The Weekly Wrap-Up

| June 28, 2015
Image: bbc.co.uk

Image: bbc.co.uk

Words by Ryan Grice

Fois gras coup d’etat, China pinches pennies, Cake chaos, and The issue of tortoise defacement. 

Sale and production of the wildly unethical french dish fois gras has been officially banned in Brazil’s Sao Paolo. The legislation was recently passed by the local government and takes effect in 45 days with the punishment being a fine of approximately AUS$2000. While it is not a country-wide production ban like those that exist in Britain, Germany, Italy, and Argentina, the move has been praised by animal rights activists and criticised by chefs so it seems like a shift in the right direction. Pate however, is still present in many forms.

Image: thelottolife.com

Image: thelottolife.com

Reports having surfaced claiming that over the last two years a quarter of the income of China’s lottery program, roughly AUS$3.8bn, has been embezzled. Most forms of gambling are illegal in China so the state-run lottery is wildly popular with citizens, especially the middle class. This year saw the lottery’s first audit do to the suspected corruption of Prime Minister Xi Jinping’s government. Those responsible, and their punishments, have yet to be publicly announced.

Image: metro.co.uk

Image: metro.co.uk

A family owned bakery in London known as Cupcakes by SJ has been inundated with thousands of cake requests from all over the world after a photo of a Lego cake they had made went viral. The cake, pictured above, complete with edible bricks captured the hearts of thousands of romantic geeks with the feedback being so intense the bakery was forced to  eventually put up a statement on their Facebook page: “While all requests are seriously considered, I had no idea one picture would create the reaction and influx that it has in the last 2 days and am sorry that many requests are not possible to fulfil. As an answer to most people’s questions, I am based in SE London and unable to deliver outside of this area.” The original image was shared over 70,000 times.

Image: bbc.co.uk

Image: bbc.co.uk

The Ploughshare tortoise is one of the most endangered animals in the world with an estimate of less than 500 still in existence in the wild. Frequently hunted for their striking black and gold shells, some conservationists have leaned towards taking drastic measures to ensure the survival of the species in the form of defacing the tortoise’s shells with markings of their region and a serial number. It is believed that the process causes the animals mild discomfort but no pain and has been performed on 70 wild tortoises thus far. Director Richard Lewis of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Madagascar, who have been responsible for pioneering the efforts, said: “It goes against every grain and gene in our bodies to do this – everything says we shouldn’t do this, what we believe in, what we stand for. But we think this can be a major step in stopping people wanting these animals. We believe this will be a genuine deterrent.”

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Category: FEATURED, Serious Section, Uncategorized

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