CEI Daily Update

Issues in the News

1. HEALTHThe U.S. Department of Agriculture orders a recall of 143 million pounds of beef .CEI Expert Available to Comment: Journalism Fellow Lene Johansen on how the recall has unfolded :

“The Humane Society has known about [violations of USDA processing procedure] for six weeks, but instead of releasing the data immediately so that USDA could take action, they sat on the exposure until they had enough material for a documentary. They want USDA to ban all so-called downer cattle — cattle that cannot stand at the time of slaughter — from the food supply. The current process is for USDA veterinarians to diagnose the animal to decide if the inability to stand is due to non-pathogen injuries such as torn ligaments or broken legs. The animal has already passed the health inspection before this time.”

2. TECHNOLOGYXM and Sirius Satellite radio await approval of their long-planned merger .CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on the prospects for the merger :

“The proposed XM/Sirius satellite merger — awaiting OKs from the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — represents the antitrust establishment's latest target…and potential casualty. Smokestack-era antitrust law presents one of today's gravest threats to hyper-competitive frontier industries and the customers they serve. Fortunately many Wall Street analysts foresee a favorable decision come early December. Bear Stearns analysts put approval at 70 percent.”

3. SECURITYRecent damage to underwater telecommunications cables could have been an act of sabotage.CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews and Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer on how private enterprise can improve infrastructure security :

“ America has not done enough to protect the networks of roads, train lines, pipelines, power wires, ports, and fiber-optic networks that constitute the nation's critical infrastructure. This infrastructure, indeed, faces threats from all directions, from nuisances to existential risks. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina showed the vulnerability of our systems. … Over the last decade, government has taken an ever-growing role in providing this protection. Of course, government has a role to play in defending the country from threats both natural and man-made. But we will hurt our own security by allowing government's role to grow too large.”

Blog feature : For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI's blog, Open Market .

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