of Auditors, was added to the Cabinet as finance minister Friday, The New York Times reported. That was the most important change at a time of economic crisis.

The opposition snubbed Christofias’ overtures.

“Constitutionally, the government is viable but practically it can’t rule, it will need to bargain with five opposition parties on each piece of legislation it brings to Parliament,” said Victor Roudometof, a sociologist at the University of Cyprus. “He can’t do it on his own — it’s mission impossible.”

Christofias’ standing with voters has plunged. Cyprus’ economic future has been compromised by the $7.1 billion in Greek debt held by its banks. In addition, an explosion at a munitions dump gutted a nuclear plant.

1 Of 3 Bodies Recovered From Vernal Falls

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., Aug. 6 (UPI) — The U.S. National Park Service said Saturday the body of one of three hikers swept over Yosemite’s Vernal Falls on July 19 has been recovered.

Yosemite Rangers and search-and-rescue personnel found the body of Hormiz David, 22, of Modesto, Calif., Friday afternoon about 240 feet from the base of the falls, reported.

David and two friends, Ninos Yacoub, 27, and Ramina Badal, 21, climbed over a barrier at the top of the falls July 19. They waded into the raging waters to take some photographs and were swept over the 318-foot Vernal Falls, the largest waterfall on the Merced River in California.

The recovery operation lasted more than 4 hours and required personnel trained in swift water and technical rigging.

Water flows in Yosemite and throughout the Sierra are unusually high this summer due to record winter snowfalls.