Daily Digest: Swine swindling, Israel-Palestine troubles

Kyle Potter

Here’s your Daily Digest for Wednesday, Sept. 28:

Swine swindlers strike in Minnesota

Nearly 750 hogs have been stolen from Minnesota farms in the past two months, according to the Star Tribune.

Why pigs, and not laptops or other electronics? Well, for starters, those hogs were worth about $130,000.

Earlier this month, 150 pigs went missing from a Lafayette, Minn. farm. In August, 594 hogs were reported stolen from a farm in Kandiyohi County.

Nicollet County authorities have few leads in the Lafayette case, and can’t quite comprehend how the pigs, each of which weighed between 250 and 275 pounds, were taken without a trace.

“You couldn’t just walk into a barn and take 150 pigs out in 10 minutes,” said Doug Wenner, a hog farmer in St. Peter, Minn. “It would take 30 to 45 minutes, at least, if you had a few people working the hogs.”

Many hog farms are already equipped security systems, but the two major thefts in Minnesota – the third-largest hog-producing state in the country – have called for more vigilance.

“There’s definitely a heightened awareness. These two cases have created nationwide interest,” said Brandon Schafer, a pig farmer in Goodhue, Minn.

Israel-Palestine

Peace talks between Israel and Palestine took another blow Tuesday, as the Israeli government unveiled plans to build housing  in eastern Jerusalem, according to the Associated Press.

Tensions between the two Middle East states had risen in the lead up to President Mahmoud Abbas’ Sept. 23 request to the U.N for Palestinian statehood. Abbas is moving to claim east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and the planned 1,100 new housing units

The U.S. has promised to veto Abbas’ bid for statehood with the United Nations, but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized the Israeli announcement, calling it “counterproductive” to peace talks between the two states.

The issue is surfacing again on the University of Minnesota campus: students from groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and Hillel: The Jewish Student Center as well as history and social work professors weighed in on the conflict in a story from today’s Daily: “Debate over Palestinian state sparks among students and faculty.”