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Jul 19, 201302:09 PM

Cheat Sheet: July 19, 2013

Indian village reeling over deaths of schoolchildren

23 schoolchildren, some as young as 5, died yesterday from eating what appears to be a contaminated school lunch in a village in Bihar, a state to the northwest of the country. After a midday lunch of rice and potatoes, students walked to the village’s only water pump to wash their dishes. It wasn’t long after that students began vomiting and convulsing on the ground. Many were rushed to a local medical building, but they could do little for the children. They were then rushed to a larger hospital in the capital city of Patna, where many died. It is unclear what exactly has caused the deaths that have rocked the entire state into a frenzy of mourning, questioning and protests, but NGOs have already stopped providing food to the area for fear of being connected to the school. (Source)

SeaWorld strikes at movie makers for documentary

SeaWorld is launching a pre-emptive counter-campaign against Blackfish, a documentary by film producer by Magnolia Pictures. The movie, set to be released this fall, takes a harsh look at killer whale captivity at the park, especially the actions of Tilikum, a killer whale responsible for the death of a trainer, Dawn Brancheau, in 2010 and connected to two other deaths in other parks. The film’s director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, has defended her movie, saying the “inescapable conclusion” of her work is that these whales should never be in captivity and that they suffer severe emotional and psychological harm from remaining. SeaWorld is taking action before the release by sending a grilling critique of the documentary to the film critics whom will review it.  Some trainers have spoken publicly against the documentary, stating the film skewed interviews to purposefully present a negative image of the park. The film is set to be released by CNN Films October 24. (Source)

Supreme Court of Virginia set to rule on tunnel tolls

On May 1 a Portsmouth judge ruled that tolls on the Midtown and Downtown tunnels were unconstitutional. Since then, the state has been looking for alternative ways to pay off the $422 million federal loan owed to the Department of Transportation for the tolls project. If the Supreme Court agrees with the May 1 ruling, the state will have cut funding to other road projects to pay the loan as there will be no tolls. However, if the Courts disagree and rule it constitutional, then the tolls will be finished and starting on February 1. The tolls project also includes money for a second midtown crossing to be completed in 2016, as well as renovations, cleaning and maintenance projects for all the tunnels. (Source)

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