U.N. North Korea edict includes luxuries
NEW YORK, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- This may be a different holiday season in North Korea where a U.N. edict against nuclear technology includes luxury consumer items favored by the ruling elite.
The United Nations left which goods would be included in the ban to various member nations. The United States has quite a shopping bag of goodies, more than 60 items including iPod music players, withheld from North Korea this year, the Washington Post said.
Supposedly, the ban will stand until North Korea returns to six-nation talks aimed at ending its nuclear-weapons program.
Much of this is directed at Kim Jong Il, the nation's leader, on the theory that it might prompt better behavior from a dictator who reportedly spends nearly $1 million a year on rare cognac, the Post said.
The U.S. list also includes cognac, crystal and china, jewelry, leather, silk scarves, designer fountain pens, water scooters, cars, motorcycles, DVD's, television sets larger than 29 inches, and so on.
Golf carts gain popularity as transport
PHOENIX, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The popularity of souped-up golf carts as alternative transportation has skyrocketed in Arizona, with more than 50 dealers popping up across the state.
The golf carts, which typically sell for more than $10,000, are available with features including Global Positioning Systems, DVD players, air-conditioning and car seats for children, the Arizona Republic reported Thursday.
"It's been like the popularity of the motorbike in foreign countries," said Fred Somers of the National Golf Cart Manufacturers Association. "Like you see lots of motorbikes across Europe, you see golf carts in the United States."
Industry experts have said about 70 percent of golf carts sold in the United States are used for golfing, and the rest are used as alternative transportation.
The carts are available from brands ranging from Harley-Davidson to Hummer, and body kits are available for consumers to make their carts look like Cadillacs, BMWs and other automobile brands.
A total 33,373 golf carts were registered with the Arizona Department of Transportation in fiscal 2006, with 28,113 of those being registered in Phoenix and its suburbs.
Nesting ospreys up science center price
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Contractors involved in the construction of a science center in California want the city of Newport Beach to reimburse them for delays caused by nesting ospreys.
The ospreys picked Shellmaker Island in Upper Newport Bay as the place to raise a family, settling into a nest in March. That forced a four-month hiatus in construction of the Back Bay Science Center.
The contractors say the delay cost $125,000, the Orange County Register reported. They are seeking another $75,000 for non-osprey cost overruns.
"We had some irresponsible ospreys involved in this project who cost us about $100,000 apiece. They flew the coop before we could find them," City Manager Homer Bludau said at a meeting Tuesday night to discuss the situation.
The council delayed a decision on paying the bill. Some members questioned its size, asking why they were being billed for labor when no work was being done.
The contractors said that some supervisors familiar with the project were paid because moving them to other jobs might have meant even greater delays on the science center.
Woman sues over guacamole label
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles woman has filed suit against Kraft Foods Inc., claiming the company commits fraud by calling a dip product guacamole.
Brenda Lifsey said she was suing the company for marketing a product that contains very little avocado and large amounts of modified food starch and coconut and soybean oils, as guacamole, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
However, all of the ingredients in Kraft Dips Guacamole are listed on the label of the product, the Times said.
"We think customers understand that it isn't made from avocado," said Claire Regan, vice president of corporate affairs for the Northfield, Ill., based company. "All of the ingredients are listed on the label for consumers to reference."
Lifsey's suit asks the Los Angeles County Superior Court to force Kraft to cease marketing the product as guacamole and reimburse the plaintiff's attorneys' fees plus unspecified punitive damages.
Regan said the company plans to change the product's label to make its avocado content more clear.