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WSJ: ‘Chinese Jetmaker Gets Western Help’ (incl. Rockwell Collins); Clay Jones quoted September 3, 2008

Posted by John in Business, International.
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From Wall Street Journal:

Their participation could help China do in aerospace what it has done in industries ranging from toys to cars: move from a basic fabricator to a global competitor.

“We understand that they may well want to develop an indigenous industry, but we want to stay a part of it as long as we can,” says Clayton Jones, chief executive of Rockwell Collins Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which provides radios, navigation equipment and other avionics systems for the ARJ21. “If I don’t move in there, somebody else will,” he says. …

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Flatulence filter maker offers Odor Mask for global relief agency work May 19, 2008

Posted by John in Business, International, Odd News, Public Health.
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From Press Release Newswire/Flat-D Innovations, Inc:

Cyclone’s Rotting Biological Debris Will Create Horrible Odors

A couple of weeks after the tsunami in Sri Lanka, the relief workers had to work in the area of the decaying biological debris (dead bodies, plants, animals). The hazardous conditions were extremely unpleasant and unsanitary. These conditions were difficult for the aid-workers and the odors were intolerable. Relief agencies contacted Flat-D Innovations, Inc [of Cedar Rapids, Iowa] for a proven effective solution, their Odor Mask, which is made out of an activated charcoal material.

Flat-D Innovations, Inc is gearing up in anticipation of the calls from various relief agencies, to help them cope with this unfortunate disaster. The cyclone-damaged area of Myanmar will likely have similar conditions, due to the damage, unsanitary conditions, and death toll. …

Photo of mask here

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Since October, Iowa City kindergarten teacher stuck in Vietnam limbo with adopted daughter; Bills about $100,000 May 16, 2008

Posted by John in Children, Family, Government, International.
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Map of VietnamImage via Wikipedia


Karla Brendler has been living in Vietnam since October, as she awaits approval from the State Department to bring home her 16-month-old adopted daughter Madison. Amid allegations of corruption and baby buying, the U.S. has suspended adoptions from Vietnam. …

Adoptions can cost about $20,000. But with stalled international adoptions like Brendler’s, costs can rise dramatically. With agency costs, lawyer fees, home studies, travel, extended stay in Vietnam, lost wages, Brendler estimates her bills to be about $100,000.

Brendler sometimes feels that she is being held hostage in Vietnam away from family and friends. …

PHOTO of Karla Brendler and daughter Madison

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I.C., Marengo teens fall through river ice in Canada, accused of stashing pot February 4, 2008

Posted by John in Crime/Courts, International.
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From Sault Star (Canadian):

A pair of American teens who travelled hundreds of kilometres to retrieve their stashed pot in Sault Ste. Marie are in custody after falling into the St. Mary’s River just metres from shore. …

The pair is accused of stashing the pot, unbeknownst to the owners, under the dock of a River Road home on Jan. 10, …

The pair returned to Iowa and came back north when they saw similar-sized rivers freezing in their home communities located about 800 kilometres from the Sault. …

Daniel Thomas Rathjen, 19, of Marengo, Iowa and John Lindley, 19, of Iowa City, Iowa were each charged with possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of export.

UPDATE: Pair pleaded guilty Feb. 7.

C.R. native killed in suicide attack at Afghanistan hotel January 17, 2008

Posted by John in International, Military, War.
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Gazette archives from 1962 [PDF] show that Hesla’s family was from Mount Vernon

Births — St. Luke’s

April 1 – To the families of … David Hesla, Mt. Vernon, a son 

From today’s Washington Post:

A 45-year-old District man who described his life in Afghanistan as a series of moves “from Green Zone to Green Zone” was among those killed Monday in a suicide bombing and shooting attack at Kabul’s most popular luxury hotel, where he had gone to work out in the gym, friends and business associates said yesterday.

Thor David Hesla, who had been living in Kabul since October and working for McLean-based BearingPoint, was the only American killed in the attack, one of the most brazen and well-coordinated assaults in the Afghan capital in years. The Taliban claimed responsibility. …

Hesla, who was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, worked in communications and public relations in Kabul, a BearingPoint official said. He joined the company full time in October in Afghanistan, the official said.

Hesla, who grew up in Atlanta, graduated from Emory University in 1984 …


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