National / International News

Teenager dies 'after taking ecstasy'

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:27
A London teenager, who died after it is believed he took ecstasy, is remembered as a "bright and talented" pupil by his head teacher.

Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell, Wife Charged With Corruption

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:18

At issue are gifts Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, received from a political donor. The 14-count indictment includes conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges.

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Obama's Marijuana Remarks Light Up Legalization Debate

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:14

Even those who support decriminalizing marijuana were careful not to claim that Obama's remarks had altered the overall political dynamics of the debate.

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VIDEO: Flood-hit farmers fear disastrous year

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:04
Jeremy Cooke reports from flood-hit Somerset, where farmers are fearing a disastrous year.

High Court Considers Legality Of 'Fair Share' Union Fees

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

The justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could decimate public employee unions. At issue is whether nonunion workers can be forced to pay fees that help cover the cost of negotiating a union contract from which they benefit.

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Storm And Stress Visit The East Coast

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

An arctic air mass is blanketing the eastern half of the nation today, bringing with it high winds and heavy snow accumulations in some areas. Thousands of flights have been cancelled, schools are closed and federal government offices are closed. Those who don't have to drive or be somewhere also have an opinion on the weather.

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Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

Papers documenting allegation of sexual abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese were released to the public today by victims' attorneys. The documents cover only 30 of at least 65 priests for whom the Chicago church says it has substantiated claims of child abuse. The papers, put online, were made available through settlements between Church and victims' lawyers. Church officials said most of the abuse occurred before 1988, none after 1996, and that all were ultimately reported to authorities.

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Former Va. Gov. And Wife Face 14-Count Indictment

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife have been charged with illegally accepting gifts and loans from a political donor. The indictment, filed by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, marks a substantial escalation of a scandal that has marred the end of McDonnell's term in office.

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Report Claims 'Systematic Torture And Killing' By Syrian Regime

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

A new report released Monday claims to show direct evidence of torture by the Syrian government, presenting documents and photographs of scarred, emaciated corpses. For more about the findings, Melissa Block talks to Professor David Crane, the first chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and one of the authors of the report.

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After Hibernation, Rosetta Seeks Its Stone

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

The Rosetta spacecraft has awakened. It was put in hibernation for 31 months while its orbit took it nearly half a billion miles from the sun, too far for its solar arrays to keep the spacecraft operational. But now it's close enough, and European Space Agency mission managers will start preparing for Rosetta's rendezvous with a comet later this year.

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In Kenya, A Fraught Return To The Site Of A Massacre

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

In Nairobi, four men are on trial for assisting the terrorists who stormed Westgate Mall in September in an attack that killed at least 67 people. On Tuesday, the judge and lawyers on both sides left the stuffy confines of the courtroom and took a field trip — back inside the mall itself. The prosecution said that the trip was necessary to understand how and where the attack was carried out. But the trip — and this trial — has also seemed like a search for closure, in a case that four months later still has so many unanswered questions.

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State Of Emergency Raises New Questions In Bangkok

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

Thailand's government has declared a 60-day state of emergency in an effort to rein in the anti-government demonstrators who are intent on disrupting next month's snap election. The state of emergency means that the Thai authorities can impose curfews, detain suspects without charge and ban public gatherings of more than five people. But officials insist they will not use the declaration to attempt to remove anti-government protesters from the sites they have been occupying in Bangkok.

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Table's Laid And Guests Are Ready: Syria Peace Talks Set To Begin

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 13:00

A peace conference on Syria is due to begin Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland. The start of the conference comes after more than three years of violent conflict and 24 hours of uncertainty over Iran's surprise invitation. But the invitation has been withdrawn, and the diplomats are set to assume their places at the negotiating table.

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Cheese To The Rescue: Surprising Spray Melts Road Ice

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 12:55

Citing definite gains in cost and efficiency, a Wisconsin county used 38,000 gallons of liquid cheese brine on its icy roads last winter. The homegrown product is a "win-win" for a nearby dairy and the county, a transportation official says.

