President Bush conferred today with an Australian opposition candidate who is anti-war and could soon be in a position to challenge Bush’s Iraq policies.
Bush met with Labor Party candidate Kevin Rudd, who has vowed to bring Australian troops home from Iraq if elected. That’s in sharp contrast to the strong support for the war and Bush’s recent military buildup from the current prime minister, John Howard.
Rudd leads Howard by a wide margin in polls for elections expected to be held within the next three months.
The president also prepared to deliver a mixed message to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Bush and his aides say he’s eager to talk to Hu about increasing trade and climate controls and to express satisfaction with Beijing’s role in pressing North Korea to agree to disavow nuclear weapons. But he’s also ready to discuss product-safety issues and to register his worries about China’s exchange rate policies.
Pipe at lab caused disease outbreak
Investigators have determined a pipe at a research laboratory in southern England caused last month’s outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.
Britain’s Health and Safety Executive found there were biosecurity lapses at the facility in Pirbright, Surrey.
The lab complex houses vaccine-maker Merial Animal Health – the British arm of U.S.-French pharmaceutical firm Merial Ltd. – and the government’s Institute of Animal Health.
Virus traces were found in a pipe running from Merial’s lab to a treatment plant operated by the government-run lab, the BBC reported, adding the pipe may have been damaged by tree roots.
Spitters face fines, public humiliation
Mumbai’s top civic agency is trying public shame in hopes of keeping its employees from spitting in the halls and stairways at work.
Offenders will find their photographs, names and titles posted on bulletin boards at the headquarters of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the body responsible for sanitation standards and the upkeep of roads and buildings.
They will also be fined 200 rupees ($5).