The Salt
4:43 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Farewell To Argentina's Famed Beef

Argentina has long been famous for its grilled beef. But that beef isn't what it was.
Galina Barskaya iStockPhoto.com

When I think of Argentina, I think of beef from cows that graze on the endless pampas, tended by watchful gauchos. That grass-fed beef has been the centerpiece of Argentina's most famous dish, a slow-cooked asado on the parilla.

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Around the Nation
4:22 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Shootings Test Virginia Tech's Emergency Plan

Virginia Tech put a multitiered emergency response plan into effect Thursday after a gunman apparently shot and killed two people on campus, a university spokesman said as investigators tried to piece together the incident.

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World Cafe
4:21 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Blind Pilot On World Cafe

Blind Pilot.
Jay Blakesberg

Friends since college, guitarist and vocalist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski are the essence of Portland's Blind Pilot. From the beginning, their minimalist folk-rock sound has revolved around simple melodies, sparse drumming and warm vocals.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

EPA Report Links Fracking To Water Pollution

In a draft report (pdf) released today, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed what many residents of Pavilion, Wyoming have been complaining about for some time now: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is responsible for polluting the area's drinking water.

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Europe
3:53 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Kremlin Cracks Down, Arrests Prominent Critic

Lawyer and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, left, is taken to court in Moscow on Tuesday. Navalny was detained Monday along with 300 protesters who rallied against what they called vote rigging during Sunday's parliamentary election.
Mikhail Metzel AP

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm

Alexei Navalny knows how to work a crowd.

And after Sunday's parliamentary election, which many observers claimed were littered with violations, the demonstrators in Moscow were on his side.

"What's the party called?" he shouted, referring to the ruling United Russia party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"The party of crooks and thieves," the crowd responded, using the phrase that Navalny coined and that has caught on like wildfire.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

At Climate Talks, Frustration And Interruptions

The U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern delivers a speech on Dec. 8 in Durban, South Africa, during the U.N. Climate Change Conference. The climate talks entered their second week entangled in a thick mesh of issues with no guarantee that negotiators and their ministers will be able to sort them out.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

United Nations climate talks, like many negotiations, are a blend of dead seriousness and theater. Today at the talks in Durban, South Africa, an American college student provided a moment of theater by shouting out a short, unauthorized speech during the main session of the talks. Her interruption encapsulated frustration with the pace of the talks in general, and the United States' role in particular.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Russia's President: Alleged Vote Fraud Will Be Investigated

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stands in front of a giant picture of Tsar Michael of Russia.
Michal Cizek AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 3:18 pm

Reacting to widespread protests, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said alleged vote fraud of parliamentary elections will be investigated.

The AP reports:

Medvedev told reporters Thursday — after meeting Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus — that the law may have been violated during Sunday's vote, because "our electoral law is not ideal."

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Black Atlantans Struggle To Stay In The Middle Class

Foster Smith (left) and his best friend, Mark Ballard (right), met when they were 12 years old. After losing his job, and his ability to make rent, Smith moved into a room in Ballard's College Park, Ga., home.
Courtesy of Foster Smith

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 1:28 pm

There's no question that the Great Recession has meant hard times all around, but from 2007 to 2009, it sent black America into an economic tailspin.

According to the Pew Research Center, the median net worth — that's assets minus debts — of black households decreased by more than 50 percent from 2005 to 2009.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

AP: Black Site Where CIA Held Al-Qaida Operatives Was In Plain View

An exterior view of the Office of the National Register for Secret State Information, or ORNISS, which stores confidential information and ensures only authorised people gain access to it, taken in Bucharest on December 8.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 2:59 pm

That the Central Intelligence Agency had a so-called "black site" in Romania was well known. It was known that it was in one of those secret prisons that intelligence officials conducted harsh interrogations with major Al-Qaida operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.

Today, the result of a joint investigation with German public television, the AP reports it has found the site where Mohammad was held and interrogated. And it's not where you would think it is. The AP reports on the prison in Bucharest known as "Bright Light":

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Professor Gingrich And The Lessons (And Lecture Notes) Of History

Newt Gingrich used these lecture notes and similar pamphlets as part of the 1994 college course that became central to a later House ethics investigation.

Newt Gingrich once called himself "the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson."

But that was 1995, and the "Contract with America" co-author had just helped to propel Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, and Gingrich himself into the speaker's role. Even the rarely modest Gingrich had reason to gloat.

Just two years later, of course, he had become the first speaker ever punished by the House for ethics violations, and the end was in sight for both his leadership and congressional career.

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