Humane Society unveils cattle video
The Humane Society of the United States released video footage Wednesday of sick and injured livestock the group says were mistreated at auction sites and stockyards at which cattle are sold for slaughter. The group released videos shot during April and May showing downed cows abandoned for hours at facilities in Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas. A video was posted on the group's Web site. Wayne Pacelle, the organization's president, said that the videos point out that auction sites fall between regulatory cracks, raising concern that a downed cow could leave a facility and enter the food supply. On Tuesday, another animal rights group released undercover video it says shows chickens being mistreated by workers at two facilities owned by Turlock-based Gemperle Enterprises, which supplies NuCal Foods Inc.
Farm bill deal near?
Negotiators on a five-year, $300 billion farm bill say they have reached a tentative agreement on the legislation and it will be considered by the House and Senate next week. But the Bush administration has objected to the bill, and the White House says it seems unlikely that Congress will pass farm legislation the president can sign. President Bush has said the bill is "bloated" with farmer subsidies and is too expensive. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said after meetings Wednesday that the negotiating is finished, but he acknowledged that some minor issues remain unresolved. None of the lawmakers would provide details of the final agreement.
Productivity is up
Worker productivity rose by a better-than- expected amount in the first three months of the year while labor cost pressures eased. The Labor Department reported Wednesday that productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter. That was slightly higher than the 1.5 percent increase that had been expected. In a sign that inflation could be easing, labor cost pressures slowed a bit. Unit labor costs rose at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, down from a 2.8 percent rise in the final three months of last year.
The Naraghi family is investing millions of its money to develop the Villas at Villaggio, which is expected to open in July at Floyd and Roselle avenues in Modesto.