Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:56 pm
As reports come in about an escalation in fighting around Damascus and the deploying of army troops in the city's suburbs, the State Department just announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will go to the United Nations on Tuesday to join other nations in condemning the Assad regime's use of violence.
Here's another one of my stories about how the personal gets political. You know how it sometimes happens that without planning it, you and your friends wind up doing the same thing around the same time? Well, it so happened that a number of my friends got married around roughly the same time I did, so as you might imagine, we started comparing notes.
One day I decided to check out the wares in the salon of a famous designer I had heard a lot about. Did I say "salon"? I should have said "showroom," although I've had a better time actually buying the proverbial "used car."
Farmed salmon, that ubiquitous pink fish decorated with ribbons of fat, can thank the forage fish of the southern Pacific ocean – like anchovy and jack mackerel – for their calorie-rich diet. Indeed, more than 5 pounds of jack mackerel typically can go towards raising one pound of farmed salmon.
Violence persists around Damascus as protesters continue to urge President Bashar al-Assad's to step down. The Arab League has suspended its monitoring mission and the United Nations Security Council is considering a resolution condemning al-Assad's regime.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Paywall skeptic Clay Shirky long maintained that barriers to newspaper websites were counterproductive and self-defeating, that online readers accustomed to getting the news for free would find another way or another source of news.
A report by NPR and ProPublica finds that Freddie Mac bet billions of dollars against homeowners' ability to refinance their mortgages. Public documents show Freddie Mac sought to make gains through complex securities which would make money for Freddie Mac, but homeowners with high-interest rate loans would not be able to qualify for refinancing. This is not illegal, but it does raise questions about a conflict of interest within a federally-owned company that is supposed to make getting a mortgage easier.
European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the monetary union's ongoing economic crisis. According to The New York Times, the countries will decide that austerity is not enough to curb the sovereign debt crisis.
Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:31 pm
Tropical diseases that have long been overlooked are getting their due.
An ambitious new push to eradicate, eliminate or control 17 scourges over the next eight years was just unveiled in London. The initiative brings together some of the world's largest drugmakers, health-oriented foundations and nongovernmental organizations. Governments from the developed world and the countries most affected by the diseases are also on board.
Scientists are reporting that aliens are wiping out the animals in Florida's Everglades.
The aliens are Burmese pythons from Asia. They've been slithering around south Florida for decades. But scientists now say the constrictors are so bad, they're eating their way through the swamps. And the federal government has decided to take action to prevent their spread.