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April Newsbytes #1

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By: Staff Writer Sayan Ghosh



The popular Taiwanese dumpling restaurant Din Tai Fung is expected to open a branch this year in San Jose’s Valley Fair Mall. Din Tai Fung was founded in 1958 in Taiwan as a cooking oil retail business, but since 1972, has been operating as a noodle and dumpling house. The chain has branches in ten countries, including two in Southern California, and one in Washington. The chain is renowned for its Xiao Long Bao, or shrimp dumplings, but also serves traditional dim sum, as well as dishes such as silk squash and sticky rice wraps.



The USDA is in the process of defining what it means to farm. This would prevent those receiving money from the government but doing no actual physical work on farms from receiving money from the government. “We want to make sure that farm program payments are going to the farmers and farm families that they are intended to help,” said Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture Secretary. The USDA reported that over 1,000 farming operations could be ineligible, which would save the government about 50 million dollars each year. The process was initiated in part to clarify the presently vague definition of active personal management,” which is cited by those requesting government cash.



The French government passed new legislation on March 19 which states that any newly constructed roofs in commercial zones around the country must be covered with solar panels. The new rules only apply, however, to commercial buildings, despite environmental activists advocating for all new buildings to comply with the legislation. Businesses can also choose to create green roofs by planting plants on the roofs, the use of which was mandated in 2009 in Toronto, Canada.



According to a complaint filed against the state, an employee of Florida’s environmental protection department was forced to take a leave of absence and seek a mental health evaluation after he mentioned climate change, which Governor Rick Scott reportedly informally banned. Employee Barton Bibler received a formal reprimand on March 9 for claiming that climate change was on the agenda for an official meeting of the Florida Coastal Managers Forum in late February. Bibler allegedly recorded an explicit mention of climate change in his notes from the meeting. News of the unwritten ban surfaced when the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting reported that the ban was instituted after Scott took office in 2011.

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