December 23rd, 2011
09:32 PM ET

Cuba to release 2,900 prisoners

Cuba will pardon more than 2,900 prisoners, the government said Friday in an official statement published on the state-run website Cubadebate.

The decision follows "numerous requests" from prisoners' family members and religious institutions, and is a humanitarian gesture, the statement read.

Among those who might be freed are prisoners over the age of 60, and those who are sick, female or young with no previous criminal record.

It was not immediately clear whether Alan Gross, a jailed American, would be among those pardoned.

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Filed under: Cuba
November 19th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

McDonald's, Target drop egg supplier after animal cruelty report

McDonald's and Target dropped an egg supplier this week after an activist group released disturbing video showing what it says shows animal cruelty at three of the company's barns.

The undercover video, released by Mercy for Animals, was allegedly shot between May and August at facilities run by Sparboe Farms in Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota. It shows hens crammed in crowded cages, workers burning beaks and one, trying to shove a bird inside the pocket of a co-worker, apparently for fun. Another worker presses his thumb against the back of a chick's neck until it breaks.

"Regarding the undercover videos, the behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable. McDonald's wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers. We take this responsibility - along with our customers' trust - very seriously. It's important to note that the most alarming actions on video did not occur at Sparboe's Vincent, Iowa, facility that supplies McDonald's. Nonetheless, our extremely high standards for our suppliers prohibit this conduct," McDonald's said in a statement, announcing its decision to cut ties with Sparboe Farms.

Target similarly said it was dropping Sparboe Farms, which describes itself as the fifth-largest shell egg producer and marketer in the United States.

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Filed under: Animals • Colorado • Fast Food • Food • Iowa • Minnesota
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