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AK Beat: Recall affects fruit sold in Alaska

Alaska Dispatch News

Sam’s Club, Costco fruit recalled in Alaska: Fruit from central California has been recalled due to possible listeria contamination, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Wawona Packing Co. recalled certain lots of peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots packed between June 1 and July 12. The potentially contaminated product can cause listeriosis, “an uncommon but potentially fatal disease,” the department reported. Most at risk of contracting the disease are people with weakened immune systems, such as infants and the elderly. Listeriosis may also cause miscarriages and stillbirths. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. DEC confirmed the products are available in Alaska, though no illness here or Outside has been reported. Some of the products were available at Sam’s Club and Costco. A list of all the recalled products is available online. 

Alaska Republicans frustrated at Outside strategies in Senate race: This fall’s race for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat is Democratic incumbent Mark Begich’s to lose, two Alaska Republican strategists told the British newspaper The Guardian. As part of its election coverage, The Guardian sent a reporter to Alaska, where Marc Hellenthal told him “if you asked me to predict today who's going to win, I'd predict Begich in a close election,” while Art Hackney told him "It's a little worse than frustrating. It's immensely perplexing, because it's beyond belief what happened.” Both men laid the blame primarily on outside groups who they said didn’t take the 49th state’s unique character into account. That’s meant ad campaigns that have backfired -- such as one that featured a Maryland actress -- and a failure to build a ground network comparable to Begich’s. Still, the piece notes that Begich’s has been vulnerable to attacks, listing examples from rep. Don Young and Senate Republican candidate Dan Sullivan. “Tellingly, both of those attacks came not from the Republican national strategists but from within Alaska,” the piece notes.

Anchorage: Great city for recreation that sort of sucks on latest list: Go figure. Anchorage, which bested outdoor recreation hotspot Boulder, Colo., only a month ago to make the Elite Eight in Outside Online's poll of "America's Best Places to Live," now comes in a laggardly 67th in WalletHub.com's list of "The Best & Worst Cities for Outdoor Recreation. Boulder doesn't make the list at all; too small. It's the same for Duluth, Minn., the winner of the Outside contest. Duluth beat Minneapolis in Outside's round four. Minneapolis was the only major city, other than Anchorage, to go far in the Outside voting. It comes in fourth on the WalletHub list of 100 despite a "weather conditions rank'' of 76. The WalletHub judges are clearly not nordic skiers. Anchorage also suffers from a weather rank of 81, and an "entertainment & recreational facilities rank" of 48. This for a city where there's snow on the ground for most of the year and the nation's best system of cross-country ski trails? But what really brings Alaska's largest city down is a "financial rank'' of 92. WalletHub judged movies, bowling, "beauty salons," food and drink prices, and "affordable 4.5+ star restaurants'' too costly in Anchorage. Dining out: It's the new American recreation.

EU commissioner suggests sanctions targeted at Russia's Arctic drilling: A European Union commissioner said the EU shouldn’t provide Russia with needed technical assistance in its Arctic oil fields unless it moves to make peace in Ukraine, reports Reuters. The news agency reported that EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, speaking at a press conference, said “If they don't try for peace in the east of Ukraine ... If they don't decisively try to do something to prevent escalation, then there is no reason for us to help promote the growth of their industry and develop new resources for gas and oil and therefore to put this equipment on the list of sanctions.” Such sanctions would target “hardware and software,” without which Oettinger says Russia could not develop its Arctic resources. French petroleum giant Total is a partner with Russian firm Novatek at the latter’s Yamal Peninsula LNG project.