International Briefing

China vows complete overhaul of dairy industry it calls âÄòchaotic,âÄô lacking in oversight BEIJING (AP) âÄî ChinaâÄôs Cabinet vowed a complete overhaul of the scandal-ridden dairy industry Monday, pledging to inspect every link from the farm to the dinner table to try to restore public trust in Chinese-made food products. In its strongest action yet, ChinaâÄôs highest level of government called the industry âÄúchaoticâÄù and acknowledged there was a lack of oversight. At MondayâÄôs meeting of the State Council, or Cabinet, the government said it would punish companies and officials involved in the contamination of milk products that has been blamed in the deaths of four babies and for sickening more than 54,000 children. The scandal revealed âÄúthat ChinaâÄôs dairy production and circulation has been chaotic and supervision has been gravely absent,âÄù said a notice about the meeting on the governmentâÄôs Web site. Unscrupulous âÄúelementsâÄù and companies had also put profit above peopleâÄôs lives, it said. Police detained six more people suspected of tampering with milk in northern China, a spokeswoman said, bringing to 32 the number of people arrested in the scandal. Palin expands criticism of Obama to include Rev. Wright; tones down description of Ayers CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) âÄî Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin expanded her attack on Democrat Barack ObamaâÄôs character Monday to include his relationship with an incendiary former pastor as well as his ties to 1960s-era radical Bill Ayers. In the process, Palin toned down her description of the Obama-Ayers relationship after her weekend remarks were criticized as exaggerated, but at the same time she embarked on a discussion of ObamaâÄôs relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., which Republican presidential candidate John McCain had signaled he did not want to be a part of his campaign. Meantime, a new poll showed that PalinâÄôs image has changed little with the public since last weekâÄôs vice presidential debate, but views of her Democratic rival, Joe Biden, have improved. In an interview with conservative The New York Times columnist William Kristol published Monday, the Alaska governor said there should be more discussion about Wright, ObamaâÄôs pastor of 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The Democratic candidate denounced Wright and severed ties with the church last spring after videotapes surfaced showing Wright making anti-American and anti-Semitic comments from the pulpit. Wright had appeared to be off limits for the McCain campaign ever since McCain himself condemned the North Carolina Republican Party in April for an ad that called Obama âÄútoo extremeâÄù because Wright was his pastor. He asked the party to take down the ad and said, âÄúIâÄôm making it very clear, as I have a couple of times in the past, that thereâÄôs no place for that kind of campaigning, and the American people donâÄôt want it.âÄù Organizations announce criteria for sustainable tourism BARCELONA (AP) âÄî A coalition of 27 organizations called the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Partnership on Monday issued criteria for sustainable tourism at a conference in Barcelona. The guidelines are available at http://www.SustainableTourismCriteria.org. They focus on four areas: maximizing tourismâÄôs social and economic benefits to local communities; reducing negative impacts on cultural heritage; reducing harm to local environments; and planning for sustainability. âÄúConsumers deserve widely accepted standards to distinguish green from greenwashed. These criteria will allow true certification of sustainable practices in hotels and resorts as well as other travel suppliers,âÄù said Jeff Glueck, chief marketing officer of Travelocity, a member of the GSTC Partnership. The partnership was initiated by the United Nations Foundation and also included the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the American Society of Travel Agents, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, Expedia and the International Ecotourism Society among others. The guidelines were developed in consultation with sustainability experts and the tourism industry and included a review of more than 60 existing sets of criteria already being implemented around the globe. United Nations Foundation Chairman Ted Turner joined the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations World Tourism Organization in announcing the criteria at the International Union for Conservation of NatureâÄôs World Conservation Congress.