Cheat Sheet: July 10, 2013
A harbinger of Chinese language
China has for millennia found pride and patriotism in the longevity of its rich and ancient lineage. That heritage received another piece today as scientists and archeological scholars revealed over 200 artifacts with what appears to be the precursors to Chinese writing. The inscriptions have yet to be examined outside of China, but experts believe the inscriptions have been dated around 5,000 years old, almost a century and a half older than previously discovered writing and on par with some of the oldest known writing in the world. While the inscriptions on bone, jade, ceramic, wood and other materials are not enough to identify a writing system, they do indicate more than just as symbolic representation and may be a forerunner to the development of language. (Source)
Boston Bomber charged
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty today to all 30 counts from the April 15th bombing of the Boston Marathon which killed 3 and injured more than 200. The charges include using a weapon of mass destruction, use of a firearm, carjacking and others that involve the subsequent chase in which Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, led police for 3 days and a MIT police officer was killed. The trial, expected to take 3–4 months, will include a long line of survivors and witnesses and a detailed recount of the days that had all of Boston looking for the brothers until Tamerlan was killed and Tsarnaev was found bleeding and hiding in a boat until the owner found him and called police. It is a possibility prosecutors will seek the death penalty. (Source)
Detractors of Smithfield takeover pen letter to regulators.
An extensive letter, delivered to federal regulators, listed in no uncertain terms what local farmers, consumers and others felt were transgressions on the part of regulators and other oversight committees examining the proposed takeover of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui Internation, a Chinese-based company. The letter, dense and heavily supported by research and other papers from the field, cites many issues the proposed merger would exasperate, including the national price of pork, food safety concerns, risky meat import/export and how this takeover is one in a long list of Chinese-based companies grabbing bigger and bigger pieces of the American food market. Supporters argue the price increase would push farmers to produce more, thereby increasing the amount of food in the market, and the increase would be short term. The benefits, however, would be a larger market; something producers look to boost profits. (Source)