Fisticuffs, smoke bombs and eggs: just another day in Ukraine's parliament

Ukrainian nationalists are extremely unhappy over what they see as increased Russian influence since the election of Viktor Yanukovych. They showed their displeasure today by engaging in a chaotic "debate" -- using smoke bombs and eggs -- in Ukraine's parliament over Russia's lease of a Black Sea naval base being extended until 2042. Needless to say, this resulted in some entertaining photos and video:


For more on the rowdy Rada, see FP's list of the world's most unruly parliaments. 



Feds bust deadly cheese-smuggling ring

Anti-immigrant ideologues and terrorism alarmists are always warning us that nuclear bombs and various diseases could easily make their way across the United States' southern border, wreaking untold havoc and permanently altering American civil liberties.

Now, there's a new threat for those folks to worry about: contaminated cheese.

AOL's Andrew Schneider reports that federal agents on Friday busted two Hondurans for "an elaborate scam" involving cheese containing Staphylococcus aureus, a nasty bacterium that can cause food poisoning and even toxic shock syndrome.

The two Hondurans, Francisca Josefina Lopez, 40, and Jorge Alexis Ochoa Lopez,34, stand accused of "introducing adulterated food products into interstate commerce," a.k.a. importing and trying to sell funky cheese from Nicaragua.

The feds found four shipments of the cheese, three of which contained staph a, totaling at least 170,000 pounds and valued at $322,000. A fourth batch "violated standards applicable to phosphatase, indicating the cheese was not pasteurized as declared on the relevant Customs import paperwork."

Here's Schneider:

The defendants operated from a company known as the Lacteos Factory in northwest Miami and reportedly developed an elaborate scam to conceal the tainted cheese, according to the FDA.

On April 1, Customs and Border Protection inspected a cargo container at the Port of Miami, which had been returned to the seaport from Lacteos with documents stating the cheese was refused and was being returned to Central America.

But CBP inspectors discovered that while the top layer of cartons on each pallet contained small bricks of cheese, as labeled, the bulk of the cargo in the lower tiers of boxes consisted only of buckets of wastewater. As a result, the majority of the cartons of cheese from the entry were missing.

Subsequently, a search warrant was executed at the Lacteos Factory, where investigators found that the three other shipments of the cheese had been sold to more than 30 customers, despite the food still being in "customs hold," which meant the cheese could not be legally sold.

Apparently, one customer conducted independent testing of the cheese, found it to be contaminated with the bacteria and returned the product. But that cheese was then simply repackaged and sold to other customers, officials say.