September 14, 2008

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6 Million Tires Recalled Due To Chinese Defect

June 13, 2008

An Ohio distributor, Tech International, is recalling about 6 million tire valve stems after concluding that some of them were improperly made and could increase the risk of accidents. The stems were made by manufacturer Shanghai Baolong Industries Co. in Shanghai, China. It estimates that just 8,600 of roughly 6 million of those valves are defective, but this was enough for a much broader recall.

The valve is a replacement snap-in tire valve (Model No. TR413) manufactured between July and November 2006.

The recall asserts that the rubber part of the valve may crack after being in use for about six months, causing a gradual loss of tire pressure. Continuing to drive on underinflated tires can cause them to burst, possibly leading to crashes. The defect was identified after “a small number” of the valves were reported by customers and one distributor to have failed.

The samples were shipped to China, and, in March, Baolong concluded that some valves could be defective. “The cause of the defect is likely improper mixing of the rubber compound in the manufacturer’s facility,” Tech International wrote in a letter to the transportation safety authority.


Breastfeeding Police Officer to the Rescue

May 22, 2008

A Chinese police office, Jiang Xiaojuan, 29, is the mother of a 6-month-old boy. After tthe magnitude 7.9 quake struck last week, she responded to the call of duty and the instincts of motherhood.

“I am breast-feeding, so I can feed babies. I didn’t think of it much,” she said. “It is a mother’s reaction, and a basic duty as a police officer to help.”

As of Thursday, the death toll from the earthquake had risen to more than 51,000, while more than 29,000 are still missing. Thousands of children have been orphaned; many others have mothers who simply can’t feed them. Although she cannot do it all alone, Officer Xiaojuan has jumped to the call of duty including, at one point, feeding nine babies.

“Some of the moms were injured, their fathers were dead … five of them were orphans. They’ve gone away to an orphanage now,” she said.


Double-Amputee Wins Appeal To Qualify For Olympics

May 19, 2008

Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius can try to qualify for the Beijing Olympics after winning his appeal against a ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the South African sprinter said on Friday.The International Association of Athletics Federations ruled in January that runner Pistorius could not compete with able-bodied athletes because the carbon-fiber blades attached to both legs gave him an advantage.

The 21-year-old appealed to CAS, which ruled in his favour on Friday following a hearing with various scientists at the end of last month.

“I don’t think ‘really happy’ describes it. I’m ecstatic. The battle has been going on for far too long. It is a victory for sports in general. I think this day will go down in history,” Pistorius told a news conference in Milan, where his lawyers are based.

“Now I can definitely say the truth has come out. I have the opportunity once again to chase my dream of the Olympics, if not 2008, in 2012.”

He confirmed he would run in able-bodied races in Milan on July 2 and at the Rome Golden Gala on July 11, where he competed last year and endeared himself to Italian fans.

The 400 meters will be his main target but he is realistic about his chances of making the August 8-24 Games with the qualifying deadline in late July.

“I’ve missed the whole South African season. The time period is very short. It’s going to be very difficult for me to qualify [for the able-bodied Games],” he said.

He could run in the relay in Beijing without a sufficient individual time but is not holding out much hope with South Africa’s 4×400-meter team struggling to qualify.

Pistorius, who won gold in the 200 meters and bronze in the 100 meters at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, was emphatic that he would compete in this year’s Paralympics in September whether he qualified for the able-bodied Games or not.

He reckoned the camaraderie between paralympians was better than between able-bodied athletes but said essentially there was no difference between the two.

“Sport is supposed to bring people together not judge and separate,” he said.

Swiss-based CAS, the world’s top sports court, said in a statement that the IAAF had not proved competition rules had been contravened by his J-shaped blades.

“On the basis of the evidence brought by the experts called by both parties, the panel was not persuaded that there was sufficient evidence of any metabolic advantage in favor of the double amputee using the Cheetah Flex-Foot,” the statement said.

The IAAF welcomed the decision and said more research needed to be conducted into the effects of prostheses.

“The IAAF accepts the decision of CAS, and Oscar will be welcomed wherever he competes this summer,” a statement said.

“He is an inspirational man and we look forward to admiring his achievements in the future.”

This story was found @


Hand Foot Mouth Disease In China Takes Children’s Lives

May 5, 2008

While Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease is not uncommon in toddlers and children, the current outbreak in China is gaining international attention and concern. The reported number of infected children, all of which are below the age of 6, increased dramatically Monday. State-run media had initially said 6,300 children were infected, but reports from other provinces increased the number by more than 2,000.

The worst-hit area is a Province called Anhul in rural, eastern China. The state has sent health officials and medical assistance there. The outbreak there started in March, and 22 children have since died. Authorities say they have closed schools and kindergartens, and they have began spraying disinfectants in the streets. Meanwhile, hospitals are becoming over-crowded with extra beds lining the hallways.