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Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 12:52

Whole Foods recently decided it would not buy produce from farmers who used treated sewage sludge, also known as biosolids, on their fields. But scientists say this is a mistake — the material is safe and benefits the environment in lots of different ways.

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Thai Government Declares State Of Emergency

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 12:44

It's an attempt to cope with anti-government protests that began in November. The measure, which goes into effect Wednesday, will last for 60 days. Anti-government protesters are trying to stop elections, scheduled for Feb. 2.

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Fifa threat to World Cup host city

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 12:34
Fifa warns Brazil's World Cup 2014 host city of Curitiba that it could be excluded from the competition unless preparations speed up.

VIDEO: McFadden wants Winter Paralympic gold

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 12:34
10-time Paralympic medallist Tatyana McFadden speaks to BBC Sport news correspondent Andy Swiss about why she has swapped wheels for skis.

Why did Antarctic expedition ship get stranded in ice?

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 12:26
Why did Antarctic expedition get stranded in ice?

Why it's hard to charge $40 for a pork chop

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-01-21 12:26

I'm in a high-brow part of New York at a high brow restaurant and I'm about to eat... a brow. "This is pig's head. Enjoy," laughs Nick Anderer, executive chef at Maialino restaurant in New York's Grammercy Park neighborhood. Actually, it's half a pig's head, brined, deep fried and served on a salad. Teeth and all.

Crispy Suckling Pig Face has become one of most popular dishes at Maialino ('suckling pig' in Italian). Pig face's popularity surprised Anderer. "I was completely surprised," says Anderer. "I never thought that a dish of a pig's face on a plate would sell as much as this one does."

Part of the push to use more pig parts has to do with pork prices, which hit a 30 year high last year.

"When corn goes up, everything goes with it," explains Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, an agriculture market consulting firm. Meyer says pigs eat a lot of corn and corn prices have been at record highs. They've dropped a lot recently, so pork prices were poised to plunge, but now a deadly illness from China is hitting pig populations in the US. "Now we're facing some supply challenges caused by a viral disease in baby pigs that might keep them high as we go through this next year as well," says Meyer.

While the supply of pigs might be shrinking, demand for pork has been flying high. "Bacon has been a very big food trend," says brand consultant Debra Kaye, author of Red Thread Thinking. Kaye says our cultural tastes have evolved and we are embracing bacon like never before. "We started to see that sweet, smoky, salty could go together... and what is better salty and smoky than bacon? And that's where it really started to take off."

Case in point: bacon donuts, bacon cocktails, bacon chocolates, bacon-flavored vodka, bacon ice cream, bacon lip balm...

All this new demand + low supply = the price of pork goes up...

Econ 101, right?

Maialino chef, Nick Anderer says it's not quite that simple. "Yes, pork prices spiked," says Anderer. "But we made no price hikes in our dishes because we just didn't feel like the perceived value would be there. Ultimately, pork is a comfort food for me and once you start charging luxury prices for it, it starts taking it into a realm that I don't feel comfortable with."

Restaurants can get away with big mark-ups for beef. Here in New York a fancy restaurant can charge $40 for a ribeye, but pork is kind of the people's meat. It's hard to charge $40 for a pork chop. Restaurants can't *not offer pork, because we're a nation obsessed with bacon.

Faced with this pork pricing puzzle, Anderer's done two things. The first is stretching the pork: "It's such a great seasoning agent that it doesn't need to be the main focus of a dish," says Anderer. "It can just be a few ounces of torn meat with the malfatti pasta and arugula and you've got yourself a great dish."

The other solution is to use more parts of the pig. "We sell a lot more weird pork dishes now than we did before," says Anderer, including charred pig hearts, pig liver crostini, crispy pork skin served with vinegar and, of course, pig face.

Brand consultant Debra Kaye says our deep love of bacon is pushing us to boldly brave new frontiers of pork eating. She agreed to try Anderer's famous pig's face. He offered her the ear, which he says he usually eats first.

"That is so good, oh my god," says Kaye. "The thing I give Figaro, my dog, for dessert every night is a pig's ear. I don't think I want to give it to him anymore they're so good."

The pork puzzle for people may be solved for this year, but the pork puzzle for dogs may be just beginning.

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